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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Molly's Hot Spring
  Public Hot Springs

Molly's Hot Spring in Idaho

Season: All* Type: H (hike)
Boise National Forest Overall Rating: B-
5,300 ft Water Temperature: Varies/Adjustable
Warm Lake Area Usage Level: Moderate (Heavy seasonal/summer use)
  Avg. pH: 6+

Picture Viewer

06.19.10: Parking area marker, great - I know, right!

06.19.10: New valves

06.19.10: pH of 6+

06.19.10: Re-designed

05.14.05: Back to the basics

05.14.05: the bridge across the S Fork Salmon River

05.14.05: Up to Molly's

10.28.03: Is bigger better? Hmmmm

06.10.02: The maze of hoses that deliver the goods to the pool below

06.10.02: Hi Molly

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[ View 06.22-06.23 2011 Molly's Hot Spring Video Clip ]
[ View 06.19.10 Molly's Hot Spring Video Clip ]

General Description
A log dam and rock bordered pool with a sandy bottom often laden with silt and algae. Located .25mi from the dirt forest road; both the trail and South Fork of the Salmon River are visible from the pool.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
06.22.11-06.23.11 none (!) heavy
06.19.10 low light
07.15.09 low EXTREME
05.14.05 low light-moderate
10.28.03 low none
06.10.02 low none

Water Clarity:


Slight Sulfur

Wildlife Sighted: Deer & Elk

Seasonal Notes
Accessible all year - dirt forest is not plowed during winter; access on horseback or snowshoe.

Camping Notes
There is plenty of Boise National Forest camping nearby - no camping at the springs.

Trip Reports

06.22.11 and 06.23.11
Had to make some hose adjustments, but after about an hour of work and waiting I was able to get the temperature and flow just right for a soak. I made the hike up to the sources and was able to survey the situation from above. There wasn't much trash to pick up and didn't have any visitors either. I did notice that the hoses had been adjusted between the times I soaked; must have just missed someone else.

The chiggers nibbled at first, but eventually ate me alive!! Chiggers are either Red Spider Mites on steroids, or are some mutant variant that are no fun to deal with. I really liked my soak at Molly's after hiking up to Tule Lake and back, but the chiggers will definitely get me to think twice next time I'm in the area.
Rating: C+

The forest in this area was hit hard by a wildfire recently. Despite the black trees, Molly's lives on with a newly reconstructed pool, complete with valves for hot and hotter. Sadly, the absence of a cold water intake prohibited soaking thanks to 115 pool temps. pH came in around 6+.

Also worth noting, one of the lodges on nearby Warm Lake converted to a biker bar. As such, there was an abnormal amount of motorbikes ripping through curvaceous forest roads. Enough to bring out the fuzz, which I've never seen out here once in the last decade. It's bad enough already with folks and their big rigs on these tiny streets, please be careful regardless of your mode of transport.
Rating: X

Red Spider Mite Activity Reported!

We were stoked to have Molly to ourselves after passing the jam-packed tubs just up the road. No trash! Woo Hoo! Great work everyone; keep picking up trash and utilizing low-impact techniques as this hot spring is in a very sensitive area. The pool was back to its original size, and finding the right mix of hot water to come out of the right hose proved to be quite difficult. After more hose fidgeting we were able to warm up the pool enough for a quick soak. Had we more time I believe we could have engineered a better setup. All in all, a nice trip.
Rating: B-

10.28.03 (Above Pictures: #1)
Very nice. The size of the single pool has increased along with overall depth, and to top it off the temperature was a perfect 102. Some careful engineering of the hot and warm water flows have enabled the soaker more control of their ideal soaking temperature. Despite it being hunting season we didn't see anyone else at this hot springs. Molly's Hot Spring was a pleasant surprise and an excellent soak. There are excellent camping spots near but not next to the hot springs, along with additional hot springs in a mere .5 mi radius.
Rating: A

04.27.03: Status Update
It has recently come to my attention that the pool at Molly's has been improved since my last visit. Apparently, it is much easier to control the temperature of the pool and the pool is deeper. I can't wait to get out there and verify this!

06.10.02 (Above Pictures: #2, #3 & #4)
Molly's was a bit cool on the day we visited. Another couple who were there before us had turned the hot water on so to speak, but the pool would still need another day or so to warm completely. No trash... my only beef was that the guy who was already there was not treading lightly. We noticed 5 vehicles with California plates this trip, plus the couple at Molly's HS were also from CA. We did not see or run into any non-Californians besides the lady with all of her kids at Vulcan HS.
Rating: C

Average Rating: B

Traffic Updates

08.04.06 & 08.05.06
No vehicles were present in the pullout despite heavy amounts of recreation users.


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No Soap, Shampoo or BIO-Soap/Shampoo Allowed in Hot Springs! Avoid Being Fined!

Public hot springs are not bathing facilities and do not have 'plumbing' like that of commercial, improved hot springs. Soap and shampoo (including biodegradable soap and shampoo) do not completely breakdown naturally. This pollutes our water systems (ingested by fish, animals, humans) at or near the source. This is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas.

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