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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Panther (Big Creek) Hot Springs
  Public Hot Springs
Salmon-Challis National Forest Overall Rating: B
4,400 ft Water Temperature: Varies
Shoup Area Usage Level: Low-Moderate

Picture Viewer

05.14.03: The 'big' guy

05.14.03: Holy crap, look at all of the Spotted Frog Tadpoles! (thanks Ryley!)

05.14.03: Awesome steamy sauna

05.14.03: Overhead shot of the geothermal complex

05.14.03: The 'little' guy

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General Description
Formerly popular because of a huge soaking pool, which was overrun with debris after multiple stream blowouts, Panther now consists of a couple on again, off again small, dug-out pools bordered with rocks. The rock sauna is a unique, welcoming feature - just watch out for all of the spiders.

Pool Condition
All of the carved-out pools feature rock walls, gravel and rock bottoms and are at most 3 feet deep and 4-6 feet wide. They will require revamping and cleaning on occasion because of low use. The location and condition of the pools changes with the seasons.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
05.14.03 Light None (tadpoles a plenty)

Water Clarity:



Wildlife Sighted: Deer, Elk, Tadpoles

Seasonal Notes
Panther is usable year-round. During the winter months it's common to park at the base of the hill and hike up to the hot springs due to ice (and the steep drop off/narrow road).

Click for Shoup, Idaho Forecast

Camping Notes
There are primitive sites nearby, the closest official campground is at Panther Creek.


Panther was scenic to say the least. There was a HUGE waist-deep soaker which was full of goobers and thousands of tadpoles (hot springs frogs??), a cozy sauna hut built out of rocks and a nice little 2-3 person soaking pool that was perfect. There were a few other pools as well but their temperatures were not optimal for soaking. Once again, we lucked out and had the whole place to ourselves! Woo hoo! I really liked the scenery, not too mention the little caves that had hot water gushing out of them which formed a thermal stream that fed the smaller pools below the HUGE pool.

Apparently, just a couple years ago the HUGE pool was the primary soaking pool, but that all changed after a stream blowout in 2001. Currently, the HUGE pool is too cool for soaking... plus, there's all the mud and tadpoles. If anyone knows exactly what kind of frog this is please contact me. The lower, smaller pool was in excellent soaking condition. I've heard that the Forest Service has plans to 'clean-up' the HUGE pool, and I've also heard that this area has been hurt badly by developments made at the site within the last few years. Hmmmm.

One more thing to report, using your sleeping bag to dam a pool is not such a good idea... someone must have been desperate for a soak because we found a sleeping bag stuffed in the lower pool that was used as a makeshift dam. Crap was floating around the pool all over the place from the deteriorated bag.

Average Rating: B


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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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