Wildlife Sighted: Deer
Seasonal Forest Road closure from October through mid-May (open date
in May depends on snow level, usually May 20th). Prime soaking season is between late
July though fall.
There is great
primitive camping sites up and downstream of the hot springs,
and an official (4 site) campground at the trailhead. There are also plenty of campgrounds and primitive sites to choose from in the
surrounding Sawtooth National Forest.
09.25.09 - 09.26.09
Totally awesome. I backpacked out to the hot springs and enjoyed
some excellent fall hiking and daytime soaking. I say daytime
because the best soak at Skilly was a mere 99/100. Not so great for
early morning/late at night soaking, but primetime for sunny day
soaking. There was quite a bit of motorcycle and angler traffic,
along with one other backpacker. Most of whom I met were
considerate, except for the person on the motorcycle that was riding
around on Skillern Creek Trail (off limits to motorized vehicles)
and was spotlighting my tent at 6am. A lot more people than I am
used to seeing in the backcountry for sure.
I remember sitting on a log bridging Skillern Creek, pumping water
and watching the leaves fall into the creek then begin their journey
to Big Smokey Creek when 3 motorcycles came screaming out of
nowhere, blasted through Skillern Creek kicking out rocks and mud
all over. Leaving the air filled with smoke and the thick stench of
gasoline. Yeah, sure - riding bikes is fun, but completely
disturbing a forest wilderness with noise and pollution is
unacceptable. EVERY time I have hiked/backpacked on non-motorized
trails I catch at least one person on a motorcycle ripping it up.
This was a rare trip in which I didn't see hardly any wildlife... I
wonder why? And, just what happens to a human, horse or animal that
meets up with 3 speedy motorcycles up on the high trail? Shame on
you dirtbag motorcycle riders for polluting such a natural place,
double shame on the National Forest people that allowed this to
happen in the first place.
06.01.07 - 06.02.07 Trip Report and Pictures by Soker Grrl
It's been almost 5 years since my last visit to this incredible
place and Skillern hasn't changed a bit - thank goodness! The hike
was awesome, soak stellar and my most noteable memory from the trip
(besides the insane wind) was soaking the day away while watching
Hybrid Cutthroat make their way upstream.
Skillern was sweet! The 4 or
so hour round trip hike was nothing short of scenic, and this time of the year you are almost guaranteed to be the only one out there. Small spots of snow dotting the
landscape were visible throughout the duration of our hike.
FS lady we ran into at Canyon Campground (cute girl stationed at Shasta) said we were the only campers in the whole Sawtooths! I thought that was pretty stellar. However, I did catch a glimpse of a group of campers/partiers leaving
Worswick HS on our way in. They left all of their trash in their fire pit, some half burnt with the smell of burnt plastic still fresh in the air.
Anyway, the two lower pools below the source where cold meets hot were
too submerged for use, but the upper pool around the bend nestled in the side of the rock face was good to go. I think we must have spent all day there. That would explain the insane sunburn on one side of my body. Please treat this area with care.