Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Pictures
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Information
Located within the Clearwater National Forest in Central Idaho, the hot springs pools are at the end of a beautiful and short 1+ mile hike - arranged in sequence starting with the waterfall pools. Years ago it was a favorite of backpackers on their way into/from the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. In the late 90s, the FS initiated nighttime closure and made camping at/near the hot springs illegal in an effort to protect the badly abused hot springs. It remains under nighttime closure today.
During the summer you'll meet people from all over the United States and even the world. The rest of the year this hot springs is dominated by the people of Missoula, Montana. In particular, partying college students - most of which are responsible for nighttime closure.
Jerry used to be signed as clothing optional, but in 2009 the signage was removed from the trailhead. Nude is typically the norm here. If you're going au natural be prepared to share a soak with little Timmy and the family. This place gets packed! I've seen it both ways and mixed as well. All I can really say is if you are going to Jerry don't expect to not see naked people.
The waterfall pools from the 1st (of 3) sources are best during late summer... and are submerged during spring runoff. Nighttime closure is currently in effect due to overuse and abuse problems. Open from 6am to 8pm. Winter can bring snow and very dangerous roads. Consider snowshoes and ALWAYS check road conditions prior to departure. May brings spring runoff and insane riding conditions to the nearby rivers. Every hot springs and camping area is typically packed during this time.
There is an official campground of the same name 1 mile from the Warm Springs pack bridge trailhead between Mile Markers 150 and 151, along with many other nearby official campgrounds and primitive campsites further up and down the road. No camping at the hot springs - nighttime closure in effect. It should be noted that there is NO shade at the official JJ CG, which can be a very hot place come July/August. The current location of Jerry Johnson Campground has only been open since 2006-2008, but has experienced water contamination issues and has been closed the last few years. The previous location of JJ CG was actually very close to the Warm Springs Trailhead bridge. It was closed due to overuse and abuse-related issues and is in a recovery status.
FYI, There are no pit toilets or restroom facilities of any kind at the trailhead or hot springs. Pack it in - pack it out!
East on highway 12 is the closest gas and food at Lolo Pass/Lolo Hot Springs (20+ miles from Trailhead).
Currently, there is no fee to park at the Warm Springs Creek pack bridge and access to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. Please pick up all trash and take good care of this special place so it can remain intact and free to access for years to come.
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Soak Stats
- Season: All (check road reports late Fall through early Spring)
- Type: Hike (short hike to the pools)
- Elevation: 3,200 ft
- Land: Clearwater National Forest
- Fee: None
- Restrictions: n/a
- Usage: High
- Visibility: High
- Temp: Varies per pool per source
- Water Clarity: Clear to Semi-Clear
- Odor(s): Slight sulfur
- pH: n/a
- Area Features: See nearby section below
- Closest Food/Gas: Lolo Pass
- Trash: High
- Bugs: Moderate
- Wildlife: High (deer and elk)
- Camping: Clearwater National Forest camping nearby
- Clothing-Optional: Yes
- Pit Toilet: None
- Continue following the trail past the hot springs into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and countless backpacking opportunities, starting with a seasonal waterfall.
- Lolo Hot Springs
- Lolo Pass Interpretative Center
- Lowell, Idaho
- Kooskia, Idaho
- Missoula, Montana
- Wilderness Gateway Campground (largest in Idaho)
- Lochsa River
- Clearwater River
- Weir Creek Hot Springs
- Stanley Hot Springs
Directions to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
The Trailhead parking lot is known as Warm Springs Pack Bridge and is located between Mile Markers 152 and 153 on the north side of Highway 12 and is approximately 25 miles west of Lolo Pass, or 78 miles east of the Highway 12/13 junction at Kooskia.
After parking, cross Highway 12 and the pack bridge over the Lochsa River, stay on the west main trail and continue for about 1 mile to reach the waterfall pools (source 1 of 3). Continue another .5 miles to locate the additional pools which are visible from the main trail. The trail is typically in great shape and has very little elevation loss/gain.
View Idaho Hot Springs in a larger map
A Quick Look at JerryJerry Johnson Hot Springs, located in the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. Lots of friendly folks (and illegal campers/trashholes!), but still a great soak and good time.
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in IdahoEarly June visit to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in central Idaho.
Clearwater National Forest Hot Springs in North-Central IdahoFeatures the hike, source and pools of two north-central Idaho five-star soaks; Jerry Johnson and Weir Creek Hot Springs. Both are located in the Clearwater National Forest.