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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Penny (#1, 2 & 3) Hot Springs
  Public Hot Springs

Penny Hot Springs in Idaho

Season: Summer, Fall Penny #1 Type: H (hike)
Boise National Forest Overall Rating Penny #1 (New Penny): B+
Overall Rating Penny #2 (Penny): C-
Overall Rating Penny #3 (Twopenny): C-
4,800 ft Water Temperature: 100 to 103
Warm Lake/Yellow Pine Area Usage Level: Moderate
   Avg. pH: 8

Picture Viewer

Two Penny


Looking down on Penny's source (#1) and pools below, notice the copper color (AKA New Penny)

09.06.02: The
main attraction (Penny #1, AKA New Penny)

Up | Down | Top | Bottom

View 10.16.10 Video Clip of Penny Hot Springs

Pool Condition
Rock and sand walled with a sandy bottom.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
10.16.10 none (!) light
07.14.09 low EXTREME
08.18.04 low light
06.11.04 low none
10.28.03 low none
09.06.02 low none

Water Clarity:
Crystal Clear or Silty
(depending on usage)


None Noticed

Wildlife Sighted: Deer, Elk, Moose, Fox and Black Bear

Seasonal Notes
Buried during spring runoff, sometimes stranded late summer/early fall (too hot).

Camping Notes
There are a couple great campsites roughly .5 to .75 miles from the hot spring - there is also plenty of other Boise National Forest camping opportunities nearby.


Aside from the guy asleep sitting up in his flatbed pickup in the parking area (been there minus the flatbed), the trip was fairly uneventful. No trash too!! I was really happy about this fact after the rampage I witnessed here during the July South Fork Payette River fishing destruction derby. Major Kudos to the Krassel work crews for taking good care of such a special place.
Rating B+

The entire area surrounding Penny burned in the summer of 2007. And, as such, is posted "no overnight camping" in the pullout due to restoration efforts.

Still too soon! Penny was submerged! Better luck next time I suppose. I was however, able to track down 2 other hot springs (Penny #2 & #3) in the same area Penny resides in. I also bore witness to a few mighty Salmon navigating the river, I was amazed at their size while watching them from a spot above.

Penny #2 is located roughly 30 yards south of Penny #1 along the river and is only accessible during low water conditions. There is a small 1 person soaker at the base of a rock cliff from which the hot water emanates from into the pool. Penny #3 is roughly another 30 yards south of Penny #2 but on the other side of the river. There are two pools, although 1 has potential really neither of them should be soaked in. The flow is slow and there are lots of goobers and sludge.

Penny #1 (AKA New Penny) Rating X
Penny #2 (AKA Penny) Rating C- (cool temps, hard to find a good pool spot)
Penny #3 Rating C- (shallow, goobers, algae, cool temps)

I figured as much, Penny was submerged under the remnants of spring runoff upon arrival. The source was poking out of the water, but way too hot for soaking!
Rating X

This trip to Penny yielded some new changes to the area around the hot springs. The small spur road pullout is now completely gone, in its place lies a huge oil coated gravel parking lot. Now, the entrance to the trailhead is a huge beacon to all traveling the paved FSR. The other noted change is that there is a wood staircase leading from the trail down to the hot spring near the riverbank. While this surely aids in the short but steep decent, it is also another calling card which will eventually lead to more use of this sweet little hot spring. We didn't soak this time, too lazy to scoop out all the silt, and too distracted by the other enticing hot springs in the area. There are excellent camping spots all around this hot spring.
Rating: X

It's nearing the end of what I consider to be the best time of the year to visit Penny HS. The temperature and pool conditions were excellent. And, while you can continue down the paved forest road to Mile-16 HS to a grade 'A' pool, you should also expect to be sharing that pool too.

The other pool at Penny is smaller and lies adjacent to the main pool, it was way too cool for dipping. However, as the river lowers this pool may come into play and could possibly extend Penny's usage time frame... which isn't very long to begin with. Penny HS submerges during spring runoff and gets landlocked and is just too darn hot later in the year. Note the copper color of the algae on the source, could that be the reason for this particular HS's name? I didn't run into anyone while enjoying Penny HS. It was a great way to spend a couple hours in the morning. I'd recommend a cup of hot coffee or chocolate for a venture like this.

If you are feeling adventurous ford the South Fork Salmon River, cut across to Dollar Creek and look for a pool (Dollar Creek Warm Spring).
Rating B+

Average Rating (Penny #1/New Penny): B+
Average Rating (Penny #2/Penny): C-
Average Rating (Penny #3/Twopenny): C-

Traffic Updates

08.05.06 & 08.06.06
No vehicles were present both times I passed the pullout, which leaves me to believe Penny is still somewhat underwater or there hasn't been a pool built yet.

The pullout at the trailhead was empty when driving S on FSR 474 towards Warm Lake.


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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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