Hot Springs Guide Book Review

After almost a decade a new edition of Evie Litton’s Hiking Hot Springs in the Pacific Northwest was released earlier this month.

Soon after I received my first taste of geothermal back in the late 90s/early 2000s at Scenic, Bear Valley and Pine Flats, I discovered the 2nd edition of Evie Littion’s hot springs guide book while working at Hastings. That little book helped me track down droves of hot springs after moving to Boise to attend BSU. I still have that book, albeit a touch worse for the wear, but it was… IS well used.

On a side note, those first few years of adventuring to hot springs throughout the northwest provided me with a deep appreciation for wild places; thick forests and crisp deserts. Through this appreciation I developed a relationship with nature that continues to enlighten me to this day. I am forever thankful for this.

Flash forward to 2014… after almost 10 years since the release of the 4th edition in 2005, Evie (and co-author Sally Jackson) released the 5th edition. Sadly, despite many near misses, most notably at Bear Valley, I have yet to share a soak with Evie.

Although, I haven’t digested the 5th edition word-for-word just yet, I have effectively scanned the majority of the new book and am fairly pleased.

5th Edition First Thoughts

Cons

  • Only a handful of new hot springs in each state; most of which require a decent amount of elbow grease pre-soak, some of which have been published by other sources
  • Outdated information – a few listings contain out of date information anywhere from 2-5 years old that could have been easily obtained from a quick Google search or from researching other sources accessible online
  • Outdated photos – most hot springs pictures are seemingly from the 1st through 3rd editions

Pros

  • COLOR photos and maps
  • Author bio updated
  • 19 new hot springs

Even though much of the information and stories contained in the 5th edition were the same as subsequent editions, it was enjoyable re-reading and attempting to locate new information. I was a little bummed out with the realization that neither Evie or Sally had been to any of the hot springs within the last few years, as most new soaks included in the 5th edition were seemingly provided by other sources and not visited and personally assessed by the authors.

Irregardless of if you buy the new guide book or not, I hope summer has been treating you well and you have been frequently finding yourself in hot water. ;)

It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.

It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.

– Cheryl Strayed