I try to be timely with trip reports, but inevitably, some slip through the cracks. Here is one of them from last July for Weir Creek Hot Springs in the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho…
Ole Weir Creek can be a crap shoot this time of the year. A time when many geothermal brethren answer the call of spending warm summer nights amidst a thick forest veil and star filled sky, soaking away life’s pain in a natural hot spring. As do I.
Upon arrival, our party encountered a mix of folks camping at the trailhead and primitive sites (along the access trail nearest to the parking lot). Some nice, others, not so nice. We counted 14 overnighters, all crammed into the small primitive sites along the trail except for 3 sleeping in the parking lot. The second night, aside from our group, saw only 2 trailhead campers. Whew! The hot springs saw a steady stream of traffic on all 3 days.
I detected 3 types of recreational users that were present; the traveling folks, road bicyclists and straight-up hot springers.
The traveling folks let their dogs run amok, crap all over the trail and didn’t bother to call them off whenever someone wanted to hike past to reach the hot springs. These folks knew or cared little of camping, backpacking, traveling and hot springing. The kind with no respect for the land. My party ended up picking up all of their trash once they finally left. This included a sopping wet mattress. Yep. They dragged mattresses from their ride out into the forest before it rained on them heavily. Brilliant.
I’m not entirely sure they knew about Weir Creek. These folks were creepy, and would try to hide when people passed by on the trail. The only decent thing I can say about the jackholes is that one of them was an alright guitarist.
The road bicyclists and soak seekers treated this area with a great deal more respect. They even helped clean up after the jackholes. Which, unfortunately, took the liberty of depositing human flowers directly on the trail to Weir Creek, with TP strewn all about… it was so nasty… the image is still burned into my mind.
Prior to arriving, we had just finished up a full day of backpacking 10+ miles in heavy rain through the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, and needless to say were very ready for a hot soak. After parking, we strapped on the packs and got as far away from everyone as possible before setting up camp for 2 nights.
Weir Creek Hot Springs in 3 Minutes
All camping and soaking was excellent. There was little to none in regard to trash at the pool, plenty of friendly hot springers – and was exactly what summers in Idaho are all about. Minus the traveling jackholes. Long live the Clearwater National Forest.