Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Challis National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike to enjoy solitude. Trail can be easy to lose in the snow - be sure to bring your map. GPS was also extremely helpful!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Great hike into a few different lakes. Had a great time hiking in this beautiful area.

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hiked from 4th of July trailhead to Washington lake and made camp there. Then off to upper Chamberlain Lakes for a night. That was approximately 6 miles with the last 2 up hill and require decent conditioning on the hikers part. We then traveled back to 4th of July Lake for the last night. That was 7.2 miles or so and made for a tiring hike. After sleeping there it was a brisk 1.2 or so downhill back to the trailhead. We saw seven mountain goats at the upper chamberlain. Once during the first evening there and the they revisited the morning we left. Also saw a health doe while trekking back to 4th of July.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Very scenic with lots of wildflowers.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Great first hike in this area. Beautiful and easy. Very first part just a slight hill, then just an easy hike with defined trail. Would do again.

hiking
Friday, July 15, 2016

Very beautiful. Loved the hike.

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

A pleasant uphill grind, with a harsher climb over a tall ridge to a pretty bowl with lakes. Most interesting was sunset sun or alpenglow on the ridges. A nice buck visited our campsite for breakfast before the dogs scared it off. My 11-year old daughter hiked over the 10,000' ridge and had fun despite the midnight downpour. The lower trail is quite busy and includes bikes.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Beautiful

hiking
Sunday, March 01, 2015

There is a camp on the right fork of fall creek just as the trail splits to go to Moose Lake or up to Surprise Valley. The trail has a steep section at the beginning then crosses the creek. You then follow up the right fork drainage and on up. The trail of the Right Fork ends at the fork to Moose Lake.

05 August 2014
Amazing spot - worth the trip in if you can reach the Shower Bath Hot Springs. The hot springs book we were using for directions was dated. Falcon Guides had the best directions in to the trailhead. Off the highway turn onto Main Street that takes you into Challis, ID. Go less than a mile and take a right onto 7th Street (Challis Creek Road) and travel 9 miles to where pavement ends. After this, it's a 20 mile shot up a dirt road that would be impassable in wetter/snowy seasons over the pass at Twin Peaks. The Custer County road is bone-jarringly slow driving. Lehmi County down the other side is smoother, albeit, narrow with steep drop offs at places. Both offer pretty views but road conditions make the trip in long. There was a person in a week before us and we still cleared parts of the road of windfall and rock. Trailhead is almost exactly 20 miles from when pavement turns to dirt on the left, a few miles past Fly Creek Mountain Lookout/Parker Mountain turnoff. We didn't see a campground, as advertised, but it may have been farther down the road.

We saw trail had been registered as used by roughly 20 or so people in last two years. The hike follows the creek, and subsequently is a decently steep, knee-rattling jaunt downhill for the first two miles. While the last three miles aren't as steep, you're still dropping enough elevation consistently to notice the climb back up will be a calf-straining climb.

Trail was clear - kudos to those who worked on trail. The steep initial drop takes you to a weathered/abandoned forest service cabin and beaver pond where you'll follow the trail right. Once you come down to the creek and cross it, the trail becomes partially a runoff stream. As is true with most parts of the trail as it follows the creek - you can see how it might be possible to lose it in higher water. As the trail jumps to opposite side of the creek (no troubles crossing it this time of year) - you'll hike through and along dry/wet runoff streams, tall, wet and high grass, exposed hillsides, prickly bushes, windfall and a constant supply of damp ground from runoff. The area is burned so once the sun is high enough you're exposed to it and the elements as well. About four miles down from the trailhead you reach a junction where the water pours into Warm Springs Creek (out of sight). Follow sign (left) for Trapper Creek. Here is a mild .5 mile walk to another Forest Service cabin that would provide protection from rain. Follow the trail and it will split up the hillside or down into a meadow. Going down, one is supposed to be able to find Sitz Bath Hot Spring - 20 yards upstream from the horse corral and meadow. We found hot water bubbling up on a bend in the river, but the pool had been washed out and never rebuilt. The girlfriend dug it out and we relined a pool with river rock - but it's a temporary fix, for navigational purposes at the very least, until high water comes again.

From this point Shower Bath is only another half mile at most. You can see where Warm Springs Creek spills out of The Narrows. This is the start of the hike that takes you (literally) upstream. It is at the mouth of The Narrows you cross to the opposite side of the river and start to head upstream. From here, it's all about how much water is coming down that determines if you're able to bounce from side to side of the stream to dry spots. We were able to do so, save for the last 100 feet or so. No matter how high the water, I recommend grabbing one of the sticks graciously left at the trailhead (or anywhere along the hike) as you'll appreciate the brace against the decent push of the creek. We did The Narrows in full gear and only once came up to just below our waist (this is early August). After 300 yards or so The Narrows open up and it's just around a few bends the Weeping Walls of hot water reveal themselves. I did include a few pictures but I'll let the spot reveal itself naturally. Suffice to say it made all the elevation loss/gain worth it.

All the guidebooks indicated we should camp at Sitz Bath. I'm glad we didn't. In low water a beautiful camping spot sits right below the main pool/waterfall and next to the creek. Perfect. There isn't much for firewood unless you want to pull out some thorny brush packed from high water - but there is a fire ring.

Very low use trail if the trailhead sign in sheet was any indication. We didn't see anyone else, though there was indications of use by stock. You cross private property driving in and there is another Hot Spring nearby that may be on private property. Default would be, as in all cases, to tread lightly and leave no trace. There were no indications where Wilderness began or ended. Shower Bath is beautiful - and if the water level allows, makes a worthwhile trip no matter the climb out.

hiking
Friday, August 16, 2013

I love Born! It is pretty steep in parts and you go uphill both ways. Can't avoid it! But there are great views along the way and at the lake!

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7 months ago

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10 months ago