Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Attempted this one a few days ago - for all intents and purposes, this should be a pretty easy hike. The snow has mostly melted around Stanley Lake, making the beginning of this hike very deceptive. After a mile or two in, the snow is still pretty deep with plenty of post-holing up to about mid-thigh on me. I made it approximately 3 miles in until I met the "creek" which is now ~30 ft across with no way to cross unless you want to wade through the water and then continue walking in the snow. The cool water will likely be refreshing once it warms up a bit more, will have to try this one again after the snow melts.

hiking
8 months ago

Very difficult, good thing it wasn't too long. Beautiful lake at the top.

impossible to reach due to river crossing.

great hike. so much elevation but it is so worth it in the end.

hiking
8 months ago

Great and a steep hike. View at destination is just amazing. If you have a Fitbit smart tracker, it would take approx. 11000 steps and 200 floors to reach at the top.

10 months ago

The road to get to the trailhead is rough and a 4wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is necessary.

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!

hiking
10 months ago

On 7/8/17, with 4 kids as young as 6, we made it just shy of the falls. The 40' wide "creek" was more than we bargained for. To help the kids stay focused on the 3 mile trek back down to the lake, I suggested they count the trees impeding the path. No joke, there were exactly 150 of them we had to either hike around, climb over, or limbo under. We also saw a few mountain bikers on the trail who were struggling much more than we were.

As of July 3, 2017 the trail has not been cleared. There are probably over 50 fallen trees across the trail all the way up that need to be cleared. If you ride, plan on hiking your bike over the tops of of these trees, some pile up to three feet high. We were on foot and still found it difficult in some areas. Also, plan on a 30 ft across (swift but shallow) river crossing just before you get to the falls. Take lots of mosquito spray as there's lots of standing water right now. Other than that, the views are spectacular!!!

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm surprised people were dissapointed. The falls were beautiful (see pics). You can also get right next to the falls on either side. There is a nice trail to the bottom of the falls on the left. We even saw a guy and his dog in the falls. For a real adventure climb the super steep right side of the falls all the way to the top, and see Hansen Lakes. Heck of a climb but the lakes are very cool.

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.

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

It is a strenuous hike but worth the effort. Beautiful views and a lot of shaded areas. Hiked it on a hot morning but was a pleasant experience

hiking
Monday, June 13, 2016

It was beautiful. My husband and I enjoyed the hike. The elevation gain going in was hard but ok. It was totally worth it when we got to the lake. It was beautiful there was still a small amount of snow on the ground.

to Observation Peak where the wild flowers are a riot!

hiking
Monday, September 14, 2015

Very well maintained trail...beautiful views of McGown peak along the way. the falls weren't as spectacular as we hoped, but had a great time anyway. trail is super easy and makes this ~11 mile out and back trail down right enjoyable.

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.

The hike was great, but if you are expecting to be near the falls at the end then you will be disappointed. I looked up some hikes and took a group of about 20 on this trail and when we reached the end many were disappointed by the waterfall. On the way back though a few of us found Lady Face Falls which was definitely worth the small detour (I want to say it was a 1/4 mile trail off the Bridalveil Falls trail). Lady Face Falls was BEAUTIFUL! I would go again just for this waterfall and it was far enough in that it would be a great day hike.

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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It is a beautiful trail, with a gorgeous lake at the end. I highly recommend it to families.

on Merriam Lake

hiking
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beautiful lake, hike is deceiving. Starts our nice but gets a little rough 3/4 through. 2 rough areas but overall I give it a moderate rating. No equipment needed but fishing poles, fishing was awsome

mountain biking
Friday, October 11, 2013

Beautiful view all along the trail. We hiked it, but I'd recommend biking it since it's pretty long. The falls aren't as cool as we hoped, but the trail is great.

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!

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
9 months ago

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