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Bear Creek Hot Springs

HARD 43 reviews

Bear Creek Hot Springs is a 13.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Irwin, Idaho that features hot springs and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 13.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,683 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

hot springs

views

wild flowers

hiking
muddy
snow
9 days ago

Lot of snow on the trail after this weekends storm. Water is deep near the beaver dam and feet are FROZEN. Our group didn't make it and turned back.

hiking
muddy
scramble
12 days ago

Super fun hot spring at top. Plenty of tent sites and hammocking tree. Definitely worth the hike but don’t underestimate the last mile climb. There were a couple unexpected forks and left was the correct direction both times. One was in the willows towards the top, and the other was up on top near the hot springs. Otherwise most forks on the lower portion will just take you right uphill to avoid the stream crossings. The last three crossings we couldn’t bypass so be prepared to get your feet wet

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

My wife and I hiked this over the weekend. It was absolutely amazing. Alittle more busy then I'd expect for such a long distance but maybe it was just due to the holidays. Keep to the left to make things easy to get there. The first part is rolling hills and not to bad. When you get to the point to leave bear creek and head to the hotsprings dont make the MISTAKE we did. Instead of going up the extreamly steep first part look to the right!!! There is a tree with a sign, walk in that direction and there is a much better trail to go on! Second dont underestimate that uphill it was "grueling" according to my wife, even out dog Coco got tired. When you get to the hot springs be prepared for mosquitoes galore. I have bites upon bites on my legs. With that being said spend 2 nights up there. I wish we could have. The hike is very rewarding and worth it. Plenty of camp spots and trees to hang hammocks. There is a cold spring up there that tastes amazing. Enjoy your time it's a beautiful location.

backpacking
3 months ago

I hiked this trail on 6/25 - 26/2019. It was a ton of fun. However, there are some tips for hikers. in the 1st 6 or 7 miles the trail has quite a bit of forks however, no matter which one you take both trail will meet up again. but if you don't want to cross the creek more than you have to I recommend taking the higher of the two. If you brought water shoes or are just not wanting the election gain I would opt for the lower trial. However, this being said I would still recommend bringing water shoes because towards the end of the hike you are forced to cross the creek a few times (and it is fairly wide to cross). Another thing to keep in mind is that the trail does not have a lot of shade so pack sun protection! when I went up there, there were also a lot of mosquitoes so that it also something to keep in mind. Overall the trail is fairly well marked and a worth while hike. If this is your 1st time hiking to the hot springs I would say it would be beneficial to have someone who knows the trail with you but it's not to bad to do on your own.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

did this trail 6/21/19 we did not make it the hot springs do to the beaver dams washing out the trails and high water with run off still. fishing was great with spinners.

backpacking
no shade
6 months ago

I've done this trail twice now in one day and in two. As a single day in and out, it's brutal due to the steep section in the second half that others have mentioned and the overall length. If you want to have time to really enjoy the hot springs, make it an overnight trip. The trail can be hard to follow due to many branches off to other places, so I recommend going with someone who's been there before or a good map the first time. Prepare for multiple water crossings and exposure in the first six miles or so. In July, they were all ankle deep or so, as long as we avoided crossing behind the plentiful beaver dams. We bumped into a few other hikers on the trail and a group herding sheep, but had the hot springs to ourselves--besides a mule deer that came to visit. There's a nice flat area that could easily accommodate 3+ tents, and a good-sized fire ring. When we were there, there was a good deal of evidence of people, like a grill grate hanging off a tree and someone's pioneering project. Please remember to pack it out!

camping
11 months ago

My first backpacking trip. First 5-6 miles are relatively easy. Last mile is 1000 ft straight up. Nice trail. Nice little hot spring at the top. We had 3 deer with us for a few hours in the camp.

hiking
Saturday, September 01, 2018

Calling this hiking, but in reality we mountain biked as close to the base of the mountain turn off as we could before hiking the steep stretch. Found the hot springs after correcting our missed left turn and soaked a while. This would have been more fun as a backpack maybe, at least in September; the weather was too hot to arrive at and enjoy a hot tub in the middle of the day! But in the morning or evening...that would be nice. But this is doable by experienced hikers in one day.

off road driving
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Rode to the hot springs on my dirt bike on August 24, 2018. First time checking out Bear Creek. Approx. an hour and 20 minute single track ride to the springs from the trailhead with a few stops along the way to soak in the scenery. The river valley is beautiful and lots of beaver dams throughout. Creek wasn’t too difficult to cross as it was late in the season but imagine it is a challenge in spring and early summer. Had to cross maybe 5 or 6 times. Still a good foot of crystal clear water and 15-20 feet wide in some places. Surprised at the flow for this late in the year. Pretty steep climb at about 6 miles in where ya turn east to head up the mountain. The 450 motor made the climb easy but it would be a thigh burner for those hiking. Once up the mountain, after a 1/2 mile or so from the creek, stay left where the trail forks. Soaked in the hot springs for a bit which was a perfect temperature, maybe 95 to 100 degrees. Very peaceful and had the place to myself. There’s also a cold spring flowing out of the mountain another 100 yards to the east which was pretty cool to see too. Good spot to filter some water if needed. Lots of room and flat areas to camp adjacent to the springs. Highly recommend a visit :-)

backpacking
Friday, August 17, 2018

The first 6 Miles were not bad but the last mile and a half to the hot springs had me wishing for death! You gain about 1000 feet in elevation in under a mile. I would suggest making it in two separate stints. Do the 6 Miles in and camp at the base of the mountain one night and do the steep portion the next morning. It’s nice because you follow the creek the whole time, make sure to bring a water filter.

running
Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Did the lower part of the hike as a trail run and enjoyed it. Saw some horseback riders. In July, nice and green but water is low enough to cross (I wear bamboo socks and shoes that I don't mind getting wet, so I don't take them off at crossings). Have also tried as a mountain bike trip twice, which was tough early in the season (too much water at crossings) and there are some rocky and steep stretches I and my gear weren't quite up to yet.

hiking
Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The first 5 miles of this hike were easy and contained low, rolling trails. However, you have to cross the creek several times. This time of year (late April/early May) be prepared for lots of runoff and waist deep water. We turned around right at the turnoff for the hotsprings because the water was extremely deep and flowing very fast, so it'd be best to go late summer or early fall. Also, this trail is pretty exposed so make sure to bring either lots of water or a filter where you can drink from the creek.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

pretty good trail, with the exception of the final turn where the trail forks to go either more up the canyon or to the hot springs. It was really hard to find. luckily I was with someone who knew what they were doing. It was excessively steep for the last mile and a half or two miles, especially since I was trail running it. It could really use some switchbacks or something to get up. there were also a lot of stream crossings. nothing more than knee deep though, so I didn't mind them too much. overall, it was a good trail, and is a great, but hard, run.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

If you are looking for a challenging and wet adventure hike, this is it! You will have to cross several parts of the river depending on how many detours you choose to take. The river ranges from knee deep to waist deep (at least when we went on June 3rd). Be cautious. Other than the river, the hike is quite easy until you reach the last mile before turning back. The last mile is mostly straight up before reaching the spring. Part of the trail is difficult to see because of the river volume (at least when we went). For this reason, I highly recommend getting AllTrails! I'm not sure we would have made it all the way if we didn't use this app. There are many trails that lead away from the destination. Great hike! Great App! Have fun, but be safe!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Loved it

backpacking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Well used, rugged trail. We backpacked in with our kids. Not a lot of shade at the first half of the hike. It was nice that it followed the stream the whole way for refilling our water. Set up camp right next to the hot spring. If I were to do it again with kids, I would hike the 6 miles, then camp at the bottom of the mountain and hike the last 1.5 miles up the mountain in the morning.

hiking
Friday, October 09, 2015

Great hot spring and hike. We were fortunate to have the camp ground to our selves over night, Friday before Labor Day. On the way out we saw about 12 people on horses heading in. There is a fresh water spring nearby as well. I've included a link of our maps. We had quite an adventure getting there, but it was well worth it. There were 15 water crossings about 12 were calf deep.

hiking
Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hiked this with a group of scouts. Saw a river otter on the way up. Great trail conditions. Had several river crossings so take sandals. The last push up to the hot springs was difficult. Calves still sore three days after. Hot springs were nice but after hiking straight up was too hot to sit in but the runoff into a cold spring was perfect. Large camping area by springs but heavily used and lots of trash. Overall a great hike.

hiking
Friday, July 26, 2013

I have hiked and dirt biked this trail. I love it! Dirt bike route keeps you out of the creek which is nice. Now I just need to MTN bike it :)

hiking
Monday, August 06, 2012

Great trail! Take a fishing pole. Awesome hot tub at end of hike! Perfect place to camp! hard to find for first timers must cross creek 7 or 8 times. Can get deep. we take horses and it still makes for long days! lots of wildlife we've seen moose elk deer and mountain lion! Dog friendly. also excess able by a motorcycle!

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