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Bear Valley Hot Springs via Bear Valley Road

MODERATE 9 reviews
#29 of 70 trails in

Bear Valley Hot Springs via Bear Valley Road is a 23.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 23.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,230 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly




mountain biking

bike touring


hot springs

Camping sites with easy access to trailhead for Bear Valley Hot Springs.

Awesome trail. You can climb down the hot springs to the river. Be careful with dogs at the top as the water is HOTT! Recommended camping overnight at springs.

off trail
3 months ago

This trail had some difficulties for us. We backpacked with packs around 30 pounds. We started from the Fir Creek campground and hiked straight out of there, leaving our car next to the outhouse. The trail was super easy for the first 0.1 miles, then quickly turned sketchy. The trail climbed up about 40 feet from the river and was only about a foot and a half wide where you had to put one foot in front of the other. It was also composed of loose dirt and rocks causing us to slide. This was sketchy AF because if we went down we were going straight into the river with heavy packs on. This part of the trail lasted about 0.8 miles. I have backpacked a lot of trails and this was probably the most nervous I have ever been. Once this part is over, the trail is easy. We had a little bit of difficulty following the All Trails trail once we got close to the hot springs and walked in circles. Some advice, stay on the trail to the left instead of trying to follow the map (which I downloaded on the app). You will arrive at the top of the hot spring 'river' which leads down into the real river. You will know you are there because it smells of sulfur. There are 3 small manmade pools built into this. We hiked down and followed the river east. There is a great camping spot here between the two hot springs area. We set up camp for the night. We decided to take the other way back which involved the river crossing. We had been told by some day hikers that the river crossing was super easy. However, we could not find the section that they were talking about. We used the AllTrails map and the trail it had marked was not off any trail. We had to bushwhack to follow it and once we got to the river, it was too deep to cross. We walked on another trail that lead to the river. It looked decent to cross but it was wide. I'm 5' 4" and the water was up to my waist. We had my dog with and he had to swim but started floating down river from the current. I ended up slipping because it got too deep and the water was flowing pretty fast. I went face down with my pack on. I was able to get up pretty quickly but was soaked. Once we got to the other side, we again tried finding the trail marked on the map with no luck. We followed another trail which took us on a roundabout way to the main trail. This way added an extra mile on to the hike, as we had to hike down to the foot bridge then back to the campground. Some advice: if backpacking I would recommend hiking out of the Bluebunch/Marsh Creek Trailhead. You can park in the parking lot there. I think the river crossing will be easy to find if you start from this way and use the GPS. If day hiking you could go out of the Fir Creek campground. The trail will be easier without packs but it is still sketchy. The hot springs are clean and hot! I brought my ThermoCell for mosquitos which helped a lot. Deep bug spray didn't seem to do enough.

11 months ago

Nice Hike in late Sept. Hiked in via the normal trail that requires crossing the river; and returned via trail on same side of the river. Clean perfect temp hot spring.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A little hard to follow the trail as it is not really clear when you get into the thick of it but it is worth the hike :) beautiful and felt amazing.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hiked this on 9/20/18. This was about a 7 mile round trip hike to the hot springs from the Fir Creek Campground. Walking through the meadow along the river was gorgeous this time of year. A couple of muddy areas but easy to navigate around. There was one stretch that was really steep with loose rock and sand and made me a little nervous with our 3 month old so I wouldn’t recommend with a baby or any kids. Apparently there is another way but requires crossing the river. Did not run into any other people. Lots of hot spring pools at the end to choose from!

3 months ago

3 months ago

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