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Fly Creek Point to Shower Bath Hot Springs

HARD 6 reviews
#10 of 26 trails in

Fly Creek Point to Shower Bath Hot Springs is a 10.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Challis, Idaho that features hot springs and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,519 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

bird watching

hot springs



wild flowers


1 month ago

The trail is is easy to follow with all trails map. Some signs were gone, others just gave the direction to the location, no mileages were given. Dog friendly, and very steep, rocky trail with water crossing or water hiking for about a quarter of a mile. The forest was burned a few years ago. It had some young trees growing in the wetter areas.

2 months ago

It is amazing to me that this place isn't better known, because it is spectacular. On the other hand, it is not easy to get here, so you do need to be in good shape to make it (and to know exactly where you're going!). As others have noted, the hike back up the mountain is exhausting; I am pretty fit but had to briefly stop several times because of how steep the switchbacks are for several miles. Going down is a relative breeze. I was greatly aided by the reviews below and probably would not have found myself at Shower Bath had they not posted, so many thanks to those who came before me. I don't have too much to add, but here is my experience: You drive the 20 miles past the end of the pavement to get to the trailhead on your left. (Take note that when you reach the forest cabins on your right several miles in, the road diverges left and right. Go right around the cabins, not left!) As a reviewer below noted, the drive is rough, and I was glad to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, even in August. It is helpful to plan your drive carefully with printed maps to ensure you don't take a wrong turn. The name of the road (086) changes, at one point being Twin Peaks Rd. and also Sleeping Deer Rd. Take note that there is one point late in the drive where Forest Road 068 veers off to the left, which might be confusing since you're on 086. Don't go left on FR 068 is what I'm saying. Anyhow, you'll come to the trailhead on the left and can manage to squeeze your vehicle either to the left or the right of the sign. The trail quickly starts switchbacking downhill. As the reviewer below noted, you will eventually get to the abandoned cabin on your left. At that point, make sure you take the trail to the right (there is a helpful sign telling you as much) and shortly after that you'll see the pond on your right. Keep going along Mahoney Creek. The trail crosses the creek at least four or five times, and in the summer it can be easy to lose it because the foliage grows so dense. Just forge through it. You'll reach Warm Spring Creek and a sign directing you to the left ("Trapper Creek"). Now, here's where I got tripped up. As you go left along Warm Spring Creek, the first bank you come to on the right side of the creek/river has a hot spring coming down the cliff face. When I got there, there were no pools, but I really wasn't sure if this was supposed to be Shower Bath. It is not; this is Sitz Bath. I built up the pools, which were ostensibly washed away from the time the reviewer five years ago built them up. I camped here for my first night, unsure if I had made it to my final destination. It was still lovely, although not the best camping spot because most of the bank is rocky gravel. The reason I didn't go further upstream at first was because the river was high and rushing -- I almost wiped out with my pack on my back because at points it was above my waist. I thought, "Geez, there's no way most people could actually forge up this way if this is how the river normally is." Fortunately, I was fairly convinced I hadn't made it to Shower Bath, so on the second day I took off my pack and reconned up the river very carefully. Sure enough I found Shower Bath about half a mile up. First you come to an extremely hot pool on your right that would be too hot to spend any time in (and which naturally has a lot of orange algae because of its extreme heat). Right after that one is Shower Bath, which is just glorious. Multiple springs rushing from the side of the mountain into several pools, some near the bottom, one up the face of the cliff that I dubbed the King Pool because it overlooks the other pools and the river, and some cooler ones nearby as well. I went back and got my pack, making my way up the river on a careful path of the shallowest and least dangerous parts (often crossing from side to side of the river narrows). You MUST have a walking stick or poles for this. There is a nice campsite right there at the base of Shower Bath (next to the warm stream that runs through it). However, a little further up the trail is a larger and wide open campsite as well, near yet another hot spring coming down the cliff face, so you might want to check it out and see which one you prefer. I liked the one right near Shower Bath, and I had the place to myself. It was a truly magical experience -- though watch out for the biting flies! I soaked in a few of the pools and took a "shower" at the base of the spring that was gushing the hardest because the water temperature was simply ideal. This is one of the many things that makes Shower Bath so awesome: the temperature. A lot of springs are ho-hum because they're simply too cool, but not this one. Plus, because there are so many pools, you can take your pick as to which temperature suits you best. So, here's my protip: get water shoes to ford up the river. I found some great ones for $20 bucks online, and it would have sucked without them. I clipped my hiking shoes to my pack and put the water shoes on (also did this when crossing Mahoney Creek). You really don't want to have to make the hike back up with soaking wet shoes. Also, try to collect firewood once you're out of the narrows and approaching Shower Bath, since there isn't a whole lot at the campsite. I'm infinitely glad I made this journey, and I hope you are too. Happy travels!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

8/25/18 I’ll start from the beginning! The drive in was very long and slightly depressing with all the burned trees from a previous year’s fire. We got to the trail head with relatively little trouble but it was quite the bumpy ride even in the Jeep. The first part of the hike is quite downhill but in a pretty Forrest. It kind of leveled out with just a slight downhill but came into a very large burned area. There’s new growth coming but all the trees are burned and dead. The new growth is beautiful purple flowers though! They were very uniquely pretty amongst the black burnt logs. Much of the trail is very overgrown. Wear long pants! There’s also a lot of small water crossings in this area. After a long walk through the Forrest, you come to the turn toward the river. You have to walk through the river and through the narrows to get to the shower. This included rushing water up to our knees. The shower is about a quarter mile past the end of the narrows. There’s a about 2 camping spots right by the shower and more on rock barges. We expected to have the place to ourselves but were very wrong! About 3 other families had the same idea this weekend! The pools were good but requires some cleaning and maintenance. There’s a shovel there to help. Tips: Wear good pants for walking through all the brush. Bring 3 pairs of socks. Your feet will be very wet after walking through the narrows. Trekking poles are a must! Not just for the elevation changes but for the trek for the narrows! It would be hard crossing the rushing water without them. Bring a swim suit! You might not be alone!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

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.

1 month ago

off road driving
1 month ago

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