Skillern Hot Springs is a 6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Fairfield, Idaho that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.0 miElevation gain567 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingHot springsRiverViewsWildflowers
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Reviews (46)
Photos (19)
Activities (29)
Completed (74)
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Meghan Drummond
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HikingGreat!

The trail is easy and has many options- you can go high or low. I hiked at the end of September and camped at the spots right at the trailhead. Great camping, nice potty, good trail. I honestly didn’t find the hot springs even though I went 3.5 miles in. I saw a bear and was alone and it was getting dark so I turned around but I’m sure they are beautiful. Absolutely no one else out there except I passed a group of hunters.

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Dxtremist 2
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 26, 2020
Scenic drivingGreat!Rocky

Arrived at the trailhead under a crescent moon and clear skies. Awoke the middle of the night to some snow. About 1/2 inch fell and was apparently enough to keep the people away because I saw nobody the whole hike and soak. Fresh bear tracks in the snow mid hike, so be aware. As well as some elk tracks. Sat in the pool at the creek side. Was the warmest to me. Amazing views on the high trail and climb was moderate at best. Will definitely return some day, as I’m from the Midwest.

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Stefan Hasselblad
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Hiking
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Cristin Halvorsen
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Hiking

Great trail! Not too difficult and the hot springs didn't disappointed. We didn't see anyone else on the trail on a late Tuesday morning until we got to the springs and then the people there left soon after they saw us arrive. I would definitely recommend doing the high trail both ways. We did the low trail returning and definitely got wet. I'm 5'4" and my legs were wet up to my mid thigh. Had some numb feet and the rocks are pretty slick so proceed with the low trail with caution. All of the streams were pretty wide.

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Marie Radtke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

The trail was awesome! we took the high trail in to the springs and the low trail coming back. The review from Jon Bissel was right on with the exception of the water temperature... about 40-50 degrees and crossing the river 4 times at knee height. 30 feet across. Our feet were numb!!!! X4 . Overall great hike we loved it.

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Eric Plotkin
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Hiking
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Eric Plotkin
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Hiking
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Jen Lynch
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Hiking

forgot to turn off recording. hike was from starting point, out and back. The rest is on road.

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Joschka A
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Hiking
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Aurya L
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Hiking
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Curtis Goodwin
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Hiking
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Jon Bissell
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Hiking

Great hot springs and hike. took the high trail in, and low out. There are a few smaller pools immediately next to the "skillern hot springs " sign, and the larger pool with cascading water is further down the trail and surprisingly hidden from the trail. we were the only people there the whole time, which was nice. there was camping spots about 300m prior to the springs, but are very close to the trail, whereas we ended up camping .25 miles down the trail to find a much more off trail secluded area to camp. The lower trail, this late in the season, was far preferable as it was shaded and the 4 water crossings were barely knee height at their worst. a quick change into my chacos for that leg of the hike was easy and the crossings were refreshing (however, I can imagine in spring these crossings may be more hazardous and the high trail wasn't too much extra work, though entirely unshaded). no bugs to speak of, lots of fresh elk droppings and tracks just off trail. overall good time

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Brianna Sheehan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Pretty easy and very enjoyable. I took the lower on the way in and high trail on the way out. The lower trail has 4 water crossings that are pretty deep, so bring water shoes and shorts/quick drying pants. Definitely worth it! High trail is slightly more difficult but still “easy” We only saw two other people and had the hot springs to ourselves for the entire time we were there.

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Devin Kohles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
HikingRocky

Awesome trail, well maintained. There’s an upper and lower trail, the lower trail crosses the river 4 times at about knee height. The spring can hold about 4 people and there are 2 solid campsites about 300 yards away from the spring. Would recommend

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Matthew Wordell
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Bike touring

Visited Skillern as part of a three day mid-week bicycle tour out of Fairfield. Once on the trail, the single track until mile two was pure joy to ride. At the split, we took the high trail which required some pushing. Had the entire place to ourselves. The campsite is well cared for and just down stream from the springs. Highly recommend this spot.

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Grahm Sweet
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Hiking

Creek was running high, waist deep, so we took the high trail instead. Steep climb but worth it for the views it provides. The hot springs were amazing, just off the creek is a pool with hot water cascading over the rocks making a small waterfall that you can sit under. Campsites a couple hundred yards away were perfect. Nestled under some old growth trees listening to the creek all night.

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Allie Mott
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HikingClosed

Attempted to go to the hot springs on 04/25/2020. Road was closed approximately 12 miles from the trail head. Pretty drive and the road did not have any snow as far as we were able to drive.

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Betsy Reidy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2019
Hiking

9/7/19. backpacked in Sat night lower trail. perfect weather. sunset. was dark by the 3rd River Crossing. all Crossings up to my knees or higher. the trail is great. could do it in my water shoes. Lots of places to camp with fire pits. not a soul around. good time of year. still drizzling next morning. took coffee to the hot springs. had it all to ourselves. it was awesome!! we left late afternoon and took the high Trail. (good if you have kids) great views with all the Mist

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Amanda Goldfuss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2019
HikingRocky

I had read about the trail leading up to going out because it was going to be the first backpacking trip that my husband and I had done and I wanted to be prepared so he would be willing to go again. I knew that there were 4 river crossings and I was familiar with the upper and lower trail options, but I didn't know how to get there. I was expecting the upper and lower options to be from the start but that was not the case. So if I missed it somewhere else in the explanations, you hike in for a bit on the trail and then it splits to the upper and lower trail. Then you go another mile or so until the hot springs. There is a nice log where you can take off boots and put on water shoes at the first river crossing but nothing for the rest of the crossings. We put on sandals and wore them the rest of the way in. On the hike back, we wore our boots until we got to the first crossing, switched to sandals for the crossing, and then put the boots back on after the last one. The trail wasn't too bad in sandals. The plants are trying to take over so pants are recommended.

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Joshua Graff
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HikingMuddy

Great spot, we were the only people up there this weekend. Bring sandals if you take the lower trail, there's 4 knee-deep crossings.

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Cat Feistner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2019
Hiking

This trail is not super manicured, which was super fun. You cross the river 4 times (knee deep) on the lower trail, would recommend going lower if you have river shoes with you (you will get wet). Note to future hikers: the hot springs are further up the trail than the Skillern Creek trail.

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Joesie Ruth Deaville
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2019
Hiking

Took the upper trail in and it was semi difficult. Pretty steep at times. Camped at the camping spot right before the hot springs in hammocks which was an amazing set up. The hot springs were even better than I was hoping for. If there is no water pooled up in either pond look for PVC pipe caps to close it up and they will fill within a half hour or so. We decided to take the lower trail back out and had to cross the creek several times but the hike itself was easier than the upper. Stay on the upper trail if you don't want to get wet.

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Kadi McGinnis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2019
HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

This trail at least if you take the lower trail is five deep river crossings and it's a little rocky, muddy, and overgrown but all in all it is an amazing hike and beautiful view! I would not take kids down this hike!!

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Leah Lopes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2019
Hiking

even with the low trail washed out because of the record snow/rain this year, we loved this hike and the springs. spent 2 uninterrupted hours on the 4th of July at the springs and it was so well worth the trek. beautiful change in scenery from meadow to boulder field, to riverside. lots of bull snakes but they'll leave you alone if you do the same.

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Colby Coffey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2018
Hiking

It was a good chill hike. Was a bit longer hike cause big Smokey creek was rushing so the lower trail was cut off by the creek water was to high to cross. So we had to take the higher tail which made for a good hike.. if you like hot springs give it a try you won’t be disappointed..

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Corwin Gardner
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the water was just perfect trail was great camping was very enjoyable as well as the horse ride there

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Jinger Tyne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 8, 2014
Hiking

This is a very fun outing for the family! The hot springs at the end of the trail are worth every step. The trail is very narrow, and it has some steep drop-off areas, be careful with smaller children. The hike itself is easy, and i recommend staying overnight! The small stream near the campsite is perfect for keeping things cool in the summer months.

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