Explore the most popular trails near Challis with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Challis, Idaho Map
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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!

Cool little town! Easy for the kids. Would highly recommend going in the morning and then picnicking and playing around Big BayHorse Lake.

very cool place lots to see

Monday, July 24, 2017

This is a review of this place as a hike and not as a place to visit. It is actually well curated with lots of signs and information if you are into old mining towns. But the "hike" is just a short stroll around the small area of the remaining buildings. There is an ATV trail that ventures out but I did not see that part. It was late July and lots of aggressive flies will buzz you. Cool place to visit but not for the hiking.

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cool ghost town that used to be a mining town back in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Cool old buildings

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.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017