Touring Montana and Wyoming Hot Springs
by Jeff Birkby (Falcon Guides)
© Jeff Birkby/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Upper Potosi is a really nice example of a bucolic primitive hot spring. It is a rock-formed hollow about 7x12 feet, water about 104 average, hotter in some upwellings and cooler in others. A cool spring drips into the hill side of the pool through rocks and wild flowers. There's a silky sediment bottom; don’t call it mud.
The prior directions are a bit incorrect. Here is the corrected last paragraph of the directions to get to the spring:
Follow the road toward the Potosi Creek Campground, but turn left when you see the sign “South Loop.” Do not follow the sign that says “Upper Loop, to Potosi Campground.” Turning left, you should continue straight across a small bridge, then slowly drive straight through the shallow ford and park to the left on the loop. The gate to the southeast marks the entry to the easily discernible Forest Trail 308 to the hotspring a mile down the valley. The hillside spring is in a lodgepole pine enclosure downhill to the left at a point 50 feet after the trail has climbed a small hill.
(This is a set of directions to the upper hillside spring; we did not find a second hotspring closer to the creek, if there is one. Across the creek, out of sight of the primitive spring, a private lodge has been built around another hotspring.)
There is no longer a second pool as described in the trail guide. Late June of 2007, I visited the spring when there was an upper pool and a smaller lower pool just below it. The smaller pool was too small for a single adult and the larger pool was not much more than a foot deep to where you had to lay down for a worthy soak. But the pools had a nice rustic feel about them due to lack of human maintenance for many years. I revisited the Potosi Hot Spring about 5 weeks later to find that some industrious folks (Potosi camp host?) had completely re-dug a deeper pool and re-did a lot of the rocks, drainage, fencing, the whole works, including the destruction of the lower "pool." At the time, it was unwelcomed due to all of the suspended sediment in the water. But in the long run, it was much needed and I'm sure it provided for better soaks in years since. Look forward to getting back someday!
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