Council Mountain Laurel Hot Springs

Council, Idaho

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A day hike climbing to hidden hot pools in a wooded ravine. Swimwear superfluous. Warm Springs Trail is a steep and steady climb above the east bank of Warm Springs Creek, but a canopy of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir shades the way. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes in the summertime. The creek forks 2 miles upstream where the path drops to cross the water and continues up the other side. The hot springs, with a telltale border of orange algae, cascade down the rocky bank at the crossing. The hot springs: A shallow steamer at the base of the cascade checks in at 106 degrees F, and the springs above it are so hot that my digital thermometer stopped registering. A few yards downstream, the combined flow of hot and cold currents swirls down a slick waterslide into a bubbly Jacuzzi, and from there down yet another slide into the largest pool. The pool temperatures rise through the summer months as the creek flow diminishes.
Hiking Hot Springs in the Pacific Northwest

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Hot Springs in the Pacific Northwest

by Evie Litton (Falcon Guides)

A day hike climbing to hidden hot pools in a wooded ravine. Swimwear superfluous. Warm Springs Trail is a steep and steady climb above the east bank of Warm Springs Creek, but a canopy of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir shades the way. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes in the summertime. The creek forks 2 miles upstream where the path drops to cross the water and continues up the other side.

The hot springs, with a telltale border of orange algae, cascade down the rocky bank at the crossing. The hot springs: A shallow steamer at the base of the cascade checks in at 106 degrees F, and the springs above it are so hot that my digital thermometer stopped registering. A few yards downstream, the combined flow of hot and cold currents swirls down a slick waterslide into a bubbly Jacuzzi, and from there down yet another slide into the largest pool. The pool temperatures rise through the summer months as the creek flow diminishes.

©  Evie Litton/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Council
Distance: 4
Elevation Gain: 720 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Features: Hot Springs
Local Contacts: Council Ranger District, Payette National Forest
Local Maps: Council Mountain USGS. Payette National Forest, West half.
Driving Directions: Directions to Council Mountain (Laurel) Hot Springs

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Apr 2018