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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Upper Loon Hot Springs (1-4)
  Public Hot Springs
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, South Half Overall Rating: A
5,400 ft Water Temperature: Varies/pool - see below
7-8mi N of Loon Creek Airstrip Usage Level: Seasonally Moderate

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07.23.03: Upper Loon #1 (AKA None Too Soon)

07.23.03: Upper Loon #2 (AKA Upper Loon)

07.23.03: Upper Loon #3 (AKA Crescent Moon)

07.23.03: #3 again, with my bro Brandon

07.23.03: Upper Loon #4

07.23.03: Brandon at Tin Cup Campground

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General Description
Upper Loon Hot Springs are located in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The hot springs complex consists of 4 hot springs sources, each with their own soaking options. Pools are rock-walled with sand, gravel and rock bottoms.
Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
07.23.03 low moderate

Water Clarity:
Varies/pool - See Below


Slight Odor

Wildlife Sighted: Many snakes, black bear and tons of deer, elk, moose, mountain lion and bear scat

Seasonal Notes
Access road to Loon Creek Trailhead only open from July-October.

Camping Notes
There is a sweet campsite next to UL #2 that is right next to an old cabin that has a partially collapsed roof. There is room for 2-5 tents depending on size, a very nice fire pit with custom benches (one bench is supported by large gears from old mining equipment) and the hot springs are only a few paces away. There is another semi-large campsite just beyond near UL #3 that is also nice but lacks shade.


After a failed attempt at Bear Valley Hot Springs our pack troupe made a B-line for the Upper Loon Hot Springs trailhead. Well, we didn't even come close. The FSR from Sunbeam off the main highway was open only to fire traffic. The expanding Middle Fork Complex Fire was now threatening the Loon Creek Guard Station, Diamond D Ranch, Lost Packer Mine site and Castro Historic Site.

We hit the jackpot on the 1st leg of a 4 day backpacking trip that would eventually lead us to Shower Bath Hot Springs. Upper Loon consists of 4 hot spring hot spots which are passed in consecutive order as you trek up Loon Creek Trail towards Warm Springs Creek. The 1st bearing a small 2 seater with just the right temps, the 2nd having a medium sized 4 person soaker but was also a tad bit hot (a bucket was on premises), the 3rd housing Loon's most glorious 10-15 person soaking pool that is fed by a hot waterfall and finally the 4th which has 2 stagnant, low-flow algae laden pools not suitable for soaking. Owen Cabin Hot Springs lies just beyond.

Pool Temperatures
UL #1: Pool #1 (of 1): 101
UL #2: Pool #1 (of 3): 115-120 [other pools too cool for soaking]
UL #3: Pool #1 (of 2): 90-98 [depending on where you were located in the pool]

Water Clarity
UL #1: Semi-Clear
UL #2: Semi-Clear
UL #3: Clear
UL #4: Murky

Rating: A


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No Soap, Shampoo or BIO-Soap/Shampoo Allowed in Hot Springs! Avoid Being Fined!

Public hot springs are not bathing facilities and do not have 'plumbing' like that of commercial, improved hot springs. Soap and shampoo (including biodegradable soap and shampoo) do not completely breakdown naturally. This pollutes our water systems (ingested by fish, animals, humans) at or near the source. This is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas.

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