Foster Ranch Hot Springs

General Description: A well built private pool with a shower house near a creek
General Location: Central Idaho northwest of Challis
Pool Type: Concrete and Stone
Pool Temps: Very Hot (104° - 106° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: Summer to late fall due to road closures and river crossings during spring runoff
Restrictions: The pool is on private property, so no camping
Elevation: 5600 feet.
Distance from road: 10.50 miles.
Map Reference: Frank Church Wilderness Map or Rock Creek ID USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle


The Hot Spring:

  At Foster Ranch Hot Spring there is a very well built rock and concrete tub and a primitive shower.  The spring is located over 10 miles in the Frank Church Wilderness on a parcel of private property in the middle of Warm Creek Valley.  The property is obviously well maintained with cabins, manicured lawns, and an air strip.  The spring is located around a bend from the cabins, so you can not see the buildings, and feel like your in the middle of wilderness (which you are). The property owners allow access through their property for the National Forest trail (please close all gates).  According to the Hot Springs and Hot Pools book they also allow soaking at the spring as long as they are respected by always being left clean and that no one camps near the tub.  Based on comments on this website the owners do not allow passerby's to soak in the pool.

  Whoever built this tub did a very good job building a 5 foot diameter tub with neck deep water when sitting.  A drain pipe is located at the base of the tub so you can drain and clean it.  135 degree F source water is piped directly from the source up on the hill into a pvc pipe that go to both the shower and the tub.  The water usually constantly flows into the tub keeping the water temperature just about perfect at 104-106 degrees F.  A valve in the pipe opens water to the shower that has a bucket in it protecting the Dr. Bronners soap.  Built around the tub is a wooden deck, lounge chair, and small room where half is for the shower and half for changing.

  About a half a mile away from the Foster Ranch Hot Spring there are more hot spring sources that are not on the private property.  These springs are just around the bend downstream and then up a small creek tributary.  There are several hot spring seeps along this creek with the most flow from the first source.  There is a lot of potential for these springs to be soakable if a pool was built.  Someone could camp at these springs and spend some time making it soakable.  Perhaps if the land owners of Foster Ranch built a small soakable pool near these springs they could keep unwanted soakers from their pool, while also helping out the hot spring community.

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The land owners also pollute

The land owners also pollute Warm Springs Creek with harsh shampoo and conditioner, as they use the hot springs as a personal bath house. Sad that they are priviledged to own a piece of land in the middle of the Frank Church Wilderness just so they can be the first humans to pollute the water. It is well-known that the bears in the area are drawn to their cabins because of improper waste storage. These people take everything they have for granted. Downright shameful. Be sure to take pictures of any shampoo/conditioner containers and email them to the FS. They should not be allowed to pollute such a beautiful place.

I am sorry to have upset

I am sorry to have upset anyone by soaking at this spring. Perhaps something should be said to the authors of Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Northwest because it is very clear in that book that if the spring is respected, kept clean, and not camped near, that soaking is fine with the land owner.  I hope that the fact we spent 3 hours scrubbing half an inch of algae off the sides before soaking for 1.5 hours, plus cleaning up trash from around the pool, makes it ok that we stopped.  The pool had obviously not been cleaned in over a week so I wonder where this Michele was that will possibly shoot trespassers!

This IS private property and

This IS private property and unless you want some buckshot in your ass, I suggest you dont trespass. Or, since the bears visit us regularly at the cabin cuz they KNOW food is there, I guess you should also get reaaallly familiar with the 'roll into a ball and play dead' pose.

this spring is on private

this spring is on private property as mentioned, but that means more than no camping that means keep out, as soon as you step off that trail you are trespassing.

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