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47 – Indian Hot Springs

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Coordinates: 42.33756, -115.64715
Elevation: 3698 ft
Difficulty: 4
What to Expect: No data

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Ed Torrey

Get this one done before it gets to hot and dusty. I love the old truck down there. We did not see any vehicles after hitting the dirt.

What bike did you take?
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)

I did this one from Hwy 51, came in past the Eastman Place and up onto the flats to the west canyon rim. That part of the ride was relatively easy, but I couldn’t go very fast due to a very rocky “road”. Got to the west rim of the canyon, looked down at the road to the bottom, walked it down 50 yards or so, and thought “no problem once I get past the first 50 yards”. Ha! I’ll keep it short by saying I had a whole host of problems on the downhill. If you find a Merrill hiking shoe, call me and I’ll give you the other one. The west approach to IHS is basically a rock garden for most of the steepest part of the descent. And nearly every rock, from softball size to playground ball size, is not embedded but lying loose on the surface. And technical downhills are my weakest skill. Once I got down to the relative flat stretch it was an easy ride the rest of the way down. Took my pics and started up the east side. This was a lot easier considering what I’d just experienced on the west descent. Lot of throttle, lot of clutch, standing most of the way, resting where the road “flattened” (like at that old pick-up truck), and the last 50 yards or so was probably the “step-iest” and steepest part of the ascent to the east rim. The road out to Clover Three Creek Road was pretty easy, although I will say that the dirt was pretty firm….get enough traffic over it and no rain for a couple weeks and it’ll be moondust as other posters have mentioned. I did this on my 690 loaded with camping gear. I would have had an easier (and more fun?) time on my 350 and a daypack. No way would I take my 1250GSA down there from either side. I can see the value of trucking a bike down to the quarries on Clover Three Creek Road and doing the ride that way. YMMV

What bike did you take?
KTM 690 Enduro R
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)

Ditto what Chatty said. It was a challenging ride, lots of moon dust (thank God it had rained!), rocks, and steep slopes. I dropped my KLR a few times, one was a washout on a moondust rut and it did a number on my left ankle. Thanks to my boots that saved me from serious injury, although it is still sore, and it will be a while before I can walk without a limp.

What bike did you take?
KLR 650 2008
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)

We did this as a part of an out-and-back to Indian Hot Springs from Bruneau Canyon Overlook ~ 75 miles total. I’m not going to lie, I’m glad I took my Beta rather than my Norden.
There’s a good mix of ‘stuff’ all along this route. After winter camp there’s a lot of sand and moon dust with lots of rocks hidden just to ensure your suspension is good and you stand most of the way. I think there were 5 or 6 gates to get through. There’s a fairly steep downhill section not far from Indian hot springs that though not difficult, has loose rocks. There’s a hot water – water crossing at the springs that’s cool to go through.
At the hot springs we decided to try get out the other side and come back up 51, however about 1/2 a mile up it we agreed that the KLR that my riding partner Dean was on would probably not be happy so we turned around and made it an out and back. We got back to the truck after dark. It was cold!
I ache this morning! I’m going to say it’s a difficult 3 or easy 4 for a dual sport and a difficult 4 for a big bike.

What bike did you take?
beta 390 RRS
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)
Justin Wilke

Today I went after Indian Hot Springs. I wanted to get this one and winter camp before too late in the year. I approached it from the east side. About the last 10-12 miles, the graded gravel road ended and the remaining way was progressively more difficult. It started with small ruts and cows. Then the ruts got bigger and the rocks more plentiful. Lots of jagged rocks in the road… glad I didn’t get a pinch flat. The way down from the top began about 1.9 miles before the hot springs, and it was steep. It started with a few small rock steps, and it was rocky all the way down. There were several sections with very loose medium sized rocks. This site was a bit more challenging for me than Old Wees Ranch, but that might be because it was longer. Once down I snapped my pictures and headed back up the same way I came down. I forgot my bandana in my other jacket… hope this still counts. The ride back out to the graded gravel road seemed to go much faster. Lastly, If you haven’t been this way before, I recommend stopping at the Bruneau Canyon Overlook. It’s only a few miles off the main dirt road, and it is a really nice view of the canyon. 

What bike did you take?
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)

I started out at the gravel pit on hotsprings road on the right about 1 mile before the pavent ended. There is a second gravel pit that is at the beginning of the dirt to the left also, I found that one last night on my return trip. I went south and stopped in at winter camp then followed a two track south out of there to indian hot springs. The road looks like someone has tried to smoth it out but also lots of cattle track so it was loose with lots of small rock and and occasional medium sided rocks. I feel this check in point will very on the type of bike you ride. I took the DRZ400e and my buddy was on a 400s with e gearing. So it wasn’t hard. The hot springs have a few metal tubs laying around that have been shot at ut overall a neat area to visit.

What bike did you take?
03 DRZ 400e
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)

I did a loop passing through Winter Camp first then down the less steep road to Indian Hot Springs. I crossed the river and drove up the more steep side. I have done this trip before and the better loop direction is Indian Hot Springs first then Winter Camp.

The steep side is covered in rocks. I made it out fine but I really had to use my clutch to keep the revs up!

What bike did you take?
Ride Difficulty (1 to 5)