Sunday, March 1, 2015

Atlanta, Idaho: another trip into the backcountry

Another trip into the backcountry, this time the destination is Atlanta, Idaho. Atlanta is a small mining town that was founded I believe right after the Civil War. Atlanta is actually closer to Glenna Summit than anything else. Atlanta may have been the main destination but on the way up we planned on hitting mostly all of the hot springs that lie on Middle Fork of the Boise River. 
Pete Falls, 160 degrees
The road on the way up to Atlanta is terrible. When you turn off of Highway 21 its roughly 68 miles to Atlanta and takes at least 3 ½ hours to get there. The road its self after driving around the two dams isn’t too bad but driving around Lucky Peak and Arrowrock Reservoir took forever. The road is covered in pot holes and tons of fisherman, since this is one of the closest reservoirs from Boise.
The first hot springs that we hit was Loftus Hot Springs, this hot springs is first one that is big enough to wade in. But because it was the closest to Boise it was jam packed with groups of people. The pool itself had a nice sandy bottom and was quiet hot, I was only able to last a few minutes before I wanted to head up the river more to check out the others.
Granite Creek Hot Springs
The next one on the list was Granite Creek Hot Springs that ranked pretty high on our list. This pool was located right on the river just a few feet from the road. After checking the pool to see how warm it is, I changed into my suit and headed back down to the river to find Justin saying it was too hot. The top of the water was a lot cooler than the bottom of the springs where some of the heat comes up. After it being too hot we adjusted it too much with the river water and now it was too cold. We decided to head up to Atlanta to the other hot springs before sunset.

Chattanooga Hot Springs

When we got to Atlanta there was not a soul in sight, just what you would expect with an old mining town. We continued through town to find Chattanooga Hot Springs and our final resting point for the night. Chattanooga Hot Springs is roughly located about a mile out of town and next to the river. This one also ranked pretty high on the list because the springs seep out of a Cliffside and run down into a shallow pool close by the river.

We decided to set up camp before dark and then come back to soak. By the time we were done and ready to go soak another couple joined us and we thought we would soak for about 15 minutes and then go eat dinner, but after talking to the couple we sat in the hot springs for two hours watching the sunset and the stars come across the sky. I think the reason we stayed so long was that nobody wanted to get out and fight the cold air.
Filling up the Pool
The night brought the cold and none of us slept very well at all. The temperatures dropped into the teens and all I could hear at night where two wolves howling back and forth across the valley. One of the worse nights of sleep in the woods but it happens. We also thought that we set our tent up where the sun would rise and hit it in the morning however that never happened until 10 o clock. The morning was so cold my stove was having troubles heating up water and took its sweet time to do it.

Frozen Towel

Atlanta Hot Springs
Atlanta Hot Springs
After we ate breakfast and placed all our stuff in the sun to dry out we hiked to Atlanta Hot Springs, which was just a few yards up the road from where we camped. We were a little skeptical about this one sense the couple last night told us about spidermites being there that can get into all of your stuff if you leave it on the ground. But I was so cold that I need a good soak to start the day right.
Kirby Dam
Atlanta's Source of Power
Atlanta Hot Springs was by far my favorite, it was a huge pool that was plenty hot and deep. After checking the surround area for any spidermites it was go time. We had to soak our swimming suits in the water to un-thaw them in order to put them on. By the time we got out it was time to pack it up and head on back to Boise. We figured we explore Atlanta a little bit more and then we would stop by Granite Creek one last time on the way out to break the 3 ½ hour drive back.
Middle Fork of the Boise
Log Jam

Granite Creek 
Soaking the Beard
Taking in the Views

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