On the edge of the Sawtooth National Forest, 60 miles from Fairfield, ID lies Skillern Hot Springs. For 2.8 miles you'll hike above and along Big Smokey Creek, enjoying beautiful views.
I took along my trusty pack and a few friends for an overnighter. Primitive camping was abundant, and only 1/4 mile from the pool! We found two pools along the water, one was definitely soakable clocking in at 102 degrees. The other waterside pool was not as warm since creek levels were still high from winter run off. Perched upon a cliff edge, slightly tucked into a small cove, the main soaking pool was a toasty 104 degrees. Slight improvements had been made since my last visit in September 2006. Logs had been placed as a wind break, and the pool appeared to be slightly wider. The minature hot waterfall still cascaded into the pool lightly splashing its soakers. The water was clean, clear and free of algae. Tiny spiders scurried across the rocks throughout the source and hot overflows. I even saw a poor snake that had curled up to get warm, but alas, the water was too hot for it. The entire area was green and bursting with spring time life.
Skillern is a wonderful spring or autumn day hike or pack trip. Keep in mind that this area gets very warm in the summer months, the trail has little to no shade, and a great portion of the trail follows a ridge with no trees. This is a family friendly area, and you'll more than likely run into people throughout the weekend. We saw a few Saturday on our way out. Though the trip was short, the hike was great, the pool relaxing, and the company enjoyable.