Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is one of the most loved locations in the wilderness of the Clearwater National Forest in the State of Idaho. JJ Hot Springs are Geothermal pools. They consist of three pools with Rock boundaries and are often covered with sand or silt. The best one among these three steamy pools is the one by the waterfalls which usually stays submerged until late summer. All pools are similar in size and are closer to each other.
These natural hot springs can only be reached by a Hiking Trail. The Hiking Trail starts from the Jerry Johnson Campground and heads almost 1 mile deep into the Clearwater National Forest towards the JJ Springs.
In Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Missoula, clothing is not optional. So please keep that in mind when visiting this destination. Even though many people visit this Tourist attraction despite the No-Clothing Rule. It is safe to say it is a unique experience for all the people visiting JJ Hot Springs to soak in the Steamy pools naked along with other strangers.
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- 1 Where is the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Located?
- 1.1 Best Time to Visit Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
- 1.2 Precautions to Take While Visiting JJ Hot Springs
- 1.3 Interesting Activities Near JJ Hot Springs
- 1.4 Tourist Attractions Near JJ Springs
- 1.5 Campgrounds Near Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
- 1.6 Hiking Trails Near Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
- 1.7 Accommodations Near JJ Hot Springs
- 1.8 Famous Restaurants Near Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
- 1.9 Conclusion
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Where is the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Located?
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is located in the state of Idaho near the border of Montana. These geothermal hot springs are located nearby Warm Springs Creek in the Clearwater National Forest. The Hot Springs can be reached from the Town of Missoula in 1 hour 20 minutes. Missoula is a well-known destination for Tourists visiting JJ Springs. Travelers often choose this town due to the abundance of High rated Lodges and Top Restaurants. To reach JJ Hot Springs take Lolo Motorway from Missoula towards Mile Marker 152 and 153. There is a large parking lot in between the two-mile markers where the Warm Springs Trailhead #49 is located. This Hiking Trail leads further into the forest towards the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs.
Soaking in Hot Springs in a dense forest might be relaxing, and joyful. But it is also important to take certain precautions while visiting JJ Hot Springs to make your trip safer due to its remote location and the surrounding wilderness.
Best Time to Visit Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Missoula is open all year long. However, the main steamy pool in these Hot Springs is submerged till the End of July and the other two pools are smaller and are murky. During Winter, the road leading to the Hot Springs is thickly blanketed with snow, so the vehicles cannot pass and the vehicles can get damaged driving through these snow-covered roads. Fall Season is the best time to visit this natural gem and to encounter beautiful scenery all around.
Idaho offers many other interesting activities for you to participate in while visiting JJ Hot Springs.
Precautions to Take While Visiting JJ Hot Springs
Do Not Venture Off-trail
It is highly recommended to not venture off the hiking trail leading to the Hot Springs. Venturing off-trail can increase the chances of you getting injured and lost which can be dangerous as the Forest contains many predators.
Watch Where You Step
While trekking through the trail it is highly suggested to watch where you place your foot. Being cautious of your footing can reduce the chances of you getting injured.
Wash Yourselves Properly Before Entering Pool
Washing reduces the chances of Hot springs getting contaminated. We have to maintain these natural pools clean and safe.
Drink Plenty of Water
It is ideal to carry and drink plenty of water after soaking in these hot pools. Soaking in the Hot Springs causes excessive sweating which can lead to dehydration.
Our body can take some time to adjust to the temperature of the Hot Springs while soaking which leads to tensing of muscles of Muscle-aches. So you need to do a half-body bath before completely soaking into the pool.
Don’t Stay in the Pool for a Long Time
Steamy Hot Pools can be calming and pleasant. But staying overtime in these geothermal pools can cause extreme sweating which can increase your heart rate and chances of getting dehydrated.
Interesting Activities Near JJ Hot Springs
White Water Rafting in the Famed Alberton Gorge
Alberton Gorge is on the Clark Fork River in Montana. The Alberton Gorge has been an excellent location for rafting that people from all over the country love. The steep canyons in the Alberton Gorge offer alluring views of the river snaking through the canyons. Rafting through this river and its rapids at higher speeds as it twists and turns around the canyons can be exhilarating. This is why it has become a popular activity among the people visiting Jerry Johnson Hot Springs.
Hiking Through the Wilderness
Many visitors often consider hiking to be a way to connect to nature in the Pristine Wilderness far away from the Bustling Cities and Towns. People choose to hike to discover wildlife and other beautiful landscapes. If you want to explore these forests there are many popular hiking trails nearby Town Missoula. Due to the availability of Hiking trails you can choose the right trail depending on your hiking skills.
If you love Mountain-Biking there are many widely known Biking trails for you to explore near Missoula. One such route is the Rattlesnake Trail, which got its name due to its sudden turns and tough obstacles. It is frequented by Mountain Bikers from all over the country. However, this trail is highly suggested for only advanced Mountain Bikers. For beginners, there are plenty of other trails with stunning views to choose from. The Mountain Bikes can be rented for affordable rates near the Town of Missoula.
Golfing is another popular activity here in the State of Idaho. Tourists love to spend their day golfing in the Greens. Canyon River Golf Club is the most popular one among the golfers in Missoula. The Club offers 9 -hole and 18-hole courses for you to choose from. The Club also consists of a restaurant for you to eat and relax after your game.
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Camping is also a great activity for the people visiting these Hot Springs. There are many campsites nearby offering stunning spectacles in the surrounding forests. Jerry Johnson Campground is one such campground that is highly favored as it is closer to the JJ Hot Springs. These campgrounds are suitable for setting up camps and also RV’s. Moreover, the campgrounds also offer various amenities such as Garbage bins, Water, Electricity, Rented Camp Equipments, Picnic tables, and many more.
Idaho is also widely known for its various tourist attraction. People often come to this US state from all over the country to explore these locations.
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Tourist Attractions Near JJ Springs
Clearwater National Forest
The Clearwater National Forest is one of the biggest forests in the state of Idaho. The Forest is spread over an area of 1.8 million acres. It is home to the Bitter-Foot Mountain Range, Popular River Canyons, and Rolling Hills of Palouse Prairie. It is the best place for tourists to encounter wildlife and stunning views of the Surrounding Forest. Cougar, Black Bear, Moose, Elk, Mountain Goats, River Otters, Boreal owl, and Bald eagle are some popular residents of these forests. There are many hiking trails in these forests, which are often the best way to explore the Wilderness.
Clark Fork River
Clark Fork River is a popular destination for tourists to participate in Rafting, Fly Fishing, and boat tours of the river. The Clark Fork River is almost 310 miles long, and it flows through the States of Montana and Idaho. This river moves through canyons at high speeds due to strong currents making it an excellent place for White Water rafting. It is also a major hot spot for various types of fishes such as Kokanee, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Smallmouth Bass, Bull Trout, etc. However, people often come here to fish the Large Brown Trout and Monster Rainbow Trouts using various anglers and fly-fishing techniques.
Rattle Snake Trail
It is one of the toughest trails nearby the Town of Missoula in Montana. The trail is rugged and has rough terrain and wet surfaces. It crisscrosses through the River flowing through the Rattle Snake Wilderness multiple times and ventures deep into the forest. The trail is 54.6 km long and it is only ideal for Advanced Hikers due to the Treacherous terrains and the distance. Many other small trails are along Rattle Snake Trail. The trail has a wide old logging road spread for almost 9 miles after which it sinks and heads further into the forest. This trail is the best location to view the mountain peaks, river, and surrounding greenery.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
This is a popular Elk Conservation facility that strives to protect the Native Elk species and their natural habitat. This place is best suited to learn about the Elk Species, exhibits to discover about Elk Country. They offer tours into the wilderness to encounter elks and other animals nearby. If you are an animal lover, this place is perfect for you.
Snowbowl is a popular Ski area closer to the city of Missoula. This Ski area is ideal for medium and advanced levels of Snowboarders or Skiers. This is a well-known getaway during Winter, skiers come from all over the state to this location. The Ski Area offers rent of the accessories and Ski/Snowboards for affordable rates. The Snowbowl offers scenic views of the Snow- covered mountain peaks and the Lolo National Forest Below.
Campgrounds Near Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
There are many widely-known campgrounds near JJ Hot Springs. These campsites offer spectacular views of the Rivers, Mountain ranges, and the surrounding forests.
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs Campground
This camping site is frequented by all the tourists visiting JJ Hot Springs. The campsite has enough space for setting up of 20 campsites. JJ Campgrounds are available on a First Come basis. They are operated by the US Forest Service, and they charge an amount of $14 per night. The camping site can be reached from Lolo, Missoula in Montana, and Lowell, Idaho. The site offers free water and vault toilets for all campers.
River Bottom Forest and Fields Campground
This site is another popular campground located nearby the City of Missoula.
River Bottom Forest and Fields Campground offer spectacular views of the Clark Fork River as it flows through the creek surrounded by mountain ranges. The site is located on the banks of the Clark Fork River. The camp has its own vehicle park suitable for all types of vehicles and RV’s. This Campsite offers various amenities such as running water, Dust bins, and Toilets. The campsite is open for pets and often recommended being kept on a leash. While being in this camp you can participate in various activities such as Floating, Fishing, White water rafting, Kayaking, Hiking, and many more.
Seeley Lake Campground
Seeley Lake Campground is a popular site for campers coming from all over the state. The site is on the banks of Seeley Lake and offers wonderful views of the lake and the distant mountains. There are 29 sites available in this campground for setting up off camps. RVs are allowed in this camp. The camp has various important features such as running water, Dust bins, Toilets, and picnic tables. This site is also a popular fishing spot in the state of Montana. The facility charges an amount of $10 for the night.
Salmon Lake State Park Campground
This camping site is located on the banks of Salmon lake, south of Seeley Lake. It offers stunning views of the alpine forests and mountains. This spot is ideal to counter wildlife away from Cities. The lake is popular for boating tours and fishing. Rainbow trout, Bull trout, Brook trout Cutthroat Trout, largemouth bass, and Kokanee salmon. The site charges a fee of $14-$28 per stay depending on the number of people and the location of the campsite. The Site offers running water, electricity for all campers. Salmon Lake State Park Campground has 33 campsites and RV’s are also permitted into the park.
Beavertail Hill State Park Campground
This site is just 30 mins away from the City of Missoula and is along the Clark Fork River. The campsite has many Hiking Trails leading further into the forests. The site has 22 spaces for setting up Camps and RVs. Beaver Tail lake is nearby the campsite which is a known fishing and swimming spot. The campsite offers essential amenities such as running water, trash bins, Toilets, Electricity. Here on this campsite, you can participate in several activities such as fishing, White water rafting, and swimming. However, the camping space is mostly used by cars and RV’s.
Hiking Trails Near Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Hiking is another popular activity near the JJ Hot springs. Tourists often visit various popular trails near Missoula Montana to explore the surrounding forests.
M Hiking Trail
M trail is one of the most favored trails near the Town of Missoula. It is one of the trails in the K Williams Natural Trail, Montana. The M Hiking trail is famous due to the Mountain Peak with M letter in the wilderness. The trail starts at the bottom of the peaks, and it heads 1.9 km towards the M mountain and ends at the peak of the M mountain. The peak offers a magnificent spectacle of the Mountain ranges and the surrounding forests. The Trail is considered to be moderate, and it is suitable for Hikers with medium and advanced skills.
Jerry Johnson Hiking Trail
JJ Hiking Trail is the only pathway to reach the famed Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. This trail is in the Clear Water National forest. The trail crosses the Clark Fork River deep inside the wilderness. It is 1.6 km long and it is suitable for hikers with Medium and advanced skills. The trail is often used for Hiking and walking. Pets are also allowed into this trail but must be kept on a leash. The trail features a small waterfall which is by the Hot Springs.
Elk Creek Falls Hiking Trail
The Elk Creek Falls Trail is another well-liked hiking trail in the Clearwater National forest featuring the tallest waterfall in the State of Idaho. This trail is frequented by nature lovers due to its alluring landscapes all year long. The Waterfalls are divided into three parts- Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. The Hiking Trail is 4.2 km long, and it is best suited for Medium and Advanced levels hikers. The trail is free, and it allows pets, but they must be kept on leash.
Potlatch Canyon Hiking Trail
Potlatch Canyon Trail is near Deary, Idaho in the Clear Water National Forest. The trail is looped out and is 8.9 km long and is suitable for only Medium and Advanced Hikers. It is frequently used for Walking, Running, Hiking, and Mountain Biking and has some scenic views of the canyon. The trail is partly paved, and it passes through the Famous canyon. The trail runs parallel to a tributary of the Clark Fork River. Due to which it is submerged or muddy during Fall and is used only from April to October.
Maclay Flat Nature Trail
This trail is a popular tourist attraction as it offers gorgeous views of the Bitterroot River nearby Missoula, Montana. The trail is in the Lolo National Forest. The Hiking Trail is 2.7 km long, and it is looped. The trail is frequented by people all year long for various activities such as running, hiking, fishing and, walking. The trail is mostly on flat terrain and so it is considered to be easy. It is perfect for hikers with Beginner, Medium, and Advanced skills. The trail runs parallel to the Bitterroot River for some distance and then loops back into the flats towards the Trailhead.
Accommodations Near JJ Hot Springs
Many people from all over the world visit Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. To accommodate these tourists lot of new hotels/Lodges are set up near the Hot Springs.
The Lodge at Lolo Hot Springs
This popular hotel/lodge is located at a distance of 24.5 km from the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs and is only takes 40 minutes from the City of Missoula. The Lodge offers two types of rooms as Non-Smoking rooms and Family rooms. This hotel offers various essential amenities such as Meeting rooms, a Kids Play area, High-Speed Internet Access, and a Game room. Parking space is free for all customers. The Hotel rooms have several features such as Air-Conditioning, Fire Place, Alarm-Clock, Coffee/tea maker, Microwave, and Hairdryer.
Stone Creek Lodge Missoula
This lodge has highly known for its Cleanliness, Friendly Service, and Value. It is one of the finest hotels in Missoula offering five kinds of rooms as Suites, Bridal suites, and Mountain View rooms. Stone Creek Lodge Missoula has several essential things such as Free high-speed Internet access, a swimming pool, and a Fitness Center with a Workout Room. The Lodge also features their own golf club and offers canoeing trips through the nearby lake. This hotel also offers five types of rooms such as Mountain View, Bridal Suite, Suite, Family, and Non-smoking rooms. The rooms in this lodge boast various features such as Air-Conditioning, Desk, Shower, Dining place, Satellite TV, Kitchen, Coffee/Tea maker, and a Fireplace.
Days Inn and Suites by Wyndham Lolo
This is another popular lodge located in the Town of Lolo, Montana. Days Inn and Suites by Wyndham Lolo offers three types of rooms as Non-smoking rooms, Suites, and Family Rooms. This Hotel provides various amenities such as Wireless Internet Access, Meeting Room, babysitting services, and a Business Center with High-Speed Internet Access. It also offers Free parking and Breakfast for all Customers. The rooms in these hotels are several features like Air-Conditioning, Kitchen, Refrigerator, Microwave, and a Flat Screen TV.
Famous Restaurants Near Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Lolo Creek Steakhouse
This restaurant has high ratings across multiple platforms for its Food, Service, Value, and Atmosphere. Lolo Creek offers two types of cuisines as American and Steakhouse. It also has meals that cater to people who prefer gluten-free options. The Steakhouse only offers meals for dinner, and it also has various features such as Free Parking, High Seating, and a Full Bar. It also offers table service for all customers. Moreover, Wheelchairs are also available here.
The Jack Saloon
Jack Saloon is a laid-back restaurant located in Lolo in the State of Idaho. The Restaurant offers American-style food for all customers. It also has a Full Bar and a Pub. Meals for all times during the day are provided in The Jack Saloon. The Hotel has outdoor seating and it accepts Digital payments. Mastercard, Discovery, and Visa cards are accepted here. The restaurant has free off-street parking available for all customers. Wheelchairs are available here.
This popular restaurant is located in the City of Missoula, Montana. Catalyst Café has high ratings for its Food, Service, and Value across multiple websites. American and Café are the two cuisines available in the Catalyst Café. They also have special diets for Vegetarians Friendly, Vegan Options, and Gluten-Free dishes. They offer meals for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. This restaurant has various features such as Outdoor seating, Takeout, and availability of High Chairs. The restaurant accepts payments made by Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and Credit cards. Wheelchairs are accessible here in Catalyst Café.
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I highly recommend people to visit Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. JJ Hot Springs is located in the Clear Water National Forest and is easily accessible from Lolo, Idaho, and Missoula, Montana. A hiking trail leads the way from JJ Campground towards the hot springs, and it is short and easy. There are three pools in this Hot Springs, and they offer Magnificent views of the river and the Alpine Forest. Also, there are many popular tourist attractions nearby for you to visit, and various interesting activities for you to participate in.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Yes JJ Springs are open all year long
No, the clothing-optional sign has been removed recently, and it’s a no clothing zone now.
Yes. JJ Hot Springs camp is located nearby the Hot Springs at the Trail-head.
No, Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is free and open for all.