Hot springs close to Mountain Home, Idaho? They are there and not as far nor remote as you may think. The Prince Albert Hot Springs might be one of the best kept secrets in this area and a place I'll likely be heading back in the future. The Hike(March 4th, 2012)
I found the Cold Springs Creek / Alkali Creek area by chance a week earlier as I was looking for an isolated place to take a walk. And once I discovered “Alkali Road” I did a little research and found dirt roads actually head off into the Bennett Hills area. A little more research and I discovered these dirt roads, for the most part, are located on BLM lands. Good news for me and my dog.
We parked at the intersection of Alkali Road and Steen Road (43.100696, -115.343945) or about 11 “as the crow flies”
miles north-northwest of Glenns Ferry. My destination for this hike was the Prince Albert Spring area I found on my USGS Topo Maps. Addie, my dog and I headed north on the dirt Steen Road and then veered left on to an unnamed 4-wheel drive road that took us right up to the Prince Albert Springs area.
Overall, this hike is rather flat and done completely on dirt roads making it an even easier hike. While this trip could be done in a semi-high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle, I certainly could not recommend it after a period of wet weather. Heck, I don't think I'd even hike these roads after wet weather for fear of getting my boots sucked off my feet in the wetter area. Let's just say it gets muddy in spots.The Prince Albert Springs are Hot?
To be honest, I never expected to make it to the springs, so I didn't do much research into them other than the exact location. But once I got close to them, I had a few hints these could be “hot springs” and also dangerous to my dog. So I tested the temperature of the water wherever I could.
The places I tested were not hot but it was obvious these were hot springs as what should have running/bubbling frigid water was actually just cool to the touch. The warmest water I found was in the metal tough but even then it was just slightly cooler or equal to the 60F outside air temperature.
I'm not much of a hot springs guy so even if the water was warm and extremely clean, I doubt I would have taken a soak. In other words, if the water isn't moving as in a stream/river I'll likely not be getting into it. The water quality in the metal trough didn't look so good but the water in the main part of the spring seemed clean but shallow. My dog actually took a walk through it, against my wishes, and sunk up to her chest into the deep muck.
I did not walk the whole area so I'm not sure if I missed a deep hole or saw the entire spring complex. I just know it was a pretty nice experience finding and exploring a bit in the Prince Albert Springs.Animals Along the Trail
This is mule deer country! At least on the day I was there, I did not have to wait very long to come upon a nice herd of those long earred animals. As usual, the muleys are not quite as squitterish as other big game
I've encountered and was able to get rather close to some.
Overall, I probably saw a total of about 40-60 mule deer, a herd of pronghorns, many birds and a coyote. Not a bad day on the trail for someone like me. Tim Bondy's Prince Albert Hot Springs Hike View Larger MapTrip/Hike Stats
Total miles hiked: 4.58 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 511 feet
Average Slope: 4.0%
Elevation High/Low: 3,674 ft / 4,137 ft
Total Road Mileage from Mountain Home to Trailhead: ~ 23 miles
Hope you enjoyed the trip report.