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Middle Fork Payette River

Difficult

Trail

16.6 mile 26.6 kilometer point to point
92% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,001' 915 m
Descent: -1,189' -362 m
High: 6,079' 1,853 m
Low: 4,040' 1,231 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)

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Trail shared by Chris Wandervans

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River running and hot springs.

Chris Wandervans

Features Hot Spring · River/Creek

Description

This trail starts at the northern end of Forest Service Rd. #698 and travels north along the Middle Fork of the Payette River. At the beginning of the trail, you'll overlook the historical Boiling Springs Guard Station. This cabin can be rented for your next Middle Fork adventure.

There are a number of side trails along this route that others have used to avoid crossing the river, though it is best to avoid these options and stay on the main trail. The lower portion of the trail crosses the river 17 times. So, it is best to avoid this trail in the spring.

This trail is best from July through October to ensure all of the crossing are low enough. About two miles up the trail, you'll come to a series of hot springs. The best of the hot springs is the Pine Burl Hot Springs that features two nicely sized pools and pipes for adjusting hot and cold water flow. This is accessed by detouring up dash creek about 100ft. The hot spring does make for a nice soak on the way back down this trail to warm up your feet after all of the water crossings.

Beyond the hot springs, the trail becomes more rustic and your chance of seeing someone is very slim. The trail stays close to the river and is very scenic as it weaves up the canyon. The water crossings continue, but it is fair to say this is an amazing backcountry experience. As you near the end the trail will start to climb before it levels out again. This trail is only cut free of trees every three years so keep that in mind when attempting this trail.

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#11972

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#313

in Idaho

#11,972

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141 Since Aug 17, 2017
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Photos

The Middle Fork
Aug 17, 2017 near Cascade, ID
The trail along the Middle Fork.
Aug 17, 2017 near Cascade, ID
Boiling Springs
Aug 17, 2017 near Cascade, ID
A nice hot springs on Dash Creek.
Aug 17, 2017 near Cascade, ID

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