We didn’t see any spawning salmon on our latest trip with our own spawn into the wilderness last weekend, but we found a great summer swimming hole. Molly’s Tubs, a popular hot springs on the South Fork of the Salmon River is known as a good place for a hot soak. But in the middle of summer? When it’s blazing hot outside? You bet your toasty buns it is.
For those soaking, you fill the old bathtubs on wooden palettes with hot water coming out of the pipes, cooled to the right temperature by dumping buckets of cold water from the river. This time of year, however, it might be better to crawl over the logjam just upstream to access a tiny little sand beach, perfect for laying out and for the kids to build a sand castle. This time of year the water is quite low and, while still cold, is tolerable once you submerge yourself. In fact, it’s quite refreshing on a hot day.
For those seeking a little more sun on their bodies, a short walk upstream yields privacy enough for a skinny dip and a way to lose those tanlines. During the day the tubs get a lot of traffic and nudity is rare. But this time of year, in the early morning and later evening as it cools off you might encounter a few “bares” in the tubs.
From Boise, go North on Hwy 55 to Cascade. Take Warm Lake Road to FR 474 (on a blind curve, so keep an eye out) to Stolle Meadows. Go approximately 1.3 miles south and look for a car park on the right.