Boise, ID: Willow Creek

Payoffs are big on this remote 7.8-miler in the Smoky Mountains: No crowds, beautiful mountain views, and steamy hot springs.
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Payoffs are big on this remote 7.8-miler in the Smoky Mountains: No crowds, beautiful mountain views, and steamy hot springs.

-Mapped by Jason Kauffman

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.2

Waypoints

WIL001

Location: 43.626708984375, -115.13419342041

Walk N along trail, hugging the wooded banks of Willow Creek

WIL002

Location: 43.6363563537598, -115.131103515625

Keep L @ Y. Faint spur trail on R leads 200-ft. to a string of natural hot springs (perfect for a posthike dip)

WIL003

Location: 43.6402206420898, -115.129608154297

Trail tunnels through fragrant stands of mossy, old-growth ponderosa pines; continue NE

WIL004

Location: 43.6435050964356, -115.126121520996

Wind across treeless S-facing slopes; scan hillsides above for grazing deer that blend into the landscape

WIL005

Location: 43.6442451477051, -115.123008728027

Path bends to the NE. Views extend upstream where canyon widens

WIL006

Location: 43.6494293212891, -115.114692687988

Cross Edna Creek before it pours into Willow Creek on the R. Next, stay R on main trail where faint path enters on the L

WIL007

Location: 43.6585960388184, -115.110084533691

Trail cuts through pinched, steep-sided canyon. Watch footing on rock-strewn sections

WIL008

Location: 43.6629028320312, -115.109756469727

Follow canyon's course E along base of cliffs that flank N side of path. In .6 mi., cross expansive boulder field that blankets slopes to the NW

WIL009

Location: 43.6649131774902, -115.098129272461

Haypress Creek flows down gulch on L. Take off packs and grab a snack at this quiet spot. Next, return to WPT 2 and turn hard L onto spur trail to reach hot springs

WIL010

Location: 43.636890411377, -115.130645751953

Pick a hot pool; feel tight muscles relax in thermal waters as you soak up mountain backdrops. Return to WPT 2; turn L to trailhead

Wooded Slopes

Location: 43.6301231384277, -115.13232421875

Old-growth Ponderosas

Location: 43.6405792236328, -115.129127502441

Trailside Views

Location: 43.6446418762207, -115.121940612793