Quinn’s Hot Springs – Relaxing and Hiking
This year was a pretty intense year for Christmas time traveling for me – up to Eastern Washington, then over to Seattle, back to Spokane, over to Montana for Quinn’s hot springs, to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho, back to the airport and finally home again in again with Basil and Herman.
In the next few days I hope to get up at least another blog about the trip – but first I wanted to talk hot springs & Montana adventures. Honestly I have this soft spot for Montana. I think it is because we always end up with a pretty stellar adventure there. Plus this time we got to spot big horn sheep!!! (No pictures, but travel Montana Hwy 200 and you might get lucky)
Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort
Quinn’s is modernized hot springs with hot spring fed connected pools. Quinn’s is also a favorite of Curtis’s family, who insisted we get out and try it.
I have been to one developed hot springs type resort prior this trip, as a reward in Ecuador for setting up electromagnetic tests all week, but it has been a while since I had done any hot springs except the old school tubs available on the East side of the Sierra. And I do love the rustic hot spring experience – bringing your own beer, free springs and free camp spots, the expansive views without fences – but admittedly developed hot springs have their perks too. The first perks that come to mind? Developed hot springs have no cows, beds and showers, Bikini Bars with flat screens, & excellent dining. Simply put, at Quinn’s you are not remotely roughing it. And really now, Christmas time is rough enough with all the traveling and present buying and what not, so Quinn’s is great Christmastime treat.
But how could I be in Montana without attempting to hike? (Key word: Attempting)
Hiking Lilo National Forest – Cascade Creek Falls
Trailhead: Cascade Creek Campground, off of Montana Hwy 135. It is gated shut for the winter, but because the trails are marked as possible cross country ski multi-use I belive they expect people to park and walk in.
Distance: Very brief hike to the base of the falls, from there you can make it longer by choosing to continue. Alternatively the other icy trail/Iron Mtn. Trail #242 is supposed to be ~13 miles long round trip.
Just down the street (or the Clark Fork!) from Quinn’s is the Cascade Creek Campground, a part of the Lilo National Forest. Here there is a trail that will hike up to the ridge line following an old wagon/mining road which will be entirely too icy to walk in December (potential site for skeleton racing though). Instead continue to the small Cascade Creek Falls trail and try your luck on the very short hike to see iced over falls.
Curtis’s brother wins bonus points for braving the ice and steep terrain and getting up to see the flowing part of the falls. I was happy enough find a trail with a reachable destination. Plus, word on the street (trail?) is that sometimes you can spot a river otter on the Clark Fork nearby! I personally did not see one, but next time I will make it a priority!
More images from both Montana some thrown in from the visit to Idaho below.