Thursday, February 27, 2014


The terraced pools at Goldbug Hot Spring

A whole lot of things have been a long time coming, but Goldbug Hot Springs has been up there for awhile. Not that I haven't been hearing about it for years, and not that I haven't passed by the trailhead at least 8 times in the past 12 months. It's just one of those side trips which never seems to fit into a larger itinerary. There is nothing else around it. If your going to Goldbug, your going to Goldbug, and let me tell you, you want to go to Goldbug.

Erin hiking to and from.

Lucky-me happened to be going with my beautiful fiancee to celebrate her 32nd 23rd birthday. We drove down the snowy Bitterroot Valley and hopped the pass to North Fork where the road condition improved. After a brief stop at the One Way Club in Elk Bend - it's a sin to pass this establishment without stopping in - we headed up the 2 mile trail to the springs. It took a few moments to set up camp, and then we got into the most breathtaking pool I've ever soaked in.

Birthday girl in her birthday suit.

The morning brought the same unseasonably warm temperature the night had held, and with nothing else to do, we soaked more until we couldn't. After apologetic mumblings of "being back soon", we had to exit the fairytale, head down the trail, and back to snowy Missoula life.


  1. This is just perfect! I love the range between the mountains in the distance, and the boulders and buttocks up close.

    Still using the Nex7? or is it the 6? I'm beginning to think I really like the images from the Sony Nex cameras, especially for digital publication.

    1. Thanks, Nick!

      I'm using a 5n, but the new a6000 looks sweet. I'm waiting on better lens choices to pick up one of the full-framed Nex's.

    2. Thanks Casey. I appreciate the images coming from Fuji these days, but they also feel a bit antique. Sony images feel retro-modern, with an emphasis on modern. That said, what I see in my own images from Olympus images feel very digital. They have always served the desired function, but I think that function is changing. Of course, there is always more that cane be done with the camera and in post-processing. I'm still learning. Really, I only picked this stuff up a year or two ago.

  2. Great photos! This post recently inspired me to visit Goldbug. You're definitely correct when you say that these are the hot springs you talk about when you visit other hot springs. Check out my trip report and photos on my site

    Thanks again for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Alex. Looks like you guys had a great trip, and really nice photos. That descent down Little Boulder is one of the best.