We read that there was a nearby hot spring and we were eager to check it out. We really didn't know what to expect, a warm spot near a rushing river? A pool? Hot tubs?
We did a little research and found that we needed to drive farther south and then east into an area outside the park but just as amazingly beautiful.
We followed the directions, turning onto the dirt road just as directed and were awe struck by the rugged and amazing beauty. We were the only ones there, and the ten mile dirt road took us easily a half an hour. It was one of the best half hours I've ever spent.
A large river followed a valley winding in and out of forests. Large meadows and amazing marshes were around every turn. We spotted a heron and a beaver dam but could have spent hours spotting hundreds of other animals.
The kids happily looked around in the backseat as E and I drove awe-struck in the front. We kept talking about our dream, to one day have a house in the woods, with a library and a big kitchen and a front porch. We want trees and a view to a river and internet. And not much else. It is so fun talking about this, and filled many happy minutes on the bumpy road onward.
Finally after what we felt was far longer than ten miles, we arrived. It was literally in the middle of nowhere and we could not wait to see what awaited us.
We found it! A pool, deep and warm and built by the CCC in the 1930s. On one side of the pool a waterfall spilled happily into the pool filling it with fresh warm water. On the other side a waterfall spillway lead to the river below. In some areas the pool was three feet deep, in other areas it was eight feet deep. Most of the pool was well over my head, so we were so happy to have packed the lifejackets because the kids happily and easily swam independently the entire time we were there.