2 Stars: Goldbug Hot Springs after Gabriel Iglesias

2 Stars: Goldbug Hot Springs after Gabriel Iglesias

Reading Time: 10 minutes

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➻Quick Facts

  • Housekeeping: Feel free to contact me if you’d like full-rez/high-quality images or more information about anything, though for this report, I didn’t use anything other than my phone. I’d love to help you out! (To save server space, I reduce the quality of all images by a large amount, and often reduce their sizes, too.)
  • Date of Trip: 6-9 Sep 2019
  • Notable Features: Goldbug Hot Springs, Idaho
  • Total Miles: ~4
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: +/-1210
    • Note: Utilizing an elevation gain threshold model with DEM (for GPS estimates, see GaiaGPS and AllTrails variants; accuracy is decreased).
  • Elevation Min, Avg, Max: 4424, 4744, 5431
  • General Route: Goldbug Hot Springs trail.
  • GaiaGPS Page


⤷ Introduction


Early in the summer, my Peruvian friend Yue texted me asking if I’d like to go to Gabriel Iglesias. We had watched some of his stuff together in the past, and he was pretty amusing. I was interested in seeing him, since he’d be showing in Blackfoot, Idaho, at the Eastern Idaho State Fair. I marked it on my calendar and then forgot until much closer to the time of the show. When I went to buy tickets, the portal was acting strangely, so I ended up in a different section than Yue. Our mutual friend Beatriz also came along, and she carpooled with Yue from Jackson.

As part of our plan, the three of us decided to travel up to Goldbug Hot Springs near Salmon, Idaho the day after seeing Gabriel Iglesias. We’d stash Yue’s vehicle somewhere and use my tents and camping equipment.


⤑ Gabriel Iglesias: Beyond the Fluffy


Friday, 6 September, 2019—Since we’d be camping anyway, I decided to get us a tent spot with shower facilities about 15 minutes north of Blackfoot at North Bingham County Campground. I looked into getting us hotel rooms, but it was not worth the 1000% price difference, at least in my opinion. Somewhat unusually for the region, severe thunderstorms with torrential rains were forecast, which had me worried; they popped up in the forecast as I was driving over, and even slowed down my drive from Wyoming, as I couldn’t see the road at some points.

I arrived late at 2:30, but the girls were even later, so it worked out well, and I got my huge Kelty tent set up; it technically is a 2-room tent, but I set it up as a large, communal tent with two queen mattresses, which we’d used before at Green River Lakes. The campground itself was very quiet, and we were the only tent. Most of the people residing there were old folks in motorhomes, and they were very pleasant. It wasn’t a bad price for shower facilities for the three of us.

The girls arrived later, and we went to see Fluffy in Yue’s car. Fluffy’s show was itself quite amusing, at least in my mind, and he went 36 minutes over the show time just having a blast. Again, in my mind. The show was family friendly, too, which I appreciate. No need for gross humor if you can be funny without it, which he was. Yue and Beatriz said that he was very sad, but I didn’t catch that—his lady left him, I guess, so that’s a huge bummer, but it didn’t show to me. His warm-up act, Alfred Robles, was just as funny as him, and made some hilarious cracks about Mexicans. 😛

We didn’t leave the show until 10:40, and then the girls wanted to sit in the tent and chat. I don’t think that we were all asleep until 0200. Ick! It was quite cold overnight, though, so we did sleep well.


⤑ Goldbug Hot Springs, Idaho


The leftover tent mark.

Perhaps because of the late night, Yue didn’t want to go to the hot springs. Beatriz and I were still down to do it, so we all went to the North Hiway Cafe in Idaho Falls and had breakfast, noting the girls’ distinct lack of white privilege, and decided that I would just drive Beatriz home.

We split up at noon, with Yue returning to Jackson. I’d never spent any time alone with Beatriz, and I know how people can be about “the appearance of evil,” or whatever—you know, the assumption that one’s going to immediately try and procreate with a human, I guess, because one’s alone with that individual, but that didn’t bother me. I mostly didn’t want to be a bad hiking partner for miss Beatriz.

The drive from Idaho Falls was about 4 hours long, and we stopped in Arco, where Beatriz bought me a non-alcoholic pina colada smootie! Yummy! If we’d had time, I’d have loved to see the nuclear museum near Arco, since the Idaho National Labs are nearby, but alas, we were on a schedule. At least I got to see the crazy buttes near Craters of the Moon. We also pulled off to see the remnants of an incredible earthquake.

We began our hike up at 4:20. The hike to the hot springs is about 2 miles exactly, and +1210/-205 feet. Beatriz made good conversation, and we discussed everything from old, downed airplanes to the explosion in female-to-male transgender identification. The hike in took us about an hour and was in pleasant weather, with no biting bugs! When we arrived at the hot springs, the first thing I saw was a pretty naked woman running through the trees like a carefree elk. I meant elf, but elk works, too. She was also quiet. In fact, I don’t think she’d meant to be seen in her prelapsarian lack of dress.

Alas, if only all the nudists had been peaceful, silent, attractive types. They were not. Throughout our stay, the experience was marred by a bunch of sex-fiend, loud hippies on drugs, who I will frankly say that I hoped might wander off somewhere else, such as into a bear’s mouth. This did not happen to my great bemusement.

But back to the trip. I scampered up the southeastern slope looking for a place to camp and found none, so we crossed the creek and passed the naked hippies, climbing until we found a place amidst the rocks to put our tent. (I had selected my Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultralight High Volume 2 tent for this.) It wasn’t a great location, but it was better than being beaten with a stick, so we made do. I’d purchased a Big Agnes Air Core Ultra which I let Beatriz use. It’s a nice pad, and she’s very tiny and fit on it well. I hadn’t tried it at the time, but decided that the large side rails weren’t my thing. I personally used a Chinese pad which I bought mostly for my Jeep, so that I could use my expensive hiking pads less, as my Big Agnes Double Z broke earlier in the summer. The Chinese pad was actually stupidly comfy, though really heavy.

A quiet couple were close to us, but very nice, and they kept to themselves. Beatriz wanted dinner, so I attended to that (dehydrated meals), and then we changed into our swimwear and tried out the hot springs. Beatriz did NOT like her chicken fried rice at all; live and learn. I’d never had it before, either.

The springs themselves were very pleasant. We were able to alternate between them to avoid people. Some inconsiderate people were letting their dogs romp in the waters—yuck! Beatriz wanted to stay awake quiet late, drinking some chilled mini…uh…tequilas? Margaritas, I guess, and a Moscow mule in a can, which I thought had a nice flavor to it. She liked the energy of the place, she said, if not so much the people.

Eventually many people had quieted down, and the stars were amazing. I showed her Sky Map and Star Walk 2, and we watched an incredible moonrise, which lit up the bald hills west of us into silvery ridges, the backs of incredible dragons. We switched between pools a number of times before heading to the tent and getting ready for bed; I let Beatriz use the tent first. After a little chatting, we both fell asleep; there were sprinkles of rain, and more unfortunately, the smell of where other people had “sprinkled” the ground too much. Yuck.


⤑ Goldbug Morning and Back to JAC


We both slept in, and eventually got up and had some breakfast of sorts—if you can call chocolate raspberry crumble breakfast. I whacked my foot on a tent stake and managed to cut it way open, so I superglued the cut shut…and then stumbled and landed on my sandal, which immediately, being plastic, exothermically reacted and melted to the cut. Sheesh. Then I had to cut it off…well, whatever. Beats being beaten with a tree.

Some locals came up in the morning, and were shocked at the state of affairs, mostly because of the heathen hippies. I chatted with one man and his kids, and he told us of a secret grotto, which we visited. It rained, but that was fine, too.

We stayed at the springs until almost 3, and then headed back to the vehicle with a slightly wet rainfly. I took some pictures of a wrecked airplane, long since forgotten to any history I have access to. Please note that there are camping spots below the springs; you’ll just have to hike a mile or so and climb a lot to move back and forth, so not too convenient.

Returning via Salmon, Idaho, we stopped to eat at “The Savage Grill,” which seems to celebrate the sports teams of the local school. I ordered the taco salad, and man it was quite bad—chopped hamburger and lettuce with a few tortilla strips and no sauce to speak of. We also got fried mozzarella balls and mushrooms, the latter of which were quite undelicious. They had no marinara for the cheese, either. I’m for a small town, so I know how it goes. We were blessed to have sustenance, anyway.

The drive back to Jackson featured some wild rains, but we survived and got in late. Sweet Beatriz offered me a place to stay, but I thought that I might get back to Rock Springs with some diligence, and I didn’t want to infringe on her space. This was only our second time spending any time together, so crashing at her place, which she shared with others, seemed unpleasant for everyone. It was super kind of her to offer!

I made it up past Hoback and then I suddenly became insanely tired, so I pulled into my “normal” spot, which wasn’t taken, and set my Jeep up to be a little room. I slept overnight quite comfortably and stopped by the Burger Barn in Pinedale the next day. The burger was as bland as couple be, and so were the fries; the service was even worse, and served with a side of cold-shoulder. I was very disappointed that I didn’t go to the always-delicious Wind River Brewing.


➤ Conclusion and Rating


This was a great weekend, but the hike itself was gross, given the writhing, orgasming bodies of drugged up hippies, urine-soaked ground, and dogs using the restroom in the pools. If I were going to do it again, I’d snowshoe in during the winter.

⭐⭐   (2 stars)

  • My scientific rating system. I didn’t this this hike. The objectionable people it attracts were annoying, there weren’t many places to camp, and the ground smelled like urine.
  • Beauty. You saw the pictures. It’s pretty.
  • Camping spots. Not many, and they smell like pee. You can camp below the springs and hike to and from them, if you’d like.
  • Crowds. They were pretty bad.
  • Difficulty. This is an easy walk in.
  • Fishing. No.
  • History. Yes, a downed airplane, but stink if I can find out more about it! If you know, please reach out to me. I’ve very curious. Of course, Hiking Bomber Mountain offers more history, obviously. 🙂

With love, always,

—Luke

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