This trip was about exploring a few hot springs in the south east corner of Oregon and northwest corner of Nevada and an additional find in Idaho. There were many more we wanted to check out but time off from work limited our trip a bit.
We would leave work from Spokane Washington on the Tuesday afternoon and make our way to Plymouth campground in Washington along the Columbia river and across from Umatilla Oregon. We would spend one night there and were parked next to fellow truck camper friends Sally and George who also have a Rugged Mountain Custom RV camper. We had a nice little visit with them before it was bedtime. Soon I realized I would not be getting much sleep that night. Our spot had an acorn tree and throughout the night acorns were dropping onto the top of the camper. Just when I got to sleep another “THUMP” from another acorn on the camper roof happened. Other than that, this was a great campground with full hookups.
The next morning we said our goodbyes to our friends and we started our southern drive. We drove to Pendleton Oregon then headed south to Burns Oregon. On our drive we took our time, exploring and geocaching a bit. Just a few miles east of Burns is Crane Hot springs and that would be our stop for the night. This place has several choices for lodging. We had a water and power site close to the big swimming pond. Be prepared, there are only a couple sites with sewer hookups and there is not a dump station. We knew that and were fine with it. This place was really fantastic. Great staff, great facilities and reasonable rates. We would come back to this place again if we have the chance.
The next morning we would continue to head south and once again we took our time exploring and geocaching. We saw many beautiful places on this drive. One of our favorite spots was at Alvord Desert and we said we will be back for sure to stay here and explore more at some point.
From the desert we made our way to Fields Station Oregon to stop for a geocache, milkshakes and fuel. We probably did not have to get fuel but with signs saying no fuel in 120 miles we opted to be safe since we did not know exactly if our route would be sidetracked. Yeah, expensive fuel price but better than running out of fuel.
From there we would journey south into Nevada to Denio Junction Nevada. We then would turn west and drive a few more miles to Bog Hot Springs. This hot springs has basically one spot that is far better for soaking than other spots. The water is not deep except for the spot we got. We were lucky and had the place mostly to ourselves. There was one other person camped about 200 yards away. I really loved this natural setting hot springs. The water was 104F and it felt great. There were a few passing storms and that was a bit of a bummer for our stay but we were out so in the end, it was great.
The next morning we left and headed back into Oregon. We were going to check out another natural setting type of hot spring called Willow Creek Hot Springs. It was in the middle of a 40 mile dirt road drive, not a big deal. We got there and there was a bunch of people there already so we left. We eventually got to highway 95 and kept driving. Picking up a geocache here and there and seeing if any place we came along to was to our liking to camp for the night.
One of the stops to find a geocache took us to a fantastic history spot, the grave sight of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau or Pomp. For those not knowing that history, that was the son of Sacajawea.
We ended up driving farther than we thought we would. We ended up in Homedale Idaho and had lunch at a place we have been to before. I then remembered there were two resort type of hot springs north of there. I looked up one of them in Cambridge Idaho called Mundo Hot Springs. They had a spot for us to park for the night and rates were very low for water and power sites. So after we ate lunch we made our way there.
That hot springs had nice enough staff and the place was clean and the RV site rates were very good but we would not go there again. It just was not to our liking with other choices out there. Nothing really bad, just not to our liking. We did get a good nights sleep though.
The next morning we were only going to Riggins Idaho and stay there for the night. A whole 1.5 hour drive away. We really like Riggins and the whole river valley area. There are tons of places to dry camp but this trip we would stay at a resort we really love and have stayed at before. The resort is Riverside RV Park. On our drive from Cambridge we would of course do more geocaching. We planned on stopping in New Meadows Idaho for breakfast. What a good choice for breakfast we did. We ate at Granite Mountain Café and we recommend it if you are there in the area. We also stopped at the fish hatchery near Riggins.
Once we got to Riggins we made a stop at a butcher shop that is amazing. We always stop there when in town. Beef, elk, bison and more to be had there. The name of that place is Mountain View Specialty Meats. We bought several items including a very nice ribeye beef steak for dinner later that night.
We then pulled into our spot at the resort and the owner was trying to finish up some work at our site and others. They just had the electric updated so some things were dug up. He brought in some more rock to cover up the dirt and would finish it later when we left. It was fine and not an issue at all. After parking we walked down to Seven Devils Bar and Steakhouse, a place we like to go and get a drink or two and a little food.
After our beverages we walked back to the resort and I talked to the resort owner while sharing a beer with him. They are new official owners since their father who was the owner before them, passed away a few months ago. We told them how much we loved the place and look forward to returning again.
We had another great nights sleep. The next day was our trip home. The drive was fun and yes, more geocaching as well. I should say the trip was fun until we got near Lewiston Idaho where we encountered very strong gusty winds…like the 50 MPH type of winds. Worse when they came at us from the side. We got to the top of the Lewiston grade and decided to go to Moscow Idaho. There was a brewery we like and they have good food too. Plus I needed the break from the windy drive. That brewery is called Rants and Raves.
We finished our lunch then made the drive back home. The winds were better and soon enough we pulled into our driveway.
What a great trip we had. In the end we drove 1230 miles, 90 miles of that was on gravel roads. Our only wish was the usual…we wanted more days to explore.