If you're staying with us at River's Fork Lodge, don't forget to bring your Jeep, ATV, side-by-side, or dirt bike. Head down River Road and take any side trail or forest service road to see where it leads. More than likely, you'll discover alpine lakes, hot springs, full streams, and summit huge peaks.
The first trail/road appears on the right side of River Road at mile 8. This trail takes you to the top of Ulysses Mountain, but it can also take you to Indian Peak if you keep exploring. This is a beautiful place to be at the end of the day when the sun is starting to set because it's like staring into an ocean of mountains.
A side-by-side, ATV, or dirt bike is the best way to see Panther Creek Hot Springs. If you keep going down River Road, cross the bridge, and turn left at Panther Creek, it will take you to the Clear Creek Trailhead, a popular starting point for hunters. Turn left here and follow the switchbacks to the top of the mountain. Once you've summited, follow the road as it winds back into the forest until you see another trailhead. This is where you'll want to park and follow the trail down to Panther Creek Hot Springs. Be aware that this area is home to mountain lions, wolves, bears, and snakes, so make your presence known by talking with your group and occasionally announcing your arrival. The springs are muddy so they're not really suitable for soaking, but they're very unique, and we think you'll enjoy the journey.
If you take a right at Spring Creek Campground, 17 miles down River Road, there's a huge system of forest service roads that will eventually lead you to Horse Creek Hot Springs. This is a popular place to camp and can be crowded on weekends, but there is an old bathhouse that somebody built a long time ago. There's also no shade so it's probably better in September when the air gets cooler. Also note that several of these roads are impassable until late June when the snow has completely melted.
There are miles and miles of OHV roads for you to explore, and we hope this is a good starting point for your adventures. Plan your trip today so you have a comfortable place to relax when you're done pretending to be Lewis and Clark.