Jun 24, 2020 at 5:17 pm #3654523Benjamin MBPL Member
I’ve heard a rumor that the Ivy Bell Hot-springs in Inyo National Forest (from Red’s Meadow via Fish Creek Trail or from Duck Creek Trailhead) are dirty and losing their heat.
Anyone been there in the last year or two? Is it really a mossy, mosquito cess-pool now?Jul 2, 2020 at 6:49 pm #3655953asolthaneBPL Member
watchingSep 15, 2020 at 11:37 pm #3676307Ryan PerkinsBPL Member
Following as well, always been a trip I wanted to make. Also sounds like the sort of rumor hot springs types make up to keep the crowds away…
BTW, I thought they were called Iva Bell? Might have more luck searching for that.Sep 18, 2020 at 11:18 pm #3676765AaronBPL Member
I’d have been able to answer this if my trip didn’t get cancelled due to fires :(Sep 18, 2020 at 11:42 pm #3676766Benjamin MBPL Member
Funny that I am now answering my own question, but I’m happy to report that they are still incredible. One of my favorite backcountry destinations ever…
A few tips:
1. The higher up you go, the hotter the water. Try to find the aptly named “apartment in the sky.” It’s worth the trek uphill through the sulfur marsh. (uphill on the left hand side if you’re facing the slope)
2. DO NOT TRY TO PURIFY AND DRINK THE SULPHUR WATER, EVEN IF IT IS 4am AND YOU JUST HIKED 17 MILES IN ONE DAY AND YOU DON’T WANT TO GO SEARCHING FOR FRESH WATER WITH A HEADLAMP ON. DON’T DO IT.
3. Some of the pools have brushes and strainers provided by volunteers who informally take care of the place. It makes a world of difference to dedicate 10 minutes to scrubbing and straining the algae that may or may not have accumulated so that you can enjoy clean granite pools filled with warm, soothing spring water. And when you leave your camping spot / private spring pool, make sure to give it one last scrub down so that the next person can enjoy it too!! (I spent 30 minutes cleaning the “apartment in the sky” before I left because I wanted to leave it spotless for the next visitor. The thin layer of algae and the little mud that existed here and there didn’t bother me, but I knew that a shiny, clean tub could bring someone to tears…)
4. If heading from Duck Lake, reach IB in 2 days. From Red’s Meadow it’s totally doable in 1.
DISCLAIMER: If you are a real snob about how hot your hot tubs are, you may be slightly underwhelmed depending on the day / season / natural fluctuation in the water temperature. I did not feel this way at all, but I personally know a few folks who would have mentioned their desire for hotter water… If this is you, you’ll have to take it up with the divine creator. My recommendation? Sit down in the 85-95 degree crystal clear water (that miraculously lacks any sulfur-ish smell), smell the fresh sierra air, listen to the silence, the wind rustling the trees, enjoy what has got to be one of the finest gems the Sierras have to offer, and try to get over your need to compare. This isn’t the Ritz, this is 30 miles from the nearest building, minimum 5 hours by foot, in the middle of the John-Muir Wilderness.
<3 All the best, Ratprick JonesSep 19, 2020 at 8:54 am #3676785wansun sBPL Member
Thank you for the update. I got to go
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