The state’s central mountain ranges are home to some of the best hot springs in Idaho. Also, wild rivers flow through this mountainous terrain, and the sides of these rivers are lined with geothermal pockets. It is interesting, to know that in a place where there are so many outdoor activities, these natural hot springs make it a fantastic adventure destination for any trip. Read on to find out all about the best hot springs in Idaho.
When you are considering what a hot spring looks like, it is very important to know that the best hot springs in Idaho are in a calm and fragile environment. Also, in order to enjoy this environment, you just have to keep it clean and adhere to the instructions. In addition, most of the best hot springs in Idaho can be very difficult to get to, as some are not within the state while others require hiking to get there. Read on to find out all about the best hot springs in Idaho.
#1. Kirkham Hot Springs
One of the most popular spa destinations in the state is Kirkham Hot Springs. The abundance of pools at Kirkham and its accessibility draw a sizable population throughout the summer. Also, the hot springs are beautiful, with waterfalls and crystal clear hot pools that are well-liked in the winter as well. In addition, the same-named campground is located next to the hot springs. Kirkham Campground is one of the best spots to camp close to Boise and is only a two-hour drive from the capital. For the campground, you can make reservations up to six months in advance. But, outside of this approved campground, the Forest Service forbids camping close to the hot springs. Notably, summer reservations frequently sell out quickly. Positively, the hot springs include a day-use parking space at the campground.
#2. Goldbug Hot Springs
One of the state’s most scenic soaks is at Goldbug Hot Springs, located in central Idaho between Salmon and Challis. Yet, the two-mile climb to Goldbug is challenging, so visitors must earn their soak. At Goldbug, the pools descend a notch in the slope. Also, to reach this V-shaped gash in the mountain, the trail ascends more than 1,300 feet, with the worst section ending in stairs that lead up to the springs. Although, those who make the ascent will find some painful muscle relaxation in the warm waters at the trail’s summit. The users have to follow the trail while they hike to Goldbug. Also, you can camp close to the hot springs, but not within 500 feet of any body of water. One of the greatest seasons to travel to Goldbug is autumn. Although it can be oppressively hot, summer is nevertheless a popular season for pools
#3. Sun Beam Hot Springs
Sunbeam is one of many hot springs nearby, located 13 miles east of Stanley on Highway 75. The hot springs are conveniently located by the side of the road. There is a lot of scenery to explore, all thanks to the skillfully crafted rock pools and the plentiful hot water. On the Salmon River are the hot springs. Together with other local experiences, Sunbeam is sometimes a well-liked supplementary excursion. One of Idaho’s best national forests, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, is accessible from Stanley.
In north-central Idaho, Stanley Hot Springs are around 5.5 miles of hill hiking. Around the hot springs, the walk also crosses Boulder Creek, which can be dangerous and difficult during spring runoff. Stanley Hot Springs offers a remote hideaway on Huckleberry Creek to those who make the journey. Above the cold-water creek, the springs break from a canyon wall. Also, the water sources are collected in a number of rock pools for a relaxing dip. Even though two of the pools can accommodate a large group, these hot springs have less frequent visits because of the nearly six-mile journey. In addition, just after the two-mile mark, the Stanley Hot Springs trail enters the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. In conclusion, around the hot springs region are several tent camping areas.
#5. Rocky Canyon Springs
This lovely site for soaking is on the Middle Fork Payette River in southwest Idaho, close to the picturesque towns of Crouch and Garden Valley. To get there, travelers must take the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway, commonly known as Banks-Lowman Road. Also, to get to the roadside pullout to the hot springs, take Middlefork Road north for just a short distance from the picturesque byway. Rocky Canyon Hot Springs is around a 90-mile journey from Boise for travelers. Visitors will have to cross the river to get to the hot springs on the other side of the bank from the unmarked parking place. In fact, the river is icy all year round, and in the spring, when snowmelt is at its highest, this crossing becomes dangerous. Visitors in the winter should use caution at this river crossing.
#6. Council Mountain Hot Springs
Council Mountain Hot Springs are a series of pools along Warm Springs Creek in southwest Idaho, close to McCall. Also, Laurel Hot Springs is another name for the hot spring. To get to the soaking spots, you must hike down two miles. The hike leads tourists through the Payette National Forest’s vegetation and elevation fluctuations. Due to the creek’s rise, the pools at Council Mountain Hot Springs change in size and temperature throughout the year. One of the finest times to go is in the late spring when the hydrothermal water has cooled down enough from the plentiful runoff to be enjoyable. The uphill journey is also better in the spring because summer temperatures might make the walk a bit hot.
#7. Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs
One of the Best Hot Springs in Idaho is Frenchman’s Bend. Following a day of skiing at the nearby Sun Valley Ski Resort, people always visit Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs to relax. These undeveloped hot springs, also known as Warfield Hot Springs, are located on Warm Creek, just over 10 miles from Ketchum’s main road. In other words, to get to the springs, you will travel on a gravel road that is made of compacted snow throughout the winter. That is the short distance between the tiny parking lot and the hot springs. Certainly, you will locate three pools at Frenchman’s Bend, two of which require a creek crossing to access. On the other hand, the pool’s temperature can be changed by adding or removing more or less hot water from the creek. When the ski conditions are favorable, visitors can plan to share the hot spring with others.
One of the best hot springs in Idaho is Loftus Hot Springs. Also, from Atlanta, Idaho, take the Middle Fork Boise River Road for 30 miles to reach this natural hot spring. The driving time from Boise to Loftus Hot Springs is 2.5 hours. Hence, the hot springs are immediately accessible from the road as you get to Loftus; no hiking is necessary. One medium-sized pool remains at Loftus after a decline in pool numbers throughout the years. Note that, the hot riverside water flows back down the mountainside and into the pool. On one side of the pool, a steaming waterfall is produced by the hot water that is streaming. On summer weekends, you can prepare to wait to enter the pool. Winter is the best time to visit this geothermal site for improved chances at a private bath.
#9. Commercial Hot Springs in Idaho
Idaho also includes a number of commercial hot springs with established amenities, or less rural locations to soak. Large swimming pools with hot water are available at these hot springs. Further comforts, including hotels, food, and poolside concessions, are also available. The same central mountainous area of Idaho is home to these commercial hot springs. Also, there are many public bathing establishments in the McCall region. Burgdorf Hot Springs, which is one of these commercial hot springs close to McCall, has a long history of welcoming tourists. Burgdorf, which has been family-run for more than a century, has a common pool surrounded by basic shelters and the building’s lodge. Burgdorf’s offers a wonderful experience by fusing a rustic and modern aesthetic.
#10. Trail Hot Springs, Boise
Trail Creek is a natural hot spring with a more regional vibe that is located in southwest Idaho, east of Lake Cascade. Also, after crossing the Payette River bridge, the city of Cascade is where the rough route leading to the falls begins. The distance along this rough road to the hot springs flowing at the side of the road is roughly 19.3 kilometers. In other words, to get to the hot springs, you must descend in a short but difficult scramble. Medium-sized groups are accommodated by two pools. Further, controlling the amount of cold water entering the heated pools is made possible by a system of PVC piping. Although the journey down to the hot springs can be slippery and snowy, winter is a fantastic time to visit.
#11. Jerry Johnson and Weir
The suspension bridge across the Lochsa River is where the journey to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs begins. From here, the trail only slightly ascends, and after a mile of hiking, three generous pools welcome hikers. Also, the pools range in temperature and can comfortably accommodate five to eight people. In the spring and summer, Jerry Johnson can get quite crowded. It is also, not permitted to camp near the hot springs or on the route. On Highway 12, the hike to Weir Creek Hot Springs is even shorter. Nonetheless, the trail is occasionally steep, making it necessary to wear robust boots. The pool at Weir Creek is deep and can accommodate a sizable number of people while being set inside a gorgeous mountain canyon. Just that, this requires one to two people in a smaller pool.
#12. Bonneville & Pine Flats
Bonneville Hot Springs is located east of Kirkham on the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway and offers an elaborate set of rock pools with different soaking temperatures. On the other hand, Pine Flats Hot Springs is a half mile down the South Fork Payette River and offers an overnight soaking experience. Also, the pools that are closer to the spring are very hot, and as such, you need to be careful while going in.
#13. Cove Creek Hot Springs
The Cove Creek hot springs are another of the best hot springs in Idaho and are best known for their single pool. Also, this hot spring is located at the edge of the Salmon River. In addition, it has a lot of parking space, toilets, and bathrooms. Additionally, if you move around too much in the single pool, its silty bottom will cause the water to appear murky. In addition, it is only a 10-minute trip from Stanley, Idaho, to the hot springs from the highway.
#14. Boat Box Hot Springs
You can find the boat box hot springs in a small tub, in Stanley, Idaho. These boat boxes are also known as Elkhorn Hot Springs and have a huge metal tub that can accommodate one to two people. In these boat box hot springs, you will find the water coming directly from a pipe that feeds searingly hot water directly into a basin. Similarly, Boat Box Hot Springs is another prominent hydrothermal pool in the area. To put it differently, the Stanley Hot Springs in Idaho is usually cold during the winter.
Which Tiny Idaho Town Is Known for Its Many Hot Springs?
One of the tiny towns known for hot springs is Buhl, Idaho. Also, these springs are less than two hours from Boise, yet feel like another world entirely due to the desert landscape and calm pace. Also, it is the ideal location for a soothing bath.
What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Idaho Hot Springs?
Although some hot springs are open all year, the majority are at their peak in the summer, fall, and winter. Winter is wonderful, but some springs might not be warm enough to allow a soak.
Does Idaho Have the Hottest Springs?
Yes, Idaho has over 130 hot springs and they are also known as the best hot springs in Idaho.
What Is the Most Remote Idaho Hot Spring?
Actually, Stanley Hot Springs is the most remote hot spring in Idaho.