If you’re looking for the best Idaho hot springs you’ve come to the right place. Idaho is abundant with incredible natural hot springs for you to explore, and we’re going to guide you through the best of the best. After reading this post, you’ll be able to plan an unforgettable hot-spring hopping holiday.
Why So Many Idaho Hot Springs?
Table of Contents
- Why So Many Idaho Hot Springs?
- 3 Hot Springs Near Boise, Idaho
- 1. Rocky Canyon Hot Springs
- 2. The Springs Hot Springs Resort
- 3. Pine Flats Hot Springs
- More of the Best Idaho Hot Springs
- 4. Mountain Village Resort Hot Spring
- 5. Gold Fork Hot Springs
- 6. Lava Hot Springs Resort
- 7. Miracle Hot Springs
- 8. Burgdorf Hot Springs
- 9. Kirkham Hot Springs
- 10. Krigbaum Hot Springs
- 11. Bear Lake Hot Springs
- 12. Boat Box Hot Springs
- 13. Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs
- 14. Trail Creek Hot Springs
- 15. Weir Creek Hot Springs
- 16. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
- 17. Goldbug Hot Springs
- 18. Sunbeam Hot Springs
- 19. Stanley Hot Springs
- 20. Bonneville Hot Springs
- 21. Council Mountain Hot Springs
- 22. Loftus Natural Hot Spring
- 23. Zims Hot Springs
- 24. Prospector Hot Springs – Sun Valley
- 25. Marten Creek Hot Springs – Clearwater National Forest
- 26. Red River Hot Springs Lodge
- 27. Bernard Hot Springs
- 28. Secesh Hot Springs
- 29. Stuart Hot Springs
- Final Thoughts on Idaho’s Hot Springs
Believe it or not, there are over 100 soakable, natural hot springs in Idaho. That’s more than any other U.S. state. Most states have a handful at most, and there are only about ten hot springs in Washington State.
If you’re wondering why there are so many in one place, it all comes down to the Idaho Batholith, an expanse of over 15000 square miles of mountain and rock.
The Idaho Batholith came about as a result of millions of years of tectonic plates colliding. Interestingly, the energy from this plate friction is what heats the water in Idaho’s hot springs.
3 Hot Springs Near Boise, Idaho
If you’re new to the state of Idaho, odds are you might be staying in Boise, the state’s capital. If so, we’ve got a section for you on hot springs within driving distance of the capital. You can get to these hot springs from Boise in 90 minutes or less.
1. Rocky Canyon Hot Springs
About 90 minutes outside of Boise City, you’ll find the Rocky Canyon Hot Springs nestled within the Boise National Forest. The best way there is to find the parking lot on Forest Service (FS) Road 698. There’s a trail across the street that will take you across the Middle Fork Payette River.
The river rocks are slippery and sharp, so make sure you don’t brave the water barefoot. Once you’ve reached the other side, it’s a short walk to the magical natural hot springs. There are multiple pools at different heights, so you can take your pick.
2. The Springs Hot Springs Resort
When it comes to Boise hot springs, you can’t beat The Springs Hot Springs Resort in the Boise National Forest. The resort is a mere 90-minute drive from downtown Boise.
If it’s natural hot springs you’re after, you won’t find them here. But The Springs offers a man-made alternative that will make your heart sing. You can order cocktails poolside, book a private pool, and cool off in the outdoor shower afterwards.
Make a reservation on The Springs’ website for a 2.5-hour soak. You can expect to pay $20-$60 per person, depending on your choice of hot tub.
3. Pine Flats Hot Springs
The Pine Flats Hot Springs are a 90-minute drive from downtown Boise and a well-liked tourist attraction. If you take the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway, you can find the incredible hot springs on the edge of the South Fork Payette River. Take the Pine Flats Hot Spring Trail along the river to find these magical springs.
Pine Flats boasts a breathtaking geothermal waterfall that cascades into a rock pool below. This is the hottest spring, and there are two cooler ones besides the river as you go along the trail.
More of the Best Idaho Hot Springs
If you’re in the market for fabulous hot springs that are not necessarily close to Boise, you can check out the cool spots below. These springs are all about a 2-hour drive from downtown Boise or more. Don’t worry, there are plenty of amazing places to stay in other parts of Idaho that you’re sure to fall in love with.
Pssst…Looking for more hot springs in the U.S? Check out these hot springs in Pagosa Springs.
4. Mountain Village Resort Hot Spring
The Mountain Village Resort in Stanley, Idaho, has a unique hot spring hidden away in an old log cabin. As creepy as that sounds, this spot offers a unique experience that will put you in touch with nature. The cabin doors in front of the hot spring open up to a spectacular view of the Sawtooth Mountains.
Guests of the resort can use the spring any time, or you can pay to use it by the hour at the front desk.
5. Gold Fork Hot Springs
For the small price of $10, you can get access to this beautiful collection of natural hot springs surrounded by trees. There are multiple pools for you to choose from, each at varying temperatures. This means kids and adults alike can enjoy the Gold Fork Hot Springs.
Another great thing about this spot is the changing rooms and snacks on sale. You can even rent lounge chairs, towels, and other necessities. Pack your own picnic for a delightful (and warm) day with the kids.
6. Lava Hot Springs Resort
Lava Hot Springs will be like heaven on earth to you if you’re a hot spring fanatic. This resort is an institution in Idaho, having been around for over 100 years old. The resort is home to five outdoor hot spring pools that are open every day of the year.
To visit the resort, you can buy a pass online or at the gate on arrival. Passes can cost anywhere between $8 and $80 depending on the day and time of year.
7. Miracle Hot Springs
Boasting over 20 private hot spring pools and four outdoor hot pools, you’ll adore the Miracle Hot Springs resort. The resort is situated along Salmon Falls Creek and offers both high-end campgrounds and stunning accommodations.
You can use any one of the four heated outdoor pools or spoil yourself with a private hot spring bath at a toasty 103°F. There are also six private VIP tub rooms without rooves, allowing guests to stargaze and soak all in one magical experience. Admission can cost anywhere between $6-$12 per person.
8. Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf Hot Springs is a rustic resort tucked away in the Idaho mountains. The resort offers a blissful winter retreat if you’re looking for somewhere remote to relax in the winter. You can only access it via snowmobile during the cold months.
There are three hot springs pools that guests of the resort can enjoy, which are kept at a steamy 113°F. There is also one larger, slightly cooler, pool and one walled-off pool for children to play in. Founded in the ‘70s, this is a historic Idaho spot you don’t want to miss during wintertime.
9. Kirkham Hot Springs
Another fabulous spring in the Boise National Forest, Kirkham Hot Springs is situated on the South Fork of the Payette River, just next to a forest campground. Take a staircase from the river down to the fantasy-like soaking pools fed by small, steaming waterfalls. This amazing location offers a “shower” just like the one at home, except all natural!
You can visit the springs every day from 10 am to 6 pm (if the forest is open) for the small fee of $5 per person. Those who choose to camp will also need to pay the campsite fees.
10. Krigbaum Hot Springs
Interestingly, Krigbaum Hot Springs is situated in a geothermal mine in Adams County, Idaho. This spot has an elevation of over 4000 feet, so the views from the rocks are truly spectacular. Thanks to the geothermal spring, you can indulge in a toasty bath surrounded by gorgeous rock formations and even better views.
The average temperature at Krigbaum Hot Springs is about 100°F-102°F. It’s located on private property, but that hasn’t stopped tourists and locals alike from ignoring the signage and sneaking in for a hot bath. If you’re feeling naughty, give it a bash (but you didn’t hear it from me).
11. Bear Lake Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a hot spring resort you can visit in summer, try the Bear Lake Hot Springs. The resort is home to numerous campgrounds for you and your friends, as well as two hot mineral pools with fantastic views of Bear Lake.
When you’re not soaking or swimming, you can rent a canoe or a kayak from the resort to explore the nearby waters in a fun, new way. Interestingly, Bear Lake Hot Springs is a historic spot. The first resort building was erected next to the hot springs way back in 1911.
12. Boat Box Hot Springs
Wait until you see this quirky wooden tub next to the Salmon River in Stanley, Idaho. Unlike the natural hot springs and tubs on this list, Boat Box is a 3- or 4-person riverside tub that stands above ground. If you’re keen to take some memorable photos for your travel journal, this is the spot for you.
Luckily, there is very limited parking near the river, so you won’t have to fight for a space in the hot spring tub. If you do get to climb in, you can simply open up the water pipe to let the hot water in and enjoy.
13. Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs
These free and public-access hot springs are located on Warm Springs Creek, inside the Sawtooth National Forest. This is a great option for those looking for hot springs near Ketchum, Idaho. The forest is less than an hour away from Ketchum downtown by car.
You can find the hot spring pools all along the creek, depending on the flow of the river that day. There are a number of walled rock pools where the 100% natural water fills and bubbles up to a boil.
14. Trail Creek Hot Springs
Also known as Samuel’s Hot Springs, Trail Creek Hot Springs is situated in the town of Cascade in a mountain area of Idaho. You can find the sprig inside the Payette National Forest, walled off by tall rocks boulders right next to the creek. The average temperature of these hot springs is 125F.
Try to get there as early as possible, as this hot spring is super popular amongst tourists and locals. There is a lot of foot traffic along the creek.
15. Weir Creek Hot Springs
Nestled in the Clearwater National Forest, Weir Creek Hot Springs boasts rugged walled rock pools just waiting to be explored. All it takes to get there is a quick and easy hike through the forest (less than a mile), and you’ll find yourself in hot spring heaven.
Weir Creek Hot Springs is completely free and clothing optional. If you live on the wild side, this spot is for you. You can use the parking area near Elk City, which is right near the start of the Weir Creek Trail.
16. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is another gem inside the Clearwater National Forest. You can use the parking area off Highway 12, which will lead you towards the 2.6-mile trail through the forest. The trail will take you over the Warm Springs Pack Bridge and over the river before you reach the springs.
Once you arrive, you’ll find numerous waterfall-fed rock pools, depending on the flow of the river. These hot springs are immensely popular, so try to get there as early as possible.
17. Goldbug Hot Springs
Just south of the Salmon River, you’ll find an unassuming dirt road off Highway 93 that will lead you to a hiking trail. It’s a 2-mile hike and rather difficult, but the pay-off is well worth the effort. You’ll climb a total of 1350 feet before even reaching the steep staircase to Goldbug Hot Springs.
Once you’ve made it to the top, you’ll be glad you endured the arduous hike. Goldbug boasts hot pools that are not only relaxing but offer breathtaking mountain views to boot.
18. Sunbeam Hot Springs
You’ll find the impeccable Sun Beam Hot Springs on the Salmon River, running through the Salmon-Challis National Forest. You can find this collection of man-made pools off Highway 75 past the town of Stanley. Pull over on the extended shoulder next to the roadside bathhouse and take the path through the trees.
The springs are open year-round, and amazingly, they’re not particularly crowded. Unlike the other springs on this list, you’ve got a high chance of having the place all to yourself.
19. Stanley Hot Springs
Stanley Hot Springs consists of numerous rugged rock pools lining the gorgeous Huckleberry Creek in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. These springs are also clothing optional, so if you’re keen on going au naturel, here’s your chance.
You’ll need to hike five miles through the wilderness to get there. But don’t worry, the unrefined landscape is simply stunning, and you can spot some cool wildlife on your journey, too. Another bonus is that access to Stanley Hot Springs is 100% free.
20. Bonneville Hot Springs
Here’s another hot spring option in the spectacular Boise National Forest and just a few minutes up the road from Kirkham Hot Springs. You can park your car at the Bonneville Campground just off of Highway 21 for a fee of $5. However, if the campground is closed, you can take the Warm Springs Trailhead to get to the hot springs.
The Bonneville Hot Springs are completely natural, boasting epic steam rising from the water’s surface, especially in winter.
21. Council Mountain Hot Springs
Enjoy a scenic 2-mile hike in the Payette National Forest to reach the Council Mountain Hot Springs. The water here is extremely hot, which is a bonus for the hot spring fanatics amongst us who love a good, boiling steam bath.
Tucked away near the town of McCall, this is an excellent option if you’re looking for hot springs in the south of Idaho. These springs are open year-round, and there are campgrounds in the forest if you’d like to pitch a tent for the night.
22. Loftus Natural Hot Spring
The Loftus Natural Hot Springs is truly a wonder to behold. Unfortunately, though, years of use by the public has led to the spring falling into slight disrepair.
While you can still soak in the rock pool and enjoy your surroundings, you’ll have to watch out for broken glass. The best thing is to wear water shoes just in case and keep your eye out for glass shards. There’s also poison ivy surrounding the pool, so beware.
These unfortunate facts aside, Loftus Natural Hot Spring is still a natural beauty, and the steaming waterfall will take your breath away, even from afar.
23. Zims Hot Springs
Zims Hot Springs gets its steamy mineral water from an artesian well, and those waters get cooled down by the run-off from Salmon Creek. This hot spring is nestled right in the stunning Meadow Valley, so you can expect a scenic drive on your way to this lush location.
Along with the outdoor hot pools, there are also numerous smaller mineral pools for you to choose from with an average temperature of 100-105° F. ZIms Hot Springs is open year-round, but you’ll need to buy a season pass on their website in order to access the pools.
24. Prospector Hot Springs – Sun Valley
Prospector Hot Springs is one of the lesser-known springs on this list but lovely nonetheless. Situated in Sun Valley, Idaho, Prospector offers three hot tubs and an outdoor swimming pool to cool off in.
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One of the fantastic things about this location is that it’s mere minutes from the Warm Springs ski lifts. You can plan an unforgettable holiday filled with skiing, snowboarding, and hot springs soaking. There are also a number of charming accommodation units where you can call it a night after a long day of fun and relaxation.
25. Marten Creek Hot Springs – Clearwater National Forest
Marten Creek Hot Springs offers multiple hot pools in the Clearwater National Forest. This spot has an elevation of over 4000 feet, so you can expect sensational views of the tall trees and skyline peeking through the gaps.
This is a great place to visit if you want to go hot-spring-hopping as Weir Creek Hot Springs, Stuart Hot Springs, and Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are all nearby. Why not turn your forest adventure into a glorious mission to locate some of Idaho’s coolest hot springs?
26. Red River Hot Springs Lodge
You can find the Red River Hot Springs Lodge in Elk City, Idaho. The lodge offers various accommodation options, including cabin rooms, glamping tents, and more.
There are a few hot tub pools to try out, as well as a community pool where you can cool down after a hot soak. While these hot springs aren’t natural, there’s plenty to be enjoyed in a hot tub, don’t you think?
27. Bernard Hot Springs
If you’re looking for yet another hot spring in Boise National Forest, check out Bernard Hot Springs near Cascade, Idaho. Another name for this spring is the Smalley Spring.
This spring is slightly more primitive than the other formal, well-constructed pools on this list. However, that means there will be way fewer people around and more room for you and your friends to enjoy a hot spring bath.
28. Secesh Hot Springs
You can find the Secesh Hot Springs above the Secesh River in Payette National Forest, at an elevation of over 6000 feet. You’ll need to hike about a quarter-mile up a steep trail to get there and cross the Secesh River, too. But don’t worry, your efforts will be more than rewarded once you see the hot spring.
The three-foot-deep, upper-level pool offers a beautiful view of the Payette Forest, not to mention a gorgeous perspective of the Secesh River. If you want to extend your trip, you can even camp in the forest to enjoy the local hot springs as many times as possible.
29. Stuart Hot Springs
Finally, feast your eyes on Stuart Hot Springs on Three Links Creek in the Nez Perce National Forest. Very few people on earth have actually taken a soak here, as it requires a multiple-day hike from the entrance of the forest. If you’re willing to hike overnight, cross many rivers, streams and valleys, then Stuart Hot Springs may be just the challenge you’ve been looking for.
The long and arduous hike will be well worth it. What could be more rewarding than discovering a remote hot spring deep in the forest?
Final Thoughts on Idaho’s Hot Springs
Whichever hot spring in Idaho you decide to visit (perhaps all of them?), you’re bound to fall in love with the beautiful landscapes and relaxing vibes on offer. Hopefully, you get to see as many of these hot springs as possible. Enjoy your soak and have an excellent holiday!
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