Ready to Relax? Start with One of These Amazing Idaho Hot Springs

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Kayakers at Blue Heart Springs near Hagerman, one of the Idaho Hot Springs.
Kayakers at Blue Heart Springs near Hagerman in Idaho. Photo credit: Visit Idaho

Idaho is home to endless natural wonders, including stunning mountain ranges, picturesque forests and breathtaking waterfalls. But some of the most overlooked treasures of the Gem State are its amazing, mineral-rich hot springs.

Whether you’re looking for a rustic, secluded spring or an all-inclusive water spring resort, Idaho is home to a host of different hot spring experiences. Enjoy the many family-friendly amenities at Lava Hot Springs or soak in a two-person metal tub overlooking a river while visiting Boat Box Hot Springs. If you’re looking for something even more rustic, check out Burgdorf Hot Springs, nestled in the Payette National Forest. Plan your next road trip now with this list of the best Idaho hot springs.

1. The Springs

Just 45 minutes from Boise, The Springs is a luxurious hot spring resort nestled in the mountains outside of Idaho City. The resort features an outdoor swimming pool, a hot pool and four private hot tubs. Couples also have the option of reserving a private hot tub.

If you’re planning a romantic getaway, visit the hot springs on Saturday nights, or all day on Monday, Thursday and Friday, when the pools are adults-only. Children are welcome all day on Sunday. Those looking to spend the night can book a night at The Spring’s seven-room hotel. Hotel amenities include a large TV, an in-room coffee maker and a refrigerator. Hotel guests receive a discounted spa pass.

Read More: 14 Amazing Things to Do in Idaho

2. Kirkham Hot Springs

Kirkham Hot Springs is a public natural spring tucked into the Boise National Forest. The pools are located along the South Fork of the Payette River, not far from Lowman, and are popular among locals and tourists alike. The springs include a steaming waterfall as well as several soaking pools.

These geothermal springs vary in temperature and are popular year-round. From the pools, enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding scenery, including mountains, forests and rivers. Those looking to stay the night can camp at the Kirkham Campground.

3. Boat Box Hot Springs

Formerly called Elkhart Hot Springs, Boat Box Hot Springs consists of a small metal tub that can fit up to two people. This tiny hot spring is particularly popular among locals, who enjoy resting in the tub after a day of rafting. The spring is only about three to four miles from small town Stanley, located along the Salmon River.

Visitors can adjust the temperature of the hot spring by adding cold water from the river. During peak season, a queue frequently forms outside the tub. If you’d rather not wait in line, visit the hot spring early in the morning or on weekdays. If there are other people in the tub, you may have to wait in your car.

4. Burgdorf Hot Springs

If you’re looking for a rustic and secluded hot springs experience, then Burgdorf Hot Springs should be at the top of your list. Nestled in the Payette National Forest, Burgdorf features two smaller pools at about 118°F, and a larger pool that ranges between 100-115°F.

In the summer, the hot springs can be visited via car, but in the winter, the roads are snowed over and the pools are only accessible via snowmobile. Guests can opt to stay at the Burgdorf’s cabins, but they must be prepared to “camp” in the cabins, as there is no running water or electricity.

5. Mountain Village Resort Hot Springs

Mountain Village Resort is another Stanley hot springs experience. The cozy lodge is located in the town, and features its own natural hot spring, just a couple of minutes away. The hot spring is built inside a small log cabin and can hold up to eight people. The temperature ranges from 98°F to 104°F.

Situated on the banks of Valley Creek, the hot spring boasts beautiful views of the Sawtooth Mountain. If you’re planning to stay longer, book a night at the resort. Accommodations include standard rooms, an RV park, traditional campsites and a water-front cabin. Resort guests get to visit the hot springs for free.

6. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs can be reached by walking a short one-mile trail. Located within the Clearwater National Forest, this hot spring is frequently visited by people from Missoula, Montana, but also attracts travelers from all over the world.

There are several different hot water pools, some featuring waterfalls, and others with sandy or silt bottoms. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are very popular, particularly around midday and early afternoon, so if you want to avoid crowds, arrive early. The pools are for day-use only and close at 8pm.

7. Sunbeam Hot Springs

Sunbeam Hot Springs is located on the banks of the Salmon River, just below Highway 75. Visitors will be able to recognize the springs by the steam rising up from the river. These hot springs feature rock walled pools with sandy floors, and are a great place to relax after a day of hiking. The springs also boast beautiful mountain views that enhance the soaking experience.

Soakers can utilize the spring’s private changing rooms and restrooms. There is no on-site campground, but there are lots of opportunities for camping in the area.

8. Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs is a hot spring resort home to natural springs in addition to indoor pools, an Olympic pool, diving platforms, a kiddie cove and water slides. There is a climbing wall and kids can take swimming lessons. Pool temperatures range from 102˚ to 112˚F.

The facility is located in the city of Lava Hot Springs, located in eastern Bannock County. The city is built around the area’s natural springs, which boast rich mineral water.

9. Trail Creek Hot Springs

Located just east of town Cascade, Trail Creek Hot Springs is tucked into the Idaho mountains. To reach these springs, visitors must hike a short but somewhat steep path called Trail Creek. Soaking in the springs is the perfect way to relax after making the short trek.

These springs are particularly popular among residents in nearby towns, including Cascade, McCall and Garden Valley. The hot springs transform into a beautiful winter wonder land during the colder months. Just be cautious hiking the pools in the winter, as the path can be slippery.

10. Bonneville Hot Springs

Along Warm Springs Creek, Bonneville Hot Springs is home to a variety of relaxing pools. There is a rustic iron bathtub located within a wooden shack, a waterfall spring, and more standard hot springs with stone walls and sand and silt bottoms. The water from these springs is 100% natural and cascades down from the hillside to the creek.

The hot springs are found at the end of a .25-mile hike through the Boise National Forest. These warm springs are popular in both the summer and the winter, when the steamy pools perfectly contrast the chilly air.

11. Gold Fork Hot Springs

Located in Donnelly, Gold Fork Hot Springs is a picturesque oasis tucked in the Payette National Forest. The hot springs are surrounded by lush greenery, towering trees, and a serene river. There are six hot pools in total, ranging in temperature from 85-110°F.

Amenities include heated changing rooms, geothermal heated sidewalks and lockers. The pools are rich in minerals, and some have massage jets. There are lots of reclining chairs in which guests can relax. Traveling with kids? There’s also a sandy pool that kids can splash around in.

12. Pine Flats Hot Springs

Pine Flats Hot Springs is a hidden gem located in the mountains of central Idaho. The hot springs are located on the banks of the Payette River in a remote area, and are accessible by a short hike. There are a variety of pools including a waterfall pool, and smaller pools where river water brings down the temperature.

The surrounding area is also popular for hiking and camping, and many visitors choose to make a weekend trip out of their visit to Pine Flats Hot Springs. The easiest way to stay the night is by sleeping at Pine Flats Campground.

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