Hot Springs in Idaho
It’s no surprise that Idaho has some of the best hot springs within the United States (and locals would argue the world). With the central mountain ranges spread across the state, these geothermal areas bubble up from the earth and create natural wonders that thousands of people visit each year. Some come for the healing benefits of the mineral waters while others enjoy the tranquility of being one with mother nature. Whatever reason you need, make sure you visit several of Idaho’s amazing hot springs on your next adventure.
We’ve been told there are over 300 different geothermal springs pools throughout the state, while only 100 or so are cool enough to enjoy a relaxing soak in. Hopefully over time we can try everyone and let you know the best of the best, but for now we will continue adding each spring as we discover them. Most will be situated alongside the mountains because that is where the activity from underneath the earth’s crust is most active. This means quite a bit of hiking is involved to reach Idaho’s best hot springs, but with the wilderness backdrop each one is well worth it.
Before we begin we do want to mention to please respect Idaho’s natural lands and leave each spring the way you arrived. From staying on the hiking path, to cleaning up any food or beverages, it’s you that can help maintain this wonderful state’s natural habitats and leaving future generations the ability to enjoy these natural hot springs as well. Happy Soaking!
Map of Hot Springs in Idaho
Types of Hot Springs in Idaho
Idaho Primitive Hot Springs
Some of the best springs you’ll find in the world are usually located off the grid and within mother nature. The term primitive basically implies that these areas haven’t been touched or modernized by humans and are left alone to protect the environment and habitats that surround them. These hot springs often involve hiking to reach them, rock formations to maintain the hot temperatures from the waters around them, and no amenities such as lodging or restrooms. It’s just you and mother nature!
Idaho has an abundance of primitive hot springs due to their mountain ranges that host these geothermal pockets. They can become very popular during the summer and fall months as it’s a great weekend getaway for those who want to camp out in the wilderness and enjoy a few attractions along the way. There isn’t much better things in life than soaking in Idaho’s natural mineral waters after a long day of adventure.
Some main characteristics of primitive hot springs include:
- Hiking to your location – Make sure you do a little research on the hot springs in Idaho you want to visit. Most trails are fairly easy, but there are some that take a little more skill to navigate. Be prepared for a few minute to few hour trek to reach some of these hidden gems throughout the state.
- Rock pools – When soaking in a primitive springs you’ll often be situated alongside a body of water such as a river or creek. To enjoy just the hot waters, people from the past have stacked rocks to block off the cooler water. However, depending how the rocks formation is laid out you can adjust the amount of water that flows in to control the temperature. Some of these geothermal springs can be extremely hot and it’s the river water that helps control them for your enjoyment.
- No amenities – Out in the wilderness you won’t find restrooms, showers, or restaurants at Idaho’s primitive hot springs so make sure you plan accordingly. Bring plenty of water and food as some areas can take hours to get to and from.
- Get ready to camp – Although some of the hot springs are an easy day trip, other’s due require camping under the stars. Some of the best hot springs in the state are the one’s way of grid and require a couple days of adventure to enjoy.
Idaho Resort Hot Springs
On the other side of the spectrum are hot springs resorts. The facilities still have the same amazing natural mineral waters, but offer a more luxurious experience for those who aren’t into the great outdoors. Some of these amenities may include:
- Several hot springs pools with varied temperatures – Many resorts offer more than one pool to try and accommodate people who like different types of heat.
- Pampering – Although you might consider the hot springs as it’s own pampering for your body, some of Idaho’s hot springs resorts will take it up a notch and also offer spa treatments, saunas, therapy, and more.
- Overnight accommodations – At many facilities you can still choose to camp underneath the stars, but why when you can choose from hotel rooms with their own private springs tub, rustic cabins, or even RV campgrounds so you can hit the open road immediately the next day.
The Best Hot Springs in Idaho
Although you can click on any hot spring above to get more details, we still wanted to list out a few of our favorite places to visit in Idaho. We may be a little bias as we enjoy the more primitive areas, but all of these are amazing hot springs that will leave you wanted to come back again and again.
If you ask most locals which is the best hot spring in the state, they will most likely say Kirkham. Nestled on the Payette River, this hot springs offers a scenic view including a waterfall and cascading waters for you to enjoy. Each pool has slightly different temperatures and even when it may look crowded, it’s not hard to find your own private pool to enjoy. Soaking in the natural mineral waters with a breathtaking view of crystal clear waters and even a waterfall is what makes Kirkham stand out above the rest.
2. Burgdorf Hot Springs
Another amazing primitive and rustic style spring is Burgdorf. Why we enjoy this one so much is how far off the grid it is. In fact for almost half the year you can only access it by snowmobile (local town offer rentals).
Other than soaking in the amazing rocked off pools, they do offer cabins for rent unless you prefer sleeping under the starts. The cabins themselves don’t offer much as they are so far off the grid, but it is a place to set up your sleeping bag and know you have a nice shelter over your head.
3. Boat Box Hot Springs
This is one that is more unknown to most as there are several other hot springs in the area that draw the crowds. However, Boat Box shouldn’t be overlooked as it’s the perfect place if you want a little more seclusion. Situated in Stanley, Idaho, the locals built a pipe to pump in the mineral waters. It’s a rather small pool and can fit 2 people comfortable (3 if you squeeze in).
The wilderness setting and sounds from the river make this an extremely tranquil place to enjoy a soak.
4. Golf Fork Hot Springs
For those wanting a more modern experience, this resort offers a wide range of amenities to go along with their hot springs pools. There are several concrete lined pool options to choose from with each having a different average temperature. When you aren’t relaxing you will find quite a few activities around the area such as hiking and fishing. This is a great facility to spend a few hours at and rejuvenate your body and soul.
5. Trail Creek Hot Springs
It might take some hiking to get here, but we guarantee that it’ll be worth it. Not only does this place have great natural hot springs, but it also has an exceptional view. The water in these pools is temperature controlled and also very clean.
Why You Should Visit an Idaho Hot Spring Today
Hot springs are a great vacation spot for people looking to relax and take a break from their daily lives. They relax your body and your mind as well. We’re always told to eat healthily and exercise to keep our bodies in tip-top shape, but what about our minds? Taking care of your mental health is essential and should be considered just as important as taking care of your body. The water in these hot springs is laced with minerals like calcium that is great for muscle recovery. Natural hot springs are also a great way to bathe in the sun and get some vitamin D.
Hot springs are known to increase the oxygen supply in your body. When you soak yourself in a hot spring, the blood circulation in your body is increased, and you automatically feel rejuvenated. With so much going for you, this is one of the best ways you can relax!
Hot springs are also a good place to visit if you’re feeling stressed. Relaxing in the natural hot springs will not only make you feel refreshed but also healthier. If you have trouble sleeping, hot springs are a great way to fix that. They make you feel relaxed and hence, reduce insomnia. If you need to fix your sleeping patterns, try visiting a hot spring ASAP!
Your body and mind are bound to feel better after you visit a hot spring. Hot springs are also known to heal skin problems like tires eyes and dark circles. If you have severe acne and can’t seem to find any solutions, try visiting a hot spring!
Looking to explore Idaho? Here are some other great things to do in the state: