Idaho is known to be one of the top 10 most geothermal states, with the most soakable hot springs in the US. As such, it is a hub for hot spring adventures. With both hot spring resorts as well as natural hot springs in Idaho, there is definitely a place for everybody’s preferences.
Who doesn’t love soaking in a hot body of water and, better yet, one that is heated naturally from the earth?
We have compiled a list of the best hot springs in Idaho so that you can be sure to hit the hottest ones in the state. This list is broken up into two sections, the best natural hot springs in Idaho and the best hot spring resorts in Idaho to allow you to easily satisfy your soaking needs.
Best Natural Hot Springs in Idaho
1. Trail Creek Hot Springs
One of the most well known hot springs in Idaho is Trail Creek Hot Springs, near Boise. Their location just over a two-hour drive from the City of Trees make them a super easy day trip. Located right off of Warm Springs Highway outside of Cascade, Idaho, these natural hot springs are easy to find yet still immersed in nature along the trickling Trail Creek.
Tucked among the towering pine trees of the Payette National Forest, the springs’ three large tubs can comfortably fit five to six people. The tub furthest upstream is one of the best. At about two-and-a-half-feet deep, it lets you soak your whole body beneath the steamy water. Additionally, a tube built into the tub from the creek allows you to regulate the temperature with cold water. The tub walls are built up with boulders, and water is siphoned from the side of a geothermal rock straight into the pools.
Trail Creek Hot Springs can get busy with folks from Boise coming up for the weekend, so the best time to visit is mid-week. If you find yourself there on the weekend, try to go early in the morning or late in the evening.
Since the hot springs are right next to the highway and reached by an easy walk, you can visit during the winter and be toasty even when surrounded by snow!
2. Last Chance Hot Springs
Last Chance Hot Springs, also known as Krigbaum Hot Springs, are the closest natural hot springs to McCall, making them an accessible and fantastic way to cap off a day of adventure in the area.
The tub is located on the turnoff for Last Chance Campground off of Highway 55 between McCall and New Meadows. Park at the small pull off on the right-hand side about a quarter mile down Last Chance Road and then follow a well marked trail for about five minutes, until you arrive at the small, beautiful tub.
The hot springs feed a tub that can comfortably fit about five people, but you can pack a few more in if you are determined. The tub is constructed with a few massive boulders, and the water pours in waterfall-style via a tube that siphons straight from the ground source.
The temperature of the tub is comfortable, making it a perfect place to soak during cool summer evenings or in the fall and spring. The water is not quite hot enough to make it worth the snowy trek during winter, but it is certainly possible if you’re craving a soak after a day of playing in the snow in McCall.
3. Boat Box Hot Springs
Right off of Highway 75 outside of Stanley, Idaho is the easy-to-find Boat Box Hot Springs, one of the most aesthetically pleasing natural hot springs of them all. Set along the rushing waters of the Salmon River, a round, metal tub that looks like a witches cauldron makes for the ultimate Instagram-worthy tub. You can squeeze three people in, but a soak alone or with one other friend is ideal.
The water can get up to 110°. Luckily, locals leave a white bucket next to the tub so that you can get cold water from the river to regulate the temperature if it is too hot to handle. There is a tube that siphons the geothermal water from the hillside into the tub, so you can also put it off to the side if the tub starts to get too hot.
Because of its easy access, you can soak in Boat Box Hot Springs year round. This cozy tub can be busy and you may have to wait your turn to soak, but it is well worth the wait!
4. Kirkham Hot Springs
Set along the rushing water of the South Fork of the Payette River within the Boise National Forest in Central Idaho, Kirkham Hot Springs are an unmissable gem. It features rock-walled geothermal pools with waterfalls cascading into them.
Soak in one of the many pools or experience a natural shower under a geothermal waterfall that spurts out of the cliffside. The temperature of the pools ranges between 95 and 110°, so there is a pool for everyone’s preferences.
Due to its easy access next to the road, be prepared to share it with fellow soakers. However, the pools are spread out enough that even if there are other visitors, you can find pockets of seclusion.
These natural hot springs are family-friendly, and bathing suits are required. Kirkham Campground is directly next to the hot springs, so you can bring all your camping gear and make a trip out of it.
5. Pine Flats Hot Springs
Soak in a geothermal pool at the base of a waterfall right along the banks of Payette River at Pine Flats Hot Springs! These gorgeous pools are set along a cliffside nestled in the valley of the Payette River. They vary in size, shape, and temperature, with the hottest pools being at the top of the cliff and the pools becoming progressively cooler as you make your way toward the river.
The most picturesque pool is alongside the river. Light blue and crystal clear, it creates a beautiful contrast to the adjacent emerald green waters of the Payette River.
These springs are located within a campground, so they can get busy during the summer. It’s best to check them out mid-week or in the off-season if you want to beat the crowds.
6. Goldbug Hot Springs
Six waterfall-fed pools make up the dreamy Goldbug Hot Springs. Tucked into a stunning valley outside of Salmon, Idaho, these hot springs truly provide the wow-factor most hot springers are looking for. Soak in one of the many pools dotted along the valley while looking out at the rolling golden mountains. The pools then cascade into small, vibrant waterfalls.
Reaching Goldbug Hot Springs requires a mildly strenuous hike of four miles round trip, but it’s definitely worth the effort. The trail is well marked and provides sweeping views of the mountains and lush foliage along the way.
Fall is the best time to visit the Goldbug Hot Springs, as the trail will be free of snow.
7. Rocky Canyon Hot Springs
At the Rocky Canyon Hot Springs, water flows down through several tubs on the rocky hillside of the canyon, with the final tubs set right alongside the banks of the Middle Fork of the Payette River. The pools have been hand-built with rock walls and sandy bottoms, providing a truly natural feel to your soak.
The geothermal water comes straight from the mouth of the springs into the uppermost pool, making that the hottest pool. The temperature then decreases as the water cascades down the hillside, ending up in the more lukewarm bottom tub next to the river.
Rocky Canyon Hot Springs are situated in full sun, so it is best to soak early in the morning or after sunset — unless the temperatures are cool out, then you can soak all day!
8. Sunbeam Hot Springs
Sunbeam Hot Springs are made up of a few handmade pools set along the banks of the Salmon River, right beside Highway 75 in central Idaho. An easy way to spot the springs is by the plume of steam rising from the tubs. The hot springs have a gravel and sand bottom, and the walls are built up by rocks, giving them a truly natural feel.
A good way to cool off during the summer while visiting Sunbeam Hot Springs is by taking a dip in the refreshing Salmon River in between soaks.
9. Bonneville Hot Springs
Bonneville Hot Springs provide a truly unique soaking experience with a massive natural pool and a bathtub in a rustic shack. Located just outside of Lowman, close to Kirkham Hot Springs, the Bonneville Hot Springs have scenic waterfall-fed pools that are a little more off the beaten path. They are located alongside the river about a 10 minute walk from the Bonneville Campground, which means they are more secluded than many of the hot springs located directly off of the road.
The best time to visit Bonneville Hot Springs and really soak in that tranquil feel is outside of the busy months, which are typically from May to September.
10. Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs
Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs, also called Warfield Hot Springs, are tucked into the beautiful Sawtooth National Forest at the end of a dirt road just west of Ketchum and rated one of the best hot springs in the greater Ketchum area.
The springs that feed the three pools along Warm Springs Creek are a piping 124°, but the temperature can be regulated by shifting the rocks next to the creek to let in some of the cool water.
Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs are a favorite among locals for their accessibility during the winter, which means you can soak in them after a long day of skiing at Sun Valley. The last seven-mile stretch to reach the hot springs is on a dirt road that tends to close due to spring flooding, so plan accordingly.
11. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
If you are looking for a hot spring destination that also provides a short hike, Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in central Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest are the perfect place for you. A big Forest Service sign right off of Highway 12 that reads Warm Springs indicates that you have arrived at the parking area.
After a short, beautiful walk of just over a mile, you will find three sources of hot water that pour out into small tubs along Warm Springs Creek. One of the most striking tubs has a natural geothermal waterfall that cascades into a calm pool.
The waterfall-fed pool becomes submerged by the rising river water in the springtime, so if you want to soak in this one, it is best to visit in the other seasons. Note that Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are for day-use only, so do not plan on camping there. Jerry Johnson Campground is, however, close by.
Best Hot Spring Resorts in Idaho
12. Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf Hot Springs are part of a rustic resort nestled deep in the backcountry of central Idaho’s Payette National Forest, about an hour north of McCall. Although often called a resort, Burgdorf is pretty off-grid, with no cell service, simple amenities, and an old time feel to it. The resort includes cabins with wood burning stoves, hot spring bathtubs, and a massive soaking pool that is a perfect 100°.
It is also rich in history and a National Register Historic Site. Founded in the 1870s by Fred Burgdorf and used as a getaway for local miners, the original hotel and the home of Mr. Burgdorf himself still stand on the property today.
During the summer, fall, and spring, you can rent one of the 15 rustic cabins at Burgdorf Hot Springs and get unlimited access to the pool and tubs, or you can choose to pay $10 to soak for the day. During the winter, Burgdorf is only accessible by snowmobile, which makes visiting an adventurous winter activity for those who want to brave the 25 mile ride.
13. Gold Fork Hot Springs
Gold Fork Hot Springs are located just south of McCall outside the small town of Donelly, about a two-hour drive from Boise. The site has six pools of varying sizes, ranging from a full-sized swimming pool to small jet tubs. It is set among the quiet pine trees of the Boise National Forest well off busy Highway 55, giving it a nice, secluded atmosphere.
The largest pool, built up against a natural boulder wall, has a natural hot spring feel. Temperatures range from 85 to 110°. One of the soaking pools has a sandy bottom, which feels amazing on your feet! The water here is rich in minerals, including lithium, potassium, and calcium, making these waters truly healing.
Day use costs $8 for adults and $6 for children 11 and under. For some bonus fun, Gold Fork Hot Springs have a life-size chessboard next to the pools that is fun to play between soaks.
14. Mountain Village Resort Hot Springs
Talk about the most scenic hot springs! The all-natural tub at Mountain Village Resort in Stanley, Idaho is set in a log building with big barn doors that open onto breathtaking views of the jagged Sawtooth Mountains and the Salmon River. Relax in the deep pool as you take in the sweeping views of Idaho’s most famous mountain range.
The tub is reserved on an hourly basis, so make sure you book a slot. Guests at the Mountain Village Resort can soak for free, while non-guests pay $25 an hour.
Mountain Village Resort also has an American-style restaurant and an old-timey saloon, so make sure to grab some food and drinks after your soak.
15. The Springs Resort
For a truly luxurious hot springs experience that still offers the benefits of natural geothermal water, The Springs Resort in Idaho City is the perfect place to soak your worries away.
This resort not only has relaxing hot spring pools but also a massage spa, saunas, and steam rooms. The main tub is a large communal soaking pool lined with lounge chairs where you can order food and drinks or simply soak in the sun. There are also private small soaking tubs which can be reserved on an hourly basis.
Reservations for the private tubs can fill up fast, so make sure you plan in advance. Treat yourself to the full experience at The Springs Resort by relaxing in the hot tub after a full body massage, and finish off your day with a gourmet meal from the café. Talk about self-care!
Map of Hot Springs in Idaho
Well, there you have them, the best hot springs in Idaho! If you soak in any of these springs, feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. And be sure to check out some of our other posts about Idaho while you are visiting this wonderful state. Happy soaking!