Idaho is mostly known for their famous potatoes and acres upon acres of farmland, but they actually have some of the best hot springs in America. From a rugged little pool on the side of a creek to large manmade soaking pools, Idaho really does have it all when it comes to hot springs.
Idaho’s geothermal activity causes natural hot springs to pop up all over the state, and soaking in this mineral rich water is an experience unique to any other. Many have taken advantage of Idaho’s geothermal activity and used the water to create large hot springs so that everyone can experience the benefits of the water.
Idaho has roughly 130 soakable hot springs, and we can credit that to the Idaho batholith, which was created millions of years ago by colliding tectonic plates. This is a guide to just a few of the many hot springs available. In the winter these pair well with a trip to an Idaho ski resort, also available around the state.
Here are the among the best hot springs in Idaho, in no particular order:
1. Bear Valley Hot Springs
Bear Valley is a beautiful natural hot springs, but you are gonna have to hike in order to get to it! The hike is roughly seven miles roundtrip, however its pretty mellow and the reward is well worth it!
Once you get there, the springs is a crystal clear pool with areas for camping if you want to pack in and pack out. If you choose to do that, remember to leave no trace. Unfortunately, there is no trash service available at this rugged destination.
The springs itself is alongside a creek, which is lovely if you choose to go to the springs in the summer months. Many refer to the water as being crystal clear and a lovely blue. This springs is truly a magical experience.
Bear valley is located in the Boise National Forest near Grandjean and Stanley. This is definitely one of the more rugged hot springs in Idaho, so if you are planning a trip make sure to prepare for an entire days worth of food and water! Remember, pack it in pack it out.
2. Trail Creek Hot Springs
Trail Creek is another one of the more rugged hot springs, but if you are up for a beautiful drive and a short hike, it is well worth it. The spring is made of up two fairly large soaking pools and the water comes straight from the earth.
Being right along the side of a creek, the soaking pools have temperature controls where you can filter in the cool creek water as much or as little as you would like. This makes the hot springs a great designation during any time of the year.
Trail Creek Hot Springs provides an incredibly natural experience and a way to soak and connect with nature in a way that you really only can do at a natural springs such as this one.
If you plan a trip during the winter, make sure to bring a vehicle that is good in the snow and be careful on the hike down, it can get pretty steep and slippery! You should be cautious during the hike down during all times of the year. This hot springs also doesn’t have any trash services, so pack it in and pack it out.
3. Gold Fork Hot Springs
Gold Fork is located just outside of Donnelly, Idaho. The hot springs consists of five manmade pools that range in temperature from really hot to a lovely medium for the summer months.
This hot springs is truly beautiful. From the drive to the walk in to actually soaking in the pool, everything about the Gold Fork experience is something that will immerse you with nature. All of the pools are designed in a way to further immerse you with nature.
Each one of the pools at Gold Fork Hot Springs is unique. The top pool feels as if it is built into the mountain, and on one end it is the hottest out of all of the pools. The middle pool has sand that lines the bottom which makes you feel like you are immersing yourself into the earth. The bottom three pools are all connected, yet each of them is a different temperature.
Gold Fork also offers changing rooms in their yurt. Honestly, its a pretty open experience, but if you aren’t comfortable with that there are other areas to change as well. Just be prepared to connect with nature and others.
4. Miracle Hot Springs
Located in Buhl, Idaho, Miracle Hot Springs is made up of several large manmade pools, with many private soaking room options for a more secluded feel. Miracle is truly a special hot springs, with an ambiance that sets itself apart from many others you will find in Idaho.
One of the things people love about miracle is the location. This hot springs is located within the Idaho desert, rather than in the mountains, which gives Miracle Hot Springs a really rare and calming atmosphere. Also, they have alligators! In an enclosure, of course.
This particular area has a lot of geothermal energy. There’s even another hot springs, Banbury, located just a mile and a half from miracle. The geothermal energy also makes the soaking water rich in minerals from the earth, leaving you feeling refreshed and regenerated.
5. Trinity Hot Springs
Trinity is another manmade springs, however the water is still straight from the earth. Trinity offers a truly cool experience, the atmosphere is so welcoming and relaxing. Trinity lies in the forest in-between Pine and Featherville.
The hot springs is made up of one large pool, however there is enough space for everyone to have an enjoyable experience. The water is also geothermal and is super rejuvenating no matter how long you choose to soak.
Trinity has a lot of really great offers such as camping and lodging, yoga and wellness, and even membership opportunities. There is a cabin you are able to rent that is within walking distance of Trinity Hot Springs, and has plenty of room for the whole family.
6. The Springs
If you are looking for a bit more luxurious of a hot spring, “The Springs”, located just outside of Idaho City up Highway 21, is the perfect place for a luxury day trip. The Springs has two main soaking pools, one that is really large with varieties in depth and heat, and one smaller pool that is extra hot for those who are looking to turn up the heat a bit and rejuvenate those muscles.
As far as their luxury amenities goes, they have private soaking pool options, a steam room/sauna, poolside beverage service as well as a restaurant service, and high class locker rooms with toiletries and natural products such as shampoo and lotion are provided.
The Springs has more to provide than just their services, the location really solidifies the entire experience they have to offer. Not only are you in the mountains surrounded by trees and wildlife, but you are only 45 minutes away from the capital city of Boise, which is one of the many reasons why people absolutely love to go to The Springs.
The Springs is definitely one of the most luxurious hot springs in Idaho, but if you are looking for a day where you can go relax and really treat yourself to a nice day, the springs is the perfect place to do that.
7. Kirkham Hot Springs
Kirkham is another one of those rugged mountain mineral springs nestled along the side of the South Fork of the Payette River. This springs is truly unique because it has an entire river flowing right next to it.
At Kirkham Hot Springs, there are several main pools along the side of the roaring river. Theres even a geothermal waterfall where you can immerse yourself in nature even more. Theres a hilltop pool, which is just a short five minute hike, however if you are willing to do it you might find a bit of relaxing seclusion.
Kirkham is a very popular hot springs, so if you plan on going make sure to pick a time where it won’t be overrun by others. During the summer months, the campground if often full as well. Despite this being one of the busier hot springs, if you can catch it at the right time, Kirkham is a one of a kind time.
Kirkham is located near Lowman, Idaho off Highway 21 and is about an hour and 45 minute drive from the capital city of Boise.
8. Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf Hot Springs is an incredibly primitive spot. Located outside of McCall, Idaho, this manmade pool is built next to a rustic worn down building, which is what makes this hot springs so unique.
The main area of this hot springs is one large pool, which is beautiful any time of the year, but especially during the winter. If you want to make the drive in the snow, this hot springs is truly a winter wonderland.
One of the incredibly unique features of this hot springs is the bathtub that many like to to soak in, or take a quick pic. The bathtub has a constant flow of geothermal water and sits atop a smaller pool.
That’s a roundup of the top hot springs in Idaho. Enjoy your time soaking in Idaho’s magical waters! If you’re looking for more, consider heading east to savor Wyoming’s top hot springs.