One of the numerous thermal springs on the Middle Fork of the Boise River is called Chattanooga Hot Spring. It’s just about 1.5 miles from the old mining town of Atlanta, Idaho.
This natural area has a rock-walled hot springs pool fed by geothermal waterfalls tumbling down the hillside.
Natural Hot Spring
The main hot spring is at the bottom of a cliff, and volunteers built a big pool there. The geothermal cliff supplies water at a temperature of 120°F. It then descends 100 feet to a pool with a rock and sand bottom, where it cools to 100°F to 110°F (or higher), depending on the time of year. The hot water often mixes with the river water, creating an ideal temperature for soaking.
The pool can be seen from the trail’s higher vantage point, making it an excellent location to take in the sights. The hot spring is available year-round and is considered to be clothing-optional.
Even though the area be accessed throughout the seasons, most people recommend going later in the year after the spring runoff is complete. Sometimes, when there is too much runoff, the pools can submerge in the river.
The nearby national forests have many places to camp and be in nature. Power Plant Campground is close to Chattanooga and has fully equipped campsites. Even though it has running water, picnic tables, and a bathroom, this campsite focuses on nature and feels more rural than it is.
Address: FS Road 268, Atlanta, Idaho 83601 (Power Plant Campground, 0.7 miles east of the hot springs)
Season: Year-round, but the best time to go is late spring to fall