Just twenty miles south of Salmon, Idaho, Goldbug Hot Springs is waiting to be discovered on an unassuming dirt road located off of US-93 near mile marker 282. The trailhead for this two-mile journey begins on private property, and, after a quarter-mile hike, directs you into the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
The 1,350 feet accent takes you on a stroll through dirt paths, across sturdy bridges, and up climbing steps, with the final half-mile being the steepest. Although the hike is tough, once you reach the springs, you are rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding mountains all while you soak in one of six tranquil waterfall-fed pools.
And just in case you start to feel discouraged on your trek up the mountain, remember to look for the ‘V’ shape cut into the ridge. The mineral hot springs are located at the point of the ‘V’, so use that as motivation to make it to these stunning pools.
Natural Hot Spring Pools
While these springs are remote, you’ll likely not be alone on the Goldbug Trail. Goldbug has become a popular site for soaking in recent years, especially among naturists.
The hot spring is part of Warm Spring Creek and its clear, blue pools maintain a continual temperature of approximately 113°F. It’s free for public use year-round, just make sure to keep your dogs on a leash, check weather conditions in advance, and take all possessions with you when leaving.
Camping and Nearby Attractions
Unfortunately, camping is not allowed at the trailhead or within 500 feet of the springs. There are, however, many primitive campsites, some with rocky fire rings, along the trail for your convenience as well as a restroom at the trailhead.
Before leaving the Goldbug Hot Springs, consider venturing to the cave located close to the top bridge, near the waterfall. Besides phenomenal views, you may also catch a glimpse of some of the passing natural wildlife such as a family of mule deer, a jackrabbit, or even a bear.
Continue your exploration along the Salmon River Scenic Byway and participate in activities such as fly fishing, swimming, and white-water rafting.
Whether you’re looking for a calming soak, or to spend time relaxing in nature with your family, plan your next trip to the Goldbug Hot Springs and the surrounding Salmon-Challis National Forest area.
Address: Warm Springs Road, Salmon, Idaho 83467