Not too far outside of Boise, Granite Creek Hot Springs awaits visitors any time of year. While often confused with the springs in Wyoming by the same name (Granite Hot Springs, and also near a Granite Creek), the Idaho location sits on a creek and looks more like an accidental damming of crystal-clear water than a public pool.
If the hot water doesn’t give you zen, the sound of nearby rushing water will. Summer to fall is the best time to visit, and spring is arguably the worst. During the latter, the springs are underwater due to spring runoff. After all, it’s right next to a small river.
The drive from Boise or Atlanta, ID is scenic and worth every second spent in the car. Mountains, forests, and wildlife are all along the route to the hot springs. The roads are winding and a bit confusing, but it definitely pays off in the end.
Keep in mind there are no cafes or gift shops in this part of the world. It’s all nature. In fact, it’s not unheard of to see deer, elk and fox roaming about as you’re relaxing in the water. However, being right off the road, it’s not rural enough to preserve your modesty without wearing a bathing suit.
Luckily for soakers who want to camp, Granite Creek is in the Boise National Forest and is surrounded by easily accessible campgrounds. Note that many are primitive, and you will need to bring anything you want to eat or use while you’re there.
Follow East Warm Springs Avenue southeast out of Boise. Merge onto ID-21 North and continue past Idaho City. Then, take a right on Forest Road 327, or Granite Creek Road. Stay left when the road forks the first two times, then continue to follow Forest Road 327, running parallel to Granite Creek, until it becomes Rabbit Creek Road.
Eventually, you’ll run parallel to North Fork Boise River. Take a right on Forest Road 376. Finally, stay left and continue on Middle Fork Boise River Road for another 8.5 miles. Granite Creek Hot Springs will be on your right.
Address: Middle Fork Boise River Road, Atlanta, Idaho 83716
Season: Year-round, but be aware of road closings in the winter; July-November is the best time to