The area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming is famous for its national parks and abundance of wild rivers, plus its many hot springs, some of which are soakable and some toxic. There are also a few natural mineral pools located nearby over the Teton Pass in Idaho.
The following thermal springs are great for relaxing, and many are accompanied by scenery that’s a treat for the eyes. Hot mineral water is regarded as having healing properties and does wonders for decompressing from the chaos of everyday life. Some locations don’t require swimming attire to enter the water, but many do, so it’s good to find out the rules ahead of time.
Since this part of the country is cold and snowy for a good portion of the year, refer to the springs’ websites to learn about seasonal operation hours. Even though Jackson Hole has so many places to explore, any one of these closest hot springs is worth a stop. They make the perfect addition to one of the ski resorts or campgrounds near Jackson.
Here are the hot springs closest to Jackson, WY, in order of proximity:
Astoria Hot Springs – Hoback, WY (17 miles)
Take the short drive south of Jackson to the Astoria Hot Springs, a beautiful natural swimming area with five manufactured pools filled with natural thermal water. Set on Jackson Hole’s Snake River, the pools have different temperatures, with the children’s one being the coolest and the shallowest at two feet deep. This is one of the area’s most unique attractions and caters to families and outdoor junkies alike.
The Leisure Pool is the largest, resembling a similar structure to what used to be the former Astoria Pool. Meadow Pool is another excellent place to sit for a soak. The River Soaking Pools (River and Waterfall) are more secluded from the other three, scenic and hotter. These ones are good for people looking for therapeutic relief, like sore muscles.
Astoria Hot Springs is open year-round and seven days a week, with Tuesdays having half-day hours. Reservations are required and can be made ahead of time, starting from the 15th of each month when the calendar refreshes. Before going to the springs, you might want to call and ask about the water levels, although they are open regardless. There is a fee to use the pools, and punch cards are available for locals who may want to visit often.
The springs are for day use only, and nearby hiking trails are popular for exploring the area in addition to getting in the water.
Camping is prohibited on-site, and most people who visit the springs lodge in Jackson. However, if you’re interested in camping in the area or are traveling in an RV, the Hoback RV Park isn’t too far from Astoria Hot Springs. The Snake River Cabins and RV Village is another location that can accommodate campers or anyone wanting to stay in a motel-style room closer to the pools.
Granite Hot Spring – Sublette County, WY (34 miles)
Located about an hour from Jackson, the Granite Hot Springs is a favorite spot for locals and tourists to Wyoming. Set at 7,000 feet above sea level, the springs treat visitors to a fantastic view as they get to relax in the ultimate forest soaking hole. The Granite Hot Spring pool is a man-made structure built in 1933 but is filled with soothing, steamy natural mineral waters that average 93℉ in the summer and 112℉ in the winter.
Tucked away in the Gros Ventre Mountains, getting to the pool can be by car during the spring, summer, and fall months. The final leg of the road is unpaved and somewhat rocky, but the views are entirely worth the trouble. During the winter months, access to Granite Hot Springs is limited to cross-country skiers, snowmobiles, and dog sleds. Winter hours are from 10 am – 6 pm, and summer hours are 10 am – 8 pm.
When traveling to the area during snowy months, the easiest way to get there is to book an all-day dog sled tour. You can also rent a snowmobile and all the gear needed to make the trek or take a snowmobile tour with a guide.
Before traveling to the springs, check with their hotline at 307-690-6323 to determine if there’s a chance of obstructive weather. There’s also a small entry fee to soak in the pool. Facilities include a changing room, picnic tables, and toilets. Additionally, no alcohol is allowed on the property.
There are 51 sites at the Granite Creek Campground, which is open in May near Memorial Day through the end of September. No reservations are required to come here, but it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis. The size of the sites is 15′ x 46′, and there are six spaces that are large enough to accommodate an RV. There is an overnight fee for tent camp and RV camp.
Some of the campground amenities include picnic tables, fire pits, toilets, and drinking water.
Green Canyon Hot Springs – Newdale, ID (62 miles)
Across the state border and set in the town of Newdale, the Green Canyon Hot Springs is one of eastern Idaho’s most popular places to visit and de-stress. It has been privately owned and an attraction for vacationers for over a century, boasting three outdoor thermal mineral pools with a small 55℉ cold pool plunge. The temperature of the main Big Pool rests at 96℉ while the Hot Pool and Spring Pool are between 105-115℉.
The Springs are always busy, and if you’re planning an event for many people, you can rent out an entire pool or take advantage of their large group discount. Locals or residents of the region can purchase a season pass or multi-month pass.
Swimming lessons for kids five and older are offered on-site, and classes fill up quickly as it’s first-come, first-served.
Green Canyon Hot Springs have varying hours by season, and it’s best to refer to their website if you plan on visiting. However, they seem to be closed every Sunday regardless of the time of year.
Campsite “shelters” and RV hookups are available to book for overnight stays. Reservations and a downpayment are required to secure a spot. Each site is slightly different from the next, so depending on your needs, you’ll be able to find a space that suits your needs, vehicle, and equipment. Prices vary by season and number of people.
The grounds are lush and well cared for, so camping at Green Canyon Hot Springs is a fun experience. Visitors can choose their space ahead of time, knowing exactly where to go upon arrival. ATVs are not allowed on the property.
Heise Hot Springs – Ririe, ID (73 miles)
Based in Ririe, Idaho, Heise Hot Springs is a popular natural retreat showcasing three outdoor hot springs mineral pools. The property is open year-round with the exception of closure from November 1 to the day after Thanksgiving. This area has been a developed attraction since the early 20th century, spearheaded by Richard Heise, who was originally from Germany and moved to the state in 1890.
Heise’s hot pools are filled with natural water that flows at a temperature of 104℉, ideal for loosening sore muscles and overall body decompression. There’s also a more shallow warm pool that is cooled down to 92℉ to make it acceptable for small kids and people sensitive to high temperatures. After Memorial Day, the 84℉ Summer Pool and slide are opened only until Labor Day.
The hot pools are open from 10 am to 10 pm during the summer and varying opening hours to 10 pm during the fall and winter. The cold pool is available from 10 am to 10 pm on Monday through Saturday and from noon to 10 pm on Sunday.
After you’re done soaking or swimming in the pools, play a round of golf at Heise’s nine-hole course, then dine at their clubhouse pizza parlor. The course also has a complete rental service with equipment and changing rooms.
Also on the property is the Heise Zipline tour which includes traveling on seven independent zip lines that cover about 1.5 miles of ground, each one ranging from 300 to 1,400 feet long. The zip line journey takes about two hours to complete and comes with all the safety gear needed.
The Heise Hot Springs staff has spent years perfecting and manicuring the campgrounds to be an inviting, enjoyable place to sleep outdoors. Their grounds accommodate many people, whether dry camping or bringing in their RV and needing a hookup. There are also cabins that can be rented out for those that prefer that. The campground is open from mid-April to mid-October, and reservations are strongly recommended as this location can be very busy.
Booking a stay at a campsite or cabin does not include access to the pools; those are purchased separately.
Pets are allowed on the campgrounds but not inside the cabins. They also must be kenneled or on a leash at all times, and owners are responsible for cleaning up after them. Check-in time for tent and RV camping is after 1 pm but before dark, and 2 pm, but before dark for cabins. Camping check-out is at noon, and cabin check-out is at 11 am.
Lava Hot Springs – Bannock County, ID (130 miles)
Open 363 days a year, Lava Hot Springs in Bannock County, Idaho, is a top-rated outdoors attraction that both tourists and locals rave about. These world-famous hot pools have over 2.5 million gallons of water pumping through the springs each day, with water temps ranging from about 102℉ to 112℉ on average. There are five pools with gravel or rock bottoms and plenty of room to spread out for some relaxation in one of the planet’s best elements.
The mineral water is odorless and contains no chemicals; everything is 100% natural. If you are bringing a child aged two years old or younger, the high temperatures of the pools might be dangerous. However, if your pediatrician gives you the green light for your little one to get in the water, a swim diaper is provided.
Group rates are available Monday through Thursday (except on holidays), and tickets can be purchased online. Every person that goes into the facility must pay an entry fee, even if they aren’t swimming. Tickets are good for one-time entry only, and there’s no returning on the same ticket if you leave and want to come back that day.
Clothing is required to go in the pools, and lockers are on-site to store your valuables. If you don’t have appropriate swimwear or non-street clothes to go in the water with, swim attire and towels can be rented on-site.
As of March 1, 2022, no outside food or drinks can be brought into the pool areas. You can bring an empty water bottle to refill, though.
Other Water Activities
Lava Hot Springs isn’t just a location with a few soaking pools, but there is a whole realm of water activities to do here.
Olympic Swimming Complex – Located four blocks away and open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this warm pool is 50 meters long and has eight swimming lanes and a kids’ play area. This large pool holds almost one million gallons of heated, crystal-clear water and is the only one of its kind in the Intermountain West. The AquaZip zip line is another exciting feature of this pool and diving setup with a deep end that goes as far as 17′ down.
Indoor Aquatic Center – This year-round indoor facility is the answer to a hot summer day while visiting the area. The pool is 25 yards long and features an aqua climb wall, hot tub, Kiddie Cove, and a one-meter diving board.
Portneuf Kiddie Cove – A kids’ area loaded with fun water structures that spray and splash, geared towards youngsters ranging from about one to twelve. It’s included on an open swim ticket and located next to an indoor hot mineral pool.
Water Park with Slides – Speed down a 60-foot vertical drop at 38 miles per hour on one of the property’s super slides. There are two curly-shaped slides in the outdoor water park area.
Diving Area – Practice your high dive from these thrilling 5, 7, and 10-meter-high platforms. Note that an online waiver must be signed before using the diving area.
Party Room – Celebrate your next birthday or another milestone by renting out the Lava Party Room, fitted with picnic tables, a sink, and windows into the kiddie pool area.
Besides soaking in the steamy mineral water, the Sunken Gardens are a must-see feature of the property. Located above the hot pools, these gardens are home to a collection of gorgeous types of flowers, plants, and birds. It’s no extra cost to go inside, so bring your camera and take a few photos in this incredibly relaxing environment.
There are many places to stay the night just blocks away from Lava Hot Springs, including hotels with their own hot spring water facilities. If camping is more your style, check out the Lava Hot Springs West KOA Holiday, Lava Spa Motel & RV Park, and the Lava Hideout Cabins.
Lava Hot Springs Inn (130 miles)
Located along the Portneuf River in Southeastern Idaho, the Lava Hot Springs Inn is a hot mineral pool getaway that many enjoy year-round. Six hot spring pools on the property have temperatures ranging from 94 to 107℉, and a cold plunge pool is set at a chilly 44℉. You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to use them, as day passes can be purchased for non-overnight guests. The pools’ operating hours are 7 am to 11 pm daily.
The facility offers various spa services, including therapeutic massages and treatments. For a different type of experience, try an Aquatic Bodywork session to stretch your spine and body. Other therapies include Swedish massages, hot stone massages, deep tissue massages, and reflexology treatments.
The Lava Hot Springs Inn property functions as a multiple-style accommodation resort (affiliate link). Built in a former hospital in the 1920s, the main inn building has 31 rooms boasting a casual and cozy atmosphere. Other lodging options are their romantic cottage bungalow, apartments, and the Blue House Vacation Rental. Lastly, their Spa Building has four rooms and does not allow pets or kids.
The other lodging types are pet and family-friendly. Guests have full access to all the pools, and a complimentary breakfast is served from 8 am to 10 am in the dining room.
Natural hot springs are fantastic ways to practice self-care while discovering new places around Jackson. Each of these is certain to satisfy, so keep this list handy while planning your next trip to western Wyoming.