Idaho is hardly the kind of place that comes to mind when you think of adventure traveling.

But did you know that this state brims with stunning, enchanting and secluded natural hot springs?

There are over 100 hot springs and mineral pools in Idaho, all with unique surroundings.

You can easily hike to the hots springs, savor luxury spa resorts or soak in the healing geothermal waters.

Are you an adventurous, off the beaten path kind of traveler who also enjoys nature’s sheer beauty?

Then, Idaho has countless incredible geothermal pools for you to experience, mostly at no cost.

Read on to discover the 26 best natural hot springs that you can explore.    

1. Burgdorf Hot Springs, McCall

This rustic resort is tucked away in the mountains of Idaho and is a perfect backcountry getaway.

Opened in 1870 after local miners discovered geothermal water, it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A perfect blend of natural and resort-like hot springs, it’s accessible by car or via snowmobile in winter.

The inlet features two small hot pools at 113 °F, while children access a shallow, partitioned pool.

Fed by natural geothermal springs, the main pool stays at 100°F all year and is perfect for aching muscles.

Burgdorf also offers scenic hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing, and a soak in a smaller pool named the tub.

For unlimited access to the crystal-clear pools, rent a simple log cabin and enjoy an amazing experience.   

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: 404 French Creek, McCall,ID 83638

Official Site

2. Boat Box Hot Springs, Stanley

Located along the Salmon River, Boat Box is a unique hot spring nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains.

It originally featured a large wooden box that was replaced by today’s solidly secured tub, hence the name.

The tub’s unique experience is a cross between a ski lodge hot tub and stewing in a witch’s brew.

Both adults and kids can enjoy a soak though you need to take caution, as the pipe water is scalding. 

The amazing cauldron comfortably sits two and the water’s temperature is easily adjusted using the cool river water.

A local favorite, Boat Box offers you an awesome adventure, easy and free access, plus stunning scenery.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Stanely, Idaho

3. Kirkham Hot Springs, Lowman

Kirkham hot springs are natural geothermal pools and waterfalls with different temperatures and sizes.

Located on the Payette River inside Kirkham campground, they are among others found along the highway.

Visitors explore the scenic area before descending the stairs into the soaking pools and steaming cascades.

Soaking in Kirkham is blissful.

Hot water cascades over the cliffs into pools below like a natural shower.

The snowy mountain also offers an awesome backdrop for the steam and gushing hot water.

Kirkham is popular especially in summer while in winter, you can enjoy an excellent, more solitary all-natural spa.

After soaking in the charming hot spring, enjoy kayaking, whitewater rafting, and trout fishing too. 

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: 7658 ID-21 Lowman

4. Sunbeam Hot Springs, Stanley

Sunbeam Hot Springs located on River Salmon is a favourite thermal spring on Highway 75.

Boulders hide the pools from view, but the rising steam is visible from the highway.

Located below a historic bathhouse, the different-sized pools are user-built with gravel and sand bottoms.

Rock walls trap warm soaking waters though the pool temperatures vary.

Hot water blends with the cold river water creating an awesome feeling.

You can stop to enjoy the warm clear waters after hiking Sawtooth Mountains or river rafting.

Unlike most public hot springs, you will find changing rooms here.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Idaho 83278

5. Lava Hot Springs, Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs resort city is home to these world-famous, sulphur-free, natural geothermal hot springs. 

Ranging from 102˚F to 112˚F, the five hot pools are famous for swimming, bathing, canoeing, and tubing.

The natural mineral water is odourless, and has medicinal and healing purposes due to its high mineral content. 

The hot springs use over 2.5 million water gallons daily, then divert into Portneuf River which keeps them clean. 

The site features a Sunken Garden Complex, an Olympic Swimming Pool and Indoor Aquatic Center offering various water activities.

Unwind at the Garden, viewing local and imported plants and flowers or at the Aquatic Centre that’s open to all.  

The hot springs are relaxing after a day’s activities, though children under two years are not allowed in.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: 430 East Main, Longsprings, Idaho 83246 

Official Site

6. Challis Hot Springs, Challis

If you are looking for a camping spot, this family-owned resort in the Salmon River Valley is perfect.

It offers various outdoor activities, RV and tent camping, and of course, natural hot springs.

It features a big outdoor swimming pool with regulated temperatures and a smaller, hotter, indoor therapy pool at 107°F.

The spring-fed soaking pools have gravel and river rock bottoms that enable the hot water to bubble up naturally.

Both pools have changing rooms, while the big pool also has hot showers from the hot springs!

Enjoy a relaxing soak in this idyllic retreat as you absorb the scenic views and reboot.

  • Opening Hours: 8am-9pm, Closed Mon, Tue, & Holidays
  • Address: 5025 Hotsprings Rd. Challis, Idaho 83226

Official Site

7. Aura Soma Lava Hot Springs, Lava Hot Springs

These family-friendly hot springs are the perfect getaway to a a pampered vacation.

Located along Portneuf River, the retreat features guest rooms, rental homes, and a hot springs pool.

The mineral waters range between 102°F and 105°F and offer a unique, relaxing experience in serene surroundings.

There’s also a well-manicured garden, an intriguing labyrinth, and a charming riverfront meadow where you can relax.

Nearby activities include zip-lining, hiking, or mountain biking as well as soothing massages at the therapy studio.

The combined allure of geothermal pools, riverfront location, mini-hotels, fancy massages, and family-friendly atmosphere Aura Soma Lava Hot Springs a great weekend getaway. 

  • Opening Hours: 5am-midnight
  • Address: 196 East Main Street, Lava Hot Springs, ID 832

Official Site

8. Gold Fork Hot Springs, Donnelly

Visit Gold Fork Hot Springs at the lovely foothills of the North Fork Range for a spa-style soak.

The private facility features six multi-leveled pools with different temperature ranges, from scalding to user-friendly.

The crystal-clear water is naturally sourced and channeled into six pools formed by natural rock formations.

Some pools have hydrotherapy jets for a thrilling experience and you can also rent suits and towels.

Heated changing rooms are available while children have access to a shallow sandy pool.

Open all year, you can have a picnic and later enjoy a family soak in the hot and cold pools.

  • Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm. Closed Tuesdays
  • Address: 1026 Gold Fork Rd, Donnelly, ID 83615

Official Site

9. Mundo Hot Springs, Cambridge

This simple family-friendly resort features pleasant lodging, RV sites, trailer cabins, camping, and a hot swimming pool.

Located along Weiser River, you can also easily access the famous Weiser Trail for biking, hiking, and fishing.

Warm geothermal water is piped from the hot spring to the pool and spa and remains fresh and sparkling.

The main pool’s temperature is regulated whereas the ‘hot tub’ is much hotter.

When you reserve the pool house or cabin, you enjoy after-hours soaking in the natural mineral water.

Furthermore, an onsite bistro serves delicious home-cooked meals.

Mundo hot springs is the perfect spot to pitch a tent or have an overnight refreshing soak.

  • Opening Hours: Wed & Thur 4 pm–8 pm Frid–Sun noon–8 pm Closed Mon & Tue
  • Address: 3024 Goodrich Rd, Cambridge, ID 83610

Official Site

10. Zims Hot Springs, New Meadows

Zims Hot Springs features a number of outdoor pools whose waters are chlorine-treated.

The hot springs are located in the beautiful Meadows Valley.

This historic site is part of the Tribe’s aboriginal territory and has spiritual, cultural, and medicinal qualities.

These pools are fed by natural mineral water from an artesian well and cooled by Little Salmon River.

The soaking pool ranges between 103-106°F and the swimming pool, 90-100°F.

Restrooms, picnic area, tent and RV pitches are also provided making Zims ideal for rustic outback soaking.

  • Opening Hours: 2pm-10pm closed Mondays
  • Address: 2995 Zims Rd, New Meadows, ID 83654

11. Easley Hot Springs, Ketchum

Easley Hot Springs is the most family-friendly in Sun Valley.

It boasts a chlorine-free outdoor swimming pool, two hot tubs as well as camping grounds.

The pool and tubs are filled with natural mineral water from the hot springs and have awesome views of Boulder Mountain.

The chemical-free swimming pool stands at 85°F while the hot tubs are at 98°F.

Part of Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Easley offers diverse outdoor activities including fishing and float tubing.

On of the highlights, The Harriman Trail, is known for its scenic hiking and biking transits Easley campground.

If you’re visiting Easley Hot Springs, indulge in a soak or have a picnic at the patio with a superb backdrop.

  • Opening Hours: Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm  Sun, 11am-5pm
  • Address: Idaho 75 Ketchum, Idaho 83340

Official site

12. Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs, Stanley

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs (or Warfield) is snuggled in the mountains of Sawtooth National Forest.

Water flows from three different springs; one along Warm Springs Creek, and the rest across the freezing creek.

The springs emerge at 124°F though you can adjust the pool temperature by shifting rocks in the pool.

Nestled up against huge rocks, the pools offer a natural experience as the site has no facilities.

The final miles to the site are on a road that’s icy slick in winter and closed during spring runoff.

Since its easily accessible, peak seasons are crowded hence it’s best to visit early morning or evening.

The pools’ temperature varies but a soak after wading through the icy creek is simply amazing.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: 1080 Warm Springs Rd, ID 83340 


13. Goldbug Hot Springs, Salmon

The stunning views at Goldbug Hot springs make it one of the most famous hot springs in Idaho.

Located South of Salmon, this natural hot spring is snuggled in a narrow valley deep in the mountains.

At the clifftop is a large creek-fed pool that the water cascades over to create 15-foot hot waterfalls.

This fills two pools below and the water cools as it goes down into yet another pool.

This cliff-side location is obviously the reason behind the fantastic views.

An overnight stay nearby allows you to indulge in the pleasure of a hot soak under a star-lit sky.

Finally, after a hike, you can pitch tent near the top pool and enjoy the amazing landscape.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Salmon, ID 83467, United states

14. Maple Grove Hot Springs, Thatcher

Maple Grove is located along Bear River, in the striking Oneida Narrows Canyon within Oneida Reservoir.

This is a place to relax, reboot, connect with others, and view wildlife in a tranquil setting.

Two natural lithium hot springs feed three soaking tubs at 104-109°F and a large therapy pool at 85-100°F.

The free-flowing, natural healing water is sulfur-free, odorless, and stands at 95-112°F, but swimming in the source pools is forbidden.

The 45-acre retreat center offers furnished cabins, yurts, campsites and canvas tents while guests enjoy 24-hour pool access.

Additional amenities include a riverfront beach, kitchen, paddleboard/kayak rentals, showers, restrooms, and local hiking trails.

Online reservation ensures there’s no overcrowding thus allows you to enjoy a deeper connection with nature.

  • Opening Hours: 10am-10pm
  • Address: 11386 Oneida Narrows Rd Thatcher, ID 83283

Official Site

15. Miracle and Banbury Hot Springs, Buhl

Miracle Hot Springs is a family-friendly resort on Snake River in Southern Idaho.

You can relax and rejuvenate all-year with an endless flow of natural, mineral-rich hot spring water.

Several swimming pools and private baths are filled with mineral water at 138°F, and then cooled with Snake River water.

The chemical free geothermal water is odourless, soft to touch, contains 50+ minerals, and has an alkaline pH of 9.6.

Across the highway, Banbury has a large artesian geothermal swimming pool at 100°F, spa bath and private mineral hot tubs.

The private pools are cleaned and refilled with fresh mineral water after each use.

Tent and RV camping, cabins, boating facilities and changing rooms are available at both Miracle and Banbury.

  • Opening Hours: 8am-11pm Closed Sundays
  • Address: 19073A U.S. 30, Buhl, ID 83316

Official Site

16. Mountain Village Resort Hot Springs, Stanley

This family-friendly retreat features a large sandy-bottomed, concrete soaking pool filled with mineral waters at 103-106°F.

The hot pools are inside a log cabin whose rustic barn doors open to stunning views of Sawtooth Mountains.

The tub is fed by hot springs along Valley Creek and eight people at a time enjoy an hour’s soak.

Resort guests have free access to the all-natural hot tub though you need to reserve your spot.

Mountain Village Resort offers a lodge, RV Park with tent spaces, restaurant, and saloon.

Other amenities include a convenience store with camping essentials and outdoor activities like hiking, rafting, fishing, and biking.

During winter, you can engage in skiing, ice skating, and snowmobiling.

  • Opening Hours: Check in 3pm, Check out 11am
  • Address: 3 Eva Falls Ave, Stanley, ID 83278

Official Site

17. Riverdale Resort Hot Springs, Preston

This family-friendly resort is found on Bear River, in the scenic Riverdale Valley.

Four different sized swimming pools ranging from 90-105°F are filled with warm geothermal waters from the local hot springs.

Additionally, two hydro-tube water slides descend over 60 feet and empty into the Olympic pool.

Riverdale is easily accessible and the hot springs are a short distance from the property.

Overnight stay is provided via motel rooms, RV and tent sites, and cabins.

Also, there’s provision for group accommodation, catering, and overnight camping.

Riverdale offers hours of fun and relaxation for the whole family.

  • Opening Hours: Check in 3pm, Check out 11am
  • Address: 3696 N 1600 E, Preston, ID 83263

Official Site

18. Rocky Canyon Hot Springs, Garden Valley

Boasting a river fording and several cascading pools, Rocky Canyon is located on Payette River in Boise National Forest.

Though hidden by boulders, rising steam is visible on cold days and you can access it by crossing the river.

It features four simple rock pools of varying temperatures with the hottest pool at the top.

Each successive pool is warmer than the next since the water cools as it cascades down the cliff.

Due to the slippery sharp rocks, you need sandals to forge the river.

Nearby campsites allow you ample time to enjoy the gorgeous hot spring waterfalls and pursue other outdoor activities.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Garden Valley, ID 83622

19. Roystone Hot Springs, Sweet

Roystone is perfect for a splash in the natural hot springs pool or soak in the large jetted hot tub.

Located in Sweet Valley, the spring bubbles up at 140°F and is cooled to 98-104°F for the pool and tub.

The Hot Springs has a PH level of 7.5 making its water alkaline due to its many minerals.

The resort also features an outdoor fun area and private party room for groups and family reunions.

Additionally, there’s a campsite with tent and RV spots, restrooms, showers, games room, and laundry facilities.

Even so, to ensure the most pleasant experience, you are advised to make a booking. 

  • Opening Hours: 6-10pm Closed Sundays
  • Address: 7880 ID-52, Sweet, ID 83670

Official Site

20. The Spring, Idaho City

You will find The Spring retreat in Idaho City, a historic mining town near Boise.

The resort features a modern pool and private hot tubs fed by natural geothermal hot spring water.

Other amenities include sauna and massage yurts, lockers, toiletries, food, drinks, as well as picnic sites.

The Springs also has a hotel for overnight stays and a bonfire on cold winter nights.

Visitor numbers are limited to ensure a relaxed and enjoyable soak hence a reservation is advised. 

Indulge in a soak under starlit skies and stunning views or enjoy a soothing massage.

  • Opening Hours: 11am-10pm Closed Tue and holidays
  • Address: 3742 ID-21, Idaho City, ID 83631

Official Site

21. Trail Creek Hot Springs, Cascade

Trail Creek Hot Springs is a dreamy natural hot pool that trickles down from a rock fissure.  

Located off Warm Lake Road near Cascade, it boasts two geothermal hot springs, a campsite, and several hiking trails.

The rock and sand bottom soaking pools are accessible via a short but steep hike from the road.

Hot water trickles down colorful algae-laden rocks to fill one pool while hot water bubbles up to fill the second.

The pools’ temperature is adjusted using nozzles that let in cold creek water or by moving rocks.

Relax in a nice long soak and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery in a tranquil atmosphere.

Since this is a popular spot, you are advised to visit early to avoid crowds. 

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: NF-22, Cascade, ID 83611

22. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, Elk City

An easy hike through Clearwater National Forest leads to three hot springs sources along Warms Springs Creek.

The rock-walled pools have sandy bottoms and the dense forest gives the site a fairy-tale look.

The source pools’ sizes and temperatures vary; pool 1 at 115°F, pool 2 at 100-105°F and pool 3 at 103°F.

The first soaking pool is at the trail bottom, next to the creek and is fed by the hillside waterfalls.

The second pool is further down while the third is in a lush meadow with amazing mountain views.

Popular in summer, the pools can also be accessed in winter but are washed out by snowmelt in spring.

This family-friendly hot spring​s​ has no restrooms and its use is restricted to daytime with no camping allowed.

  • Opening Hours: 6am-8pm
  • Address: Hwy 12 Elk City, Idaho 83525 

23. Pine Flats Hot Springs, Lowman

Pine Flats Hot Springs is located in Pine Flats Campground and is a popular family spot.

A short hike from the campground leads you to a natural soaking pool on the banks of Payette River.               

The hot springs features a warm natural geothermal waterfall that plunges into a rock-walled pool.

The pool opens to scenic views of the South Fork of Payette River which looks gorgeous when snow-covered.

Two pools located at the cliff top also provide awesome views of the river below.

Across the creek are hotter pools, one waterfall-fed and the other fed by its runoff.

The hot springs is trendy in summer but the camp is closed during winter hence the pools are less crowded.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Banks Lowman Rd, Garden Valley, ID 83622

24. Loftus Hot Springs, Boise

Loftus Hot Springs is located near the Middle Fork of Boise River in Boise National Forest.

It features two waterfall-fed, sandy-bottomed pools and is a classic no-frills soak.

The backwater rock pools are user-built and the top pool is reinforced with mortar.

Hot water flows downhill at 110°F and cascades over a rock ridge into the first pool.

Again, the cooler water spills over and streams into a smaller second pool.

Loftus Hot Springs is a gorgeous place to visit with convenient campsites nearby.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Boise National Forest

25. Chattanooga Hot Springs, Elmore County

Chattanooga Hot Spring is a geothermal pool located in San Juan County, Colorado.

This often missed natural haven faces the gorgeous San Juan Mountains and boasts waterfalls as well.

It features one large and shallow hot waterfall-fed pool near the Middle Fork of the Boise River. 

The waterfall emits a steady stream of steam as the water cools on its way to the pool below.

The hot springs offers amazing views of the Middle Fork of the Boise River next to the pool.

However, the pool may be submerged in the river during strong spring runoff. 

The hot springs are little known thus you may just have the place to yourself! 

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Million Dollar Hwy

26. Sacajawea Hot Springs, Grandjean

Sacajawea Hot springs lies near Grandjean trailhead in the Sawtooth Wilderness

A short but steep hike leads you to the soaking pool on the banks of the Payette River.

The hot pools consist of a couple of user-built, rock-walled pools with sand, river rock, and gravel bottoms.

Water pours into the river at a scalding 150°F and gets into the rock-lined pools.

You can use the cold river water to adjust the pool temperatures or equally move the rocks. 

The pools get submerged during spring runoff and the road is closed in winter.

The site has beautiful views and gets many visitors though camping is only available at Grandjean Campground.

  • Opening Hours: Open to public 24/7
  • Address: Forest Rd 700, Lowman, Idaho  

Soaking in a hot pool on a freezing winter day is the ultimate Idaho experience.

There are numerous amazing hot pools here and finding these hidden gems is lots of fun.

The trick is, the harder they are to get to, the more fulfilling and less crowded.

Add to this, the scenic landscapes and mountains and you are indeed spoilt for choice.

Moreover, most of the hot springs are free of charge!

Idaho opens to you a whole new world of wonders just waiting to be explored!

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For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!