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Hot Tips for Hot Springs

Four Must-Visits in Idaho

Article by Candice Steele

Photography by Candice and Coltin Steele

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

There is no place quite like the Idaho mountains. Part of what has made the mountains such an appealing destination for our family is the vast amount of Idaho hot springs. Visiting the hot springs will give you a chance to soothe your body, and your soul, all while enjoying the beautiful views that Idaho has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a resort-style hot spring or a free, rustic experience, there is a hot spring in Idaho that will give you what you’re looking for. Here are some of our favorite hot springs in Southern Idaho.

1. The Springs Mountain Resort
3742 ID-21, Idaho City

If you’re looking for a day of rest and relaxation, the Springs Mountain Resort is the place for you. The Springs is a luxurious hot spring about 50 minutes north of Boise along Idaho State Highway 21. Their all-day pass includes access to the swimming pool, hot tub, splash deck, steam room and lounge. Poolside, you can enjoy complimentary herbal tea, coffee and mineral water with additional food and drinks available for purchase.

If you need some extra relaxation, the Springs offers therapeutic and couple’s massages and the use of private tubs. The private tubs are reserved by the hour and fit up to four adults. Wednesday-Friday is set aside for guests 18 and older.

For families looking to enjoy the Springs, plan on visiting Saturday-Monday. Sunday is set aside as family day. They have a kid-friendly menu, special entertainment and discounted family pricing.

The Springs does limit the number of guests admitted so it is a good idea to make a reservation online at Reservations are for a full day pass, but you will need to select a time frame that you will be arriving. Following your check-in, you can come and go throughout the day as you please.

2. Kirkham Hot Springs
7658 ID-21, Lowman

Nestled in South Fork Payette River, this undeveloped hot spring is perfect for adventure seekers. A staircase leads to multiple soaking pools and small waterfalls. There are about 10 separate pools that vary in temperature.

While family-friendly, there are rocks to climb over to reach the springs and as you move from pool to pool. These rocks can be sharp and slippery. Bring some water shoes to protect your feet.

Campsites are available right next to the springs. Parking is $5 per vehicle, and they are open 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

For reservations, visit

3. Sunbeam Hot Springs
State Highway 75, Stanley

Located on the bank of the scenic Salmon River, Sunbeam Hot Springs is off Highway 75, about 20 minutes north of Stanley. The hot springs are just below the highway, identifiable by steam rising from the river. A parking lot on the side of the highway leads to a short walk down to the hot springs. Covered changing areas are available.

The springs consist of multiple, sandy-bottomed, user-created pools fed from a thermal spring that is piped under the highway and then cascades from the hillside into the river. The water is extremely hot, so use caution. You can move the rocks to create pools with varying temperatures.  

4. Goldbug Hot Springs  
Warm Springs Road, Salmon

Found in one of Idaho’s more remote areas, Goldbug Hot Springs is considered a true geothermal gem. There are around six waterfall-fed pools hikers can enjoy while taking in breathtaking valley views.

Found between Salmon and Challis, the turnoff for the hot springs is near mile marker 282 on Highway 93. Take Warm Springs Road and find the trailhead after 0.3 miles. Near the trailhead are wooden fences and restrooms.

The clearly-marked trail with well-built bridges and stairs follows a beautiful creek. It is two miles to the hot springs with an elevation gain of 1,350 feet. As you begin hiking, look for the V shape in the side of the mountain. The hot springs are located at the point of the V.

Just above Goldbug are flat areas for camping. Campsites must be at least 500 feet from the hot springs to preserve the area.

For more travel advice and inspiration from CS Ginger, follow them on Instagram @csginger or visit

  • Courtesy of the Springs Mountain Resort
  • Courtesy of the Springs Mountain Resort