9 Best Idaho Hot Springs Near Boise

If you are looking for a trip where you can hike, connect with nature, and soak in beautiful hot springs, then you need to check out Idaho hot springs near Boise. These hot springs feel like you’re soaking in the most beautiful hot tubs in the world, each with their own unique charm, many of them secluded, nestled in forests with mountain views. 

Below are the details on nine Idaho hot springs near Boise, including primitive tubs built up with rocks, as well as man-made pools that look more like a swimming pool. Some hot springs have taps to cool them down while others have multiple pools that you can test out and soak in the tub with the temperature of your liking. Most have no admission fee as they are on public land, but some privately owned springs have more of a resort-type feel and an admission fee. 

My friends and I went on a 4-day, 3-night girls trip to Idaho to explore hot springs. We flew into Boise and stayed in Cascade, Idaho about 2 hours away. This is a great location for a girls trip or if you’re looking to gift an adventurous lady a special experience. (Want more gift ideas? Check out 33 Great Gifts for Outdoorsy Moms for Every Budget.) 

Idaho Hot Springs near Boise: 

Kirkham Hot Springs

This is an amazing start to your Idaho hot springs trip, especially if you haven’t been to a hot spring before. These hot springs are open May to the end of September, but you can park off the road and enjoy a short walk-in during the offseason- making them accessible year-around. 

Just after you cross the bridge into the park you will see a stream against the mountain that leads down to the many pools. If you follow the path and take steps down the wooden boardwalk there are a number of primitive pools on the edge of the Fork Payette River. The hot water comes out of the mountain side, creating a waterfall with steam coming off of it. 

At the top of the hill, before you hit the boardwalk and stairs, there is a dirt trail to the right. There are a number of pools on the side of the mountain heading down to the river. Test them all out to find your perfect temperature. The higher up pools are very hot, so test them cautiously. We preferred the pool closest to the river because the others were too hot for us. We loved this spot because you could see the river, mountains, a waterfall across the river, and it was not as crowded. 

7658 ID-21, Lowman, Idaho 

From Boise: 1 hour 45 minutes

From Cascade: 1 hour 31 minutes

From Idaho City: 1 hour 4 minutes

Pine Flats Hot Springs

If you’re looking for secluded hot springs coming off of the side of a mountain, then this is the best Idaho hot spring near Boise for you! There is a small parking area at the bottom of the hill, next to a trail. 

You will hike just over a half mile to get to the first hot spring pool. Pine Flats is definitely not flat, the pools are built into the side of the mountain at an angle just sharp enough to make things interesting. The pools are small, but the views are incredible. Start at the top and test what temperature you enjoy the most. The pools are cooler closer to the Payette River. There are multiple pools up high jutting out of the mountain, there is one larger pool before you get to the mountain face, and another off of the river below. 

This hot spring is between Kirkham Hot Springs (16-minutes away) Hot Springs Pool (22-minutes away). 

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From Boise: 1 hour 32 minutes

From Cascade: 1 hour 20 minutes

From Idaho City: 1 hour 8 minutes

Hot Springs Pool

This hot springs juts out of the side of a mountain, closer to the river, then the excess hot water drains into more pools next to the river. Park in the lot across from the campground. Take the trail to wind your way down the mountain past the wildflowers to get to the pool. You’ll forget about the highway behind you. The rushing water of the river will drown out the sounds of any cars. 

There is only one pool when the river is high, so get there early during the spring. If you plan your trip around high season (May through the end of September), there is a campground just across the highway from this Idaho hot spring near Boise just outside of Garden Valley. The campground is run by the US Forest service and you can reserve campsites through their website.

333R+JP Garden Valley, Idaho

From Boise: 1 hour 12 minutes

From Cascade: 1 hour

From Idaho City: 1 hour

Rocky Canyon Hot Springs

If you are looking for a little frigid adventure, this one’s for you. You will need to cross the Middle Fork Payette River to get to the hot spring pools, so make sure to wear water shoes, or solid sandals, but what is the fun without the adventure? The number of pools will change (along with your ability to forge the river, although it is generally ankle deep) depending on the river height. This hot spring will be more risky in the spring or before the snow completely melts. 

7425+WG Garden Valley, Idaho

From Boise: 1 hour 32 minutes

From Cascade: 1 hour 20 minutes

From Idaho City: 1 hour 29 minutes

Vulcan Hot Springs 

This hot spring boasts the largest pool in all of the Idaho Hot Springs. The ¾ mile hike through the Boise National Forest is beautiful, and can be an easy hike, made difficult at times by the spring snow melt run-off. Bridges have been built across the river forks to help you on your way. The largest pool is damned with trees from the Boise National Forest, instead of rocks. This hot spring can get very hot, so be sure to check the temperature before getting in.

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From Boise: 2 hours 51 minutes

From Cascade: 1 hour 13 minutes

From Idaho City: 3 hours 10 minutes

Trail Creek Hot Springs

This is one of the more popular hot springs, but that is because it is absolutely stunning. Park on the pull off on the side of Warm Lake Road. If you are lucky the road will be clear, but there will be a snow bank to cross as you head down towards the creek and to your right. 

Two pools will be easy to spot by the rickety looking (but actually pretty stable) bridge you will need to cross. The main pool at these hot springs has a pipe coming from Trail Creek to cool it down. The second pool will need to be cooled by using buckets to add frigid river water to the hot pool. Downstream, directly downhill from the parking area, is a third pool to soak in that is less visible from the trail. 

This is a popular hot spring for people to visit from Boise for the day, arrive early, look for that third pool, or make new friends! We arrived on a Saturday around 10:30 am and had the place mostly to ourselves until around 11:30 am. Then it got busy quickly. 

J6GX+XQ Cascade, Idaho

From Boise: 2 hours 11 minutes

From Cascade: 35 minutes

From Idaho City: 2 hours 31 minutes

Gold Fork Hot Springs

Gold Fork Hot Spring is a private hot spring just north of Cascade, Idaho. There is a $10 cash entrance fee which comes with more amenities than the primitive hot springs such as changing rooms, restrooms, and a snack bar. The pools are man-made, but still a flow through system, no chlorine or chemicals are added to the mineral water. 

The parking lot is not accessible in the winter so the hot spring is closed seasonally, but this hot spring is one of the more accessible ways to soak in the thermal waters of Idaho hot springs near Boise once the snow has melted.

1026 Gold Fork Rd, Donnelly ID 83615

From Boise: 2 hours 10 minutes

From Cascade: 35 minutes

From Idaho City: 2 hours 31 minutes

Mile-16 Hot Springs

This hot spring (also known as Sugah or Fire Crew Hot Springs) is only accessible during the late spring to early fall–unless you have tire chains and a 4-wheel drive vehicle. There are two pools made of stone along the South Fork of the Salmon River. When the river is high it rushes over them, making them inaccessible.

There is another pool that is elevated. It sits so low you will feel like you are in the river and can dip your hand into the river to cool off. It is known as Mile-16 because it is situated just between mile marker 15 and 16 on Forest Road 474 if you are coming from Cascade. There is a small pull off on the side of the road, big enough for 3 vehicles, look closely over the edge for wooden fence posts so that you don’t miss it. Once parked it is a short hike straight down the bank of the South fork of the Salmon River.

From Boise: 3 hours 5 minutes

From Cascade: 1 hour 24 minutes

From Idaho City: 3 hours 23 minutes

The Springs

This is a private hot spring, which looks more like a pool. Reservations are required and Wednesday-Friday are adults only. Make sure to check their website before heading to this hot spring near Boise. It features a private tub and also a larger pool for soaking.

The springs are kept at a comfortable temperature. There are changing rooms and drink service. Your waiter or waitress will bring your beverages to you poolside so you can sip cocktails, beer, wine, or other drinks while you relax in the springs.

37412 ID-21, Idaho City, ID 83631

From Boise: 50 minutes

From Cascade: 2 hours

From Idaho City: 5 minutes

Where to stay: 

If you aren’t lucky enough to live near the beauty of the Boise National Forest, I recommend flying into the Boise Airport and renting a car for your trip. These Idaho hot springs near Boise can be up to a 2-hour drive, but the scenic drive is worth it. 

To be closer to the springs, I recommend staying in either Cascade or Idaho City. If you’re up for a long day trip, you could stay in Boise and drive between the springs. If you do stay in Boise,  the Hyatt Place Boise/Downtown or the The Grove Hotel are both great options. 

If you would like to stay closer to the springs, I suggest heading north toward Cascade and staying at Hotel NoBo  or The Alpine Lodge or northeast towards Idaho City to spend the night in Idaho City. Cascade is a cute ski town. Although neither of these towns are very big, they do have a few restaurants and coffee shops. 

We flew into Boise and stayed in Cascade for two nights. We stopped at two hot springs on the drive to Cascade, three hot springs on our full day in Cascade, and one on the way back to Boise before flying home. It was a quick trip, but I was surprised by how relaxing it was and how easy it was to see so many hot springs in such a short time. 

Safety: 

Some of the springs can be so hot they will burn you. Be sure to check them before you submerge your body to make sure they are safe. Also some areas of the pools may be hotter than others. Always exercise caution when exploring hot springs. 

Most of these hot springs are in remote locations with no cell service. Always tell a friend where you are going and when you will be back. Look out for slick rocks and trails with uneven footing. 

Book a trip: 

There are more than 200 hot springs in Idaho, they are all so unique it can be daunting to choose where to soak first. Hopefully this list of the nine best Idaho hot springs near Boise will help you decide where to start your vacation. With options of primitive hot springs, resort-style hot springs, hike-in hot springs, or ones right next to the parking lot, the Boise, Idaho area has options for all hot spring seekers. I hope this helps you enjoy a fun and relaxing nature-filled trip. 
Looking for more unique trip ideas? Check out Hidden Gems in Kansas.

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