Visiting hot springs is one of the best ways to experience Idaho’s backcountry. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of geothermal pools near Boise. A relaxing soak in a natural tub or geothermal resort is just a short drive from the City of Trees. In all, Idaho has around 130 hot springs (the most of any state in the country), and many of these pools are easily accessible from Boise. Come breathe in the sounds of nature and rushing rivers as you unwind in healing waters.
Location: 3742 ID-21, Idaho City, ID 83631
Distance from Boise: 37 miles
The Springs offers the closest hot springs experience to the Boise area. It’s open from Thursday to Monday on a reservation-only basis. Here you’ll find a large communal pool, spacious hot tub, on-site masseurs, and a sauna. You can even order food and drinks poolside. Overnight lodging and private tubs are available. Kids are not allowed on certain days—be sure to check ahead. The best time to visit is fall or winter. Click here to make reservations.
Rocky Canyon Hot Springs
Location: Middlefork Rd., Garden Valley, ID
Distance from Boise: 63 miles
More remote than other springs on this list, Rocky Canyon Hot Springs can be reached by crossing the Middle Fork Payette. The pools are close to the road, but, because you have to cross the river, you may not want to bring young children. The Middle Fork waters can be high and chilly, so it’s best to visit in late spring or summer when water levels decrease and temperatures rise. Pools range from warm to steaming hot. You can travel further up the river to discover even more secluded pools.
Snively Hot Springs
Location: 19 miles southwest of Nyssa, OR, along the Owyhee River
Distance from Boise: 65 miles
About an hour drive from Boise, you’ll find one of Oregon’s largest natural soaking pools. Snively Hot Springs has a sandy bottom and is enclosed by a rock wall right on the Owyhee River. An inland source of hot mineral water mixes with the river water to create a pleasant temperature. The parking lot is a short walk from the pool. Day-use is free and pets are allowed. No camping is permitted.
Pine Flats Hot Springs
Location: A few miles west of Lowman, ID, along the Banks-Lowman Highway
Distance from Boise: 69 miles
Nestled between scenic cliffs and the Payette River, Pine Flats Hot Springs is nothing short of spectacular. You have a short ½-mile trek to get to the pools, which are generally more warm than hot (this makes them great to visit during the warmer months). The hottest pools tend to be further away from the river, higher on the cliffside. If you walk a little further along the bottom of the cliffs and wade through the river, you’ll find two larger pools at the base of a hot spring waterfall. Pine Flats Hot Springs has its own campground, and Kirkham Hot Springs is nearby. The best time to visit is summer or fall.
Kirkham Hot Springs
Location: 7658 ID-21, Lowman, ID
Distance from Boise: 78 miles
Here you’ll find multi-tiered geothermal pools sprinkled with hot spring waterfalls. It all overlooks the South Fork of the Payette River and is surrounded by breathtaking nature. The best time to visit is winter or spring. As one of the most popular locations, plan to arrive early to ensure you get a parking spot. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Go during the week if you want to enjoy a pool all to yourself. Please note there is an entry fee for vehicles and no overnight camping is allowed. Pets are welcome. Boise National Forest has great waterfalls and hikes to explore nearby. Pine Flats Hot Springs are not far either.