Your Guide to Idaho’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Hot Springs & Beyond
Many of us are familiar with popular hot springs around the world — think Iceland’s Blue Lagoon or Pamukkale in Turkey, but those closer to home often fly under the radar. In fact, the U.S. boasts 1,661 known thermal springs, most of which are located west of the Rocky Mountains. From California to Colorado, there’s a wealth of natural pools for us to explore. But these gems are possible without a unique geological location, and there’s no other state that offers that kind of diversity than Idaho.
From the snow-capped Sawtooth Mountains, to acres of protected forest, to whitewater rivers and volcanic plains, Idaho is, in many ways, defined by its landscapes. The gem state embodies the wilderness culture, and, at times, it can feel like the last frontier. Places to explore are endless and it’s hard not to be blown away by the beauty of this state. Unlike hot springs in other states, almost all those in Idaho are safe to take a dip in, so whether you’re sitting in a rock tub perched above a icy river or surrounded by a canopy of cedar trees, there’s really no better way to “soak up” our state’s magic than to soak in it.
With cooler weather right around the corner, it’s time to get out the map and start planning for your hot springs adventure — Not that you need a specific time or the year or occasion to sit back and relax in nature. Use this guide to help you plan your road trip and scout out some of the best and off-the-beaten-path-soaks from Idaho to California — Just don’t forget to pack the Payette beer!