Kirkham hot springs located in the Boise national forest in central Idaho is amazing!. In my book, it’s the the highest ranking hot springs that I have ever experienced. There are at least a half dozen pools of varying degrees for soaking your tired bones. The river roars by with river rafters. What makes this place more desirable for out of town travelers is an adjacent campground. We stayed there for 2 nights and soaked on and off all day. I soaked every day for 3 days!
What’s so unique about Kirkham Hot Springs is the water flows over you from hots springs above the river. It’s like taking a shower and having water massage at the same time. If you don’t like hot water cascading on you, all you have to do is move over a few feet and soak in one of the luxurious pools. If you are feeling too hot, you can dip in the cool river or move to several cooler hot springs.
The hot springs are located a short walk from the parking lot. There are steps leading to a path down the hot springs. You need to walk with caution as it’s a little slippery. I soaked in the hot springs at night and I brought a flash light. There are several pools located adjacent to the campground that nice to soak in and do not require any effort to reach.
Kirkham hot springs is a must visit if you are traveling through Idaho. It’s open nearly all year with the exception of a snow storm that shuts the road down.
We found Kirkham Hot springs totally by accident. It was getting late in the afternoon and we needed a campground. We checked out Kirkham campground and was not real impressed as it’s close to the highway and it’s still scarred from a forest fire that ravaged the area over 20 years ago. As we were pulling out my son noticed steam coming out of the ground! We packed up and found several very pools right next to a campsite. These pools were more than good enough to merit a stay. We had no idea that the “big” hot springs were located down by the river.
Additional Free Natural Hot Springs
Madison Hot Springs
I soaked in my first hot springs back in 1978 at Madison Junction, Yellowstone national park while on a 2 week bicycle trip. I was hooked. Back then, it was by word of mouth or reading an obscure travel magazine or book. There still are hot springs in the area if you know where to look. I went back there 25 years later and poked around the river next to the campground until I found the hot area. Nobody else was in site or had a clue about the awesome hot springs!
If you live in the western United State, all you have to do is Google search “hot springs Idaho” or where ever you want to soak your tired body.
Travertine Hot Springs
I live in the Bay Area of California and there are hot springs within a half day driving time (6 hours). My favorite hot springs in California are Travertine Hot springs located about a mile south of Bridgeport, California on BLM land. They are maintained and give you amazing sun sets and sun rises of the Sierra Nevadas. The surrounding desert land scape is breath taking.
Directions – Take Route 395 south of Bridgeport half a mile. Turn left at Jack Sawyer Road, just before the Ranger Station. Follow Jack Sawyer Road approximately one mile. Closed in the winter.