All About Idaho Hot Springs

Idaho has the most usable hot springs out of any state in the nation; with about 130 soakable out of 340. However, Nevada has the most hot springs overall, but the majority of them are not soakable. The water is hot because it is heated from within the Earth's crust, forcing it up to the surface where pools are developed or form naturally near the outflow.

Ninety percent of Idaho's 340 hot springs are the result of leftover energy heating water near fault lines. This energy is leftover from a 17 million year old meteorite collision that occurred in present day southeast Oregon. The collision dramatically altered the once lush environment into the high desert landscape that is familiar to us today.

Black basalt currently visible along Interstate 84 between Boise and Idaho Falls remains as evidence of the collision, as is Craters of the Moon National Monument. The migrating hot spot created by the impact of the meteorite was once underneath Craters of the Moon, just as it is now under Yellowstone National Park.

The other 10 percent of Idaho's hot springs are from water being heated by active volcanoes, typically at or around fault lines.

Two Types Of Hot Springs

Public Natural Hot Springs - These springs are typically on public land and are considered a somewhat 'rustic' or 'wilderness' style of soak, although sometimes improvements made to the pools can yield to a commercial look and feel.

Commercial Natural Hot Springs - These springs are typically on private land and usually require a fee of some sort to access.

Warm Lake Area Hot Springs Summer Road Closure

(not the actual sign.. heh)

Forest Service Road 474/674 North, also known as the South Fork Salmon River Road; which grants access to Yellow Pine by way of the Warm Lake Highway will be closed from July 30th until October 15th 2007 because of road construction. This will temporarily effect access to the following hot springs:
  1. Buckhorn Hot Springs
  2. Teapot Hot Spring
  3. Lodge Pole Hot Spring
  4. Darline's Cabin Hot Springs
  5. Mile-16 (Sugah) Hot Springs
  6. John Wayne Hot Springs
  7. Dollar Creek Hot Springs
  8. Penny Hot Springs
To recap, the South Fork Salmon River Road, northeast of Cascade, will be closed from July 30th, 2007 until October 15th, 2007 due to road construction. This road is located in both the Boise and Payette National Forests.

Testing Teapot Hot Springs in Idaho

Teapot Hot Spring in Idaho

Teapot Hot Spring lies at the base of Teapot Mountain nestled between the South Fork Salmon River and Forest Service Road. Teapot features seasonal pools that submerge during spring runoff. The smattering of 5 to 7 pools are typically composed of rock and sand walls, are quite mucky and algae laden and feature sand and gravel bottoms.

Seasonal Notes
Accessible all year - note Warm Lake HWY and FSR 474 N traveling during winter will require a 4x4 to get though safely. The streamside pools at Teapot submerge during spring runoff.

Camping Notes
There is plenty of Boise National Forest camping nearby - no camping at the springs.

Nearby Attractions
03.24.07 Trip Report

As I neared Teapot I slowed down and looked out the window - I didn't plan on stopping, but the sight of a promising medium sized, well-built pool lured me in. Although not quite spring runoff, this new pool was just a smidge below the river water level making it a tad chilly. I bet this new, deep soaker will be good to go come late summer.

However, the South Fork Salmon River Road (FSR 474/674 North) will be closed the majority of THIS SUMMER due to road construction. So, from June through mid-October 2007 all of the hot springs in this area will get a break.
Rating: C

View the Complete Listing for Teapot Hot Spring in Idaho

Mile-16 Hot Springs in Idaho Revisited

Mile-16 Hot Springs in Idaho

03.24.07 Trip Report

What a weird and wonderful place Idaho is. Where else can you soak in a hot springs, get some sun and play in the snow all on the same day? The air temperature was about 65 and the water around 104. This was one of those rare times where there's still mountain snow on the ground, the roads are clear and sun is warm. This is the small window before spring runoff; which last year buried Mile-16 for one of the first times that I'm aware of.

The soak was stellar, and I found NO trash and a freshly filled pool to boot. Did I say there was no trash! Awesome! M16 has some great caretakers. However, I found tons of angler trash along the South Fork and a couple creeks nearby. Shame on you fishermen - I've found so much angler trash over the years. Get it together and show the land you take from basic respect. Sheesh.

Please note, the South Fork Salmon River Road (FSR 474/674 North) will be closed the majority of THIS SUMMER due to road construction. So, from June through mid-October 2007 all of the hot springs in this area will get a break.
Rating A+

View the Complete Listing for Mile-16 Hot Springs in Idaho

Help Protect Public Lands - Where the Majority of Hot Springs are Located

No More Sales of Our Public Lands to Special Interests!

Help the Bush Administration Learn Its Lesson: Tell your Senator to support the Bingaman Amendment

Last Congress, corporate interests and their Congressional champions tried to legalize huge sales of our public lands to mining, oil and gas companies. They failed spectacularly. They were even voted down by the majority of fellow Republicans.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has not learned their lesson. Please help teach them. Send a letter to your Senator opposing the sell-off of public lands to special interests.

This year the Bush Administration proposes to sell off millions of dollars worth of our National Forests and other public lands under the guise of attempting to balance the federal budget. They are once again utilizing disinformation to dissuade the public from their true agenda.

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) will be offering an amendment to the Budget Resolution TODAY (3/22) to stop the perverse calculations in the federal budgets that allow our federal lands to be sold to special interests. This amendment should stop the efforts by the Bush Administration to sell our public lands.

TAKE ACTION. Please urge your Senator to support Senator Bingaman's amendment to the Budget Resolution bill. Urge your Senator stop the inclusion of the sale of public lands in the calculations of balancing the budget.

Soak Season Approaches

Ahh yes, it's that time of the year again.

The weather is warming up, and thoughts of hot springs, hiking, backpacking, camping, festivals and road trips begin to plague the mind on a daily basis.

Some things to remember:

Spring Runoff
This is a big one. The majority of the best hot springs in the northwest are inaccessible until late June through early August because of spring runoff. That just means that the water runoff from the melting snow in the mountains creates dangerous river fording conditions - not to mention submerges every hot springs located next to a river or creek. Which is just about all of them. Each of the hot springs listings on indicate the best time of year to visit.

Mile 16 - Submerged!

Trail Creek - Submerged!

Early May though June is tick season. Make sure you and your canine compadre are ready to deal with those nasty little buggers.

Forest Road Closures
The majority of forest service roads do not officially open until mid-May. Even then, depending on elevation, some roads may not open up until early August.

Last summer was Idaho's worst in regard to wildfires. In fact, the condition of a few hot springs is still unknown as many were in fire zones last season. The keeps pretty good tabs on the latest wildfire threats in Idaho and Oregon, and the Interagency Fire Center is the place to go for all of your wildfire info. Last summer, each fire was given a blog.

Hot Springs Resources
Idaho Hot Springs Map and GPS Coordinate Listing
Guide to Roadside Hot Springs
Guide to Backcountry Hot Springs
Listing of Hot Springs in Idaho

Best wishes and happy soaking! Forums Upgraded! recently upgraded the Hot Springs Forums. Here's a screen grab of the new look:

Idaho Republican Fighting the Good Fight?

I have to admit that I was surprised to see Idaho Senator Crapo join with a Democrat to introduce legitimate pro environment and wildlife legislation; the Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2007.

I say 'surprised' because the latest batch of political legislation introduced by Idaho Republicans the last few years has been loaded with a friendly front-end and typically nasty back-end that does exactly opposite of the marketed purpose of the proposed legislation. None the less, I was glad to read it.

Oregon's Hot Lake Hotel Restoration at Hand

I have read a lot about the Hot Lake Hotel restoration project near La Grande, Oregon this last month. It sounds pretty sweet as far as commercial hot springs go. I'd really like to check it out. There's gotta be a primitive soak around there somewhere!

View Official Website

One Last Soak at Potosi Hot Springs in Montana

Scenic Potosi Hot Springs, a commercial hot springs near Bozeman Montana, closes at the end of this month. Full Article...

If you can't visit in person, at least visit the official website - as it too will be gone at the end of March.

Stand Up for Wolves in Boise - TODAY!

Today's the day - finally a centralized effort of do-gooders composed of all types of those into the outdoors coming together to fight the good fight. It is time to protect Idaho wolves my friends.

When: Tuesday, March 6
Public Meeting from
3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Public Hearing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Boise Convention Center on the Grove
850 W. Front Street, Boise, ID (
view map/directions)

Just to clear the air, here's a 2-minute wolf primer: Wolf Myth Busting - The Truth About Wolves

Today's meeting and hearing will hopefully be a stark contrast to the embarrassing blood-thirsty pro-wolf killing rally lead by political mastermind Butch Otter. I bet he has a room in one of his mansions that is made completely out of otter skin.... his war room where he dons an otter skin suit, sits on his otter throne and contemplates his next move.

Please, if you live in the Treasure Valley come to the Pro-Wolf rally tonight! We need every last one of you - the wolves need you even more!

The Bush Administration is poised to open the door to mass killings of wolves in the Northern Rockies by removing them from the endangered species list. Public hearings have been scheduled in western states -- and a hearing taking place on March 6 in Boise will be our only chance to oppose this deadly scheme in person in Idaho.

Governor Otter has announced that if the gray wolf loses federal protection, he wants to see 550 of Idaho's 650 wolves killed. Putting the wolves right at the threshold margin for going back on the endangered species list; which then leads to costly reintroductions efforts - just like the one we are still paying for.

I really hope you'll join us at the hearing to make your opposition felt. Everyone attending will have the opportunity, if they wish, to speak publicly for two or three minutes against the delisting proposal.

When: Tuesday, March 6
Public Meeting from
3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Public Hearing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Boise Convention Center on the Grove
850 W. Front Street, Boise, ID (
view map/directions)

The federal government once allowed our Northern Rockies wolves to be shot, harassed, and poisoned into near extinction. If wolves lose critical protections under the Endangered Species Act, Idaho plans to immediately slaughter all but 100 wolves in the state. And, hundreds more wolves could be killed on sight in Wyoming by aerial gunners - not hunters!

As a resident of Idaho, your comments will have an especially big impact in stopping this terrible plan. Conservationists from all over the world are counting on you, so please take some time out of your busy schedule to be a voice for these magnificent creatures.

The public meeting will take place from 3:00-5:00 p.m. During the meeting, you can learn more about the federal proposal and take part in a question and answer session. Written comments will be accepted at this time.

Then, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the public hearing, you can offer testimonials in person about the importance of preserving crucial protections for our wolves.

I hope you can make it to Tuesday's public meeting. After all, if we don't speak up for the wolves, who will?

When: Tuesday, March 6
Public Meeting from
3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Public Hearing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Boise Convention Center on the Grove
850 W. Front Street, Boise, ID (
view map/directions)

Miracle Hot Springs in South Central Idaho


Miracle Hot Springs, located 9 miles south of Hagerman right off HWY 30, features an assortment of hot springs soaking and lodging options. There are 2 large, general admission pools; one is kept at 105 and is partially covered while the other is kept warm for exercising purposes. There are 19 private soaking pools, each with adjustable temperatures and changing rooms. The continuously flowing natural hot spring water is soft to the touch and odorless. And finally, 4 of the 19 private pools are VIP pools which are designed for use by larger groups (4+). Availability is on a first come first severed basis, and phone reservations are accepted (7 day cancellation policy).

Aside from 5 tent and 11 RV sites right next to the river (with electricity), Miracle Hot Springs has 5 geodesic domes available for camping, events, retreats, workshops... etc. I noticed a teepee set-up near the tent and RV sites that may be available as well. Handicap access, restrooms and a gift shop with ample soaking supplies are available on-site.

General Admission (both outdoor pools)
Adults: $8 (Seniors $6)
Child age 2 or younger: $1
Child age 3 - 13: $4
Private Pools (in additions to general admission)
Romancing After Hours: $32
VIP pool: $6 for 1 hour or $18 for 2 hours
VIP Romancing After Hours: $37
Camping Dome: $34/night
Queen Dome: $54/night
King Dome: $59/night
Event Dome: $59/day
Tent Sites: $10/night
RV Sites $20/night

Monday-Saturday: 8am - 11pm
Closed Sundays
Check In: 3pm
Check Out: 11am

I must admit it was more than a little weird visiting a private hot springs instead of non-commercial hot springs. However, weird can often yield pleasurable results. This was one of those good-weird times. Miracle Hot Springs was clean, the staff was friendly and the soaking excellent. The alligators and geodesic domes fit well in this unique geothermal-powered environment. It was a nice and quiet soak; the water was soft and hot and the pool design inviting. I may have to change my policy on commercial hot springs and visit one more than once every other year, especially if they are all like this.

Rating A

Maps, driving directions, additional images and more available on the complete listing for Miracle Hot Springs.
Related Posts with Thumbnails