Valiant Soaking at Vulcan Hot Springs in Idaho


At the end of a short hike through the Boise National Forest you will find one of Idaho's most unique hot springs. There is so much flow at Vulcan that the US Department of Energy has been salivating over it's geothermal potential for years. I've heard many a rumor that uncle Sam wants to develop the Vulcan complex into a geothermal power plant. Let's hope that doesn't happen!

Vulcan Hot Springs used to have a couple different soaking options. Now there is primarily one. There are others, but because of the design of the main pool, difficulty awaits for the opportunist soaker. The main pool pool is huge. Without a doubt the largest in Idaho. Almost too large if you ask me, I'm worried that there is too much slow moving water. And yes, Red Spider Mites AKA Chiggers are active at this hot springs, but in low amounts. Just keep your clothing and towel away from the hot springs area.

Accessible all year - dirt forest access road is not plowed during winter; access on horseback or snowshoe.

There is plenty of Boise National Forest camping nearby along with some great primitive sites near the trailhead. Trailhead camping features a pit toilet, around 5 to 10 nice primitive sites, tons of trash, legions of ATVs and is extremely popular. Avoiding the crowds here means coming during the off season. I.E. not summer.

Nearby Attractions

04.29.07 Trip Report

I don't know how, but our soaking party somehow managed to get Vulcan to ourselves on a busy Sunday afternoon. We hiked in as two groups were on their way out. We soaked, got out, ate a snack and headed back. On our way we passed two more groups on their way in. The second group was dragging along the fixins for some serious drinking. I had a sinking feeling when passing this last group that there would be a tremendous mess left behind.

The size of the main pool has been increased again, lowering the temperature to 103°. The soak was pretty good. I didn't say 'stellar' because I have a feeling that the main pool is too big, meaning the flow is too slow. I have recently been given additional hot springs measurement criteria that will shed some light on this. Next time I visit I will post the new results. Thank you Rick!

I came away with only 1 Red Spider Mite / Chigger bite. Out of my soaking companions, only one came away with bites, and only a couple at that. Once again, all 3 of us filled our extra bags with trash. This was quite the regular routine on this trip. Everywhere we went we were filling up bags with trash. On drive out I felt a quiet, sad feeling hit me as the realization that half my truck was full of trash set in.
Rating B


hettinger said...

I was at Vulcan last wednesday (5/2/7), and there was no apparent garbage at the springs. There was a maroon comforter blanket halfway on the trail though, lol.

Anonymous said...

we visited Vulcan this past Saturday (10-25-08) and met only one family heading out so we had the pool to ourselves. It seems as though quite a bit of sediment has accumulated in the pool and it could use a good flushing.

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