Hot springs are naturally warm pools that usually pop-up in the mountain and are heated by subterranean volcanic activity. Idaho has more than a few hot springs for you to enjoy which, coupled with the fact that they are an attraction that you can enjoy year-round — yes, even in the winter– make it a very popular pastime for Idahoans. Some people particularly enjoy going to the hot springs in the winter in order to experience both extreme cold and extreme heat by jumping in the snow, get in the hot water and then start over again. This is supposed to shock your body and give you energy and help you focus. If you do not care for that kind of stuff though, don’t worry. The pools are a great place to simply relax and let your worries wash away.
Most hot springs getaways are tucked away in the mountains which allows for sweet relaxation in the quiet nature surrounding the comforting pools. This does mean that most hot springs require a bit of a hike to get to though. A lot of people make going to the hot springs a day trip and bring picnics to enjoy before entering the pools. It is very fun to hike in but be sure to be equipped properly for the environment. Always check the weather and plan accordingly. Also, bring some cold water to drink or to cool you down if you try to tackle the hot spring for too long.
There are so many hot springs in Idaho that it is not very difficult to find one close to you. The hot springs are in such varying locations because there are several thermal vents throughout Idaho and that is what helps provide the natural pools of warm water. Most cities in Idaho have a hot spring two hours away at most. Going to the hot springs fairly often is a hobby that a lot of local Idahoans enjoy and it would not be surprising if you made new friends pretty quickly if you were to frequent them as well. Due to the fact that there are so many hot springs in Idaho a lot of them have other amenities added to them to set them apart from the others. Some have slides, water basketball courts, and clubhouses with pool tables, food, and souvenirs. Then again, there are also hot springs that just let the location do the talking for those that just want to go to relax and forget the rest of the world for a little bit. It is always a good idea to do some research on the hot springs and what the environment is like to ensure you get the experience you are hoping for.
Some of the Hot Springs You Need to Check Out!
Though there are several hot springs around the state and no one that lives in Idaho has to travel very far to get to one, there are camping sights near most of the hot springs in case you want to make a weekend trip out of it. There is a hot spring in Stanley Idaho, for example, that is rated in the top seven hot springs to visit in the state. It is called Boat Box Hot Springs and it has campgrounds all around it where you can pitch a tent or park an RV from where you can hike up to the springs. You can also drive to the springs but there is not much room for parking. The hot spring itself is also very small but the view around it is beautiful and the atmosphere is rather cozy.
Another hot spring on the top seven list is Rock Canyon and it is the closest one to Boise on the list. There are camping spots all along this hot spring as well, but you do have to cross the river during the summer. Kirkham Hot Springs is the most well known and used during the holiday seasons. There are several campgrounds around this area that you can reserve but make sure to plan this trip in advance as it is a hot commodity here in Idaho.
There are some hot springs that are off the grid and free to the public because they are state-owned. These ones are usually smaller and require more of a hike to reach. They can be hard to find online because no-one is getting paid to get people to go there, however they can be seen on a map. The benefits of these springs are that they do not bring in as much traffic and they are usually fairly empty– which is great if you are trying to escape the world and not have to socialize with other people while you soak your stress away. Other springs that are larger are privately owned and used as a business. This means that there is a charge to use them but usually the pools are bigger and there are built-in structures that make accessing the pools easier. Some places go as far as having hotels available on sight such as the Mountain Village Lodge which provides living units for those that plan to stay a night or two to enjoy the springs and maybe get a little exploring in. Or you can rent a cabin near the Burgdorf springs and enjoy spending time roughing it with no electricity and just natural thermal vent heating for warm water in the springs.
There is a Hot Spring for Everyone
From the private hot springs that are tucked in the mountains and away from the public with a couple of campgrounds nearby to the hot springs with lodging and large pools where you can socialize and meet other people, Idaho has a hot spring that everyone can enjoy With the help of the relaxing thermal springs that can melt away any stress and the gorgeous surroundings of mountains, pine trees, and other foliage, you will enjoy yourself no matter where you are or who you are with. The hot springs are a great way to relax during a weekend trip or they can even be a nice midweek relaxer. Wherever you go or for how long, the springs are all worth it with their beauty and the calming effect they will have on you.