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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Chattanooga Natural Hot Springs
  Public Hot Springs
Boise National Forest Overall Rating: A
5,370 ft Water Temperature: 102
Atlanta Area Usage Level: Heavy

Picture Viewer

09.17.06: Misty, majestic views of Chattanooga Hot Springs and the Middle Fork of the Boise River near the Atlanta trailhead into the Sawtooths


09.17.06: Hot water on its way down to the pool

09.17.06: Boise National Forest and private land surround the hot springs

09.17.06: Crystal clear water

09.17.06: This one is tough to beat

09.17.06: The very definition of 'sweet soak'

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[ View 09.17.06 Chattanooga Hot Springs Video Clip ]

General Description
Chattanooga Hot Springs features one large and shallow hot waterfall-fed pool next to the Middle Fork of the Boise River near the quaint mining town of Atlanta, Idaho. Depending on how strong spring runoff is or was, the pool may be submerged in the river. The key to a stellar soak? Come late season.

The locals have been known to bathe in the hot springs on occasion, and have been known to creep out those unfortunate enough to not be from Atlanta. If you don't want to raise eyebrows here's what to do: get a an old beat-up pickup truck, a gun rack and roll around in the mud. Empty beer cans and trash in the truck bed and a squint with a good stink-eye will get you extra points.

Parking may be tricky because the flat area above the hot springs is on private land. The last time I visited it was signed as "No Trespassing". I had to park near the access road and hike in. Although not personally experienced, I've heard plenty of rumors that Red Spider Mites are living large at C-town.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
09.17.06 Moderate Moderate RSMs

Water Clarity:



Wildlife Sighted: n/a

Seasonal Notes
The majority of roads into Atlanta close during winter save for one route which is sketchy, especially given the large amount of deaths that occur on this road during the summer months. Note: The Middle Fork Boise River Road is a rough one - this is one of my least favorite roads to drive on in Idaho due to the insane washboards. Just something to keep in mind. During the summer you can cut down on the drive time by taking one of the many FSRs off State HWY 21 to the Middle Fork Road.

Camping Notes
Plenty of nearby National Forest campgrounds and primitive sites to choose from. Just around the bend from Chattanooga are free developed sites at Powerplant Campground. This might very well be one of the last campgrounds in Idaho that remains free despite having water, tables and an outhouse.


Chattanooga reminded me of a bit larger version of the late-90s, around the bend pool at Pine Flats near Lowman. Let me elaborate. The hot waterfall feeding the pool continuously emits a steady stream of steam as the hot water is cooled by the air and rock on the way down to the pool below. Luckily, the shallow pool is fairly large, providing for complete submersion of the body. The views of the Middle Fork of the Boise River right next to the pool are awesome. This place is seasonally popular, the rest of the time its under water. What more can I say but to watch the video and look at the pics... I think you'll side with me - this was one sweet soak.
Rating A

Average Rating: A


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No Soap, Shampoo or BIO-Soap/Shampoo Allowed in Hot Springs! Avoid Being Fined!

Public hot springs are not bathing facilities and do not have 'plumbing' like that of commercial, improved hot springs. Soap and shampoo (including biodegradable soap and shampoo) do not completely breakdown naturally. This pollutes our water systems (ingested by fish, animals, humans) at or near the source. This is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas.

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