Idaho Hot Springs

Kirkham Hot Springs - Boise National Forest

Kirkham Hot Springs is located near the official Boise National Forest campground of the same name and features somewhat shallow rock pools (unimproved) with sand/rock bottoms next to the river. The multiple hot waterfalls are quite a sight! Both the pools and hot waterfalls can be seen from a large pullout off highway 21 on the west side of the campground. Be warned, this place is very popular during the summer and oftentimes winter season. Expect a full-house in the summer.

Kirkham additionally serves as an interpretive site for geothermal activity. There is a trail that winds through the seeps and sources which continuously provide the hot springs pools with fresh mineral water. There are signs along the way that describe the hot springs and area history.

Kirkham Hot Springs Pictures

Soaking at Kirkham Hot Springs The good life
Waterfall Fed Hot Pool Have a hot shower with your soak
Kirkham Hot Springs Hike Be EXTRA careful when hiking down to the pools
Riverside Hot Pool Riverside hot soak

Kirkham General Information

Is Kirkham Hot Springs Clothing Optional?

Good luck with that! This is a well-known and attended family hot springs which are visible from a state highway. Kirkham is posted as requiring swimwear, which means the FS and campground host is on the lookout. Hot springers commonly refer to places like Kirkham as textile soaks.

Seasonal Access Information

Accessible year-round. Campground gated during winter months. Official CG open date is May 20th. The Banks-Lowman Highway and Highway 21 can be a nightmare during winter and spring storms and can close or make the road impassable due to giant rocks falling on the road (seriously!). ALWAYS check road reports prior to your departure.


Kirkham is an actual Boise National Forest Campground, and the hot springs are just a few steps away. Other NF camping sites/areas are also available nearby off highway 21. Summers in this area can be hot, and you’ll find no reprieve in the campground as there are no shaded sites.

Kirkham Campground is located approximately 5 miles east of Lowman off Highway 21 near Mile Marker 77.

Kirkham Campground Online Reservations

Local Services

Lowman may or may not have a gas station available (they seem to come and go on a regular basis). More reliable gas and food options are available either in Garden Valley or Idaho City.


There is a $5 parking fee during the day and the hot springs have nighttime closure in effect from 10 pm to 6 am.

Kirkham Hot Springs Soak Stats

  • Season: All (check road conditions late Fall through early Spring)
  • Type: Hike (short but steep hike to the pools)
  • GPS: 44.062 -115.685
  • Elevation: 3,000 ft
  • Land: Boise National Forest
  • Fee: $5 day use parking fee
  • Restrictions: Campground closed and entrance gated during winter
  • Usage: High
  • Visibility: High
  • Temp: Varies per pool
  • Water Clarity: Clear to Semi-Clear
  • Odor(s): Slight sulfur
  • pH: n/a
  • Area Features: South Fork Payette River, Kirkham Ridge Trailhead (1/4 mile from the campground)
  • Closest Food/Gas: Garden Valley and Lowman
  • Trash: High
  • Bugs: Moderate
  • Wildlife: High (deer and elk)
  • Camping: Boise National Forest camping on-site
  • Clothing Optional: No
  • Pit Toilet: Available seasonally in the campground


Kirkham Campground is about 4.5 miles from Lowman along highway 21. Drive through the campground to find the small parking area and fee box. The hot springs are a short hike from the parking area. The campground and hot springs are well signed.

The brief hike down to the pools can be treacherous during inclement weather. Wear good shoes/boots and bring a hiking stick/trekking pole for balance.