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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Rocky Canyon Hot Springs
  Public Hot Springs

Rocky Canyon Hot Springs in Idaho

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall Type: R (roadside)
Boise National Forest Overall Rating: A
3,440 ft Water Temperature: Varies per pool
North of Crouch, ID Usage Level: Heavy
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09.17.07: Decisions

09.17.07: Bliss

06.16.07: The top pool

06.16.07: Two of the new guys

06.16.07: The very definition of a "stellar soak"

06.16.07: It's hard to see, but the initials CS lie hidden beneath this small waterfall - one of the builders (great work Carey!)

06.16.07: The other builder's initials (JS) - great work you two!

06.16.07: The new 5

06.16.07: The top pool

06.16.07: Next one down

06.16.07: The 3rd from the top (on the left side facing the source), 2nd from the bottom

06.16.07: Closest to the bottom on the left (the other 2 pools on the right were below 100)

10.17.05: The top 2 pools both sport temps above 100

10.17.05: The lowest pools are best suited for use during the hottest part of summer, otherwise way too cold

10.17.05: It's a short but steep hike up after a cold river ford

10.17.05: Overhead shot of all 4 pools

07.19.04: Things have changed around here

07.07.02: As seen from the FSR

07.07.02: Yours truly

07.07.02: Looking down from the top

07.07.02: Deep & Wide

07.07.02: Too hot!

Up | Down | Top | Bottom

[View 11.10.09 KTVB Video Showing How Rocky Looks After Pool Removal]
[ View 11.05.09 KIVI ABC Channel 6 Lincoln Graves Boise Green Living Video Clip ]
[ View 07.15.08 Rocky Canyon Hot springs Video Clip ]
[ View 11.12.07 Rocky Canyon Hot springs Video Clip ]
[ View 09.17.07 Rocky Canyon Hot springs Video Clip ]
[ View 06.16.07 Video of Rocky Canyon Hot Springs ]

General Description
North of Crouch, Idaho and on the far side of the Middle Fork Payette River next to Idaho's busiest Forest Service Road lies a beautiful sight... Rocky Canyon Hot Springs. If you can stand all of the people, non-stop dirt road traffic and river ford you are in for a treat.

2007 Update! Rocky Canyon Hot Springs now features 5 rock and mortar pools and 1 rock and log walled pool with gravel/sand bottoms.

11.05.09 Update! The fight to save the pools at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs is on! View the Video and Sign the Petition!

November 9, 2009 Update! I am sad to report that the Boise National Forest demolished the pools with sledge hammers today. There is nothing left. Here's what's going on...

June 2016 Update! The pools at Rocky have all but returned to their former glory of rocks, sand and logs. Year round you can find 1-2 small, soakable pools far above the water line and late season a couple more tend to pop-up as visitors build pools during summer while the river level recedes.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
09.16.08 low low
07.15.08 low moderate
11.12.07 low light
09.17.07 low light
06.16.07 moderate moderate
10.17.05 moderate none
07.19.04 moderate light
07.07.02 low none

Water Clarity:


None Noticed

Wildlife Sighted: Deer, Elk and Moose

Seasonal Notes
The Forest Service Road that provides access is snow covered all winter until approximately late April or mid-May. Spring runoff makes for a tricky river ford early in the season, cross carefully. Best bet is to wait until after runoff. During the summer this is ORV country, expect legions kicking up dirt and dust all over the road.

Camping Notes
Primitive and official campgrounds are all over the place. Due to the location of the hot springs there is no possible way to camp next to or near the springs.

Trip Reports

A welcome improvement to report at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs; the hot water channel and pool mortaring has been revamped; hot water from the source now travels down an encased tunnel, which helps trap the necessary heat required to keep the pools sizzlin hot. All of the pools feature elevated temperatures. Lately, it's been the opposite, and soaking near the top was a must. Now, it's time to enjoy the lower pools. That creek ford though, it was cold. At least the water is low this time of year, and the pools are waiting to warm your numb feet one way in. On Sunday, this place was slammed, uber-slammed! Come Monday, not a soul.

On this particular adventure I teamed up with Channel 6 (KIVI Boise Idaho)... view the complete story on

Click here to view the video clip of KIVI Channel 6 Idaho Green Living: Protecting Idaho's Hot Springs
Rating: A

Less trash, lower temperatures (just barley hot enough to soak) and a freezing river ford... in a nutshell. All in all a great soak. Although my friend experienced a couple bites that he thought to be red spider mites. Hmmm. Maybe, maybe not.

There's not much more to say that wasn't said in the 06.16.07 trip report - meaning Rocky Canyon Hot Springs was indeed a sweet soak. Since it was a Monday, forest service road traffic seemed light compared to last time. There was still a steady stream of vehicles, mostly hunters. It was a beautiful day, the river ford was freezing (see video) and the soak stellar. Light trash (no dirty diapers this time) around and in the hot springs, and the road in was in much better condition. Which can be accredited to all of the firefighter traffic from throughout the summer.

Well how do you like that. Five new, stellar soaks and one original tasty soak await the hot springs interloper at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs. Thank you Carey, J. Smith and son Nathan  - excellent handiwork on the new digs! If you are interested in the pool temperatures, please see the pictures above.

Despite the insane forest road traffic that did not cease until 3am!!!! This soak was a slam dunk. The traffic is terrible because of all the folks heading to and from Silver Creek Plunge. If you decide to camp near the hot springs, make sure you put all of your trash away at night. Wildlife has been getting into human trash in this area, once the wild animals eat our trash they rarely are able to return to their instincts.

As hot springers, we already leave enough of a footprint behind. Let's do our part, pick up everyone's trash, and make sure we are leaving these special areas as untouched as possible.

It was a nice return visit to Rocky Canyon. After braving the cold water river ford we were rewarded with a choice of two steamy soaks. All of the pools look slightly different in contrast to their position and how they were reinforced in the past. Be careful on the steep hike up - use a walking/hiking stick/trekking pole, which will also greatly increase your river fording ability. The main downer on this particular trip was the insane amount of cigarette butts... good grief! And that's the odd thing - cig butts were the only trash I found save for a lone beer can.

05.04.05: 'Swimmy Thingies' Update
A longtime Rocky Canyon hot springer emailed me regarding the 07.07.02 trip report (below). Apparently, the 'swimmy thingies' are actually Idaho Spade Foot Toads. -Thanks for the info. Shane!

It looks like the pools must have gotten washed away during spring runoff once again because now there are 2 pools instead of 4, and neither are in the same location of the previous ones. We were going to soak, but while I was taking pictures a couple dudes and their 10 kids decided to get into the pools first. Which is fine but their kiddies were screaming and cannonballing into the pools while the 2 dads sat back and enjoyed a few am beers. Oh yes, you've gotta love Idaho folks.
Rating: X

Rocky Canyon provided us with a most enjoyable soak. Especially since we had all 4 pools to ourselves despite it still being the big 4th of July camping weekend!! If you know this area, then you must know how rare something like this is. This would have been a grade A soak, had it not been for a discovery in the pool 2nd from the top. We noticed very very small 'swimmy thingies' in the clear water that were attaching themselves to our skin! Apparently the uppermost pool is too hot for those things, and was subsequently a very nice soak. When at Fire Crew we inquired about these 'swimmy things' with a local. He told us that his friend swears they are not any type of leech or anything like that, and that tons of people sit in them all the time. Other than the 'swimmy thingies' Rocky Canyon was awesome, especially for an easy access dip. Note: The so called 'swimmy things' are not the notorious Red Spider Mites encountered at Bear Valley HS.
Rating: B+

Average Rating: A


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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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