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Home: InfoCenter: About This Website and Natural Hot Springs in Idaho


Skinnydipper (Mile Marker 4) Hot Springs in IdahoHot springs reviews found on this web site contain trip reports (briefings), pictures, video clips, ratings and more about soakable, natural hot springs located throughout Idaho. Many of which are located on public lands. also serves as an outlet for public lands organizations. Both the Bureau of Land Managment (BLM) and National Forest (NF) have contacts that actively report hot springs condition and access updates to the webmaster.

Hot Springs Etiquette and General Guidelines

Before heading out on your next (or first) soaking excursion, please consider reading the helpful resources in the Guides and Articles section.

Two Types Of Hot Springs

Bear Valley Hot Springs in IdahoPublic Natural Hot Springs - These springs are typically on public land (National Forest or BLM) and are considered a somewhat 'rustic' or 'wilderness' style of soak, although sometimes improvements made to the pools can yield to a commercial look and feel.

Commercial Natural Hot Springs - These springs are on private land, have on-site facilities of some sort and usually require a fee to access.

About Natural Hot Springs in Idaho

Idaho has the most usable hot springs in the Nation, with about 130 soakable out of 340. However, Nevada has the most hot springs overall, but the majority of them are not soakable. Geothermal water is hot because it is heated from within the Earth's crust, forcing it up to the surface where pools are developed or form naturally near the outflow. Ninety percent of Idaho's 340 hot springs are the result of leftover energy heating water near fault lines. This energy is essentially leftover from a 17 million year old meteorite collision that occurred in present day southeast Oregon. The collision dramatically altered the once lush, forested environment into the high desert landscape that is familiar to us today.

Pine Flats Hot Springs in IdahoThe impact of the meteorite was deep, in fact so deep that it remains stationary while the North American tectonic plate shifts above it. As the plate slowly moves, the hot spot periodically erupts volcanic lava - leaving a traceable path of volcanic activity behind. This path of volcanic activity is not only responsible for Yellowstone, but for almost all of the hot springs activity in Idaho. Other evidence the hot spot has left behind include Craters of the Moon and the basalt lava flows visible throughout southeast Idaho, most notably off Interstate 84.

As the earth above the hot spot continues to shift, Yellowstone will eventually look like Craters of the Moon does now. Which means Craters once looked like present day Yellowstone.

Also worth noting: The meteorite that hit southeast Oregon 17 million years ago had an impact so great that it wiped out all life in the Pacific Northwest; lava blasted out of the impact crater for hundreds of miles and sent a river of lava to the west coast, creating the Columbia Plateau in its wake.

[Source: Roadside Geology of Idaho, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1995]

The other 10 percent of Idaho's hot springs are from water being heated by active volcanoes, typically at or around fault lines.Mile 16 Hot Springs in Idaho

Where It All Comes From

The hot springs trip reports, pictures, video clips and ratings are all from actual trips the webmaster has made to natural hot springs since August 1999 - unless otherwise documented. He started soaking in hot springs in 1996, shortly after moving from north Idaho to Boise, Idaho.

Ratings Explained

Hot springs are rated "A" through "F". A rating of "X" signifies that not enough data was available to compile an accurate rating. It should be noted that ratings are based on the condition of the hot spring at the time of the visit.


This website was designed for the purposes of sharing information and experiences related to hot springs, hiking and the great outdoors with 'like' minded individuals.

About the Webmaster

The Hot Springs GuyThe Webmaster has been enjoying hot springs, hiking, backpacking and camping in Idaho and the northwest for many years and houses a firm belief that the enjoyment of hot springs can be achieved through conservation, education and preservation.

In Closing

Thank you for visiting Please feel free to connect with the webmaster for comments, questions and/or suggestions. Guest pictures, trip reports and ratings on any hot springs are always welcome. Anything you send in that is posted on this website will be credited with the proper source.

Please remember to pick up your trash and not bring glass!


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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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