Bonneville Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho


This wild hot spring is one of the quintessential Idaho hot springs with its dangerous charm.

The too-small soak shack was also wonderful.

Soak shack on the cliff

Bonneville Hot Springs is located along Idaho State Route 21, near the junction with the side road to Sacajawea.

Reference:Sacajawea Hot Spring - Hot Springs in Idaho

A Native American woman, Sacajawea, was chosen as the model for the portrait on the $1 coin. This undeveloped hot spring is attributed to her honorable name. Sawtooth Lodge On Idaho State Route 21, approximately halfway between Lohman and Stanley, ...

Entrance 01

Access is easier from May to September, when the Bonneville Campground, managed by the Boise National Forest, is open.

This campground does not have electricity, water, or sewer, but it has 22 sites and the janitor on site.

Campground 01

The hot springs are a short 0.6 mile round trip hike from the north end of the campground.

If it is closed, an additional 1 mile round trip is required, but it is accessible all year round.

Trailhead 01

Day use is $5.00 (as of this writing).

Put the cash in the prescribed envelope and drop it in the mail.

Trail 01

The trail is basically flat and you won't get lost.

I walked along Warm Spring Creek, which flowed on my right.

Warm Spring River 01

I arrived when the view opened up and I could see a number of pools surrounded by rocks on the riverbank.

Trail 02

I spotted a shabby building that looked like a work shed on the ground colored by the hot spring deposits.

Bathhouse 02

When I went inside, I found that it was a surprisingly small soak shack.

Bathhouse 03

There was one iron cast iron tub in the room that was so small that I had to kneel to get into it.

Bathhouse 01

It might be valuable to have this kind of man-made structure left at hot springs in a national forest.

If they were going to make it, they should have made more.
I'm sure it's on the edge of not being removed.
Water temp 01

The hot water and cold water were mixed in the tub, but the temperature was 115 degrees F, still hot.

It had a faint sulfur smell and was soft to the touch.

Hot Stream 02

Even so, with only one tub, I could not keep monopolizing it forever.

There were always a certain number of visitors who came from the campsite.

Waterfall 02

There was the source of the springs on the mountain slope behind the soak shack.

There was a considerable amount of water gushing out, and I could feel the intense geothermal activity with my whole body.

Water temp 02

As it should be, the Water temp reached 147 degrees F.

Be careful not to accidentally fall in.

Pools below the cliff

Hot Pools 01

The boiling water that passed in front of the soak shack hot water hut turned into a waterfall and flowed down the hill.

Waterfall 01

A short distance from that point until it joined Warm Spring Creek was a 100% hot spring river.

Hot Pools 02

Even though the water was gradually cooling naturally, it did not cool down easily due to the continuous inflow.

Hot Pools 02

All the places where the rocks were stained orange were dangerously hot.

Hot Pools 03

Eventually, I was able to soak only when the water was about to merge with the underground water from the stream.

Soaking Pools 01

I was concerned about the flying butterflies, but once I was fully soaked, I was good to go.

Fortunately, there were many pools surrounded by rocks left behind by previous soakers, so I had plenty to choose from.

Soaking Pools 02

The water here was lukewarm and relaxing.

I was very satisfied with Bonneville, which had a lot of Idaho-like attractions.

Soaking Pools 03


Bonneville Hot Springs, Boise National Forest, Idaho, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped (fee required)

Rule: Clothing optional

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 147 degrees F

Official website

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

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