It is about a 10-minute drive from Stanley, Idaho.
Cove Creek is one of the easiest undeveloped hot springs to access, but it is not too close to the highway.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
There are many hot springs around the area where Idaho State Route 75 turns sharply east near Stanley.
They are located in a scenic spot on the upper reaches of the Salmon River.
The highway runs high up to shortcut the meandering river around Cove Creek Hot Springs.
The pools you see below are the destination.
The whole area is part of Sawtooth National Recreation Area and is well maintained.
Parking and restrooms are available; but camping is not allowed.
For camping, a campground close to Basin Creek Hot Springs, another spot within walking distance, is available.
Reference:Basin Creek Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho
I do not know such State like Idaho where has a number of soakable hot springs in a particular area. Most of them are undeveloped ones with extremely hot water.
From the parking lot, I went down the slope toward the riverbed, which was really accessible.
It was only a one-minute hike, but even this was quieter by being away from the highway.
I thought Cove Creek won in this regard, as the noise from the cars at the nearby boat box spoiled the wildness.
Reference:Boat Box (Elkhorn) Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho
There are not so many choices in the U.S. if you like to dip in a cauldron hot tub. This one is, surprisingly fed by natural hot water.
I found see the steam coming from behind the underbrush.
Hot water seeping out from between rocks
The hot water was seeping out from the outcroppings of the riverbed.
The whitish bedrock was dyed brown by mineral deposits and hot spring algae.
The water was clear and colorless, tasteless and odorless.
The water temp was 133 degrees F.
The temperature can be adjusted by adding water from the river.
The pools were constructed of rocks that could easily run off, so the shape of the pool seemed to change with each visit.
The cleanliness of the water in the hot springs, which are watered with river water, affects the soaking experience; and the water here was good enough.
It had a particularly spacious impression among the surrounding wild hot springs, probably because the river was wide and the road was not in sight.
Cove Creek can be underrated due to the proximity of its excellent hot springs, but it was amazing that a place like this can be found within a short walk!
Cove Creek (Kem) Hot Springs, Stanley, Idaho, U.S.
- RuleClothing advisable
- Water tempUp to 133 degrees F