World Famous Hot Pools (Lava Hot Springs) - Hot Springs in Idaho


Hot water gushes out from the bottom of huge pools.

Living up to its world-famous name, I visited the spa facility that can be enjoyed by everyone from hot spring enthusiasts to families.

Sunken Garden

Lava Hot Springs is one of Idaho's leading spa towns.

Exterior 1

World Famous Hot Pools is a walk-in spa facility that is synonymous with Lava Hot Springs.

It is located along the Portneuf River, which is famous for tubing.

Exterior 2

Before entering, take a look at the small park in the back called Sunken Garden.

Why don't you just get in there?
Tend to eat what I like later.
Lava Hot Springs

In this park, which was valley-shaped toward the hot springs, I found minerals of volcanic origin, true to its name, Lava Hot Springs.

Stay on Pathway

It is estimated that lava flowed in this area until about 27,000 years ago.

Sunken Garden 2

It is not far from Yellowstone National Park, which still shows active volcanic activity, and the heat source of the thermal springs is thought to come from a magma pool in the same system.

Sunken Garden 1

The huge pool was already filled with hot water.

From the Garden 1

This is no time to be playing in a park like this. Let's take a soak soon.

Straight out of the ground

It began in recorded history in the late 1890s, when the U.S. government purchased the land from the Shoshone-Bannock tribe of Native Americans.


Despite being wrecked in the 1962 flood, it has always been popular to this day.

The facility has been continuously renovated and looked brand new.


Separate changing rooms for men and women.

Clothing is required, so this is where you change and leave your luggage.

Changing Room

Just outside the changing rooms was an unusual swimsuit dehydrator.

It was great that I can tell how to use it just by looking at it.


The second-largest pool was the one closest to the entrance.

A gently curving section with a staircase of benches was ideal for soaking while lounging.

Large Pool 1

The water temp was an appropriate 108 degrees F.

Although it looked very man-made, this pool was one of the oldest and, surprisingly, was gushing straight out of the ground.

Large Pool 2

In other words, the thermal water gushed out of the gravel spread on the bottom under natural pressure.

105 F Pool

To its west were two small pools with different temperature settings.

The Jacuzzi was working and somewhat lukewarm.

103 Pool

The pool at the west end was even more lukewarm.

It felt even more artificially created.

Red Roof

Still, none of the pools had the unpleasant smell of chlorine.

A large roof was provided, which was good for sunny days.

Source of the Springs

Returning to the area where the changing rooms were located, I observed a slope with exposed lava and found a cave.

Although I could not enter the hole, I could see the source flowing at the far end.

112 F Pool 2

Across the cave, at the east end, was the largest pool that was visible from the park earlier.

There was by far the largest amount of hot water.

112 F Pool 1

This rectangular pool, the oldest of its kind, was gushing at the bottom of the pool and was set at a hot 111 degrees F.

The hot water, which gushed out with occasional bubbles, was hot enough to make one jump up in some places.


Tasteless, odorless, and pure thermal water was gushing from the bottom.

It was, without question, a world-famous place!


World Famous Hot Pools, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, U.S.

My rating

Type: Walk-in

Rule: Clothing required

Chemical use: Not detected

Water temp: Up to 111 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!

-, ,