Molly's Tubs - Hot Springs in Idaho


Wild hot springs in the mountains with fresh traces of wildfire damage.

Enjoy the solitude here.

Warm Lake

Warm Lake, Idaho is the largest lake in Boise National Forest and, as its name implies, is heated by geothermal water that comes from the bottom of the lake.

Warm Lake Lodge & Resort 01
Warm Lake Lodge & Resort

The lake water is not so hot at 72 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and is used for fishing and water sports.

There are some Forest Service-operated campgrounds in the vicinity, in addition to the North Shore Lodge, established in 1936, and Warm Lake Lodge, established in 1911.

Traces of Effort

Forest Road 474 01

To get to Warm Lake, turn onto Warm Lake Rd from State Hwy 55 in Cascade and drive east for about 40 minutes.

Forest Road 474 02

Along the way, you will pass by the relatively well-known Trail Creek Hot Springs.

ReferenceTrail Creek (Samuel's) Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho

The smooth rock surface makes for a clean and comfortable rock pool that is hard to believe it is a wild hot spring. There were three main soaking areas. Lower Pool Access to Trail Creek Hot Springs is not difficult ...

Forest Road 474 03

Not many people visit this lake because of its cul-de-sac location.

Panoramic View 01

The hot springs we will be visiting are located on the South Fork Salmon River, which runs west across the hill from Warm Lake, and along parallel Forest Road 474.

Panoramic View 02

There are two wild hot springs in the area, one being Molly's Hot Springs.

From Warm Lake Rd, drive south on Forest Road 474, exit your car at the first intersection, and cross the nearby bridge.

Riverside 01

The other is marked by a parking space in front of it, commonly known as Molly's Tubs.

Mineral Deposits 01

All photos are from the Molly's Tubs.

Mineral Deposits 02

The hot springs were located down the slope from the road to the river.

Mineral Deposits 03

The water spurted out to the right of a hill made of travertine, forming many rock pools.

Water Temp 01

The water temp at the gushing point was 131 degrees F.

Hot Pools 02

The sulfur smell was favorable, but it was too high for soaking.

Hot Pools 01

Someone led the hot water with hoses and created pools where it mixed with the water from the stream.

Hot Pools 04

There was also a modest source on the right side of the travertine hill.

The Tub 03

The hot water here was piped into the Jacuzzi tub, which had an out-of-place atmosphere.

The Tub 01

There were buckets of river water and a changing area.

I see traces of effort.
The Tub 02

I soaked in a bizarre scene, with traces of wildfire damage still visible in 2019.


Molly’s Tubs, Valley County, Idaho, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped

Rule: Clothing optional

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 131 degrees F

  • 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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