Pine Flats Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho


One of the famous wild hot springs in Boise National Forest.

It was a miracle, with hot water cascading down from the top of the rocky hill creating various soaking spots.

Pools in the foreground

Campground 02

Densely populated with wild hot springs along the South Fork Payette River, around Lowman, Idaho.

Like Kirkham Hot Springs, Pine Flats Hot Springs is a particularly popular hot spring.

ReferenceKirkham Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho

Kirkham Hot Springs is a landmark of sorts among Idaho's many wild hot springs. Here, environmental destruction due to excessive popular concentration is a problem. Mountainside pools Of the large number of undeveloped hot springs scattered throughout the mountains north of Boise, one of the most famous is probably Kirkham ...

Campground 01

To get to Pine Flats Hot Springs, first enter the Pine Flats Campground, operated by the Forest Service.

Trailhead 02

This is a fee-based campground with a total of 24 sites, open from May to September.

This popular campground has a looped paved road leading to each sites and is equipped with pit toilets.

Trailhead 01

If you just want to go to the hot springs, park your car in the parking lot at the south end.

The day use fee is $5.00 per vehicle.

Trail 01

Please drop off cash in the envelope provided.

It is an easy 1/4 mile hike one way west to the hot springs.

Trail 02

I walked along the river looking at the remains of the wildfire.

First Pool 01

When I hit the huge rock pile, I found the first pool.

Bedrock 05

I went down to the riverbank and continued further, and finally, the huge rock jutted out into the river.

Middle Pool 02

Once over the rocky terrain, a considerable amount of hot water cascaded down.

Middle Pool 04

There were some pools that can be used for soaking in the middle of the slope.

South Fork of the Payette River 01

The water that flowed down to the bottom was mixed with river water in rock pools that volunteers had constructed on the riverbank.

Middle Pool 01

The clear, colorless, tasteless, odorless hot water was 117 degrees F hot.

Water Temp 01

There was heat that could warm up even in the middle of winter when it snows.

Middle Pool 03

Pools in the back

The South Fork Payette River meanders through the area avoiding the rocky hill.

Bedrock 04

During periods of low water, it is possible to reach the back of the rocky hill via the riverbank, but at the time of my visit, the water was quite high due to melting snow.

South Fork of the Payette River 02

Therefore, I decided to climb out of the hill and descend to the west side.

Hot water seeps out from everywhere, and the precipitation makes it slippery and dangerous at the top.

Bedrock 01

The majority of the water was found to be overflowing from the concrete box.

So the hot water that flowed out from here naturally spread and formed various pools!

Slope 01

Now, the descent was trickier than expected.

Hidden Pool 05

Because of the fragile sandy slope, I descended while gently sliding down the stones as well.

How did you get home?
I scrambled up the rock face.
Hidden Pool 01

As you saw, if the route along the river is not available, do not overdo it because of the difficulty.

Bedrock 02

The pool at the back, which I reached with great difficulty.

It was the largest rock pool that could accommodate four soakers.

Hidden Pool 03

The water temp was lowered while the hot water fell from the vertical rock wall, creating a tepid, comfortable temperature.

Hidden Pool 04

The serenity here was otherworldly, even though it was right next to a place bustling with campground guests.

Hidden Pool 02


Pine Flats Hot Springs, Boise National Forest, Idaho, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped (fee required)

Rule: Clothing required

Chlorination: No

Water temp: Up to 117 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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