Rocky Canyon Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho


This hot spring is located across the river on foot.

It was completely removed in 2009, but has been restored by volunteers.

Shining Rock Surface

South Middle Fork Road, a dirt road heading north from Garden Valley/Crouch, is said to be the busiest forest road in Idaho.

Tacoma 01

Many campgrounds are scattered along the Middle Fork Payette River, and the Silver Creek Plunge Resort is also famous.

Across the River 01

On a cliff across the river from the road, I found a rock face that glowed a different color than the surrounding ground.

Hot Springs!
I'm sure you're right.
Slope 01

The forest road was wide enough to park a few cars on the shoulder, so I decided to get out of the car and walk across the river.

Middle Fork Payette River 01

In December, the water in the Middle Fork Payette River was very cold.

Middle Fork Payette River 02

The water was as deep as my thighs and I had to step on it to keep from being swept away.

Hot Springs on the Opposite Shore

Riverside 02

The water level usually drops from late summer to early fall, so it is wise to visit during this time if you are concerned.

Riverside 03

There were several rock pools along the river below the rock face mentioned earlier.

Slope 02

This is Rocky Canyon Hot Springs.

Pools 03

Although this slope appears to have collapsed naturally, it actually has a history of human destruction.

Soaking 02

The incident occurred in 2009.

Soaking 01

Prior to that, there were about five mortar-reinforced pools that were completely removed by the Forest Service, in part due to protests from local tribes concerned about environmental damage.

Waterfall 03

Originally a popular spot, the pools were soon rebuilt.

Pools 01

At the time of my visit, two pools were set up halfway up the slope.

Water Temp 01

Each was large enough for about two soakers and had a reasonable depth.

The water temp was 104 degrees F.

Waterfall 02

Clear, colorless, tasteless, odorless water was flowing down from above.

Waterfall 01

After carefully climbing up an extremely slippery slope, I found the sources.

Source 02

The surroundings looked attractive, brightly colored with mineral deposits, but there were no soaking spots available here.

Source 01


Rocky Canyon Hot Springs, Garden Valley, Idaho, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped

Rule: Clothing optional

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 104 degrees F

Related Hot Springs

In Idaho, a state full of wild springs, it is not uncommon to find hot springs on the other side of a river with no bridges.

Brown's Creek Hot Springs 01
Brown's Creek Hot Springs, Atlanta, Idaho, U.S.

At Brown's Creek Hot Springs, I had to give up soaking due to high river levels.

  • 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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