Idaho

Sunbeam Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho

08/08/2021

Depression and hot springs.

Some hot springs have a history of being developed to overcome unemployment after the Great Depression.

Westside pools

Driving along the Salmon River on Idaho State Route 75, you won't miss Sunbeam Hot Springs.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area 1

This is because you can clearly see the rising steam.

There is a parking space on the side of the road, so get out of the car.

Sunbeam Bathhouse 4

This is part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and is well maintained.

Sunbeam Bathhouse 1

The historic bathhouse, built in 1937, has been preserved (now used only as a changing room).

Sunbeam Hot Springs is one of the places developed by the Civil Conservation Corps.

Sunbeam Bathhouse 3

The Civilian Conservation Corps was a program to overcome unemployment in the 1930s as part of the New Deal policies after the Great Depression, which provided job training by engaging young men in camps.

An unexpected aspect of the program could be that it led to the development of some hot springs in remote areas.

The Boiling Fountain 1

Hot springs can be seen on the east and west sides across the bathhouse.

The Boiling Fountain 2

On the west side, hot water was being dumped from a pipe set up in the middle of the bank to the riverbed.

Let's take a look at the hot water being piped from the other side of the road.

Steam 1

The sunbeams hit the steam, creating a fantastic sight.

Steam 2

There was a structure in the middle of the slope that looked like a source well, and lots of hot water seemed to be flowing out from the area.

Slope 1

I could see that the source of the spring was located much higher than the river.

Slope 2

Since the water temp was close to 158 degrees F, it was impossible to soak in it there.

The Boiling Fountain 3

There were several soaking pools made with rock left by volunteers on the riverbank.

Here you can mix it with river water.

The Boiling Fountain 4

Clothing is optional, but remember that people can easily find you from the road.

Riverside 1

It was a little bit frustrating to feel that the huge amount of hot water was not being used efficiently.

Riverside 2

Now let's go to the east side across the bathhouse.

Eastside tubs

Tubs 1

This is the view from the top of the bank.

Tubs 3

There was a blue tub, a cylindrical tub showing entasis, and a rocky soaking pool made with rocks below them.

Alpaca
Entasis? What?
It's ancient Greek architecture.
Capybara

River Bank 1

It seemed that the hot water was drawn to this side from the source of the springs that we saw before.

Water Outlet 1

The water temp at the hose was 136 degrees F.

Water temp

The tabs were similar to the one at the nearby Boat Box, but a size smaller.

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.

Tubs 2

I ended up liked spending most of my time in this spacious soaking pool.

Soaking 3

Thank you, Franklin Roosevelt!

Soaking 1

Summary

Sunbeam Hot Springs, Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho, U.S.

Rating

  • Type
    Undeveloped
  • Rule
    Clothing advisable
  • Chlorination
    No
  • Water temp
    Up to 136 degrees F

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