• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Forest
Hot Springs
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Three geothermal pools of varying temperature. Overnight camping in the surrounding area. Gorgeous river views and outdoor activities.

Idaho is known for its pristine rivers and countless geothermal pools. The Rocky Canyon Hot Springs epitomizes both of these and will leave you begging to stay. From Boise, hop in the car and head north, I'll see you in Crouch.

Take Hwy. 55 to Banks, which doubles as a landmark town to remember to turn right off of 55 and also as a great lunch spot. Banks is dominated by kayakers and rafters and makes for a good time watching them float by. Continue along Banks-Lowman Highway until you reach Crouch. Follow South Middle Fork Road through the small town and out the other side, where it loses the "South" and becomes simply Middle Fork Rd. Remember to reset your trip odometer for the next steps.

About 7 or 8 miles from Crouch, the road will turn to gravel. Camp spots along the river will start popping up the further you drive. The hot springs are roughly 12 miles from downtown Crouch, at which point you should be looking for a two or three car pull-off area and steam coming from the opposite side of the river. Insider tip: camp about a half mile further down the road and return prepared with swimsuits and cocktails.

The river can be crossed by kids and large dogs, but it's best to cross in pairs. Sandals or shoes are recommended because of the sharp rocks on the riverbed. Once across, there are three pools, each one warmer than the one below it. Use caution, the rocks leading up to the pools will be slippery. Please pack out what you pack in (Idaho is too beautiful to litter) and designate a driver and responsible river-crosser if you plan to partake. Enjoy the natural hot springs and the stunning Middle Fork of the Payette River!

On your way out of town, be sure to stop at the infamous Dirty Shame to start your morning right.

Pack List

For overnight hot springs campers, be sure to pack the following:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Seeping pad
  • Pillow
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Swimsuit!
  • Warm clothes
  • Food and beverages
  • River crossing sandals or shoes
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Visited these while the stars were out! The river crossing wasn't difficult though nice to cross with someone. The cool river water was refreshing after soaking in the hot springs. One thing to note for future users be sure to check the red spider mite activity. Apparently was moderate to high while we were there. None of us had an reaction but definitely don't want to tempt fate.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Very nice

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Dusty Klein Explorer

Oregon born, Idaho forged. Dusty is a weekend-warrior turned freelance photographer with a passion and respect for the mountains. @dustykleiner

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