• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Hot Springs
River
Scenic
Waterfall

This legendary hot spot is one of many along the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway. It features geothermal pools and waterfalls of varying temperatures and is nuzzled up to the beautiful South Fork of the Payette River.

Soaking in Kirkham is like soaking in a dream. Numerous geothermal springs of varying temperature await at the bottom of a small wooden staircase. Hot water pours over the cliff into pools below and literally feels like a natural shower. If that's not enough, enjoy the rush and beauty of the Payette River beside you.

From Boise, head north on Highway 21 through Idaho City and through Lowman. 5 miles past Lowman you'll spot the steam from Kirkham Campground, home to one of the most famous hot springs in Idaho. Insider Tip: there are many geothermal pools along this highway so keep your eyeballs out for signs and steam rising if you're looking to tour some more springs. Kirkham sees a lot of visitors in the summer months so prepare to engage with other soakers. If you brave the roads and hike through the snow in the winter you will be rewarded with a vacant world-class, all-natural spa.

This is one of those charming spots that you've got to experience firsthand. There is a $5 fee to park in the campground and it's recommended to keep your pups at home. As always, be respectful of your environment and pick up after yourself. Have a great soak!

Pack List

When visiting Kirkham Hot Springs, be sure to bring:

  • A swimsuit!
  • A towel
  • Water sandals for climbing on and over wet rocks
  • A $5 bill to take care of the parking fee

Also keep in mind that this is a campground! If you're lucky enough to stay here you'll want to bring the overnight goods. Make your campsite reservations on Recreation.gov.

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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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Reviews

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Beautiful

We had a great time. The river water is so clear. You can see the bottom. We will go again.

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

Bring Water Shoes

We had every intention of heading up earlier, but drug our feet and arrived around 11:45am It was during a snow storm and there were still people around, but not super busy/crowded (one group in a separate pool, another couple, us, and over time maybe 2-3 more couples came through) it was still an intimate experience as most people kept their distance. We didn’t even think to bring water shoes & really regretted that but otherwise loved everything about this place.

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

Loud And Dirty

Unfortunately we didn’t stay long. There was a group of college kids with boom boxes blasting music, smoking pot and drinking, also cussing. We had our kids with us so this atmosphere was not going to work. We notified law enforcement so hopefully they’ll swing by every now and then and keep the place proper for future visitors.

3 months ago
3 months ago

Perfect winter getaway

I drove out from Boise for a hike in the mountains and a soak in the Springs. It couldn’t have worked out better for me. The soak is easily accessible from the parking lot and was the perfect way to warm up after a chilly hike. Fee pay station is closed for the season.

4 months ago
4 months ago

Perfect Leg Stretcher

Perfect way to break up a long drive. A bit crowded but very cool to go from hot water to cold river. Also some fun cliff jumping front the rocks if you swim to other side of river

8 months ago
8 months ago

Family Friendly/Perfect Day Trip

A friend and I went with our two little boys (ages 2 and 3) for a day trip. Got there a little after 1030 and stayed until 1. The weather was perfect as was the water. Brought lunch and snacks and played in the water.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Easy Access, Decent Conditions

These hot springs are right off the main road. The fact that its easy access contributes to it's ever diminishing experience overall. I've driven by numerous times to see 10-20 people scattered throughout the springs. People being there is not inherently bad (I like people). However, campers are progressively taking less care of the springs (e.g. some garbage around) as their popularity rises. I was there at 6am one Saturday and it wasn't busy. A good soak too.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Kirkland Hot springs

Amazing💕

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

SO SICK

pretty lit

over 2 years ago
over 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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