Soak in Kirkham Hot Springs
Idaho › Kirkham Hot Springs / Kirkham Campground
Added by Dusty Klein
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!
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.
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
Camping, Chillin, Photography, Swimming
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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.
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