Soak in Kirkham Hot Springs

7359 Idaho 21

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.

Show More
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Hot Springs
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Perfect Saturday morning adventure

Absolutely worth the drive. It was beautiful! So warm and relaxing :) My 4-year-old son and I went up this morning, got there around 10-10:30. There were a few people but there’s plenty of room! It people started to pile in around 12-12:30 so we left just before 1. It was amazing though, we really enjoyed it!

Beautiful

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

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.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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