Idaho Hot Springs

Hot Springs All-Around

Photo By: Andrew Burr – Middle Fork Hot Spring

To some, Idaho is merely known for its potatoes. However, for others, Idaho is an endless playground filled with hiking, biking, and exploring different hot springs. From roadside pools to backcountry pockets, there are ample hot springs to search for while visiting. 

White Water Rafting and Hot Springs 

After going out on a white water rafting adventure, taking an evening hot spring soak is the best way to wrap up an epic day. People of all ages are bound to enjoy hanging out in the relaxing water as it steams up from the ground. 

Sitting right along the river, the Sunbeam Hot Spring is a group favorite. Having the option to jump between the cool water from the river and the warm hot spring water is a special treat. Along with this, there is plenty of space and multiple pools which can be shared amongst different groups. Pro tip: bring a lunch with you and hang out at the pools for an afternoon of relaxing fun! 

Why So Many?

You may be wondering why there are so many options for hot springs in Idaho. Overall, there are about 340 hot springs to choose from when searching for a pool to relax in. These pools are the result of leftover energy heating water near fault lines. The groundwater in these areas is heated either by the circulation through faults to extremely hot rock in the Earth’s crust, or by shallow bodies of molten rock. 

From here, the heated water percolates to the Earth’s surface and seeps out of the ground to create pools of enjoyable warm water. However, all of this movement means that the water collects an ample amount of minerals on its way to the surface. The main mineral that is carried to the surface is a sulfide compound. This compound is part of the reason that hot springs have that distinct “rotten egg” smell. However, it is not the only part of the equation.

The main cause of this smell is the result of a bacterium that feeds on the sulfide compounds as they rise to the surface. This creates hydrogen sulfide which is the true source of the odor. 

The Ultimate Stanley Day 

To start your day in Stanley, make sure to stop by the Stanley Baking Co. for a delicious breakfast before heading out on your adventure. Next, head on over to Sawtooth Adventure Company for white water rafting, e-bikes, and paddleboard rentals. Following your white water excursion, head on down to Sunbeam Hot Spring for a nice relaxing soak by the river. After everything is said and done, you can end your day with a stop at Redfish for dinner and an evening on the lake. At the end of the day, you can’t help but look back on a fun day spent in Idaho!

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