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Hot Springs in North Central Idaho

November 7, 2022

Most states have only a handful of natural hot springs. But, in Idaho there's over 100 soakable, natural hot springs, more than any other state. And, of course, you'll find some of the best soaks right here in North Central Idaho.

Over 15,000 square miles is home to the Idaho Batholith much of which is in central Idaho. Millions of years or tectonic plates colliding, formed the Idaho Batholith and as a result the energy from this plate friction is what heats the water in Idaho's hot springs.

Some of these hot springs take a bit of a hike to reach, others are only accessible from late spring to early winter. Most are free and two are part of resorts and lodges that have formed around the natural hot springs. Plan your hot-spring hopping getaw to North Central Idaho with these best of the best.

Highway 12

Stanley Hot Springs

Stanley Hot Springs

These backcountry hot springs take a bit of effort to get to but are well worth it. The hot springs flow through a few pools before reaching Huckleberry Creek.

How to Get There: 48 miles east of Kooskia on Highway 12 (or 85 miles west of Lolo, MT) is the Wilderness Gateway Campground. Pass Loops A and B, trail 211 will be on your left before the 2nd bridge. Follow trail 211 five miles to a signed junction where you go right to Huckleberry flat. Cross Boulder Creek and continue along the edge of Huckleberry Creek where you’ll find soaking pools in a large clearing above the trail

Season: Best to visit late spring, summer, or early winter

Cost: Free

Weir Creek Hot Springs

***Unfortunately, due to visitors not following recreational guidelines, this area has been closed until further notice. The Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest asks visitors to always make efforts to Leave No Trace and Recreate Responsibly. Remember to “take only photos, leave only footprints.” Leave nature where you found it, and make sure that anything you bring to the forest with you comes home with you after your visit. Abide by rules and regulations in the location you are visiting; they are in place to keep you safe and our natural spaces thriving. 

Weir Creek Hot Springs

The main pool is on a slab of rock overlooking the forest and Weir Creek.

How to Get There: 68 miles east of Kooskia on Highway 12 (66 miles west of Lolo, MT) is a parking lot by the Lochsa River just east of milepost 142. Follow the trail about half a mile up hill through the trees to the hot springs.

Cost: Free

Season: 

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

***Unfortunately, due to visitors not following recreational guidelines, this area has been closed until further notice. The Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest asks visitors to always make efforts to Leave No Trace and Recreate Responsibly. Remember to “take only photos, leave only footprints.” Leave nature where you found it, and make sure that anything you bring to the forest with you comes home with you after your visit. Abide by rules and regulations in the location you are visiting; they are in place to keep you safe and our natural spaces thriving. 

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

One of the most popular hot springs in northern Idaho, the three sets of pools are located in scenic surroundings.

How to Get There: 78 miles east of Kooskia on Highway 12 (56 miles west of Lolo, MT) is a parking area between mileposts 151 and 152 along the Lochsa River. Cross the Warm Springs Pack Bridge over the Lochsa River and turn right. About a mile along Warm Springs Creek, you’ll find the Waterfall Pools. There is a second set of hot springs in a meadow followed by a third set of pools above the meadow.

Cost: Free

Season: Open Year Round

Lolo Hot Springs

Lolo Hot Springs

Just across the Idaho border in Montana, lies Lolo Hot Springs Resort with indoor and outdoor hot springs and pools. 

How to Get There: 7.5 miles east of Lolo Pass Visitor Center on Highway 12.

Cost: Varies depending on age

Season: Open Year Round

Highway 14

Red River Hot Springs

Red River Hot Springs Lodge & Resort

Near Elk City, Idaho, Red River Hot Springs can be a destination all by itself, or a jumping off point to many more outdoor adventures. In addition to a natural hot springs pool, the resort offers hot tubs, yurts/glamping, cabins, and RV/camping sites.

Cost: Varies depending on age

Season: Open Year Round

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