Hot Spring in Idaho - South Central

 

Atlanta Area Natural Hot Springs  

The Atlanta Natural Hot Springs are found within densely forested terrain, making this destination ideal for allocating a few extra days to enjoy a multi-day trip, filled to the brim with scenic views, outdoor adventures, and hot springs. The south face of Greylock Mountain sits adjacent to the town and features craggy cliff sides, and the possibility of a backcountry trek. Trails lead to justifiably unforgettable views from the summit and the possibility of locating a visitor's jar enclosed with scraps of paper including visitors' names, notes, and kind words.  

The Atlanta Hot Springs main soaking pool is ideal for a full sun soak most of the daylight hours, with generous room to stretch out without worry. Be sure to check out Idaho's historic city of Atlanta, and consider a dip in one of the area's relaxing hot springs, while enjoying some of all the area has to offer. The pool boasts plenty of room for multiple occupants and offers views of the surrounding forest pines. 

The Atlanta Hot Spring pool offers direct access from the dirt road, with generous parking space, and an overall open feel. Flat grounds ideal for an afternoon picnic may be found surrounding the hot springs; finding shaded areas may be difficult depending on the time of day; perhaps consider bringing along a large umbrella or canopy for added comfort. If visiting the pools during the cooler portion of the day, it may be wise to bring along a set of warmer clothing to change into after soaking. 

Chattanooga Hot Springs

The Chattanooga Hot Spring boasts a mid-sized pool with seating that overlooks the refreshing water of the Middle Fork Boise River. Chattanooga offers a selection of smaller pools, each boasting various temperature options ranging from hot to cold, thus enhancing the overall experience with a selection of warm to hot soaking and cooling options. After checking out the hot spring pools, visitors may consider setting up camp at a nearby campground.

Boise, Garden Valley, Fairfield, Stanley, Mountain Home, and Sun Valley offer extensive larger city amenities, including refueling stations with firewood - charcoal, food items, water, phone chargers, batteries, first aid supplies and medicine, and last-minute extras before heading into the forest.  

Searching for the next backpacking adventure, mountain biking trek, hiking trip, climbing quest, or the mountaineer's dream come true? 

A few of the most prominent destinations surrounding the Atlanta Hot Springs include Atlanta Ranger Station, Greylock Mountain, Blizzard Mountain, Lynx Creek, Power Plant Campground, Grouse Creek Trailhead, Sawmill Creek, Decker Creek Trailhead, Grouse Creek, Riverside Campground, Warrior Peak, Queen River Campground and Trailhead, Nahneke Mountain West and East, Browns Peak, Mt Everly, Blacknose Mountain, Plummer Peak, Tackobe Mountain, along with Flat Top Mountain. An expedition to the backcountry is not to be taken lightly with requirements for correct safety protocol, tools & gear, navigation, and preparedness. 

Find activities to match the mood of the adventurers with options including kayaking, horseback riding, nature trips, peak bagging, wildlife viewing, rock climbing, and in the colder months, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hot spring soaking.

Browns Creek Hot Spring 

Embrace the guilty pleasures of utter relaxation at no additional cost at Browns Creek Hot Spring alongside the Middle Fork Boise River Road and the Middle Fork Boise River. The location of Browns Creek Hot Spring requires fording the river late in the warmer weather season, as no bridge is present, and the river water conditions are at the lowest levels. Brown's springs boast an impressive array of forest pine and wildflowers.

Bring a fishing pole, folding chair, and sunscreen for maximum enjoyment. Due to the primitive location, it is unlikely that there will be many visitors to the hot spring pool. Be prepared for an incredible backcountry experience with utmost isolation, breathtaking scenery, and landscapes dotted with a mix of douglas fir and ponderosa pine. 

For a multi-destination hot spring experience, visitors may consider traveling to Dutch Frank Hot Springs and Granite Creek Hot Springs a few miles north along Middle Fork Boise River Road. 

For optimal results, visitors to the Dutch Frank & Granite Hot Springs destinations may consider the warmer months optimal for maximum enjoyment; the surroundings are pleasant during the fall months as temperatures begin to cool. As always, it's wise to take extra caution and prepare before visiting remote areas sensitive to weather conditions such as snow, heavy rainfall, and ice.   

Many regional trails, including Brown's Creek Trail, are popular among visitors, with pathways boasting steep rocky ascents and mesmerizing views of surrounding mountaintops. Explorers may also enjoy locating a dazzling array of area wildflowers known to include a colorful mixture of arrowleaf balsamroot (green leaves with yellow flowers), bitterbrush (shrub with short, dense green leaves), and the delightful glacier lily (few broad green leaves with a long green stem topped by a beautiful bright yellow flower). 

Dutch Frank (Roaring River) 

Indulge in the revitalizing waters at Dutch Frank Natural Hot Springs, offering several shallow pools, ideal for a toasty dip or soak. For ease of access, the Dutch springs destination sits along the road with generous open space for a mid-day picnic with riverfront views. The quaint pools at Dutch Hot Spring provide a restful atmosphere and, on occasion, offer wildlife sighting opportunities, including mule deer and elk. The region is wildly popular for turkeys, bears, and chukars. 

Area activity opportunities surrounding the Dutch Frank location include water sports such as paddling the Middle Fork Boise River; featuring class 2 rapids with a maze of dodgy rocks fit for kayakers in search of a technical run. Day hiking trails include Riverside Campground FS 205 and Queens River Campground Forest Service road 206, leading into the Sawtooth Wilderness. The prime time of year to enjoy the trails is June - September. Additional regional activity opportunities are known to include horseback riding, mountain biking, birding, photography, and nature hikes.  

Planning an overnight stay for the whole experience of enjoying an iconic starry night sky at one of the surrounding campgrounds might include Riverside Campground, Queens River Campground, or Troutdale Campground. 

The vibrant array of plant life includes the monkshood (taller stem present purple flowers) and the mountain hollyhock (glamours in appearance the tall stocks boasting broad hairy leaves and pink or lavender flowers). A few flowering plants that are particularly popular and well known in this area is the heartleaf arnica, a beautiful broad-leafed yellow-flowered plant that can sometimes go easily missed. The marsh marigold, known as 'Kings cups' (due to the unique appearance of the leaves), presents large green, hairless kidney-shaped leaves with yellow flowers that bloom beautifully in the spring months. Additionally, there is a various mix of colorful seasonal flowers that present themself within the region, like Nuttall's larkspur with its fairytale-like presentation of blue and purple flowers and spur-like petals. 

Granite Creek Hot Springs

Look beyond the calm waters of Granite Creek Natural Hot Springs for the quiet solitude only nature can provide. The hot springs sit conveniently alongside the road and provide ample parking space with room for trailers. Let the challenges of the day subside and de-escalate after a day of scouting with a rewarding dip in the geothermal waters under the wide-open sky. Refreshing mineral waters have never been so energizing and invigorating; prepare for utter relaxation. The optimal time of year for visiting the Granite Creek Hot Springs destination is during the warmer months after the spring melt-off. 

A few regional outdoor activity opportunities include big game hunting, fishing, and off-road vehicle use. The mountain trails are also an excellent means for explorers searching to enjoy a day of mountain biking, hiking, and backpacking. Adventure motorcyclists may consider checking out a mix of paved windy mountain roads and unpaved trail options that stretch across ridges and summits that overlook the surrounding wilderness.  

Visitors are welcome to explore the area for its fascinating plant life, foliage, greenery, flora, plants, and shrubs. A unique species to the state, found nowhere else in the world, is the Sacajawea bitterroot with its leafy green succulent displaying a white flower in the center. The neat characteristic of this plant is that once the greenery and the flowering portion of the plant have subsided, the underground tuberous remains intact. The area's original inhabitants would harvest the Sacajawea bitterroot tuber at the point of flowering by removing the tuber from the ground and laying it out to dry in the sun for food and medicinal properties. The root is an integral facet of botanical knowledge as it is rich with properties known to produce glycosides (many drugs and poisons derived from plants, known as glycosides). 

Loftus Natural Hot Springs 

Located approximately two and a half hours from the Boise area rests a paradoxical hidden gem by the name of Loftus Natural Hot Springs. This well-known site rests within the heart of nature with easy access for all skill levels, a picturesque setting of pine-covered highland, and two soaking pools with varying temperatures. The Loftus springs consist of tiered basins tucked neatly along the hillside. The pinnacle of the watershed boasts a natural lip that allows the water to cascade into the mineral-rich lagoon graciously. Delve into the warm mineral springs at Loftus Springs for utter peace and tranquility while enjoying a good soak. Visitors may consider the Niemeyer Campground with 8 RV/tent sites for overnight accommodation.  

An enchanting vine of the forest known to attract the droves of berry-gathering enthusiasts is the Huckleberry. The alluring huckleberries are known to grow at the edge of the forest and offer plump fruit ready for the taking. Correctly identifying the plant and berry type are crucial, as there are several look-alikes; many plants and berries are known to warrant severe consequences if consumed. It's wise to gather additional information about other area plants that may be toxic or harmful and to avoid contacting similar brush while trekking area trails or exploring. Be careful not to damage or destroy the bushes as it is illegal to destroy natural resources. Also, be aware of the surroundings as creatures of all shapes and sizes may be actively collecting provisions. Wildlife sightings in the region include deer, elk, bear, geese, and cougar, to name a few. Adventurer reports suggest poison ivy may be prominent in the area, depending on the time of year. 

Niemeyer Natural Hot Spring 

Find Niemeyer Natural Hot Springs the ideal destination after high water season and before chilly weather arrives, as fording the river is required to gain access to the pools and may be challenging otherwise. Exploring the ridge backing the hot springs offers views overlooking the Middle Fork Boise River. A few shallow pools allow temporary relief from the cold river water, surrounded by forest pine with waterfront views.    

Scattered sections of shaded canopy may be found throughout the forest surrounding Niemeyer dotted with a mix of pines including the grand fir and lodgepole pine. The famous ponderosa pine, subalpine fir, western larch, and whitebark pine may appear. Beneath the dense tree life, the forest is home to wildlife known to include rocky mountain elk, moose, weasels, antelope, coyote, mountain goats, fox, rabbit, beavers, muskrat, red squirrels, snakes, deer mice, mountain lion, mule deer, and black bear. A couple of well-known wildlife viewing sites include Niemeyer Campground and Troutdale Campground. 

The following plants are pretty unique in appearance and may be fun to add to the search list: The paintbrush. Sagebrush buttercup (low green leaves with yellow petals that turn white).Scarlet gilia (striking appearance with standing bright green stem topped with red pink or white flowers).Sitka columbine (lantern-shaped flowers). Spring beauty (long leaves and short cupped white and purple flowers). Syringa (dense, highly scented purple-blue flowers), wild hyacinth (blue or purple flowers).The yellow bell (bell-shaped yellow flower). 

Source:

http://www.idahohotsprings.com/https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/boise/learning/nature-science/?cid=stelprdb5036121

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