Hot Springs in Idaho - South Central
Indian Bathtub (Lower Indian Bathtub, Bruneau)
Indian Bathtub Natural Hot Springs (lower pool) sits at the heart of the desert alongside the Bruneau River waters. Locating Indian Bathtub Springs requires travel along extensive rugged dirt roads that embody the essence of the surrounding desert terrain. Tall grasses, a sea of sagebrush, larkspur, phlox, and tumbleweeds drench the grainy sands of the vastly barren land. Mesmerizing surroundings welcome visitors to the remote and secluded destination of Indian Bathtub, and begs for hours of relaxation, rejuvenation, and comfort. Overall, the area's remoteness enhances the robust canvas of the starry night sky. The midnight sky proves to provide an unmatched perspective of the stars and is one of many convincing reasons to expand any travels in this direction across multiple days.
Packing all the necessary equipment to ensure safe arrival and departure is necessary to complete the trek to Indian Bathtub due to the extreme desert conditions, lack of amenities, and no services for extensive lengths. The trek to Indian Bathtub Hot Springs burns daylight hours with ease, as the roads are assiduously covered in rocks and require precision driving, dodging oil pan punctures and flat tire causing hazards. This location is firmly impassable in the event of rainy conditions for several reasons, so be sure to check weather conditions in advance; furthermore, the dirt roads combined with rain quickly turn into deep mud bogs. High clearance vehicles are best for optimal outcomes, and reviews suggest accessing the hot springs from the east, due to private property restrictions.
It is essential to locate the correct GPS coordinates to this location and an aerial snapshot of the terrain if possible, as there are many inaccurate listings for Indian Bathtub Hot Springs (lower pool); arrive safely, pack in and pack out, and do not forget to communicate to others an expected return date with details of the expected trip route and any possible alternates. An off-the-grid phone may also be a consideration in case cellular services are limited; for maximum enjoyment, plan for a multi-day trip alieving most of the stresses related to time restraints, and creates a space for endless possibilities, ease of mind, and ample time for outdoor activities. A few outdoor activities popular to the area include photography, birding, drone flying, canoeing, rafting, off-road vehicle use, fishing, off-road vehicles, and checking out the Idaho Centennial Trail.
The sounds of the desert include the notorious cicada buzzing, coyotes yipping, crows cawing overhead, and the rustle of the wind howling through the canyons. The soaking pool is modest in size, and reports indicate varying temperatures around the mid-nineties. Bring along plenty of snacks, drinks, music, and a portable telescope for unveiling the starry night sky with little to no light pollution interrupting the momentous display.
The desert landscape scenery is dotted with wildflowers and exposes storm clouds far off along the horizon. Area wildlife sightings report mule deers, golden eagles, horses, cattle, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn. A few of the smaller creatures might include rabbits, scorpions, snakes, and lizards.
Wild Rose Natural Hot Springs (Milford Sweat - near Carey)
Wild Rose Natural Hot Springs is the ultimate adventure for nature lovers and is the talk of the town, with good reason. Located alongside the road sits three personal lagoons with pool depths as deep as approx—four feet, fed by the spring waters cascading down the hillside, Wild Rose springs are the ideal destination for allowing fatigue to melt away into the mineral rich water. The top pool is far more organic with a muddy bottom not lined with rock and maybe a bit murky, though it offers the organic form of a natural soak. Check out the bottom pool for the maximum soak with larger rocks ideal for sitting within the water. Renowned for its sunsets, Wild Rose Natural Springs offers a unique perspective across portions of Blaine County and depending on the time of year may include snow-capped mountain tops in the distance. Visitors can expect company at the Wild Rose springs location due to popularity.
Come across area wildlife that may include pika, pronghorn, bats, mule deer, elk, coyote, golden-mantled ground squirrels, chipmunks, and the yellow-bellied marmot. For those who prefer to explore, check out the area wildlife from trails including Devil's Orchard Trail, Caves Trail, Natural Arch Trailhead, North Crater Trail, and Lava Hiking Trail. The trails are an excellent means of exploring the area while leaving room for nature to continue without interruption, providing space for neat animal discoveries. Keep a journal handy to log notes of findings, funny occurrences, memories, and perhaps a drawing or two of new discoveries such as plant life. The volcanic landscapes offer surprising findings and create the foundation for adventurous trip experiences. Due to the lack of covering, it may be beneficial to bring along an umbrella, hat, glasses, to help with shade. Be sure to pack tons of water (similar hydrating drinks) and hydrate often.
The Wild Rose Hot Spring pools are an ideal stop to add to the destination list if planning a trip to the Craters of the Moon National Monument or one of the many surrounding locations. Additional area destinations that may be of interest to add to the must-visit list include Carey Lake Wildlife Management Area, Silver Creek, Silver Creek Preserve, Magic Reservoir, Mormon Reservoir, and the Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh. The majestic landscapes are dotted with sagebrush and lead to incredible hidden locations such as Beauty Cave, Inferno Cone Overlook, and Indian Tunnel. The not so lost wanderer may delight in a side trek to Echo Crater, and Bridge of Tears for emphasis of the natural beauty featuring captivating views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
This destination may be considered during the warmer months and sits alongside the road; parking may be limited. If planning a multi-day trip, a few area overnight accommodations include Craters of the Moon Group Campground, Lava Flow Campground, Fish Creek & Campground, Silver Creek Campground, and Upper Little Wood Reservoir Campground. This destination makes for an excellent full-day trip or weekend adventure from the Boise area.