Natural Hot Springs: Idaho’s Best Kept Secret?
Idaho is home to tons of natural hot springs. I follow enough local Instagram accounts to know that for a fact. Glorious pictures that have me saying every weekend I'll go visit one. But every time I check a geotag for one of those gorgeous pictures there is no information provided. It's not for lack of tagging it. People are literally going out of their way to type "I'll never tell," "Don't ask," and "None of your business" instead of providing directions to the destination. In fact, a coworker of mine recently shared pictures of an anniversary trip with his partner at a hot spring and prefaced the post by advising we simply enjoy the photos and not bother with asking how to get there. Why so hush hush?
Apparently many Idahoans are very protective of the hot springs. They don't like any ol' body to show up for a soak in what I call nature hot tubs. Too often when a large group of people finds out enough about a place, they ended up trashing it. It makes sense. We've all had our favorite spot in town that gained too much notoriety and now the vibe is off or it's too crowded. Especially during Covid life, the fewer people congregating the better.
So how are we supposed to enjoy these gifts of nature when there are hot springs enthusiasts gate keeping the hidden gems? You can google natural hot springs in Idaho, but you're going to get a list of the most popular ones. If you're looking for the secluded spots you're going to need an insider to accept you into the club, so to speak.
Your best bet is to try and join one of the private groups on facebook dedicated to...hot springing? If it's not called that, it should be. They may leave your request on read or even reject you, but persistence is key. You want to prove that you're going to respect the space and not run your big fat mouth alerting any and everyone about these coveted locations.
In the interim, popular spots are still beautiful. Lava Hot Springs in Bannock County is a town built around the natural hot springs experience. It's well known, but still quite the attraction. And if you're new to the phenomenon that is a hot spring, this is a great place to start. That will be my next adventure.
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