Hot Springs: 5 Natural Relaxation Hot Spots in the Western US

Whether it’s winter or summer, sometimes you just want to go someplace perfect for rejuvenation. What better way to relax than to take a blissful soak in perfectly hot water? While some might go out back to soak in the hot tub, there’s a much less expensive alternative. Hot Springs! As a bonus, your natural tub could be right where you need it on an RV trip!

Kirkham Hot Springs, ID

Just of the South Fork of the Payette River lie the Kirkham Hot Springs. With several pools of varying temperatures, it’s a place perfect for any season. The Springs are just off the Kirkham Campground, so there is a small fee but it’s by far worth the $15 overnight ($5 for day) parking! While only one of many hot springs in Idaho, Kirkham boasts a certain uniqueness that most hot springs lack: showers! A small waterfall splashes down into some of the springs, acting as a naturally occurring shower. Just take a seat under the thrumming water and let your stress wash away. When you start feeling a bit done with the hot, just head a little closer to the river! The pools are cooler where the water is mixing temperatures.

Boiling River, Yellowstone National Park

Of course, the National Park that links Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming is a must see for everyone in the USA. But while the geysers and bison are usually the draw of the Park, the Yellowstone Hot Springs are not to be overlooked! While these naturally occurring areas aren’t entirely secluded, they are still beautiful in their own right. The experience here is unique because these springs aren’t technically springs: it’s an area where two rivers collide. Steaming water from the aptly named Boiling River meets the cooler waters of the Gardner River. Here, you can find your perfect bathing spot.

Be careful not to hop into any old Hot Spring you see — the Boiling River was named that way for a reason! Make sure you pay attention to the signs in the area, they’ll help to keep you on the right track.

Hot Springs State Park, WY

Would you rather soak somewhere a bit less wild? Not a problem, the Hot Springs State Park has got you covered! There’s a well maintained bathhouse surrounding the natural, mineral rich waters of the springs. They have areas for indoor or outdoor soaking, so you still have options. Better yet, it’s free! The springs deeper in the park aren’t to be used, but viewed. In the center of the park, the Big Spring is far too hot to get in at 127°F (52.7°C). However, the short walk is worth the sights: steaming water and the Rainbow Terraces. Plus, you’re likely to see Wyoming’s state Bison Herd nearby!

Umpqua Hot Springs, OR

If you don’t mind a small hike, the Umpqua Hot Springs are a good choice! The pools are a welcome prize for either of the two hikes leading to it, though it’s good to keep in mind what weather and temperatures could look like. Weather can vary, so Culture Trip’s James Smart recommends bringing a raincoat just in case. The hike is also pretty steep, and the pools are all about 108°F (42.2°C). Plan accordingly! For parking, Brooke Jackson of The Dyrt magazine recommends staying at the nearby Boulder Flat Campground so we you can be close to the shorter trail head. Or, you can pay $5 for day parking. The seven (7) different, small pools have formed on different shelves, so even if it’s pretty crowded you might be able to get a pool to yourself. Be sure to bring a towel and some water-safe shoes with you; these are natural hot springs!

Goldmyer Hot Springs, WA

If you want your hot springs to yourself — guaranteed — then the “reservations only” springs at Goldmyer is a great choice for you! The pools are well cared for on private property and the owners provide a four-hour window where the pool is your group’s only. They make an effort to clean and tend the pools between these time slots. The tiered baths are partially hidden in a cave, further adding to your privacy. After the 4.5 mile hike, the four hours of relaxing privacy is quite the treat!