For most, frosty windshields and freezing fingertips may not trigger the desire to be outdoors, but most Idaho State Parks have year-round overnight options available—in yurts, cabins, and restored historic buildings. Your state parks also have a selection of Nordic activities to keep those chilly toes entertained all season.
But maybe you’re not interested in a brisk snowshoeing trek or ice-fishing.
Maybe you envision something a little more like this…
A cozy cabin nestled at the edge of a tree-lined forest, the nostalgic smell of a wood fire, a hot cup of chamomile tea, and the silence of the mountains while snow falls gently out your window. A plaid blanket draped across your lap as your pup snoozes at your feet and your family builds snowmen in the distance. There’s finally time to read that book you’ve been meaning to. To get lost in the chapters like you used to.
Finally—a free moment to write, a free moment to breathe, a free moment to rebuild after the constant onslaught of work, life, and stress.
There’s always time to unwind in an Idaho State Park.
Find your relaxation in an Idaho State Park. Picture above: Farragut State Park
If the winter season is your time to shine, then we invite you to take part in all of the Nordic activities, ice-fishing, and snowshoeing that you can handle. (And we’ve got you covered: https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/nordic). But for those of you that are simply looking for a new way to warm-up, then this is the list for you.
After you’ve planned your stay in any one of our comfortable cabins or yurts, then hit the road to spend the day in one of Idaho’s beautiful hot springs. We are in the top running for most hot springs in the entire U.S (more than 300 naturally occurring springs, over 100 of which are considered ‘soakable’).
And for those of you that are about to have a panic attack at the thought of us divulging Idaho’s Hot Spring Secrets—don’t worry, I consulted with one of our hot spring experts and he assured me that this list is perfectly safe in that regard. Plus, 90% of them have websites, so the secret was already out.
And please remember to take care when you’re on your adventures. Many of the less commercial springs don’t have regular caretakers, but rather, they rely on the users. Here are a few tips to avoid ruining the fun for everyone:
- Pack it in, pack it out. Don’t leave your trash.
- Don’t bring glass. We’ve all experienced trying to pick up a million tiny pieces—just don’t do it.
- Soap is extremely bad for the natural environment. No bathing in the springs.
- Be respectful of other soakers and the surrounding nature.
Bear Lake State Park
Castle Rocks State Park/City of Rocks National Reserve
Harriman State Park
Idaho City Yurt System
Photo Credit: The Springs
Lake Cascade State Park and Ponderosa State Park
(these state parks are within 30 miles of one another)
Land of the Yankee Fork State Park:
Lucky Peak State Park (Boise area)
- Givens Hot Springs -- 54 miles
- Pine Flats Hot Springs – 37 miles
- Silver Creek Plunge -- 65 miles
- Hot Springs Campground -- 52 miles north of Boise. Hot Springs Campground is located in southwestern Idaho, 52 miles north of Boise. Take State Highway 55 north to Banks (35 miles). Turn east on the Banks/Lowman Highway. From Banks drive 17 miles to the campground. Watch for recreation signs.
Massacre Rocks State Park
Photo Credit: Jeanie Lloyd
Thousand Springs State Park
**If would like to add to this list, please contact Chelsea.Chambers@ipdr.idaho.gov
Disclaimer: IDPR does not manage any hot spring including but not limited to the ones listed above. IDPR does not guarantee the condition at or to any of the springs. Roadway conditions vary by season. For updates on roads, visit 511.idaho.gov or download their app directly to your phone. Many of the springs are commercially ran and have direct lines to call which can also be a good resource for roadway condition updates. Stay safe and have fun!