Red River Hot Springs offers a simple, natural hot springs soak-and-swim in secluded Idaho forest. It makes the perfect destination to head to when you want to get away from it all, as are many on this list of Idaho hot springs worth visiting.
What To Expect
This back-to-basics wood-and-stone lodge in the depths of the Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho, offers a massive 80′ x 65′ outdoor hot springs pool (80-122°F, depending on the season) and geothermal hot tubs (100-106°F), all of which are 100% natural, odor-free, fed from up to four different sources, and not chemically treated in any way. This means that even though the pools are cleaned regularly, algae can sometimes grow in them, giving the water a greenish appearance. This is harmless and should do nothing but remind you that you’re soaking in the purest of geothermal waters!
|3837 Red River Road, Elk City, Idaho, 83525
|Near Elk City, Idaho
|10 am – 8 pm Monday – Saturday; Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
|Easy. All vehicles
|130°F at source
The 130°F at-source water is said to contain 16 natural minerals, which were first discovered and made use of by Native Indians hundreds of years ago. Now they are yours to enjoy, in a safe, fenced-in yard that also offers sun-loungers, grass areas, and picnic tables.
The Red River Hot Springs is available for day use, but the resort also offers simple accommodation for those wanting to stay awhile – four rustic non-smoking lodge rooms, three cabins (bring your own bags), a campground for tents, and seasonal yurts. Three dry RV sites are also available but without hookups. You can get a tasty lunch and dinner at the resort café (NOTE: The kitchen is closed Wednesdays and Sundays). Check out the MENU.
Amber J on Tripadvisor has some useful advice: “When you go, you need to remember that you are VERY far from any big town, and if they get busy they can run out of items and they cannot be easily replaced. Anything crucial (like special dietary needs) you will need to bring with you. This is a good chance to practice self-reliance and bring what you need with you in case you get there and they don’t have it.”
The owners say: “At 5000 ft above sea level, Red River Hot Springs is a climate of its own. Not only does this area offer miles of hiking trails, ATV riding, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and much more, including berry and mushroom picking, the grass is always green and beautiful through the valley because of the warmer waters and wetlands. We’ve really got some great stuff happening at Red River Hot Springs!”
Prices For Day Use Of The Red River Hot Springs Pools
|Children under 4
|Shower (includes towels)
Check out these “Old Times” photos of the Red River Lodge, posted by the owners.
How To Get There
First, be sure to fill up with gas! From State Highway 14, turn south onto Red River-Dixie Road 222 before you reach Elk City. Follow Road 222 (Red River Road). Pass Mullin’s Airstrip on your left. When Red River Road changes its name to “Main Street” – keep going. You’ll pass the Red River Ranger Station (now closed) and the Red River Campground. Basically, from Highway 14, all you need to do is follow the Red River all the way to the Red River Hot Springs & Lodge!
Can I Stay There?
Family and dog-friendly, accommodation here is back-to-basics and non-smoking. Grab a lodge room if you can, spacious and with gas fireplaces, or head outside to a propane-heated dry cabin or the campsite. The seasonal yurt is our favorite option (May to snowfall). Book early to enjoy this glamping experience!
NOTE: The RV sites are dry slips and without hookups. Your Hot Springs swimming access includes towels and shower use, and all campers have access to the indoor bathrooms.
Check-in 2 pm
Check-out 11 am
Prices Per Night Before Tax (For Two Adults), Includes Access To Hot Springs And Towels
|$150* (Room 1 sleeps 5 – $250/night*)
|Dry Cabins (bring your own sleeping bags)
|Each extra guest
|$15 (also including Hot Springs access)
Call in advance for availability and reservations.
What Else Can I Do In The Area?
From picking mushrooms, birdwatching, freshwater fishing, and hiking to tearing it along a woodland trail on your ATV, there’s plenty of outdoor fun for everyone to enjoy here!
For around $120, you can take a day of adrenaline-filled whitewater rafting. Check out the Idaho options here.
If you’re up for trying less commercialized hot springs, we recommend Weir Creek Hot Springs, with a main pool big enough for 10 and offering a restful spot among the peace, tranquility, and abundance of wild nature of Clearwater National Forest. Find out more about it here.
This is the ideal “middle-of-nowhere” getaway for families, couples, and friends looking for commercial, maintained hot springs and an easy, safe space to stay at night.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Visiting A Hot Springs
Every hot spring has its own quirks. Visitors to Red River Hot Springs, for example, should be ready to go back to basics, take their own food just in case, and be aware that this location is a long way from the nearest town! For more general and very important “hot springs etiquette,” we highly recommend you take a moment to check out our carefully compiled easy-to-read list of “dos and don’ts” here. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it does – the commercially owned Red River Hot Springs & Lodge.
Hot Springs has changed owners quite a number of times over the past 20 years. The Forest Service owns the land and currently maintaining the buildings are John and Tawnia Hale and their children, who are always on hand to help out guests.
The minerals in natural hot springs often leave sediment at the bottom of the pools, and make the ideal warm, wet environment for algae to grow. It is perfectly natural and not harmful to the touch. The owners of the resort note that the pools are cleaned regularly.
Yes. The Lodge has a cafe (closed Wednesdays and Sundays) offering hot food. Or bring your own to cook there. The campground has fire rings.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!