Zims Hot Springs resort offers a huge pool of natural healing mineral water that is plenty big enough to swim in and soothe away the stresses of life. Take the family and relax with them in the games room, or use the site as a base to explore the stunning mountain landscape before coming back for a soak before bed.
|Address||2995 Zims Rd, New Meadows, ID 83654|
|Location||New Meadows, Idaho|
|Open||Wed-Fri 12 pm-9 pm, Sat & Sun 8 am-5 pm, closed Monday and Tuesday.|
|Road Access||Easy. All vehicles|
|Water Temperature||90 – 105°F|
|Admission||$10 Day Pass, or included in the price of an overnight stay|
What To Expect
The commercial year-round family resort of Zims Hot Springs offers two pools filled with 100% organic, unfiltered, unchlorinated, geothermal mineral water on the banks of the Little Salmon River in the scenic Meadows Valley. The warm water is ideal for a soak after a day hiking and exploring, or just to bring the kids to for a swim. And if that appeals to you, so might these other hot springs in Idaho. Click on over after you’re done reading here for more Idaho soaking inspiration!
The smaller soaking pool fed by the source is 100-105°F, with the water flowing through to the huge swimming pool and cooling slightly to a friendlier 90-100°F. Both pools are around 2-3 feet deep.
The “old but cute” Zims Hot Springs resort offers 12 simple, grassy RV spots and primitive tent camping spaces (closed in winter, as it usually snows here!), and a snack bar. They also promise live music on most Saturday afternoons.
You can come and soak for the day, or pay to camp and have the soak included in the price. There are picnic tables, lockers, changing rooms, showers, and bathrooms. It is also pet friendly, but you need to keep your fur babies leashed and in the campsite area – they are not allowed near the pools.
An added bonus for families is the games room, featuring pool tables and old arcade games.
The Nez Perce Tribe has been operating the hot springs for some years, having bought it back from the spiritual family which once revered the hot springs for their healing properties.
About The Water
Reading reviews going back some two years, we have seen comments regarding the algae in the pool. While not a disclaimer for the site, or a justification for not maintaining it better, in reality, algae is a natural feature of natural water – this is a large, untreated pool and nature will keep trying to get the better of it. If the thought of a bit of slime puts you off, you may want to avoid this resort, though otherwise the water and space to swim in is wonderful!
Day Soak Prices
Season passes and group rates are available. Bathing suits and towels can be rented and swim diapers can be purchased on-site.
No reservations are needed – they accept walk-ins. If you want to be sure of a place, though, check with the property.
Feeling hungry and the snacks at the snack bar are just not doing it for you? Head over to New Meadows to fill up. The Granite Mountain Cafe is one of our favorites for breakfast and lunch, while the Intersection BBQ Bar & Grill is where you’ll want to head for a dinner of House Applewood smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, pulled pork, steaks, and burgers. While you’re there, check out the local stores along the main street. It’s always good to support local businesses on your travels, and you might just find some nice surprises.
The springs are a culturally significant part of the Nez Perce tribe’s traditional land, once known as “Chinook Meadows.” As such, they bought the springs when it came up for sale by the previous owner. For most native peoples, hot springs had important spiritual and ceremonial meanings, and were used for rituals and healing, and Zims was no different back in the day. Of Zims Hot Springs in particular, we found out that they would bring bighorn sheep horns to the springs to soften them to make bows for the hunters.
Shannon Wheeler, Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee Chairman, says:
“As the original people of this land, the hot springs and the entire area are an important part of our culture and history. In addition to the tribe’s fisheries and wildlife departments in McCall, we are continuing our stewardship in the area through management of this wonderful amenity.”
How To Get There
From Boise, Zims Hot Springs is 120 miles (2.5 hours) to drive. Take the ID-55 N 115 miles to New Meadows. Get on Hwy 95 and head north for 4 miles. Turn left onto Circle C Ln/Zims Road. The hot springs resort is on your left, 3 minutes up that road.
Can I Stay There?
Yes. The property has a simple, open, grassy campground with 12 RV parking spaces (with and without hookups), and a number of primitive, unmarked campsites. An RV dump site is available.
There are covered picnic tables and, overall, being set back off the road, this is a quiet and peaceful site. While there is no shade for campers, there is a stream and the site offers picturesque views of the pine-covered surrounding mountains.
|RV Hookup Sites||$20*|
|RV hookup w/o electric||$12*|
Special group rates are available.
Alternatively, head back to New Meadows and stay in a beautiful holiday home or cabin. Check out the full list here. Our favorites are the fully equipped 4-bedroom New Meadows Golf Resort Vacation Rental with Hot Tub and the 5- bedroom Camas Family Cabin with its outdoor dining area overlooking the mountains.
Ponderosa State Park just 30 minutes away offers its own range of cabins, as well as primitive campsites. Check out their offers here.
What Else Can I Do In The Area?
From blue lakes to fish in or kayak on, and mountains and forest trails to hike or bike, Idaho’s state parks offer a lot of beauty to explore.
Near McCall, just 25 minute’s drive from Zims Hot Springs, is Payette Lake and the Ponderosa State Park, a popular year-round destination for hikers and cyclists, canoers, kayakers (rentals available), and snow-trail lovers, where you and the family can discover the wild, listen to talks at the amphitheater, or head off on a guided tour. Children can join the Junior Ranger Program in the summer.
Why not go rafting on the Salmon River? Orange Torpedo Trips is just one of many companies that can offer you an exciting tour, this one starting from Riggins, just under 40 minutes north of Zims Hot Springs.
Goose Creek Falls, just north of McCall is a nice 3-mile hike to a scenic spot. It’s downhill to get there and uphill on the way back, but the nature there is sure to give you the energy you need to make this worthwhile hike!
If you can’t get enough of that hot spring soaking, try Idaho’s other offerings. We recommend the primitive, riverside Rocky Canyon Hot Springs in the Boise National Forest, the Sunbeam Hot Springs, by the riverside outside Stanley, and Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs within the Sawtooth National Forest. We’re always adding more soaking options, so come visit us again and type “Idaho” into the search bar.
While some say a little more TLC is needed here, Zims Hot Springs resort offers a huge pool of healing mineral water to swim in, and a lovely hot soak pool to ease away your worries. Take the family and chill with them in the games room, or use the site as a base to explore the stunning mountain landscape before coming back for a soak before bed.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Visiting A Hot Springs
Every hot springs has its own quirks. Visitors to Zims Hot Springs, for example, should be ready for natural algae in the water and a family-oriented vibe. 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
Zims Hot Springs officially works the following hours: Wed-Fri 12 pm-9 pm, Sat & Sun 8 am-5 pm, closed Monday and Tuesday.
Grangeville is 75.7 miles (1 hour and 24 minutes) north of Zims Hot Springs.
Yes. Bring your dog but keep it leashed and in the camping area only. Pets are not allowed in or near the pools.
Reading reviews going back some two years, we’ve seen complaints about the algae in the pool. While not a disclaimer for the site, or a justification for not maintaining it better, algae is, in reality, a natural feature of natural water – and the Zims Hot Springs’ pool is very large and totally untreated, so nature will keep trying to get the better of it.
Idaho boasts hundreds of ancient, dormant volcanoes which once created lava rock that trapped millions of gallons of water there. That water, heated by the earth, flows up to the surface and makes all those Idaho hot springs we know and love.
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!