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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Elkhorn (Boat Box)
  Public Hot Springs

Elkhorn Hot Springs in Idaho

Season: Summer, Fall Type: R (roadside)
Sawtooth National Forest Overall Rating: B
6,100 ft Water Temperature: Adjustable via Bucket
Stanley Area Usage Level: High
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05.21.06: Good to go

05.21.06: Spring runoff

05.21.06: A closer look

05.13.03: Fill er up!

11.2001: The steamy tub awaits

11.2001: It's a go!

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General Description
An easy-access, wooden soaking box right next to the highway near Stanley.

Pool Condition
The wooden soaking tub is usable all year long, and the rock-walled seasonal pools next to the river submerge during spring runoff. You'll have to fill the tub (after you put the stopper in) and adjust the hot temps with a plastic bucket (usually located next to the tub) by carting in cold water from the river. Comes complete with sunken seating.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
05.21.06 None None
05.13.03 Low None
11.2001 None None

Water Clarity:
Low (tons of silt and algae)


Slight Odor

Wildlife Sighted: Deer and Elk

Seasonal Notes
Accessible all year, lower pools submerge during runoff, tub usable all year.

Click for Stanley, Idaho Forecast

Camping Notes
There are plenty of campgrounds and primitive sites to choose from in the surrounding Sawtooth National Forest and Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), none next to the hot spring.

Trip Reports

New briefing posted for Boat Box in the hot springs forums

Good to go! This roadside dip was a sweet soak as usual. Be careful climbing into the soaking tub as the river level was unusually high for this time of year, compare the pictures from May 03 and 06 to see for yourself (more than likely normal river flows considering years of drought). I like Elkhorn, and my biggest beef is that it is right next to the highway. Good and bad I suppose depending on your position. I favor soaking a little further off the beaten path - wondering if someone might drive off the highway and land in the hot spring is just something I don't want entering my mind during a soak. Yes, the odds are quite low of this occurring, but judging from the strength of the river flows, I'd say there is a higher probability that you might end up enjoying a mobile soaking experience (while the river carries the soaking tub downstream). It'd be one heck of a ride and a stellar soak to boot, complete with years of bragging rights.
Rating: B+

A nice soak on a not so nice day, it may be May but the temps are still pretty cool in these parts. Once again we had Elkhorn all to ourselves despite the heavy traffic on the highway above.
Rating: B+

Elkhorn was excellent, it's hard to go wrong with this quick little roadside dip. The lower pools were submerged, but their formation was clearly visible. The tub was a perfect warmer-upper on the cold November day. Luckily, there were a couple huge buckets right next to the large tub. They are needed to cart in the cold water from the Salmon River to temper the tub.

Average Rating: B


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No Soap, Shampoo or BIO-Soap/Shampoo Allowed in Hot Springs! Avoid Being Fined!

Public hot springs are not bathing facilities and do not have 'plumbing' like that of commercial, improved hot springs. Soap and shampoo (including biodegradable soap and shampoo) do not completely breakdown naturally. This pollutes our water systems (ingested by fish, animals, humans) at or near the source. This is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas.

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