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Home: Idaho Hot Springs: Sacajawea Hot Springs
  Public Hot Springs

Sacajawea Hot Springs in Idaho

Season: Summer, Fall Type: R (roadside)
Boise National Forest Overall Rating: B
5,600 ft Water Temperature: Varies
Sawtooth Lodge, SNRA, Grandjean Trailhead, Grandjean Campground Usage Level: Moderate

Picture Viewer

08.12.02: Why hello there

08.12.02: Yours truly looking at the pools from above

07.01.02: Best soaking pool this time

07.01.02: Crystal clear water

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General Description
North of Lowman, near the Sawtooth Lodge and Grandjean trailhead into the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) and nestled on the banks of the South Fork of the Payette River lies Sacajawea Hot Springs.

Sacajawea Hot Springs features a seasonal batch of rock walled pools with river rock, sand and gravel bottoms. The good news is that over the years Sacajawea has accumulated a variety of user-built, rock-walled pools. The bad news is that your soak depends on the cold river water to keep the pool temps in the usable range. Which means you better keep stirring the pool in hopes of dispersing the frequent blasts of hot and cold. That is, if you can find a pool level enough with the river.

With that said, there may or may not be a good soak waiting for you, depending on the river level, but at least the view is beautiful. Sacajawea Hot Springs is well known, easy to get to (during the warm months) and is located near the Sawtooth Lodge, Grandjean Campground and trailhead. Expect to see and interact with people.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
05.19.07 Low none
04.24.04 Low none
08.12.02 Low-Moderate none
07.01.02 Low none

Water Clarity:
Crystal Clear


Slight sulfur odor

Wildlife Sighted: Bull Trout, Deer & Elk

Seasonal Notes
All of the pools submerge during spring runoff. The seasonal Forest Service Road is closed in winter; snowmobile, ski or snowshoe access only.

Camping Notes
Excellent primitive camping opportunities along the forest service road between the hot springs and highway 21, and great official camping at Grandjean Campground, no camping at the springs.


Beautiful day, every last pool was submerged due to spring runoff.

We lucked out and the FSR was open! Woo hoo! However, the pools were either way too hot or way too cold. This place can be tricky, but beautiful none the less.

Not too bad. I barley recognized this place upon arrival. I was here slightly over a month ago and everything looked so different! Last time there were 3 soakable pools, this time we counted 7 total soakable pools. Sadly though, extreme blasts of sizzling hot and rigid cold water (much worse than 07.01.02) plagued each and every pool. There was one pool that I thought had potential when it cooled off more outside. This is the first time I have been able to see the actual blasts of heat in the water at any HS! You could literally watch the heat patterns traveling though the pools, which was helpful I might add. We lucked out and got to witness a handful of Bull Trout shooting up the Bear Valley Creek near Fir Creek CG, it was amazing... a couple of them that were moving much faster than the others and looked like 2 torpedoes blasting upstream.
Rating B

All of the larger pools were still submerged due to spring run-off, but luckily there were 3 shallow but wide soakers that had been dug out slightly above the others that seemed very usable. The pool by the river was at a near perfect temperature. I say 'near' perfect because there were semi-frequent blasts of hot and cold which were easily dealt with by an occasional swirling motion. The bottom of the pools were lined with river rock and gravel with no slick stuff or silt anywhere to be seen. The water was very clear and no sulfur or other smells were noticed. We lucked out having this to ourselves for almost a couple hours. Upon our arrival we witnessed 6 women and a couple heading the opposite direction, and just as we were leaving we ran into two couples that were just as drunk as you can imagine. They nearly drove right off the edge of the small cliff when pulling up, not too mention parking so that the rear of their truck almost blocked the road save for a small hole that only smaller vehicles could pass through. I noticed that the submerged pools have quite a bit of depth to them, and think they will be prime-time soaks sometime around late August. It was great to see the grounds around the source and springs clear from trash. There also seemed to be a lot of wildlife in the area. The mosquitoes didn't seem to be around, but then again I was covered in bug juice due to a recent experience at Vulcan HS.
Rating B+

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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