Located in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Goldbug Hot Springs is in Idaho, about 20 miles south of Salmon. During most of the year there are six pools that are waterfall-fed and located along Warm Spring Creek, where water from the pools flow into Warm Springs Creek. In the spring, when there is significant run-off, the availability of the warm pools differs. The bottom of the pools is sand and gravel and they are enclosed by boulders. While it is said that the springs are 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature varies based on the time of year.
A hike of around two miles is required to access Goldbug Hot Springs. As a result of the required hike to get to the Springs, they are rarely crowded. The trail, which is on private land that is part of a BLM easement, gets a lot of use and navigation is easy. With an elevation gain of 1,350 feet, the hike can be challenging, however you will be rewarded with relaxing water and gorgeous views.
The challenging hike to the springs offers an accomplishment to celebrate as you relax in the soothing water. If you are looking for a place to relax among gorgeous scenery, Goldbug Hot Springs is an excellent choice!
To get to the trailhead for Goldbug Hot Springs from Salmon, take US-93S/S Challis Street. Continue on US-93 S, which is a two-lane, paved highway, for 22.8 miles. As you proceed on US-93, you will notice that it runs parallel to the Salmon River.
The road will make a large curve as it follows the river; after the curve, when you reach Warm Springs Road, make a left turn and continue for .3 miles, until reaching the trailhead for Goldbug Hot Springs on your right. From the trailhead, it is about a two-mile hike to the hot springs.
Parking is available at the trailhead to Goldbug Hot Springs.
Public transportation is not available to Goldbug Hot Springs.
Mosquito Flat Reservoir Campground offers 11 individual campsites along with a day-use area for picnicking, located along Mosquito Flat Reservoir. Sites include picnic tables and fire rings, and RVs and trailers that are up to 32 feet long can be accommodated.
The campground does not offer hook-ups, though vault toilets are available. As there is no drinking water at the campground, make sure to bring plenty of your own. The campground offers easy access to the Yankee Fork Trail and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and is a great place to camp for those looking to fish and spend time on the water. Sites are first-come, first-served.
Those looking for a remote camping experience offering plenty of solitude can head to Big Bayhorse Campground. Offering 11 sites within a lake setting, the campground includes a boat launch and two boat docks for non-motorized watercraft. Sites can accommodate RVs and trailers that are up to 32 feet long and include a picnic table, fire ring, and cooking grill. Vault toilets are available and as there is no water at the campground, be sure to bring plenty of your own.
There are plenty of recreation opportunities easily accessible from the campground, including access to hiking and ATV trails, along with fishing in the lake and nearby streams. Sites are first-come, first-served.
Just 42 minutes from Goldbug Hot Springs, Cougar Point Campground includes 18 campsites, each of which has a picnic table and a fire ring in a heavily forested area. While the campground does not offer hook-ups, it offers easy access to Meadows Trail, which is perfect for hiking and biking, as well as the Williams Creek Trail System.
The campground sits at an elevation of 6600 feet, ensuring cooler temperatures during the warmest months of the year. Pit toilets are available at the campground, which is able to accommodate tent campers, along with those bringing an RV or trailer.
The main draw of Goldbug Hot Springs are the Springs themselves. Not only will the temperature of the water feel great after the hike to the Springs, but you can enjoy soaking while being surrounded by gorgeous scenery.
Sit back and relax in the Springs and enjoy the fresh air and solitude the area provides. Should you happen to get too warm during your soak, you can easily cool off in Warm Springs Creek, before hopping back into the Hot Springs.
The hike to Goldbug Hot Springs is not the area’s only hike. The Salmon-Challis area is home to all sorts of hiking opportunities for those at a variety of ability levels. Hikers can explore beautiful scenery as well as a landscape that is full of history. With hundreds of miles of trails, visitors can easily find a hike that meets their desires, whether for an easy stroll or a more rugged outdoor adventure!
The Salmon River and its tributaries combine to offer a myriad of river adventures for visitors to engage in. Popular in the area are river rafting, kayaking, and canoeing, with options for relaxing, low key time on the water or challenging, whitewater adventures.
River guide companies in the area are available to answer questions and to book expeditions. Time on the river is an excellent way to take in the area’s beauty and solitude.
Salmon and its surrounding area have excellent opportunities for mountain biking. The season is long, typically from March to November, and the area has a very large network of dirt trails, with options available for beginners and for those with a high level of skill and experience.
When the snow starts to fall, it does not mean that biking is out of the question. Salmon is a great place for exploring on fat-bikes, which are mountain bikes with tires that are 4-5 inches in width that can travel over snow
About twenty miles from Goldbug Hot Springs is Salmon, Idaho, where you can find plenty of recreation activities to engage in during the winter months. Opportunities are available for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, alpine skiing, and snowboarding.
Check out Lost Trail Powder Mountain for downhill skiing and snowboarding, or embark on a snowshoe adventure on a trail in or around Salmon. Take in the fresh, cool air and winter scenery and enjoy a great workout!
About two miles from downtown Salmon is the Sacajawea Interpretive Cultural and Education Center, which focuses on the history of the region. Visitors can learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as well as Sacajawea and her people.
Included at the Center are two trails that offer an easy walk through the park, which is 71 acres. The Center is a perfect fit for those who are interested in history and who enjoy the beauty of nature!