Goldbug Hot Springs Hike – Best Place For Nature Lovers

Whether you’re seeking a backcountry adventure or a spot to chill for the day, Idaho is a hidden gem for outdoor leisure. Take a day trip, camp overnight, pack a picnic and enjoy the abundance of hot springs Idaho has to offer.

Goldbug Hot Springs is without a doubt one of my favorites it is a relaxed hot springs adventure, and I’m sure you’ll agree after visiting. Goldbug Hot Springs is the cherry on top of any journey to Idaho or the Northwest in general. There are a lot of places to hike in hot springs

It’s a day trip, but there are lots of primitive campsites along the trail that allow overnight hikers to rest and stay the night. It’s one of the best high desert hikes you’ll discover, with some truly unusual encounters (more on that later).

We can confirm that it is, and it is every bit as lovely as you can think. It’s most likely the most stunning hot spring we’ve ever seen. Add in the fact that the water temperature is ideal, and you have our favorite hot spring in Idaho.

Everything you need to know about Goldbug Hot Springs Hike is right here.

How long is the Hike to Goldbug Hot Springs?

Goldbug Hot Springs is located on Highway 93 near mile marker 282 just south of Salmon, Idaho. A dirt road leads to the trailhead. The two-mile trail (four miles round way) is well-used and simple to follow. The hike can be strenuous, with a total elevation gain of 1,350 feet.

How long is the Hike to Goldbug Hot Springs

Where Is Goldbug Hot Springs?

It’s not difficult to get to the Goldbug Hot Springs trailhead. It’s located South of Salmon, Idaho, and north of Challis, Idaho. The exit is located around mile marker 282 on Highway 93.

This becomes a small dirt road (going east) with a trailhead at the end; wooden fences and a restroom will ensure that you’re in the right place. Don’t be put off by the presence of houses along the dirt road and trailhead.

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When Is The Best Time To Visit Goldbug Hot Springs?

The greatest time to visit will be in the fall when the route will be dry and temperatures will be reasonable. Summer can be excessively hot and dry, and while spring temperatures are pleasant, the route can become muddy due to thawing.

What to Pack for a Trip to Goldbug Hot Springs

Here are some necessary accessories to pack for a trip to Goldbug Hot Spring:

What to Pack for a Trip to Goldbug Hot Springs

Flip Flops Or Water Sandals

Once you’ve arrived, it’s a good idea to put on a pair of sandals and stroll around in the mud, rocks, and pools, especially if you have sensitive feet. For trekking, I enjoy my La Sportiva’s, and these Tevas sandals are light and can be strapped to your backpack.

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Water Bottle

You’d be shocked at how much hiking, sweating, and exposure to the sun can dehydrate you. Bring plenty of water with you. For a lower price than popular Hydro Flasks, I’m a big fan of this Iron brand.

Sun Hat/Sunglasses

The sun can burn you at any time of year. For the most part, this trail does not have a lot of coverage. For travel, I prefer collapsible sun hats.


If you plan to hike before sunrise or stay after dark, you should bring a headlamp. That trail may be littered with steps, rocks, and roots that will trip you up.


However, please use a mineral that is less damaging to the environment when it enters the water, such as zinc oxide. Before going into the springs, avoid using any additional lotions or creams. has rated both of these as ocean-friendly and reef-safe, but whenever possible, choose non-plastic packaging!


I like a hiking towel that dries quickly and doesn’t take up a lot of space. When I’m drying off and putting socks and shoes back on, I always bring one for my body and one smaller one for my feet.

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For genuine, this site is breathtakingly lovely. If you enjoy photography, you’ll need your camera.


It will most likely take 45 minutes to an hour to travel to the hot springs, an hour or more to soak, and another 30-45 minutes to get back down. Snacks are never a bad idea! This is not a sponsored post; I simply prefer GoMacro bars to any other protein bar!

Goldbug Hot Springs Hike

Goldbug hot springs are located about 30 minutes from the town of Salmon, Idaho. The charming small town of slightly over 3,000 people features a few restaurants, cafes, petrol stations, and hotels.

Salmon is undoubtedly the closest food source to Goldbug hot springs. Elk Bend is the next nearest “town” on the map; however, it’s really simply an RV Park and Campground.

Goldbug Hot Springs Hike

This is a short but challenging hike to stunning hot springs. The initial section of the trail is on private property. It is especially vital to stay on the path and follow printed directions when going over private property easements and right-of-ways.

Local officials and private landowners collaborate to make this region accessible to the public. Staying on the path while on private property guarantees that agreements reached between local officials and the owners are honored and that this trail stays open to the public in the future.

Because this place is popular, you will be sharing the springs with many other hikers, so bring a bathing suit. You can tent in the area, however, because the hot springs are in a canyon with few flat spaces, you may wish to camp in the flat area before the hot springs.

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Total Ascent: 1350 feet
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Time: 1h 49 min
  • Trailhead: Goldbug Hot Springs trailhead

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Goldbug Hot Springs Hike – FAQs

Is Goldbug Hot Springs free?
Because they are on BLM land, the campsites near Goldbug Hot Springs are FREE!
Can you hike Goldbug Hot Springs in the winter?
Temperatures in the winter can fall into the single digits or below. The large snowfall, on the other hand, is a cause for concern. Due to Goldbug’s high height, snow can be a significant hardship and may prevent many hikers from completing their journey. If you plan to visit Goldbug during the winter, be sure you have appropriate winter gear.
How hot is the water at Goldbug Hot Springs?
The temperature of Goldbug is recorded as 113 °F (45 °C), but the temperature of the pools will change depending on the time of year. The ponds are surrounded by stones and have a sand/gravel floor.



Goldbug Hot Springs in Idaho is without a doubt one of the most spectacular hot springs I’ve ever visited. This setting is something out of a fantasy. Hiking up the side of a mountain will bring you to a succession of Cliffside natural hot springs that are fed by a local creek and stretch out into huge waterfalls.

Hiking to Goldbug Hot Springs is a stunning and enjoyable outdoor excursion! Nothing beats relaxing and soaking in a natural hot spring surrounded by mountains and waterfalls.

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