The Ashley Inn, located in a small lakeside town in western Idaho, is less than 35 minutes away from three incredible hot springs. For those unfamiliar with a hot spring, it is a naturally warm spring created by geothermally-heated groundwater that has risen from the Earth’s crust. There are many natural hot springs in Idaho, and we’re lucky enough to be a short drive from three of the very best. These three nearby hot springs, perfect on a chilly autumn evening or winter afternoon, will be the highlight of your journey to Cascade, Idaho.
Gold Fork Hot Springs
Home to arguably the best natural hot springs in Idaho, you’ll discover Gold Forks Hot Springs if you drive north on 55 then east through the scenic mountains. After a picturesque 31-minute trek, you’ll have the opportunity to soak in one of six pools artistically constructed on the natural hot springs. The top pool sits at 110 degrees and the water spills into the five pools below. Gold Fork is ideal for families or groups because of the massive square footage. Entrance to Gold Fork does cost money (cash only), but you’ll likely end up spending half a day here. Remember to pack a picnic because there are umbrella-covered tables available.
Trail Creek Hot Springs
A stunning mountain drive northeast of Cascade on Warm Lake Road will bring you to the primitive Trail Creek Hot Springs. Trail Creek has two small peekaboo pools just a 60-foot stroll down into a breathtaking wooded canyon. The main pool sits near 120 degrees and is kept at a manageable temperature thanks to cold creek water that pipes into the pool. If you hike a short distance upstream, you’ll find a smaller spring with hot water surging up from the sandy Earth. Locals and tourists alike maintain Trail Creek by reinforcing the pools, picking up trash, and respecting Mother Earth. The short hike is arduous in the winter because of ice, so please bring boots and small climbing tools.
Bernard Warm Springs
For a fall or winter hiking adventure, seek out the primitive Bernard Warm Springs northeast of Cascade. As its name suggests, Bernard is warm but not hot. Visitors and time haven’t been entirely kind to Bernard Warm Springs as trash, algae, and erosion have taken a toll on this once majestic spring. The area is unique because it once was the home to a wooded hot springs resort decades ago. There are many ways to get to Bernard; some choose to hike while others drive their trucks, Jeeps, and four-wheelers down the winding, slippery road. The road to Bernard isn’t plowed during the winter months. While Bernard isn’t the best natural hot springs in Idaho, it’s a worthwhile journey in spring, summer, and autumn. Remember to book a stay at The Ashley Inn on your next Idaho hot springs expedition!