• Boat Box Hot Springs is a scenic soaking spot located in Sawtooth National Recreation Area
• Hot geothermal mineral water flows into a spherical metal tub
Boat Box Hot Springs, also known as Elkhorn Hot Springs, is a primitive but scenic soaking spot located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area on the bank of the Salmon River. It sits on the side of Highway 75 and offers a rejuvenating soak surrounded by untamed Idaho nature.
The hot geothermal mineral water flows out of the source at 138°F. A pipe runs under the highway directs the water into a spherical metal tub. The water out of the source is too hot to get straight into the tub, so you will have to divert the pipe from it and use a bucket sitting there to mix river water in.
There are also volunteer-built primitive rock-and-sand pools right next to the tub offering a comfortable soak at a much lower temperature.
The name of the spring comes from the old rounded wooden soaking box used here before. Unfortunately, a rapid river swept the box away, so a metal tub was installed instead. It was secured with metal cables so it would not repeat the fate of its predecessor.
Salmon River rafters often use the Boat Box Hot Spring as a rest spot. This hot spring is visible off the road so bathing suits are highly recommended.
Boat Box Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 42 miles northwest of Barretts • Idaho • USA
Open: 365 days a year
Hiking distance: Short
Road access: Any vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 6,100 ft (1,860 m)