Russian John Hot Spring

Russian John Hot Springs is a small warm spring area in the Sawtooth National Forest
The pool is a remnant of the old pool built by sheepherders many years ago

Russian John Hot Springs is a small primitive warm spring sitting in Idaho's Sawtooth National Recreation Area. This is an undeveloped yet scenic and comfortable spot to relax and enjoy mineral-rich geothermal water.

The soaking pool is everything that has remained of the old sheepherder's pool used back in the day. It features rock walls and rock-and-clay bottom.

Water flows out of the source directly into the pool at about 89°F. The water temperature in the pool fluctuates depending on the weather conditions but never goes above 86°F. Summer is probably the best time to enjoy rejuvenating mineral water from the warm springs.

Clothing is optional. No overnight camping is allowed. A fire pit and a bench are available near the pool.

The parking area is located 70 yards above the highway on a slope. Park your car and walk up 100 yards to the pool.

Russian John Hot Spring

Russian John Hot Spring

Russian John Hot Spring

Russian John Hot Spring

Russian John Hot Spring | Facts

Location: 18 miles west of Ketchum • Idaho • USA
Open: Year-round
Development: Primitive
Clothing: Optional
Amenities: None
Accommodations: None
Hiking distance: Short
Road access: Any vehicle
Day-use fees: None

Elevation: 6,900 ft (2,100 m)

Water T° (source): 89°F (32°C)
Water T° (tub): Varies
Water acidity level: Alkaline (pH = 9.1)
Springs Type: Sodium Silicate
Chemical used: None
Odor: None

Average dissolved solids: 266 Mg/L


Sodium (Na) - 68 Mg/L
Calcium (Ca) - 2.1 Mg/L
Potassium (K) - 0.6 Mg/L
Magnesium (Mg) - 0.03 Mg/L


Silica (SiO2) - 94 Mg/L
Sulfate (SO4) - 38 Mg/L
Chloride (Cl) - 10 Mg/L
Fluoride (F) - 3.1 Mg/L

More Adventures

Directions to Russian John Hot Spring

From Ketchum,

  • Travel 18.1 miles north on State Hwy 75 to the dirt road on the left
  • Turn left and continue 200 feet to the parking area.

Park your car and hike 300 feet up to the pool.

GPS: N 43°48.396' W 114°35.253' | 43.806595, -114.587558

"Geothermal Resource Analysis in the Big Wood River Valley, Blaine County, Idaho". 1990. Idaho Department of Water Resources.

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