Instead Of Skiing, Take A Day Trip To This Secret Idaho Hot Springs

03.11.19 1 week ago

Evan Jones — CC BY-SA 3.0

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I’d like to start off by stating that I am very into hot springs. Which is like someone saying, “I am very into eating food.” Duh. Hot springs are objectively amazing. Comforting. Life-giving. The sexiest type of body of water on earth (even beating out geysers!).

I’ve hit them all over the country. I’m a hot spring junkie, always looking for my next secluded hot spring fix. Which is why when I was visiting Idaho and a friend told me about this “hidden hot spring that you can’t even drive to in the winter, you have to snowmobile in,” my pupils immediately dilated, turning into hearts, and I began running away from her bellowing, “SEE YA LATER, SUCKER!”

I immediately booked snowmobiles for me and my then-boyfriend. Because Burgdorf Hot Springs — this hidden paradise — is only about two hours from Boise, making it the perfect day trip for anyone looking to explore a less traversed wintery paradise day-tripping distance from Idaho’s largest city.

How to get there:

MY NOTES: I’ve been told with travel, it’s better to keep your expectations low or neutral so that you can be surprised and delighted by experiences rather than disappointed. Heading to McCall to check out a hot spring that’s inaccessible by car, I did not listen to that advice at all. I had the highest hopes possible. I had “This will be the coolest thing ever in the history of the world” hopes.

After a gorgeous two-hour scenic drive through the mountains (the trip is worth it for the views alone!), we arrived at the little rental shop, got suited up in our gear, and were taken to the trailhead. There, we were shown how to use the snowmobiles, taught how much money we would owe should we damage the snowmobiles (note this, it is important foreshadowing), and sent on our way.

DETAILS: McCall is about 100 miles north of Boise on I-55. (Note: This road goes through the mountains, so drive carefully. And in the winter be aware of weather and road conditions.) With snowpack on the ground, Burgdorf is accessible only by snowmobile (which is super fun!) so you’ll want to use one of the rental shops in McCall. We used Cheap Thrills Rentals. They’ll bring you and your snowmobile right to the trailhead. And you don’t even need your own gear — they provide helmets, gloves, boots, and a full riding suit in the price of the rental.

You can rent the snowmobiles for either 4 hours ($140) or 8 hours ($190). Half a day is totally sufficient if you’re just going to the hot springs to soak. The trip is about an hour and a half round trip which gives you 2 and a half hours to enjoy the springs, have a picnic lunch, etc. If you want to also go further into the forest to the mining town, Warren, for lunch or drinks, you’ll want to do the full day as it’s about three hours round trip of snow mobiling.

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