There is nothing as good as relaxing in a natural hot springs pool after a long day of hiking or spending endless hours fly fishing in cold river water! The problem is most of the roadside hot springs are commercial enterprises that charge serious money, while the free access hot spring pools tend to be located in very remote areas. Luckily, there actually is one roadside hot springs pool that is very easy to access in the Sawtooth National Forest and the best part is this natural hot tub spa is free of charge. When touring the Salmon River on State Highway 75, the Sunbeam Hot Springs is the spot to look for and the chances are good that you will see the steam long before reading the signs!
The Sunbeam Hot Springs percolate over a wide area at the base of a hill on both sides of the paved road and the hot water naturally channels down to the riverbank. The Salmon River water temperature can be chilly even during late summer, so this is a good place to experience naturally revitalizing hot and cold water sensations. Visitors have arranged the rocks and boulders to create riverbank hot tubs in the past and some are big enough to host a sunset party, so be sure to pack the car with family and friends for the ride.
The Civilian Conservation Corps built a bath house onsite back in the 1930s, which indicates just how popular Sunbeam has been through the years. The best time to relax and soak it up is just after the busy summer tourist season ends in September and just before the icy cold winter weather takes over in late autumn. Arriving early in the day ensures some quality time too. The Sunbeam Hot Springs definitely is a popular place to be, so be sure to keep an eye out for the rising steam when touring this end of the Salmon River!
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