Goldbug (Elk Bend) Hot Springs

MODERATE 60 reviews
#1 of 15 trails in

Goldbug (Elk Bend) Hot Springs is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Salmon, Idaho that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
958 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

hot springs

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

This is a short but challenging hike to a beautiful hot springs. The first part of the hike is on private property, so please be quiet and considerate so that the owners will continue to allow access. There is a restroom and ample parking at the trailhead. The hike begins as a straight uphill climb through sage brush. Bring lots of water and snacks and take your time. After the initial uphill the trail levels out and follows a seasonal creek. The last part of the hike is a very steep uphill to the springs themselves. This part of the hike is challenging and you will want to make sure you have plenty of water. The springs themselves are amazing! There are many different pools, some hot some cold and some with both hot and cold water coming in. This area is very popular so you will be sharing the springs with lots of other hikers, so bring a bathing suit. You can camp in the area, but you may want to camp in the flat part before the hot springs as the springs themselves are in a canyon with few flat spots.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is in good condition and the hot springs is a nice destination. It you really want, I think you can hike beyond the hot spring.

2 months ago

I absolutely loved this hike! Most of it was relatively easy just the last maybe half mile was steeper. Beautiful view as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Really enjoyed it, not too difficult, hardest part was the last half mile. Sat in the hot springs very nice reward.

Awesome hike! The first portion was beautiful hiking between the mountains. At the end there's a pretty steep incline but our 3 and 6 year olds were able to do it! The springs were a beyond fantastic reward after a fun hike!

3 months ago

Great hike!

4 months ago

fun hike

4 months ago

Short hike and beautiful view from the springs!

4 months ago

We made the little over three hour drive from Idaho Falls. We got to the TH about 10:30am and had our six year and nine year old boy with us. The trail was somewhat steep to begin with and than even out quite a bit. The last half mile was very steep and rocky. We struggled lol but, took lots of breaks and continued up. The last half mile was by far the most difficult part of the hike but, were not super experienced or in that good of shape. When we got to the pools is took us 1 1/2 hours-2 hours with lots of breaks. The pools were so beautiful. My kids loved them. They ranged from very hot, cold and warm in that order. My kids played for a few hours and we headed out. Lots of fun. BTW most of the hikers that day really struggled at the end... so if you think your gonna die before you get to the pool your not the only one!;)

4 months ago

Went 4 days ago. Loved the springs, would need to stop often if I brought my 5 & 10 year old along. Totally worth it. We went at 6am, the view was amazing.

hiking
5 months ago

One of my new favorite hot springs! Easy to find and a short jaunt to the pools. The initial trail is steep, evens out, then a good climb up to the pools. A few little camp spots about a mile in but right next to the trail. 3 different temperature pools, waterfall was gorgeous and relaxing to sit under while soaking. We saw a few snakes, but easy to avoid and let them go on their way. Enjoy!

hiking
5 months ago

We loved this hike. We took three of our kids with us. The youngest is 6 and he made it the whole way. The pools definitely made it worth it for him. Pretty steep at the top but worth the hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Really not a hard hike for those who are in good shape. It took my 2 friends and myself just over a half hour to get up. We trail ran most of the way back down and it took 15ish min. The hot springs are super nice! (Best pool in my opinion is the first one you come across on the trail.)

6 months ago

One of the most amazing hikes ever! Definitely in my top five.

6 months ago

Steep at the end but the views are worth it! Relax at the end.

hiking
6 months ago

great trail, only peak is near the end of trail but then you get to relax in the springs. hike back is easy.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike but more crowded than I expected.

8 months ago

Amazing views, plenty of friendly people!! steep hike but worth the journey! Going to leave the dog home next time though a lot of traffic and less head ache if i had left him

8 months ago

Great hike pretty short but definitely worth comming back

hiking
10 months ago

It was definitely a great hike, I'm tempted on going camping there this time because I enjoyed it so much.

hiking
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Great moderate hike. Perfect weather. Be advised if you want to camp near the hot springs (after 3rd bridge), you won't get any sleep because you'll be woken up by hot springers all night (I didn't think of that when I camped there). But there are a lot of other camping spots farther away. Everyone I came across was very friendly. Gorgeous view. Pure bliss!

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