Goldbug (Elk Bend) Hot Springs

MODERATE 58 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
994 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
23 days ago

30 days 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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!

2 months ago

Great hike!

2 months ago

fun hike

2 months ago

Short hike and beautiful view from the springs!

2 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!;)

3 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
3 months ago

hiking
3 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
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 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.

4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 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.)

4 months ago