Middle Fork Payette River Trail

EASY 15 reviews
#13 of 35 trails in

Middle Fork Payette River Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Garden Valley, Idaho that features hot springs and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and fishing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

4.9 miles
439 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly




nature trips

paddle sports


hot springs




washed out

Skinnydipper Hot Spring is closed until 2021.

7 months ago

This was a very pleasant hike after a long drive up the Middle Fork Road. There are a lot of dirt bikes, ATV's, UTV's on the lower part of the road. Once you start to climb, they pretty much disappear. The hike first passes by Boiling Springs. The day was much too hot to stop here. There is no shade and no way to cool the hot pools. probably fantastic in cold weather! The trail follows the river and is shaded much of the way. We stopped at Moon Dipper hot springs. Our timing was just right, as we had the pools to ourselves. We heard they were very crowded earlier. The water temp was nice, but required some periodic swirling to keep it that way. Pine Burl hot spring was just around the bend, but we did not visit this time!

9 months ago

I hiked this trail in May 2017 and there was still snow in some places. Due to the very snowy winter, the river was running very high and had washed out a portion of the trail. I'm not sure if it has been fixed since, but it is possible to hike up and around it safely. The hot springs on Dash Creek near the end of the trail were also washed over due to high water, but Boiling Springs near the trailhead was accessible. The trailhead shares a parking lot with Boiling Springs Campground, which is accessed by Middle Fork Road, which gets rough in some places. The scenery is very beautiful and the hike is very moderate.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hot Springs are Closed for the next 5 years. There is a fine for trespassing

Thursday, April 14, 2016

This is one of my favorite springs! The hike is STEEP but worth the reward. Please remember to pack out all garbage and keep it nice for generations to come.

Also, the directions for the trail head on Trails.com are incorrect. Trail head is located at MM4.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Short but steep. It is as described- a destination for skinny dippers!

Friday, March 18, 2016

It was beautiful and serene. The hotsprings were amazing and I had them all to myself on a Friday evening.

Monday, May 04, 2015

The hike up to the spring, if you go the difficult route, is pretty hard and dangerous in one spot, but very fun. The spring itself is amazing and a first time experience for me. If you are not from the area and want to experience that "wilderness" western mountain feel, I'd highly recommend this spring. I thought it would be man-made and kind of lame, but it is beautiful and makes your hair and body feel amazing. It's very rejuvenating. The view is beautiful and we were the only ones there.

Update: RIP hot springs, it's too bad that a few disrespectful people ruined it for everybody.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I've been here a handful of times and every time, there are nice folks. Clothes are optional and the map on this website is inaccurate- check other websites for the real location.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Check for legal access, currently closed until late June, 2013 by BLM.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Went there on Sunday. Very crowded of course. For those that bring kids, you may want to look first due to those without suits on. It was a beautiful day for a soak! Please encourage others to stay on the trail, erosion is getting bad.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

We were there last sunday and actually got a chance to meet one of the folks responsible for constructing the pools and pipes. It was an absolute delight. There were about 12 of us in the lower pool and more in the upper pool. But is was a great group. Had a good time and was fortunate enough to be able thank those who built it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Went to skinnydipper today and it was beautiful!!! Notoriously crowed, we went early (5:30am) and made the .5 mile hike up a pretty steep hill side. My husband and I and our trusty dog had no probem getting there. They path is heavily used. The hot springs were amazing!! The top pool was actually a little too hot to soak, but the lower "party pool" was perfection. The only downfall was all the rubbish. Some idiots left beer cans, cig butts and random clothing all over. WHAT A SHAME! We had heard this could be the case going on a Sunday morning, so we took garbage bags to fill. Overall a wonderful experience, especially early morning.

4 months ago

5 months ago