Ahhh…hot springs. A great spot to escape the chilly weather of Spokane.

Long soaks in mineral water are a perfect way to recover from a long hike, a long ski day, or to simply get away from the stress of daily life.

After living in Spokane for a while, we’ve discovered quite a few of these wonderful Pacific Northwest hot springs, but all of them require at least a few hours of driving.

As more hot springs near Spokane are discovered, we’ll update this post with information about them, and how we can be respectful of these places to use and enjoy for years to come.

Hot Springs Closest To Spokane

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Spokane emerges as a beacon of natural beauty and wonder. Its role is not just as a bustling city with a rich tapestry of history and culture; Spokane is also a gateway to some of the most enchanting hot springs in the whole state.

The closest hot spring is a developed one in Canada, and it’s by far the most popular choice for people who live in Spokane.

British Columbia

These hot springs are nestled in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, only about 4-1/2 hours north of Spokane, overlooking the majestic Kootenay Lake.

The hot springs were first visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples who experienced the waters as a welcome respite after a long day of hunting, fishing, and gathering roots and berries in what is now known as the Kootenay region. The Ktunaxa First Nations peoples embraced the nupika wu’u, or spirit water, for their healing and rejuvenating powers. Today the property is owned by Yaqan Nukiy, the Lower Kootenay Band of Creston, BC, returning the Ktunaxa peoples to this significant land so that they may share their appreciation with others.

Ainsworth Hot Spring is a unique hot spring because it’s partly located inside a cave!

Whether you experience Ainsworth Hot Springs in the pool or cave, you are sure to enjoy an experience like no other. If you’re looking for hot springs you can spend a whole day at, and don’t mind that they’re developed with amenities then this is absolutely the place you’ll want to go.

Middle Washington

The next closest place to soak in mineral water is called Soap Lake. Now technically Soap Lake isn’t a hot spring because, well, it’s not hot. It’s a unique mineral canyon lake, located in the desert oasis of the Grand Coulee Valley.

Despite the lake not being hot, it boasts a high mineral content that makes its healing properties far superior to many hot springs. The lake is reported to have the most diverse mineral composition of any mineral lake on the planet.
This is a spot that’s perfect for those looking to soak and relax in the summer where the hot part of hot springs isn’t as appealing.


Unfortunately due to the geographic position of Spokane, there simply aren’t many hot springs. In Western Washington the tectonic plates are much more active which creates more hot springs.

To find some more tectonic action we’ll need to head into Idaho’s Weir Creek Hot Springs, located in the beautiful Clearwater National Forest.

The hot springs here aren’t developed like in Ainsworth and feature primitive rock walls and gravel bottomed pools. The hot springs are spread among a gorgeous landscape of cedars and rock cliffs with spectacular views.

For those looking for a more natural feeling hot spring, this is where you’ll want to go.

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Also located 4 hours southeast of Spokane, the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are some of the most well known hot springs in Idaho.

They aren’t overdeveloped, and allow you to soak in hot mineral water while surrounded by gorgeous alpine trees with mountains in the background. These springs are well know, so unlike some of the other spot you can expect to run into a least one other group while there.


If you’re dead set on finding a lot of hot springs in one area, but don’t want to go to western Washington then south central Montana would make a good trip! Here you have tons of options like White Sulphur, Jackson, Norris, and Boulder that all provide a natural soaking experience.

Why Do People Like Hot Springs?

At this point you may be feeling like a dip in the hot springs is a lot of work, so why does anyone bother?

Historical Perspective

A Gift from Ancestors: To the indigenous tribes that have called this land home for millennia, these springs were sacred places—sources of healing, spirituality, and community. Ceremonies were held by their bubbling waters, and stories passed down with the steam’s rise.
New Settlers, New Discoveries: As settlers moved westward, they too became enamored by these natural baths. Many springs played a role in the establishment of early communities, becoming hubs of social interaction and relaxation. Their legends grew, attracting visitors from far and wide in search of this magical pools.

Healing Waters

The allure of the hot springs lies not just in their warmth but in the rejuvenation they offer.

Mineral Elixir

Each spring, with its unique blend of minerals, offers therapeutic benefits. From alleviating muscle tension to improving skin conditions, the mineral-rich waters have been touted for various health benefits over the ages. Their embrace can soothe the weary traveler and rejuvenate the worn-out adventurer.

Mental Oasis

Beyond the physical, there’s a psychological balm in these waters. The gentle sound of bubbling springs, the enveloping warmth, and the distant chirping of birds—all converge to create a meditative space, aiding in mental relaxation and grounding.

Connection with Nature

Immersing oneself in these hot springs is akin to plunging into the very soul of the Pacific Northwest.

A Symphony of Senses

As you ease into the waters, the towering trees envelop you, their canopies filtering the sun’s rays into a gentle dappled dance. The distant rustle of leaves, the occasional splash of a playful fish, and the soft caress of the wind on your face—it’s a symphony that appeals to every sense.

Moments of Reflection

These serene settings invite introspection. With the modern world’s hustle momentarily forgotten, one can connect deeply with nature, finding a rare moment of peace and perhaps a deeper appreciation for the world around.

From Seattle’s Bustle to Spokane’s Thermal Wonders

If you’re setting out from Seattle, the ride to Spokane and its nearby hot springs promises to be as enriching as the destination itself.

Route Recommendations

The most direct route is via I-90 E, which stretches across the majestic Cascades, past the serene waters of Lake Keechelus, and through the vast landscapes of Eastern Washington, finally leading you to Spokane. This journey spans approximately 280 miles and takes around 4 to 5 hours under relaxed conditions.

For those with a bit more time and a penchant for scenic byways, consider diverting to WA-20, known as the North Cascades Highway. This adds a bit of travel time but is worth it for the breathtaking vistas of the North Cascades National Park.

Pit Stops and Leg Stretchers

Snoqualmie Falls

Just a short detour from I-90, these majestic falls offer a perfect place to take in nature’s splendor.

Wild Horse Monument

Located near Vantage, this artistic installation provides a panoramic view of the Columbia River below.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

A fascinating stop to observe petrified wood and learn about ancient landscapes.

Tips for RV Travelers

Exploring in an RV requires some additional planning, but the freedom and convenience it offers is unparalleled.

Rest Up Near the Springs

Riverside State Park

Located near Spokane, this park offers RV-friendly campsites and is a good base before you venture out to more remote hot springs.

Deer Lake Resort

A bit further, but closer to some thermal areas, this resort welcomes RV travelers with amenities that make for a comfortable stay.
RV Considerations:

Road Conditions

While I-90 is well-maintained, some roads leading to remote hot springs may be unpaved or have sharp turns. Always check road conditions, especially if traveling in a larger RV.
Parking: Popular hot spring areas can get crowded, especially during weekends. Arrive early or consider weekday visits for better parking options.

Respect the Environment

Many hot spring areas are delicate ecosystems. Ensure waste is properly disposed of and avoid parking on vegetation.

More Than Just Hot Springs: A Journey Beyond the Springs

Nearby Trails

The hot springs are the heartbeats of the region, but the veins? Those are the trails that wind through the verdant forests, offering glimpses of nature’s beauty at every turn.

Solace Springs Trail

A moderate, 4-mile round trip that brings hikers closer to some secluded hot springs. The trail features gentle ascents, making it suitable for beginners and families.

Pine Whisper Loop

At 6 miles, this trail offers a bit more challenge, meandering through dense woods before culminating at an overlook with views of both a pristine hot spring and the surrounding mountains.

Mystic Mountain Path

For seasoned hikers, this 10-mile trail provides a rugged adventure. Winding its way up the flanks of nearby peaks, it rewards with panoramic views and hidden thermal pools tucked amidst the boulders.

Picnicking Spots

There’s something about enjoying a meal with nature as your backdrop that makes the food taste richer and the moments more memorable.

Emerald Meadow

Just a short walk from some of the main springs, this open grassland, fringed by tall pines, offers families a picturesque spot to spread out their picnic baskets. The gentle babble of a nearby stream provides the perfect ambient sound.

Canopy Clearing

Venture a bit deeper into the woods and discover a clearing where the tree canopy opens up just enough for sun-dappled light. It’s a serene spot, perfect for a quiet family lunch.

Family-Friendly Adventures

Every family member, be it the curious child or the adventurous teen, will find something to pique their interest.

Fishing Delight

The streams around the area are teeming with freshwater fish. With proper permits, families can enjoy a day of fishing, perhaps even grilling their catch by evening!

Bird-Watching Bonanza

Equipped with a pair of binoculars, families can spot various bird species. The region, with its diverse habitats, is a haven for both resident and migratory birds.

Guided Nature Walks

Local guides often offer tours that not only introduce families to the flora and fauna but also share intriguing tales of the region—perfect for both learning and adventuring.

Soak In Hot Springs By Day, Relax In An RV By Night

As the steam from the hot springs rises and melds with the forest’s cool embrace, one can’t help but reflect on the myriad of experiences waiting to be unraveled in the Spokane vicinity. It’s a place that invites introspection, adventures, and memory-making with loved ones.

While the allure of the hot springs might be the initial draw, the true richness lies in the variety of experiences the region offers. Whether it’s tracing the steps of indigenous tribes, relishing a meal amidst the whispering trees, or sharing stories around a campfire, every moment here is a chapter in a story you’ll cherish forever.

For those looking to craft the perfect vacation story, might we suggest the open road as your canvas? With an RV from NW Adventure Rentals, you have the freedom to set your pace, chart your route, and curate your adventures. It’s not just about reaching the hot springs; it’s about cherishing every twist, turn, and detour along the way.

Browse our fleet and find the RV that suits your needs.