The Complete Guide To Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs in Idaho

Looking for a cozy and natural soak near Sun Valley, Idaho?

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike! This forest hot spring warms the bones of skiers in the winter, and tired hikers in the summer.

No matter what time of year you visit, Frenchman’s Bend hot springs is absolutely worth a visit.

In this post, we’re sharing driving directions, what to expect, and all the juicy details about how to have the best soak here.

Let’s get started!

The Complete Guide to Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs near Sun Valley, Idaho

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs At-a-Glance

  • Location: Ketchum, Idaho
  • Water Temperatures: 140 at the source, cooling down to 100s near the creek
  • Number of Pools: 3
  • Popularity: 8/10, popular
  • Nudity? Not recommended, it’s very public and children frequent this area.
Directions to Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs near Ketchum, Idaho

How to Get To Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs is a 30 minute drive from Ketchum, Idaho. It also once went by the name of Warfield Hot Springs, but we’re not sure when the name switch happened.

It’s technically located in the Sawtooth National Forest and is managed by the US Forest Service. Entry is free.

Follow Route 227 (Warm Springs Road), which brings you through a neighborhood but quickly turns into a gravel road for the rest of the way. The route is 11 miles from Ketchum and 7 miles of that is on a dirt road.

There is is a small parking lot, but it can be described better as a large pullout on the side of the road.

Take careful note to follow “no parking” signs because private residents live along this way too. Berty and I parked about 500 feet from the pools, but we took a quick walk to reach them from our car.

The pools are located right next to the road along Warm Springs Creek. You’ll know if you go too far, because you’ll see them!

Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs

Best Time to Visit Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs

The best time to visit Frenchman’s Bend hot springs is in the fall. This is when they are most easily accessed, and the weather is just getting cold enough for the pools to feel a comfortable temperature.

It’s still accessible in other seasons, but they come with their own unique obstacles!

Winter brings unpredictable road conditions, especially after a snowstorm. (Keep scrolling for more winter-specific notes here!)

Spring brings melting snow runoff in the creek and messy roads, but access depends on the snowpack that year. Springtime also means that the water levels are higher at Warm Springs Creek, which greatly affect the pool temperatures.

Summer is very easily accessible, but it also brings crowds and hot weather! This time of year, it’s common to see crowds in the mornings and evenings.

The best time of day to visit is early in the morning or later in the evening. The pools are closed at night, but you can still enjoy a soak until sunset.

No matter what time you visit, expect other people to be there with you. These are popular and easy-to-reach pools, and you shouldn’t expect a remote experience!

Brush up on hot springs etiquette before you go, especially if it’s a busy time of year.

Want to have a chance of being completely alone for a soak? Try Skillern Hot Springs, Rocky Canyon Hot Springs, or Worswick Hot Springs. These provide better odds of a solo soak.

Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs Rules

What to Pack For a Hot Spring Soak

In order to have the best experience possible, it’s important to pack the right things for this primitive soaking location.

That’s why we made the ultimate hot springs packing list, so you don’t forget a single item! Read the blog post version here, or sign up for our email list and get your free download below!

Where to Stay Near Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs is conveniently located near Ketchum, Idaho (and the greater Sun Valley Area).

This means that hotels, vacation homes, cabins and campgrounds are in abundance here!

Here are some of our favorite places to stay around Ketchum Idaho, according to your preferred budget:

Pools Descriptions along Warm Springs Creek

Pool Descriptions at Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs

There are three separate pools. As the get closer to the creek and mix with the freshwater, they drop in temperature pretty significantly.

The pool closest to the road is the warmest, and dare I say, too warm! Always test the water with your hand before submersing yourself in a hot spring!

Read More: 11 Cool Facts About Natural Hot Springs

Visiting in the Winter

Some of the most magical hot spring moments can be enjoyed in the deep of winter, when snow is falling and steam is rising from the pools!

The pools during winter season are still accessible, but with a little extra precautions and planning. The dirt road is still open but generally covered in snow.

Fill up your car with gas before you head out, and bring a snow shovel and sand just in case you get stuck in an icy patch.

Read More: 12 Essentials to Keep In Your Winter Car Emergency Kit

Parking may be a little trickier, as snow banks will block off some parking spots. Do you best to park as far off the road as possible.

Things To Do In Ketchum, Idaho

Things To Do Near Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs

Looking for other cool things to do nearby? Here are some cool adventures to check out!

Sun Valley: From hiking, biking, skiing, and lounging, Sun Valley has is all. There are especially lots of things to do in Sun Valley in the fall!

Boise, Idaho: Located 2.5 hours from Ketchum, Boise is a great place to explore. Check out the best things to do in Boise, day trips from Boise, or even weekend trips from Boise!

Sunbeam Hot Springs: Sunbeam Hot Springs is located on Highway 75 near Stanley, Idaho. Don’t forget to check out Boat Box Hot Springs too, it’s on the way!

Kirkham Hot Springs: Kirkham Hot Springs is one of the most magnificent geothermal pools in Idaho. Come check it out for yourself on your next trip through the Banks-Lowman Highway!

Take a Scenic Drive: There are so many gorgeous Idaho scenic byways around the area. Drive the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway between Stanley and Craters of the Moon National Monument!

Looking for a list of all the best pools in the state? Read our full guide to Idaho Hot Springs here!

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs FAQ

Are dogs allowed at Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs?

Unfortunately, no. No dogs are allowed here. Please leave your pups at home!

How hot is Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs?

Some say the temperatures can get up to 140 degrees at the source. We’ve also heard that the source is up to 124 degrees. Either way, that’s HOT.

The pools quickly cool down to a comfortable temperature though, through the fresh creek water mixing with the pools.

You can adjust the temperature of the pools but adjusting the rocks along the edges.

What minerals are in the pools?

It is said to have sodium and potassium rich waters along Warm Springs Creek!

Have you visited Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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