VISITING BURGDORF HOT SPRINGS IN MCCALL, IDAHO
Idaho is a beautiful state full of endless activities for the outdoor enthusiast, including its hot springs. Hidden away off of a remote dirt road, Burgdorf Hot Springs is a quintessential Idaho destination and one of my favorite places to visit. Burgdorf is open to visitors in the summer and winter, with each season having its own kind of adventure.
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Ready to plan your trip? Here’s your guide to visiting the beautiful Burgdorf Hot Springs in Idaho.
Where is Burgdorf Hot Springs?
Burgdorf Hot Springs opened its doors in 1870 after geothermal water was discovered by local miners. Lucky for us because Burgdorf is one of the coolest hot springs “resorts” I’ve ever been to. It’s located thirty miles from McCall, and the hot pools are open to the public daily in both the summer and winter. In the summer, you can access the springs by car via Warren Wagon Road (a very scenic drive), and during the winter access is limited to snowmobiles only.
Renting a Cabin at Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf Hot Springs has 15 rustic and historic cabins for rent year-round. They’re all walking distance to the hot springs, outhouses, and main office. The advantage of renting a cabin is you get 24 hour access to the hot springs, which otherwise closes to the public at 6pm Sunday through Thursday and at 8pm Friday and Saturday.
None of the cabins have running water or electricity, however, they do have firewood stoves, beds, and basic furnishings. Firewood is included for free, except October-April, when an additional $10 fee is added on.
They have large cabins, which can sleep up to 12 people, and smaller cabins with one double bed that sleeps two. Rates are $40 per adult or $50 for a single person in a cabin. It’s also family friendly, with a $15 fee for kids. Pets are allowed on leash, but they are no allowed near the pools.
Since the cabins only come with the bare minimum, you’ll have to bring along your own amenities. So, be prepared to bring the following:
- Sleeping bags and pillows (mattress and mattress cover are included)
- Battery or solar-powered lighting
- Warm clothing, appropriate for each season
- Swimsuit and towels
- Cooking stove
- Cooking needs: pots, pans, utensils
- Water container
- Bags for packing in and out all food waste and trash
To make a reservation, go to the Burgdorf website, or call 208-636-3036.
Cooking, Eating, and Drinking at Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf cabins and hot springs are located in the remote backcountry of Idaho. This means you’ll have to drive in and pack everything in and out yourself, which can be trickier on snowmobiles in the winter.
The Burgdorf Café
I recommend coming prepared with all of your own food, but if you run out, Burgdorf has a small café-style snack bar where you can enjoy locally-roasted coffee, baked goods and treats. While I’ve never ordered anything there, they also have a small menu with pizzas and burgers that are available from 11am-6pm.
The Secesh Stagestop
The Secesh Stagestop is a nearby tavern and is the closest place to Burgdorf for a casual beer and bite to eat. It’s located about seven miles away from the hot springs and is open everyday. Ryan and I rode our bikes there last year on the gravel road which hugs a river most of the way.
Alcohol at Burgdorf Hot Springs
The rules recently changed for the 2019 season, and NO BOOZE IS ALLOWED AT THE POOLS. People were getting too drunk and rowdy, ruining the serene experience for everyone else. So now there is a no alcohol rule.
Soaking at Burgdorf Hot Springs
You can soak in the hot pools at Burgdorf as a guest for the day or enjoy them any time when you’re renting a cabin. Fed by natural geothermal springs, the water at Burgdorf stays a balmy 100 degrees all year round, offering the perfect tonic for soothing your muscles after a long day on the trail. Since they can hold up to 200 people, be aware that it can get crowded, so you should always practice good hot springs etiquette. Not familiar with hot springs etiquette? Check out our guide on how to be a great hot springs guest. If you aren’t camping and want some solitude, I suggest getting there right at 10am.
There are two larger pools at the inlet and one smaller, partitioned pool that is shallow. In addition, there are two small covered soaking tubs. These are HOT HOT HOT and will get your blood pumping.
Day rates are $10 per adult and $5 per child. If you’re visiting for the day, the pools are open from 10am-6pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 10am-8pm, on Friday and Saturday. You can also rent a swimsuit for $1 and a towel for $3, in case you leave yours behind. There are no showers available at Burgdorf.
Visiting Burgdorf Hot Springs in the Summer
During the summer, the roads are fully accessible by car via Warren Wagon Road. It’s worth spending a few nights in this scenic backcountry; opt to either rent one of the cabins or camp overnight at the Jeanette Campground, which is just $10 per night and directly next door. Know that if you camp next door though, you can only access the hot springs during the hours they are open to the general public.
There are plenty of hiking trails (Loon Lake) in and around Burgdorf that are especially beautiful in the summertime. There’s no better way to end a long day of hiking in the backcountry than a relaxing soak in the Burgdorf Hot Springs. Other options for outdoor enthusiasts here include mountain biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
The elevation in the area ranges from 6,000-8,500 feet above sea level. Even though temps during the day are warm, it can get pretty chilly at night. Make sure you pack proper layers and bring hiking essentials while you’re spending time out in the backcountry.
Snowmobiling to Burgdorf Hot Springs in the Winter
The only way to reach Burgdorf in the winter is by snowmobile, as the road is covered in snow. While you can rent snowmobiles in town and take the direct route up Warren Wagon Road, we chose to explore on a guided snowmobile adventure leaving from Brundage Mountain.
Our guides Jake and Robbie led us along backcountry ridges, through winding rows of powder-pillowed pine trees, and deep down into the valley before catching up with the main drag (a snow-covered Warren Wagon Road) where we cranked the throttle to 50mph. It was the perfect combination of practicing some technical riding skills before getting fast and furious.
Make sure you start your day early so you have plenty of time to enjoy the pools and make it back to McCall by sundown. If you want to stay overnight, cabin rentals are available in the winter too. Make sure to pack lots of extra food, layers, and a sleeping bag with a temperature rating of at least 15 degrees.