Only a couple of hours from Salt Lake City, UT and 3 hours from Jackson, WY, the Maple Grove Hot Springs oasis in the Bear River Valley is the perfect place to disconnect from it all, while you reconnect with yourself.
As we turned onto the dirt road after winding our way through beautiful farmland tucked away in Southeastern Idaho, the anticipation began to rise. We had been on the road for an epic 14-hours from Los Angeles and we were hyper-focused on getting to our destination and the promise of soaking in hot springs.
I had first come across Maple Grove Hot Springs when looking for potential retreat locations for our AdventurUs Women Escapes. This van-life adventure was ultimately taking us to Jackson, WY for a friend’s birthday and we decided to make this a stop en-route… a little out of the way and a long first day… because HOT SPRINGS as the reward seemed like a fair trade!
The website makes Maple Grove seem like an oasis of tranquility and as the road passed through rolling pastures and started to drop down into the valley we got our first peek of what lie ahead we had to stop to take it all in. The wide slow-moving river in the valley below set against the hills on both sides did indeed offer a sense of tranquility.
Check-in was easy and smooth. The office/cafe, which is attached to the bathhouse, has locally sourced gifts, snacks, and other amenities. Coffee is available here in the mornings. A quick peek at the riverside portion of the property helped us get our bearings as to where everything was.
We parked the van and immediately headed down to the stone pools closest to the river. The proximity to the river made it easy to soak in the hot pools then take a refreshingly cool dip in the river… which we did a number of times trying a different pool upon each return. Even with a boy scout group on-site, the atmosphere was relaxed and chill. The total absence of any cell service or WIFI allowed us to completely check out and be present in the moment.
The next morning we hiked the road along the river down past the Oneida Narrows Campground towards the Oneida Dam. Upon returning to Maple Grove, we grabbed a cup of coffee to enjoy by the river, watched fish jumping in the river, deer grazing on the far banks, and soaked in the serenity of this special place before continuing on our adventure.
Maple Grove Hot Springs has 2 van sites, in addition to campsites, yurts, and a cabin, that includes 24-hour access to the 45-acre retreat center property which includes 4 hot spring pools, riverfront beach, hiking trails, canoes and paddleboards, bathhouse, snack bar, and more.
Things to do:
Soak in the hot springs of course.
· Paddle (canoes and SUPs available on site)
Office Hours: 10am – 9pm, Check-In: 3pm, Check-Out: 11am
Van Site Details:
2 van sites have space for (1) 25ft and under van, truck, or camper and include a capacity for up to 4 people. The rate is $35-38/person and free for children under 3. RVs over 25ft and trailer camping are not suitable for these spaces. Picnic tables and fire rings are available. No water, power, or sewer hookups are available. Generators are not permitted on site.
Pet Policy: Pets are allowed in the camping areas and on a leash while on center grounds. Dogs are not permitted in and around pools.
Wednesday Volunteer Soak & Camp Days: Check out the calendar for these days.
“Join us for a day of socially distanced volunteering as you work, learn, and see the behind-the-scenes activities required to maintain our 45 acres! In return for 4-6 hrs of volunteer work, enjoy an evening of free camping and quiet soaking! Limited spaces are available.”
Directions: Refer to the website, do not rely on google maps. Note: the website has winter-specific directions.
Saveria Tilden is the founder and CEO of AdventurUs Women a women-owned & led company dedicated to providing life-changing experiences for women of all ages, races, sizes, backgrounds, and experience levels to learn new skills and try outdoor activities in beautiful locations. She is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder, outdoor educator, and guide. Saveria is also a co-host of the Almost There Adventure Podcast. She loves being on the road in search of adventure in her Tofino!