Boondocking Lava Hot Springs Idaho

boondocking lava hot springs creek

Boondocking Lava Hot Springs Idaho

Written By: Andrew
June 8, 2020

Boondocking Lava Hot Springs Idaho

Sitting on 60 mph (96 kph) the constant drone of Cup Cakes’ wheels on the highway is broken by the sudden and wild rush of displaced air. Sending her into a frantic pitch away from the larger, faster moving rig that is hurtling passed us. In a minute we will be doing the “hippy hippy shake” as the rig pulls in front of us. Bombarding us with violently moving air from the slip stream that has been produced. At the beginning of our journey a month ago this event was a tad nerve racking. But now it is the norm, as Cup Cake and I have come to terms that we will be pushed around by faster moving vehicles. As we head towards boondocking Lava Hot Springs we are passed by many a rig. Therefore, the dance continues with every passing truck.

boondocking lava hot springs sign

Ahead, the distant snow-capped mountain peaks can be seen rising above the patch work of farmed land and wild shrub covered rocky pieces of dirt. To our left meanders the Snake River which has kept us company from Twin Falls. However, we eventually say goodbye to her when we turn off at Pocatello. Our companion now is the beautiful mountain ranges that we will be snuggled in between, in the coming hours. Our journey to boondocking Lava Hot Springs has us travelling about 240 kilometres from Twin Falls. The last 55 kilometres is the prettiest. Winding through small rural communities, the backbone of American society. Giving us a glimpse back to the early pioneers that opened up, this expansive land. How courageous and daring must these early explorers have been, to begin their journey.

boondocking lava hot springs entrance

Boondocking Lava Hot Springs Idaho Review

Having just driven through Lava Hot Springs we reach the turn off from US-30 and travel 2.3 kilometres on paved road to reach the turn into Portnerf Lower grounds.

boondocking lava hot springs entrance sign

Crossing the railway tracks you are soon greeted by a fork in the dirt road. Both tracks left and right take you to some beautiful spots to spend the night.

boondocking lava hot springs railway tracks

However, you will find both fairly rutted and caution must be taken when travelling over them. We did find the right track to be the best for Cup Cake and found an amazing spot adjacent to the creek. For those that don’t know Cup Cake is a 23ft Class A Motorhome. Each site will require some type of levelling but if you pick well, it will be minimal. Portnerf River gently winds its way through the campground with the soothing sounds caressing the air.

boondocking lava hot springs view

A bio toilet is available for use, but no other amenities are present. Some sites have man made fire pits and most spots have relaxing views of the creek.

boondocking lava hot springs toilet

Our AT&T wireless signal was strong. Noise was usually non-existent, however when the trains pass by the horn is loud for about 1-2 minutes. They were fairly regular during both day and night. Therefore, this maybe off putting to some, but for us we have grown accustomed to the sounds.

boondocking lava hot springs our spot

Fishing is popular here with many trying to catch themselves some dinner. Bring your bug spray as the late afternoon rolls in, so do the bugs. We were here early April 2020. As there is no dump station or potable water you would need to visit the local camping ground in Lava Hot Springs for these services.

Final Thoughts

Overall, boondocking Lava Hot Springs would be in our top 3 boondocking sites. We loved it here and wished we could have stayed longer. It was peaceful, clean, safe and scenic. Unfortunately, we had to leave due to rain that was coming and the fear of getting bogged in if it became too muddy. For those boondockers looking for a nice spot to stay a couple of nights you won’t go wrong here.


Cost: Free stayed 2 nights
Access: *****
Location: *****
Cleanliness: *****
Site Quality: ****
Noise: ***
Safety: *****
AT&T Signal: 2-3 bars
GPS: 42.643423, -112.005765

Check out our other boondocking locations in Idaho.

Join Us

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If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

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Book Your Accommodation is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

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