Kirkham Campground is located next to the South Fork Payette River just east of Lowman, Idaho, along Highway 21 at an elevation of 4,000 feet. Visitors enjoy soaking in popular Kirkham Hot Springs on the banks of the river and exploring the scenic Kirkham Ridge Trail.
Popular Kirkham Hot Springs is located at the river's edge within the campground. A trail with staircases leads down to the soaking pools and small steaming waterfalls.
The South Fork Payette River offers whitewater rafting, kayaking and trout fishing. The Deadwood and Danskin River Access areas are nearby.
Kirkham Ridge Trail is one of the Lowman Ranger District's premier trails. It begins less than 1/4-mile away and stretches through beautiful country for 35 miles, connecting with many other trails in the area. It is open to hiking, mountain biking and horses. Sections of the trail are open seasonally to off-road vehicles.
The campground contains several single-family sites and one double site, all of which are accessible. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring with grill. Some sites have small picnic shelters for shade.
Vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided. A campground host is on-site. Roads and parking spurs are paved. A small gas station/cafe and mechanic are nearby.
The campground offers little shade, though a few Ponderosa pines are scattered throughout the site. The campground can be very hot and sunny during the summer. Wildflowers dot the landscape.
Numerous natural hot springs pools can be found along Highway 21, also known as the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, and the Banks-Lowman Highway, also known as the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway. Both byways offer scenic views, wildlife watching, historical information kiosks and several trail opportunities.
Whitewater rafting and kayaking are popular activities on the South Fork and Main Payette Rivers. Several companies in the area offer guided half and full-day trips.
ADA Access: N
This campground was recommended to me by some Boise locals. I arrived at dusk and it was very crowded. Short walk to the hot springs. They’re not that hot, and there were 50 people scrambling for a spot. It is right off the road, so it’s at least convenient. Facilities were clean.
I stayed here one weeknight. It was pretty crowded during the day with many people visiting the hot springs, but cleared out by evening. The bathrooms were relatively clean - considering the numbers of visitors during the day, however one was completely out of toilet paper, and the other was running very low (luckily I had my own)
At my campsite there wasn’t really anywhere that was a designated place for my tent - no completely level surface. I made the most of what I had available and was reasonably comfortable during the night. Multiple late night arrivals to camp made for poor sleep though - driving in with headlights then flashlights shining everywhere well after midnight while the new neighbors were setting up tents.
The hot springs were great! I didn’t soak in the ones right beside the campsites both because they were quite hot, but also because of the biting horseflies. But the area down the trail beside the river was great!
Kirkham is by far one of my favorite spots, especially during the fall and spring. The gate entrance closes during the winter but you can still walk in and access the natural hot springs. If you’re visiting Idaho, this is a must see! the hotsprings waterfall into small pools alongside the ice cold river. The only downside is that it can get very crowded on the weekends.
Located right on the payette river this hot spring is a sight to see. The spots are far enough away from each other for a little privacy, however, people will be walking through the campground to get to the hot springs. Try and visit on a weekday night for better chances of privacy. The steam from the spring keeps the ground warm on the cooler nights.
The campground is awesome. There is a hot springs right by it. There is also another one down by the river. There are lots of elk and deer on the side of the hill. The only downside is that there are a lot of people. Most leave after a few hours but there is always a big noisy group.
Kirkham Hot Springs / Campground is one of our favorite places to camp. Although I wish there were more trees (it gets pretty hot when the sun is out), this is an excellent spot for camping in the fall. It's a somewhat small campground, and the best part about it is it has easy access to hot springs. There are natural pools right along the campground itself, or if you want to hike down along the river (I use the term "hike" very lightly here - it's a quick walk, but along rocks / boulders), the natural pools of hot water come trickling off the hillside and pool up right next to the Payette River. It is beautiful.
Fun easy place to camp. In the winter you have to hike in because the bridge is closed. The pools are right on the water and hot year round. Down side is its not the most natural camping with only a few trees.
Kirkham campground is located very close to the road, however, the Payette river blocks out any noise from the traffic. Multiple Hot Springs are available with the nearest one to us right next to the parking lot other ones are available at different temperatures with just a short easy hike down to them, a beautiful place to spend the night, enjoy nature, and have a good soak.