Another weekend, another Idaho adventure! This time, we went to Blue Heart Springs, a stunning oasis along the Snake River. The only way to get here is by water transportation and this was my second attempt to find this spot, so I’ll give you specific instructions, so you don’t do what I do. At this time, I’d like to remind you all to always remember the 7 principles of “Leave No Trace,” which you can find here.
How to get there:
I could be totally wrong, but when I originally heard about this place, I thought it was part of Thousand Springs Park. After a first failed attempt and ending up at Ritter Island (which is also stunning), my friend and I did more research.
The drive is only about 1.5-2 hours from Boise via I-84 depending on where you leave from. Go east on I-84 to the Hagerman exit #141. While we’re at it, do yall say Highway or Freeway? Personally being from the east coast, I always say highway, but apparently I’m using that incorrectly.
Anyways this is the most important part: the easiest way to access Blue Heart is through Banbury Hot Springs. The hot springs are located about 20 minutes from the “freeway.” There, you can rent kayaks and take off. It’s about 1.5 miles away from the landing dock. If you have a boat, there’s a ramp as well!
What you need to know:
- If you’re only parking to use the landing dock and you have your own kayak, the price is $10. Enter the pool house to purchase the parking pass.
- If you plan on renting kayaks, make sure you call and make reservations! I recommend renting for 4 hours so you’re not rushing and that is $25 for a single and $35 for a tandem.
- It’s going to take 35-55 minutes to kayak to the water and about 50 to paddle back. Although people paddle board or use inflatable kayaks, I strongly recommend a regular kayak! If the current and the wind are working against you, it’s not a particularly quick trip. However, I did see many children paddleboarding and it is totally possible. Just know, you will have a good shoulder workout. I actually even saw a family of five on a Megalodon paddleboard and they were fine.
- When actually paddling out, head north from the dock. When you see the canyons and pass the Box Canyon outlife, there’s a small passage leading into what appears to be a forest area. The river curves west right after the passage, so make sure to continue going north as far as possible so you don’t miss it. Then, turn right. DO NOT GO LEFT. On a busy day, there’s tons of boats and jetskis so the wake will be kinda high for a kayak!
- I didn’t opt for a springs dip afterwards, but both Banbury and Miracle Hot Springs across the road are great attractions. Banbury is a large pool kept at 100 degrees and Miracle claims to have 50 minerals, 15 private hot pools & 6 VIP private hot pools.
What you need to bring:
- a snack for when you get to the cove
- your phone in a waterproof case. I used this one from amazon!
- wear your bathing suit to take a dip when you get there, but leave your towel and everything else in the car at the springs! The dock is so close to the parking lot and you’ll probably even dry off completely on the way back.
Where to stay:
This is an easy day trip from Boise, but if you want to make a weekend out of it, there’s a lot of options!
- First, you can stay directly on the Banbury Hot Springs property in an RV or tent.
- Second, check out the Hagerman Valley lodging site for other options.
I think that’s everything?! However you choose to experience this Idaho must do, remember, please be respectful of the grounds! Clean up after yourself, don’t play your music too loud, have fun & enjoy. If you do go and post pics, please tag my instagram page @along.came.alex so I can see!!
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