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What comes to mind when you think of Idaho? Perhaps you imagine potatoes, gemstones, or wilderness. Likely, you don’t picture crystal clear waters or a sapphire-blue lagoon. But hidden in southern-central Idaho sits Blue Heart Springs.
Today, we’ll tell you why you want to visit this oasis the next time you visit the Gem State. Let’s dive in!
What Is Blue Heart Springs?
Blue Heart Springs is a natural spring only accessible by water. It gets its name because of the beautiful sapphire-blue water and heart-shaped cove. When you post Instagram photos, your friends will wonder if you’ve gone to the Caribbean! The spring is the 13th largest freshwater spring in North America.
Where Is Blue Heart Springs?
Located 45 minutes south of Twin Falls, Blue Heart Springs sits along the Snake River in southern Idaho. It’s just south of Thousand Springs State Park, where visitors enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation.
You can enjoy hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, swimming, and horseback riding here. There’s also a disc golf course, birdwatching opportunities, and historic agricultural structures.
How to Get to Blue Heart Springs in Idaho
Blue Heart Springs is only accessible by water. There isn’t a nearby parking lot or hiking trail that leads to the springs. You must bring your paddleboard, canoe, kayak, or boat or rent one to get to the springs.
Most people put in at Banbury Hot Springs. Rentals are also available here. It’s about 1.5 miles to Blue Heart Springs. If you have two cars, leave one at 1,000 Springs Resort and get out here instead of paddling back to Banbury.
Blue Heart Kayaking is a privately owned company that offers rentals. There’s a $5 launch fee if you bring your own equipment, but no parking fee. The springs are less than a mile from this location.
If you’d like to paddle farther, you can spend about four hours enjoying the views of Box Canyon, Lemmon Falls, and Ritter Island before returning to Blue Heart Kayaking.
Is It Difficult to Paddle to Blue Heart Springs?
The difficulty of the trip depends on the weather and flow. The paddle to the springs is downstream, so you’ll travel with the current. You don’t need to be in great shape if you’re getting out at 1,000 Springs Resort.
However, the trip back to Banbury can be more difficult because it’s upstream. But the current usually isn’t very strong. We think most people can handle it. If you choose to head to Ritter Island, the current is stronger. So keep that in mind if you’re doing the longer route.
Pro Tip: Are you looking to camp in Idaho? These are the best camping spots in the state!
Can You Swim in it?
The crystal blue waters of Blue Heart Springs beckons boaters and paddlers to jump in. Although swimming is permitted, the water is cold. This isn’t a hot spring. The temperature hovers around 58 degrees year-round.
If you can’t handle the chill, head a few miles west to Miracle Hot Springs, which has numerous soaking ponds and private pools. This would be a great place to stay overnight for outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy this area of Idaho. There are geodesic domes, a home rental, and campsites at Miracle Hot Springs.
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Blue Heart Springs is very crowded in the summer. So it’s best to head out early in the morning or later in the afternoon on a weekday. But summer is a great time to visit Idaho because the high temperatures rarely get above 90 degrees.
July and August are the warmest months of the year. If you visit in the spring or fall, be prepared for temperatures between 40 to 60 degrees.
Keep in Mind: You won’t believe how clear these lakes are! Check out the Clearest Lakes in the US to Add to Your Bucket List
Why Is Blue Heart Springs Blue?
Although its origins are unknown, this springs was perhaps formed by a whirlpool about 15,000 years ago. Scientists believe the water that reaches the springs has been underground for 100 to 150 years.
The water bubbles from an aquifer and percolates to the surface. It’s about as clean as freshwater can be. It’s also extremely calm, which makes it a secret oasis for paddlers.
Is Blue Heart Springs in Idaho Worth a Visit?
You might not think of sapphire-blue hidden coves when you think about Idaho. But this springs is a beautiful paradise for paddlers willing to exert a little energy to reach the cove.
Motorboats aren’t permitted here, so the trip is serene and quiet. The picturesque scenes will make all of your friends jealous!
Would you like to visit Idaho’s secret oasis, Blue Heart Springs?