Ditch the Swimming Pool and Soak in the Mineral Hot Springs of Idaho

by Pool Builders on 03-19-2009 in Articles

Deviating from the normal vacation experience can be challenging as well as exciting. This requires you to be more creative to find ways to entertain yourself. As you are enticed by an outdoor adventure vacation, striving to escape your busy daily life and become rejuvenated by nature, you will find that there are a slew of activities that you can do to accomplish this.

After you have planned all the camping, hiking, white water rafting, climbing, and biking activities (whew!), you need to schedule something to help you unwind, not to mention to help work out all those kinks and aches you've just acquired. You will rarely find a spa with massage services if you are on a true adventure vacation.

One of my favorite relaxing vacationing activities is to soak in the hot springs. Living in Idaho, where more months are cold than warm, you can imagine not very many people own swimming pools in their backyard, though the Jacuzzi market flourishes year round. Many Idahoans know the great alternative that relinquishes their desire for a private pool. They escape to the many mineral hot springs scattered across the state.

If you are accustomed to swimming in chlorinated pools and chemical filled Jacuzzis, you are undoubtedly familiar with the unpleasant sensation of itchy skin as the chemicals infuse the epidermis layer, even after you've rinsed off. Consequently, most hot spring enthusiasts attest their good health to the unproven healing affects of the mineral-rich hot springs. Whether or not it is true that the mineral waters are healing, the soothing effect is quite nice, in addition to the wonderfully hot temperatures. (Some hot springs pump in cold water to make the hot pools habitable, not wishing to boil their guests alive!)

Whether you would like to drive to a public hot spring, or desire to hike and make a hot spring the focus of your trek, visit www.idahohotsprings.com, an especially great reference to find out if there are hot springs near where you live (Idahoans), or where you happen to be vacationing in Idaho. Be warned, you may not be able to reach some hot springs without putting in a lot of effort, such as hiking and camping over night due to the hot spring's remoteness.

There are a few public hot springs, where you can expect to pay anywhere from $5-$10 to use the facilities. These are great when you need to enjoy the benefits of the hot springs, but don't want to hike to get to them. Sometimes, it is just easier to park close by and enjoy what is offered.

Living in South Central Idaho, I especially enjoy Miracle Hot Springs, in Buhl, ID (west of Twin Falls, ID). Though their public dressing rooms are barely adequate, they offer several private tubs that you can rent hourly in addition to their public hot pools. If they are crowded, you can continue west to Hagerman, ID and get your soak at the Thousand Springs Resort, located scenically next to the Snake River.

Neither facility is nearly as large as the more well-known, but remote, Lava Hot Springs, in East Idaho (south of Pocatello). They divided their massive hot pools into three connected, but separate pools for your temperature preference, the furthest one back being almost intolerably hot. You may want to don water shoes because of the decomposed granite base in the hotter pools. In winter, if you ski the nearby Pebble Creek, soaking in the Lava Hot Springs will work out your body's aches and pains.

Whether visiting the hot springs in Idaho is the focus of your vacation, or just as an afterthought, be warned: Once you experience the hot springs, any Jacuzzi or swimming pool will just seem washed out.

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