I bet you didn’t know that there’s a place in Idaho that you can find Caribbean Blue Water? Well, there is, and it’s called Blue Heart Springs! It’s an amazing place that sits not too far from Twin Falls, ID. Keep reading to know all about this hidden gem called Blue Heart Springs.
Where is Blue Heart Springs?
Technically, it is located in Hagerman, Idaho. This oasis is enclosed by black volcanic rock walls and is located in the Thousand Springs Reserve area around Wendell and Twin Falls, Idaho. They are located just past Box Canyon and within striking distance of Ritter Island. The only way to get to the springs is through water, and most visitors use kayaks, canoes, SUPs, or boats to get there.
How to Get to Blue Heart Springs, Idaho?
There are numerous routes to Blue Heart Springs, but they all include waterways and boats. The most common route is a day journey from Twin Falls, Idaho, where you can put your kayaks in at Banbury Hot Springs then paddle to Blue Heart Springs (about a mile and a half downstream).
One great thing about this route is that there are lots of beautiful sites to see along the way. However, there are alternative ways to get there, as well as different places to start your trip. Additionally, you can stay the night. You may even make this a day trip from Boise if you’re feeling adventurous!
Option 1: Banbury hot springs to 1000 springs resort.
You might want to bring two cars for this one if you can as you’ll have to park one at Banbury springs resort (your starting point) and 1000 springs resort (your exit point). But, don’t worry; they’re just about 5 miles apart, and you can easily locate them with signage or Google maps.
You’ll get in the water from Banbury springs docks and start your kayaking adventure towards the springs.
Kayaking downstream from Banbury to Blue Heart Springs is approximately 1.5 kilometers. Most people spend between 40 minutes and 1 hour getting there, depending on the weather, and then roughly an hour paddling back if there is some current.
If you paddle to the river’s right, you’ll discover a slope on the cliff formed by many fallen black rocks. That is where you should turn in. You’ll most certainly see other people paddling in and out of the springs, so don’t be too concerned about finding it.
You’ll notice the spring water is a bit murky on entering, but as you paddle further into the rock wall, you’ll see the blue water. Finally, you can anchor your kayak and enjoy the view of go diving. Caution: It is really cold!
Once you’re done at the springs, you can kayak down to 1000 Springs Resort to get your car. You can also stop at Ritter Island, which is not too far from 1000 Springs; however, be aware that the current is stronger on the way to the island than it is on the way to and from Blue Heart from Banbury Hot Springs.
Option 2: Going from Banbury hot springs and back
This option is best if you wish to camp at Banbury hot springs. You’ll also follow the process above, only this time, you’ll go back the same way you came. This route is a lot shorter, though it’s about half a day’s work.
Option 3: Taking off from 1000 springs resort and back
Another possibility is to put in your SOPs or kayaks at 1000 Springs Resort. Unfortunately, they don’t have boat rentals, but each tent location has a dock, so you can take off from here if you bring your own or rent one elsewhere.
Even if you aren’t camping at 1000 Springs, you can park and sail from the docks.
It takes approximately 2 hours to paddle upstream from 1000 Springs and about 1 hour 15 minutes to paddle downstream.
When To Visit Blue Heart Springs
While you can visit blue heart springs any time of the year, it’s best to avoid going during cold months as you may find the water is colder during that time. The best time to visit Blue Heart Springs is in July. You’ll also find lots of other tourists there during that time.
If you want to beat the rush, try going earlier or later in the day on weekdays. Just make sure not to leave anything behind when leaving the springs, and try going with a paddleboat or kayak instead of a motorboat. It’s better for everyone.
Also, make sure to check the weather before kayaking to the springs to avoid any dangerous conditions.
What should you bring?
I recommend you bring the following items with you when visiting blue heart springs.
- A life jacket
- Whistle (in case game and fish stops you)
- A camera or waterproof phone case
You can also decide to bring a snorkel and mask. A word of caution though, the water is a constant 54 degrees, so jumping in might be shocking.
Where to rent a kayak or SUP
Banbury hot springs resort has a rental shop where you can get kayaks ad SUP boards. Just make sure to call them ahead in case they have a large group rental. You can also get kayaks from Twin Falls if you’re coming from that direction.
Before you go: 82 Best adventure captions for Instagram that you can use
How difficult is paddling to the springs?
It’s pretty easy to paddle from Banbury to Blue Hearts. Because you’ll be traveling upstream, you may encounter some current on the way back, but this is doable for people of all fitness levels. Also, you don’t have to be in fantastic paddling shape to do it.
If you’re up for a challenge, continue to Ritter Island, which will take a little longer but be about the same paddle difficulty. If you want a challenge, however, I recommend going around Ritter Island.