Ready to embark on a trip like no other, as we reveal Idaho’s stunning secret, Blue Heart Springs. Nestled only 30 minutes away from Twin Falls, near the charming town of Hagerman, this aquatic treasure will leave you in wonder. Picture pristine, Caribbean-blue waters, forming a heart-shaped oasis that defies the ordinary landscape of Twin Falls. It’s a sight so surreal that you might doubt its reality, just as I did when I first stumbled upon it.
But here’s the twist – Blue Heart Springs is not a creation of Photoshop wizardry; it’s real, it’s vibrant, and it’s right here in Idaho. I was originally a skeptic, too, but my curiosity led me to take a solo kayaking trip to see this wonder with my own eyes. And the moment I set my eye upon those brilliant blue waters, I was rendered speechless.
Delighted You should be! In this complete guide, I’ll spill the details you require to plan your kayak adventure to Blue Heart Springs. You won’t have to accept my word for it; you’ll experience it yourself. Ready to be enchanted by this hidden gem, a slice of Caribbean paradise in the heart of Idaho.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Idaho's Hidden Gem - Blue Heart Springs
Location and Accessibility
- Location: 30 minutes from Twin Falls (Near Hagerman)
- Total cost: $30 per person for kayak rentals
- Total time: 2 to 3 hours (about 1:30 to 2 hr kayaking and 1 hr to hang out at the springs)
- Kayak Distance- 3 miles (rounded travels)
Blue Heart Springs, Idaho’s hidden gem, boasts a heart-shaped lagoon with stunning crystal-clear blue waters, evoking the feeling of a Caribbean paradise just a short drive from Twin Falls. Accessible only by boat, the most popular route is a tranquil kayaking trip from Banbury Hot Springs, taking about 2 hours roundtrip. Motorized boats can also reach this slice of paradise via the Snake River from Banbury Hot Springs or Ritter Island. A must-visit hidden treasure in Idaho!
Kayaking Adventure to Blue Heart Springs
Explore the hidden gems of Idaho, a state with a unique charm and diverse experiences. From relaxing in the soothing Lava Hot Springs to stepping back in time at Custer Ghost Town, there’s something for everyone.
1. Lava Hot Springs
2. Custer Ghost Town
3. Yellowstone Bear World
4. Downtown Boise
5. Old Idaho State Penitentiary
6. Sacajawea Historic Byway
7. Silverwood Theme Park
8. Museum of Clean
Uncover the importance of cleanliness at the Museum of Clean, a unique museum with interactive exhibits and insights into clean living.
9. Lake Coeur d'Alene
Enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Coeur d’Alene, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts with beautiful beaches and scenic trails along the North Idaho Centennial Trail.
10. Big Idaho Potato Hotel
Highlights and Lowlights
- Stunning tropical blue lagoon
- Easy kayak trip from Banbury Hot Springs
- Ideal spot for a summer day getaway
- Crowded, particularly on weekends
- Potentially challenging due to heavy winds
- No kayak rentals available on Sundays
How to Get to Blue Heart Springs
You can reach Blue Heart Springs by boat, with Banbury Hot Springs being the most popular starting point. Alternatively, you can embark on a longer trip from Ritter Island.
From Banbury Hot Springs
From Ritter Island
For those seeking a more extensive kayaking adventure, Blue Heart Springs can also be reached from Ritter Island, which is part of the 1000 Springs State Park. This route offers a longer kayaking experience compared to the one from Banbury Hot Springs.
You have a couple of options from Ritter Island: a round-trip kayak journey starting and ending at Ritter Island covering approximately 7 miles, or a one-way trip where you start at Ritter Island and finish at Banbury Hot Springs, covering approximately 5 miles. The latter option is ideal if you have access to two vehicles. If you’re up for a challenge, you can kayak upstream from Banbury to Ritter Island, but be prepared for a more strenuous paddle.
Ritter Island boasts breathtaking scenery with numerous waterfalls and remarkably clear waters, making it a highly recommended route for those with the time and energy to enjoy it.
From Kayaking to Blue Heart Springs
Can You Hike to Blue Heart Springs?
Map of Blue Heart Springs
Difficulty of Kayaking to Blue Heart Springs
Ideal Time to Visit
Where to Rent Kayaks
When it comes to renting kayaks for your journey to Blue Heart Springs, you have a few options:
- Banbury Adventures: This is the most convenient choice, especially if you plan to start your trip from Blue Heart Springs. They offer kayak rentals right on-site, handling all the logistics of putting in and taking out the kayaks for you.
- Adventure Bros: Started by two brothers who turned their kayak rental venture into a full-time business, Adventure Bros provides a slightly more informal but highly helpful service. You can contact them through text. They offer the flexibility of picking up the kayaks yourself or having them delivered to Banbury Hot Springs for an additional fee.
Blue Heart Springs Packing List
For a smooth kayaking trip to Blue Heart Springs, here’s a packing list you should consider:
- Dry Bag: To keep your valuables dry and safe.
- Bathing Suit: Essential for taking a dip in those inviting blue waters.
- Water Sandals or Shoes: Protect your feet while exploring.
- Snacks, Lunch, and Extra Water: Stay energized throughout your adventure.
- Compact Towel: Handy for drying off or lounging by the springs.
- Life Jacket and Paddles (if using your kayaks): Safety first!
- Camera and/or GoPro: Capture the stunning moments along the way.
Exploring Blue Heart Springs
Exploring Blue Heart Springs is an entertaining experience as you approach it from Banbury Hot Springs. It’s conveniently nestled on the right side of the Snake River, just before a sharp turn, and surprisingly, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach it on a peaceful morning. You might even paddle right by it initially, as I did, underestimating how close it was.
To access Blue Heart Springs, you’ll be guided through a narrow passageway, and as you reach, you’ll be greeted by the stunning beauty of its vibrant colors. Take your time to paddle around and fully engage yourself in this natural wonder. When you’re ready to disembark, find a suitable spot along the shoreline. Keep in mind that it can be a bit tricky due to the reality of huge boulders and deep water. You may also find small grassy areas on the left and right sides that offer easy options for getting out.
Adjacent to Blue Heart Springs, you’ll find an impressive pile of boulders lining the canyon. These boulders provide an excellent option to climb up and enjoy an elevated view of the spring. From this vantage point, the crystal-clear water appears even more mesmerizing and stunning.
For safety reasons, if you plan to explore the boulders, it’s advisable to wear shoes with suitable traction. See a spacious boulder to relax on and enjoy your time in this breathtaking location.