Lava Hot Springs has enjoyed an esteemed history of people gathering at their famous hot springs for years to bathe, rest, and worship. Lava Hot Springs is located in southeastern Idaho in the mountainous valley of the Portneuf River, which acts as a major landmark and cultural icon of the town and closely parallels Main St. Part of the town’s initial attraction was its ideal location along the Oregon Trail and California Trail; therefore many throughout the years have visited it. It has been and still is widely thought that the warm, inviting hot mineral waters have healing properties, turning this quaint town nestled beautifully in the mountains of southeastern Idaho into an international destination.
Initially the area was part of the original Fort Hall reservation, however in the late 1800’s a treaty was struck between the Native Americans of the area and the US Government, allowing the federal government to purchase approximately 178 acres, which included the springs. In 1902, the lands were handed over to the State of Idaho for public use, which were then transferred over some time later to the Lava Hot Springs Foundation, who remains the agency overseeing much of the hot springs’ usage.
The town has enjoyed quite a surge in visitation over recent years and with the increase of income has invested in more up-to-date infrastructure and entertainment options. The most prominent addition to the town has to be Lava’s Olympic Swimming Complex and Water Park. It’s hard to miss this awesome fun park as it sits front and center to the entrance of town. With an enclosed pool as part of the attraction it can be enjoyed year-round and even features an indoor Rock Climbing Wall overhanging the water for the kids.
While the Olympic Swimming Complex is truly a fun treat to enjoy, the town is and always will be all about the Hot Springs. Over 2.5 million gallons a day run through the springs and are diverted into the Portneuf River, keeping the springs ever changing and clean. You can enjoy four gravel-bottom pools and a brand new 20,000 gallon stone-lined pool all chemical and sulfur free so you won’t go home smelling a little funky. Natural water temperatures range from 102F - 110F and they stay open 363 days a year, so you’ll never worry about missing out on the fun. Another great amenity attached to the hot springs is the Lava Hot Springs Massage Studio, where you can enjoy a soothing massage from licensed massage therapists just yards from the hot pools.
This small, welcoming town is sure to bring the fun, relaxing atmosphere you need and expect when visiting a place such as Lava Hot Springs. It’s beautiful surroundings and welcoming community are sure to make you feel right at home!