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The Gem State, as Idaho is known—is not all about potatoes, trout, or precious stones. Aside from this socio-economic triumvirate, Idaho boasts rugged landscapes that are, to a large extent, amazingly unspoiled. Of course, there are several other attractions, things to do, as well as numerous spellbinding spots in this mountainous northwestern state.

One of these is the Blue Heart Springs, Idaho’s tropical lagoon that’s so clear and blue that visitors will be left in utter awe. One glance and one will want to immediately take a plunge. Fortunately, swimming is allowed. And since the water gets to dance around 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius)—even on days the sun appears to have been lowered—taking a dip can be thoroughly enjoyable. Aside from swimming, another delightful activity at Idaho’s Blue Heart Springs is kayaking—the focus of this article.


Here’s Why Idaho’s Blue Heart Springs Is A Kayakers Paradise

Blue Heart Springs is a cove draped in cool, sapphire-blue waters—just a few meters off the Snake River. This cove is shaped like a human heart, hence the name Blue Heart Spring. It's spring. That means the groundwater bubbles from an aquifer or some other opening in the ground—and percolates out onto the surface of the earth. It’s also a freshwater spring. That makes water activities not only enjoyable but—to a large extent—safe as well.

  • Where Is Idaho’s Blue Heart Spring Located? Idaho’s Blue Heart Spring is located in southern Idaho, along the Snake River, west of Twin Falls, and about 20 minutes from either Buhl or Hagerman.

Like all kayakers know, calm waters are one of the greatest currencies in kayaking or other water paddling sports. The good news is that the Blue Heart Spring is impossibly calm. To add to that, or maybe because of that, the lake is so clear that one can see the bed as if looking at an object in the clear light of day. For those kayaking from Banbury Hot Spring, the round-trip will be about 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) on a river’s current that’s so dreamily calm and peaceful. While kayaking from Ritter Island is a longer and a little more exacting adventure, it’s still very much doable in about 6-8 hours. And for those who want to rent kayaking gear, Banbury Adventures is a convenient way to experience the magic of the Snake River along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway.

  • Where Is Banbury Adventures Located? Banbury Adventures is located at Banbury Hot Springs, 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) away from Blue Heart Spring.

Related: Kayaking For Beginners: What To Know & What To Pack.

Paddling To Blue Heart Spring From Banbury Hot Spring

Once a visitor has rented kayaking gear at Banbury Adventures, it will be time to get on top of the clear, blue waters—kayak in hand. Once in, set the kayak to float and start the mind-blowing cruise. If the weather is fine, the experience will be one to be savored. There are picturesque scenes around the river while the river itself will be gleaming in vibrant, bluish color—all the time as placid as the face of the moon. For that kayaking from Banbury, the Blue Heart Spring is located on the right-hand side. After about 25-30 minutes of heaven on water, the cove will emerge in sight, nestled away in some corner before an abrupt bend in the river. If this adventure goes according to expectation, as it will most likely do, the 30 minutes will look like a blink of an eye.

Before getting to the Blue Heart Spring, one will have to navigate a narrow passageway before eventually docking the kayak. Since the shoreline is lined with massive rocks, docking can be momentarily challenging. Also, the waters at Blue Heart Spring are deep. However, after surveying the shoreline, one will easily find a spot to dock. For taking in a complete view of Blue Heart Spring, the boulders will come in handy. Every cloud, we’re told, has a silver lining. Some of the most spectacular views of the springs can only be gotten from the elevated position that the rocks provide. While paddling from Banbury to Blue Heart Spring is usually a breeze, not so with the return trip. This is because the return trip involves paddling upstream and will take a bit longer than the initial trip.

Related: These Are The Best Places In The World For Kayaking And Stunning Views.

Other Things To Know Before Going To Banbury Heart Spring

To kayak along the Snake River to the Blue Heart Spring, some bits of crucial information will come in handy. For starters, one should budget about $30 for the adventure. That’s the average expected cost per person, including the cost of hiring a kayak and boat launch fee.

Since kayaking will depend on the conditions of the Snake River, it’s always a good piece of advice to check the river’s current flow rates in advance. The same should apply to the weather. Finally, the best time to go kayaking at the Blue Heart Spring is spring through fall. Here’s the take-home. Blue Heart Spring is a marvel of color, calmness, and clarity—just the perfect conditions for some enjoyable paddling on a kayak.