Blue Heart Springs

Idaho’s Blue Heart Springs stands out as one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural springs in the United States, yet it remains largely undiscovered due to its secluded, aquatic setting and its cool waters (it’s important to note that this is not a hot spring). To reach it, adventurers need to kayak along the Snake River, starting near the small town of Buhl, Idaho.

During the journey, they’ll encounter the confluence with Box Canyon, where the chilly, azure waters of Box Canyon distinctively blend with those of the Snake River. This hidden gem, often described as a slice of paradise, is renowned for its stunningly clear, vibrant blue waters that rival the hues of the most pristine oceans.

Situated in a secluded area, its name is a poetic tribute to the breathtaking beauty and heart-shaped appearance of aerial views. This article embarks on a journey to unveil the mysteries, beauty, and allure of Blue Heart Springs, inviting nature lovers and adventurers to explore its wonders.

The Journey to Blue Heart Springs

Reaching Blue Heart Springs is an adventure in itself. Located off the beaten path, the springs are accessible from nearby towns, with the closest being a testament to the untouched beauty of the area. The journey typically involves a combination of driving and a final leg best traversed by kayak or canoe, offering a serene glide over crystal-clear waters.

Those planning to visit should prepare for a day trip, pack essentials such as water, snacks, and sun protection, and be ready for an unforgettable paddling experience through nature’s artwork.

Related: Best Natural Springs in Florida Near Orlando

The Natural Beauty of Blue Heart Springs

Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by the breathtaking spectacle of the springs. The astonishingly clear water and a deep blue shade create an almost surreal landscape. This natural pool, surrounded by lush greenery and the tranquil sounds of nature, is a haven for wildlife and a peaceful retreat for humans alike.

The visibility in the water is so remarkable that one can easily see the sandy bottom and aquatic life from the surface, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling and underwater photography.

How to Reach Blue Heart Springs in Idaho?

Situated along the Snake River, west of Twin Falls in the southern part of Idaho, Blue Heart Springs can be accessed. The springs are conveniently positioned approximately 15 to 20 minutes away from the quaint towns of Buhl and Hagerman, Idaho, serving as ideal starting points for your journey.

To venture to Blue Heart Springs, navigating the waters by boat presents a few options. The preferred pathway for many is launching from either Banbury Hot Springs or Blue Heart Kayaking. Alternatively, for those in search of an extended adventure, embarking from Ritter Island offers a lengthier voyage to the springs.

The Science Behind the Blue

The mesmerizing blue color of the springs is not just a feast for the eyes but also a fascinating geological phenomenon. The springs are fed by underground aquifers, which filter the water through limestone and other minerals, purifying it and giving it its crystal-clear appearance. The depth of the water and the way light refracts through it contribute to the vibrant blue hue, creating a visual spectacle that is both beautiful and scientifically intriguing.

Read More: Best Hot Springs in Northern California

Activities at Blue Heart Springs

Blue Heart Springs offers a range of activities for visitors. The clear, calm waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Those interested in photography will find endless inspiration in the landscape and underwater scenes. Environmentalists and nature lovers can engage in bird watching or simply enjoy the area’s tranquility, which also serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to preserve such pristine natural wonders.

When to Visit Blue Heart Springs?

Timing is key to experiencing the best of Blue Heart Springs. The clarity of the water is at its peak during the dry season, making it the ideal time for underwater activities. Visiting during the weekdays or outside of peak vacation months can offer a more secluded and intimate encounter with nature.

The ideal times to embark on a paddling journey to Blue Heart Springs fall within the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. Winter introduces the challenge of navigating through snow, making access to the spring more difficult.

My visit occurred in July, offering a combination of warm weather and the refreshing coolness of the spring’s 58-degree water. Summer tends to attract more visitors to the water, so it’s advisable to begin your trip to Blue Heart Springs early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

The Local Culture and History

The area surrounding Blue Heart Springs is rich in history and culture, with indigenous communities having deep ties to the land. Local legends often speak of the springs as sacred places, imbued with healing properties and spiritual significance. Visitors are encouraged to respect these traditions and the natural habitat, leaving no trace behind to ensure the preservation of this cultural and natural heritage.

Things to Do at Blue Heart Springs

Secure your kayak, stand-up paddleboard (SUP), or jet ski along the rocky shore and enjoy a picnic.

  • Dive into the cool waters for a memorable swim.
  • Spend a few hours soaking up the sun on your SUP.
  • Use a drone to capture a spectacular aerial perspective of this picturesque location.
  • Navigate your paddleboard or kayak along the outer edges.

Best Season for Kayaking to Blue Heart Springs

Kayaking to Blue Heart Springs

Kayaking to Blue Heart Springs is most enjoyable from spring to fall. Kayak rentals are available from Banbury Adventures and Blue Heart Kayaking starting from March or April until the middle of October.

Winter kayaking is an option for those who have their equipment, though be prepared for a cold day on the water.

It’s important to note that Banbury Hot Springs does not operate on Sundays, meaning neither kayak rentals nor personal boat launches are available then. On the other hand, Blue Heart Kayaking remains open every day of the week.

READ: Best Fun Things to Do in Twin Falls Idaho

Blue Heart Springs Kayaking Trip

A kayaking trip to Blue Heart Springs feels like entering a hidden world, where the vibrancy of nature’s palette comes to life in crystal-clear waters. This journey, best enjoyed from the warmth of spring to the mellow hues of fall, offers an unparalleled blend of adventure and serenity. With every paddle stroke through the calm, azure waters, the surrounding natural beauty unfolds in a way that seems almost magical. 

The trip becomes not just about reaching the stunning Blue Heart Springs but about embracing the tranquility and awe-inspiring scenes along the way. Whether you’re renting a kayak or bringing your own, the experience promises a memorable escape into the heart of nature, with the cool embrace of the spring’s water providing a refreshing counterpoint to the sun’s warmth. It’s a vivid reminder of the earth’s hidden treasures, waiting quietly for those willing to seek them out.

Other Things To Know Before Going To Banbury Heart Spring

kayaking journey down the Snake River towards Blue Heart Spring requires some essential information for a smooth experience. Initially, anticipate spending around $30 per person for this excursion. This estimate includes the rental fee for a kayak and the cost associated with launching the boat.

Given that the kayaking experience is heavily influenced by the conditions of the Snake River, it’s wise to check the river’s current flow rates beforehand. Similarly, staying informed about the weather forecast is crucial. The optimal period for kayaking to Blue Heart Spring stretches from spring to fall. To sum it up, Blue Heart Spring offers a breathtaking blend of vibrant colors, tranquility, and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal spot for a delightful kayaking adventure.

Read Also: Best Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

What Should I Pack Up for Kayaking to Blue Heart Springs?

When preparing for your journey to Blue Heart Springs by kayak, here’s a checklist of crucial items to bring along:

  • A dry bag to protect your belongings from getting wet
  • Swimwear
  • Footwear suitable for water
  • Enough snacks, lunch, and additional water
  • A small towel
  • Life vest and paddles (should you decide to kayak with your own equipment)
  • A camera or GoPro for capturing the moments


Blue Heart Springs is more than just a destination; it’s a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of our planet. Its clear blue waters invite us to pause, reflect, and appreciate the delicate balance of nature. As we explore such enchanting places, let us commit to their preservation for future generations to marvel at and enjoy. Blue Heart Springs awaits those willing to embark on the journey, promising an experience filled with beauty, wonder, and a deeper connection to the natural world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Below we drop a few commonly asked questions about the topic of Blue Heart Springs. Let’s check them out.

What is Blue Heart Springs?

Blue Heart Springs is a breathtaking natural spring known for its crystal-clear blue water. It’s located along the Snake River in southern Idaho, near the towns of Buhl and Hagerman. The springs are a popular destination for kayaking, snorkeling, and enjoying the serene beauty of nature.

When is the best time to visit Blue Heart Springs?

The ideal time to visit Blue Heart Springs is between spring and fall. These seasons offer the best weather conditions for kayaking and enjoying the natural beauty of the area. Summer can be more crowded, so an early morning start is recommended for a more tranquil experience.

What should I bring for a day trip to Blue Heart Springs?

For a comfortable day trip, pack a bathing suit, water-appropriate shoes, snacks, plenty of water, a compact towel, and sun protection. Don’t forget your camera or GoPro to capture the scenic views. If you’re bringing your own kayak, remember the life jacket and paddles.

Are there any fees associated with visiting Blue Heart Springs?

There might be fees related to kayak rentals or boat launch services, depending on where you start your trip. It’s best to check with rental facilities (like Banbury Adventures or Blue Heart Kayaking) for the most current pricing and offerings.

Can I swim in Blue Heart Springs?

Yes, swimming in Blue Heart Springs is a popular activity. The water is remarkably clear and maintains a cool temperature, which can be refreshing on a hot day. Always prioritize safety and be mindful of the natural environment.

Is Blue Heart Springs suitable for beginners?

Blue Heart Springs is accessible to kayakers and swimmers of various skill levels, including beginners. The calm waters of the Snake River make the journey to the springs a manageable adventure. However, it’s important to have basic kayaking skills and to always wear a life jacket for safety.