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How To Visit Blue Heart Springs: A Hidden Oasis In Idaho

Blue Heart Springs in Idaho

Blue Heart Springs is one of the most incredible natural wonders near Twin Falls, Idaho. This ground-fed spring along the banks of the Snake River is a hidden oasis that you must visit!

However, getting there requires a little preparation because it can only be accessed by kayak, boat, or other personal watercraft.

And as a bonus, Thousand Springs State Park is just downstream from Blue Heart Springs and is a popular spot to add to your trip. We include details for that park as well.

Here is everything you need to know about visiting Blue Heart Springs.

Getting To Blue Heart Springs

Blue Heart Springs is located along the Snake River, about 40 minutes drive from Twin Falls, Idaho.

The most popular way to visit is with a kayak or paddleboard. Since motorized boats are not permitted to run their engines within the springs.

A rental kayak at Blue Heart Springs

Most paddlers prefer to launch upstream for easier paddling with the current down to Blue Heart Springs. But motorized watercraft may choose to launch either upstream or downstream.

You can either bring your own boat or kayak/paddleboard, or rent from a few companies nearby.

Where To Rent Kayaks or Boats For Blue Heart Springs

The two best places to rent kayaks and boats are Blue Heart Kayaking and Banbury Adventures (at Banbury Hot Springs).

They have a place to park your car and launch onto the river.

Each company offers kayak and paddleboard rentals. And Banbury Adventures also has pontoon boats and jet skis for rent.

Blue Heart Kayaking offers a shuttle service to pick up downstream.

Blue Heart Kayaking Shuttle Van

Banbury Adventures does not offer a shuttle service. So you need to paddle back upstream to return the rentals (which may be challenging during times of higher flow, like the spring). And they do not rent on Sundays.

However, if you are interested in a guided tour, Banbury has pontoon, jet ski, and kayak tours. These tours include certified boat captains and guides.

Blue Heart Kayaking is only 0.6 miles upstream from Blue Heart Springs. Banbury Adventures is 1.5 miles upstream from the springs.

If you bring your own kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, then you only need to pay for the use of a boat ramp, and we highly recommend paying for a shuttle service as well.

Because just downstream from Blue Heart Springs is Thousand Springs State Park (Ritter Island). Which is another amazing destination worth adding to your itinerary.

A wall of waterfalls at Thousand Springs State Park.
Thousand Springs State Park

Personally, we chose to rent from Blue Heart Kayaking because they offer a shuttle service. We brought our own tandem kayak, so we were only looking for a place to launch and a shuttle to pick us up downstream.

We were able to visit both Blue Heart Springs and Thousand Springs State Park in a four-hour trip.

They pick up at 1000 Springs Resort, which is conveniently right across the river from Thousand Springs State Park. (You can also rent kayaks from 1000 Springs Resort, but it’s location downstream isn’t ideal for visiting Blue Heart Springs).

The one caveat is that they won’t shuttle personal equipment. But you can send one person to go get your car. And then you only need to pay the shuttle price for one person.

So altogether with Blue Heart Kayaking we only paid $23! (includes shuttle for one person and boat launch fee $5).

Jake & Emily posing at the Blue Heart Springs

Pro Tip: If you bring your own kayak/paddleboard, you can start whenever you want if you desire more time. You only need to show up for your scheduled shuttle pickup time.

What Makes Blue Heart Springs So Special?

Emily kayaking in the blue water of the springs.

Blue Heart Springs is a unique ground-fed spring that constantly feeds crystal clear water into the Snake River.

The striking blue color of the water is in stark contrast to the murky green water in the Snake River. But within the protected cove the water remains remarkably clear and blue!

We were worried that this was going to be one of those places overhyped by social media. But I assure you, the water is as blue and clear as it looks in the photos!

Blue Heart Springs near Twin Falls Idaho

You can witness bubbles coming up from the bottom of the springs, as water from an underground aquifer makes its way up to the surface.

The spring water is a constant 58 degrees year-round. Making it a perfectly refreshing place to swim in the warmer months. The clear water is ideal for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, or just relaxing.

The springs are lined with mostly lava rocks, though there is one corner with a little sand/grass (depending on the water level).

Tips For Visiting Blue Heart Springs

Blue Heart Springs Tandem Kayak
  • It’s easy to miss Blue Heart Springs if you don’t know what to look for. If you are paddling downstream (north), look out for the entrance on the right-hand side at the first big bend in the river. It is somewhat obscured by some trees. And you also may notice the clear water mixing into the river.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting pristine natural wonders like this. Pack it Out!
  • This place is popular! So visit at an off-peak time to experience fewer crowds at the springs.
  • You will be out for about 3-6 hours so be sure to have proper sun protection.
  • Life Jackets are required to be accessible to each adult. And children 14 and under must wear them at all times.
  • Paddling downstream is a little bit faster in the spring because the river is flowing stronger. However, if you plan to paddle upstream, then aim for summer or fall when there is less flow.
  • Miracle Hot Springs and Banbury Hot Springs are two awesome hot springs resorts nearby. You can drop in for a soak, or even stay overnight in yurts, cabins, or campsites.

Thousand Springs State Park (Ritter Island)

Aerial photo of Lemmon Falls, at Thousand Springs State Park

Definitely make time to visit Thousand Springs State Park too. It’s a beautiful park with several stunning waterfalls and a scenic loop paddle around Ritter Island.

It’s best to paddle clockwise around Ritter Island because a Hydroelectric plant actually makes the flow go upstream around part of the island. So the optimal kayak route is to pass the entire island while remaining on the Snake River.

Then make a sharp right turn to paddle clockwise around the island. You will have to paddle upstream for a short section, but then the flow reverses direction and spits your back out into the river.

A diagram showing the unique flow of water around Ritter Island.
A diagram showing the unique flow of water around Ritter Island.

For many more fun things to do in the area, check out our list of the Top Things To Do In Twin Falls, Idaho!

If you are looking for the best kayaks for travel, we uncovered the best portable, lightweight, packable kayaks to bring along.

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