The Snake River attracts tourists from all over the nation to white water raft, hike, bird watch, and kayak to the famous, Blue Heart Springs. Kayaking to Blue Heart has been a popular attraction for outdoor recreation, but parking and getting there has been difficult in the past. There is now a new business along the Snake River that provides you either kayak rentals or a place to put in your own watercraft. Find Blue Heart Kayaking just off the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway for easy access to Blue Heart Springs.
Blue Heart Kayaking Rentals
The locally owned business is located less than a mile from the gorgeous Blue Heart Springs. Their address is 4821 N 1115 E Buhl, Idaho 83316. There are signs from the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway to the business for assistance in the no service area. Visit their website prior to your trip to reserve your kayaks. Arriving on location, you’ll park in their large lot and walk down to the rental building. Check in to get your life jackets as well as your paddles and kayak. The owners will put your kayak into the water for you then you’re off to explore the Snake River on your own!
Blue Heart Kayaking Kayak Launch
If you have your own kayaks or paddleboards you are able to use Blue Heart Kayaking for just a kayak launch. The launch fee costs $5 (2022.) There is no parking fee. It is an extremely convenient location to access Blue Heart Springs being less than a mile away! Remember to respect others when utilizing this option as in the summer months it can get extremely crowded, especially at Blue Heart Springs itself. There is an outhouse available for public use onsite. You can get life jacket rentals for $5 at the check in station if your forgot your own.
Kayaking Directions to Blue Heart Springs
The kayaking trip begins on the west side of the Snake River. Remember to always be aware of other people on the water, especially those in boats. We recommend staring your paddle off by kayaking across the river carefully and finding the beautiful waterfalls spilling from a canyon into the river. This is where Box Canyon meets the Snake River, and you’ll see that below your kayak the water is bright blue and clear.
Continue kayaking north towards a cliff face that looks as though it has recently caved in. In this hidden section of the Snake River is where you’ll find Blue Heart Springs. Right at the entrance the river forks west, but you’ll paddle east. Paddling through the trees will lead you into bluer and bluer water, then the inlet opens up and showcases the bluest and clearest water in the region.
When swimming at Blue Heart Springs remember that the water is only 54 degrees year round. It can be shocking so stay near the beaches or edges to assure if you get too cold you can get back to shore. When others are in the water around you be kind and respectful. We all have to share this beautiful piece of nature. If you want to visit on non-busy days come during shoulder season or winter, and visit on weekdays. Coming on a weekend in the summer guarantees that it will be busy, so just come prepared and be kind!
Where to Stay and Eat Nearby
There are a few new Airbnb’s along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway that provide excellent places to stay. Miracle Hot Springs has really beautiful glamping domes available to camp in, plus hot spring right on the property! There are also accommodations in Hagerman such as Billingsley Creek Lodge and the Hagerman Valley Inn.