She was born by fire that burned deep within the earth, roiling and raging until it could be held back no longer. It burst forth in a cascade of magma, spewing dark smoke into the air and spreading tentacles of sparking lava. The rushing mass of molten earth and fire formed her body, twisting into fields of bubbly rock dark as night.
Over thousands of years, she changed. She evolved. She transformed the hulking, black rock of her body into fertile, rich soil. She channeled the flames that burned under the surface to pools of water that rose to the surface at the perfect, soothing temperature.
In other words, she set the scene for your perfect weekend millions of years ago.
In Southern Idaho, you can enjoy the fruits of her labor: Mineral-rich, relaxing hot springs and dazzling, handcrafted wines. Put them together and you have the ultimate break from the stress of your everyday routine. Here is your guide to making the most of her magic.
Three prized hot springs bubble up from the great Snake River Plain and offer the ultimate opportunity for downtime. Thousand Springs Resort is located directly on the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway, which means you’ll be primed for relaxation the moment you hit beautiful Highway 30. Enjoy the incredibly large communal pool or dip into one of 15 private indoor hot tubs. Overnight accommodations are available if you can’t muster up the wherewithal to drive home.
Banbury Hot Springs on the Snake River has long been considered a spiritual and mystical retreat. Since the 1920s, locals have used its healing water to soothe aches and pains or simply put a pin in the workweek. The water here bubbles up at 138 degrees and is cooled to the perfect temperature by fresh Banbury Spring. Bunk down in a private log cabin and stretch out for the night on a queen-size bed.
At Miracle Hot Springs, you can retreat into a quiet oasis that seems to be designed just for you. Choose from a selection of private hot pools or soak in one of four public pools before your session with one of the on-staff massage therapists. Afterwards, retreat to a geodesic glamping dome with geothermally-heated floors.
Imbibe and dine.
The state’s booming wine industry is gaining a national reputation, and Southern Idaho’s ancient volcanic soils and clear water are part of the reason. At Crossings Winery in Glenns Ferry, indulge in a sparkling white wine made with estate-grown Riesling or a Solera-style port. Take a weekend tour of their extensive grounds, including a nine-hole golf course.
At Thousand Springs Winery, you can sip on Feathered Winds wines such as Windy White and River’s Edge Red while strolling manicured grounds on the edge of the Snake River.
Holesinky Winery, perched on the banks of the Snake north of Buhl, celebrates creativity through some of the most versatile flavors to emerge in Northwest wine. Here, you can enjoy chardonnay, syrah, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and sweeter wines such as port, Riesling, and muscat. This organic vineyard offers tours by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead.
Finish your visit with a meal at the Snake River Grill in Hagerman. This longtime favorite is known for its impressive breakfasts and generous dinners of just-caught local fish and succulent steaks.
Millions of years went into creating your perfect weekend getaway. Enjoy every minute of relaxation in Southern Idaho — after all, it’s made for it.
Your Guide to Southern Idaho’s Hot Springs
You won’t believe what’s behind Southern Idaho’s most soothing escapes. It’s the season to swap your to-do list for a bucket list. Click below to download your guide to Southern Idaho’s Hot Springs.