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Stand Up Paddle boarding at Blue Heart Springs with Aquafur

Updated: Jan 1

Traveling almost 1,100 miles from the Greater Yellowstone Area to the Columbia, the Snake River gives life to the enormous ecosystem of the West. Along its journey, it collects water from almost every river and stream in Idaho. An incredibly unique section of the river is the 1000 Springs State Park by Hagerman, Idaho where springs fall from the cliffs and bubble from the ground, eventually joining the mighty Snake.

On an early spring day, we were off to explore this area and see some of the springs for ourselves. The main destination was Blue Heart Springs which due to huge cliffs and rough terrain, is only accessible by boat. Having developed a recent love for paddle boards, we felt we had the perfect craft for this flat and scenic section of the Snake. Although it was very early spring in Idaho, we were sure to wear drysuits for safety and comfort.

Launching from Banbury Hot Springs, was the perfect start to our trip. The people there were very friendly, offered equipment rental if needed, and had a nice loading and unloading area. The launch pass also doubled for a soak in their hot springs which was an extra bonus. Once paddling, it was fun to see the tremendous amount of waterfowl sustained by the river. We spotted pelicans, bald eagles, hawks, and falcons. It was mesmerizing to paddle through the clear blue waters from the confluence of Box Canyon (one of the largest springs in the United States) and watch it meet and mix with the green depths of the Snake River.

When arriving at the Blue Heart Springs, just downstream from Box Canyon, we were not disappointed. We paddled into an otherworldly cove of gorgeous turquoise water fed by springs bubbling out of rocks and sand. The towering Snake River cliffs only accented the beauty of the water. It was fun to paddle, have lunch, hike around the rocks, and take in the unique beauty of the area.

Despite being upriver, the paddle back was easy due to a nice breeze at our backs. After loading the paddle boards, it was off to one of our favorite restaurants in the area, the Snake River Grill where they offer trout and sturgeon, and beef from local fisheries and farms. Finishing our meal, we went back to Banbury Hot Springs to capitalize on a hot soak. A perfect end to a great day.

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