Lava hot springs is just about the smallest town I've ever stayed in. The scenery is pretty, the people are unique, and if you don't mind trains it's a pretty quiet place. The museum on main street is a charming trip through the history of the area, and the people hosting there were really fun to visit with and had good advice about things to see and do.
The state run hot pools were a joke. The staff was surly & obviously didn't want disabled people in their park. Possibly because their park is poorly maintained. The gravel in the bottom of the pools cut my feet up, and the water was uncomfortably hot no matter where you sat. I've been to other hot pools where the water temperature was more varied (allowing you to move about in order to stay comfortable). Perhaps they've put all of their funding toward the shiny new olympic pool & slides hoping to just get by collecting entrance fees at the hot pools.
We had a lovely visit in Lava, and will be going back soon. But we're gonna skip the State Hot Pools next time.
The reason for the town is the hot springs coming from the banks of the Portneuf river. They were a major Indian stopping place as they were one of the few places hot water was easily obtained.
There are town pools at the east end of town on the main road. There is a large very hot pool, then a large hot pool and two good size warm pools- one had a small shallow area for children. There are also two small pools with jets, they were always crowded and I didn't try them. There are seats all along the sides and stairs leading into each pool.
Some people start in the hot pool and work their way to the warm ones. Others go back and forth between the hot and very hot. Others sit and then when it gets too hot stand till they are too cold then sit. While others just sit in the warm pools and never move.
There are are nice changing rooms and showers. It is not a large facility and the pools can get crowded on weekends, summer and during major holidays.
The Olympic pool has Olympic diving platforms as well as a large dinosaur in the shallower end. If you jump off the highest platform just be sure to go in straight, no cannon balls at 10 metres.
10376 South Dempsey Creek Road, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, 83246, United States
Good for: Business
255 East Portneuf Avenue, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, 83246, United States
Good for: Business
We were a little leary of this hotel. It was built in the 1920's and hasn't seen a whole lot of...more
This was one of the only restaurants still open at 8pm. Unfortunately we came in right after a very large group and it took up to an hour to get served. I think we all enjoyed our food, and the waitress was cute if inexperienced.
This is a crazy, wonderful, full of little surprises, knick knacks, out of this world, cheap, rare, anything western store. It was stuffed full of so much that it took an hour just to get to the back of the store. But here you will find western wear, western toys, saddles, pots, Indian knickknacks, skins, flags, and all of it sure to bring a smile to your face. We loved it.
Just east down the road about 20 miles is Soda Springs. Back in the '30's they accidentally drilled a geyser. It is still going. It would spew water non-stop if they let it. But they capped it and turn it on every hour on the hour (at least during daylight hours.) I don't know how long they let it go, we watched for 20 minutes and it was still going strong. In the summer you can play in the water. The mineral shelfs that have been created look great.