This article covers everything you need to know to plan a kayaking trip to Blue Heart Springs, a stunning blue lagoon in central Idaho, including where to rent kayaks and how to get there.
Table of Contents
- Blue Heart Springs, Idaho Overview
- How to get to Blue Heart Springs in Idaho
- Blue Heart Springs FAQs
- Blue Heart Springs trip details
- Other Idaho Resources
Blue Heart Springs, Idaho Overview
- Location | 30 minutes from Twin Falls, near Hagerman
- Total cost | $30 per person (kayak rentals)
- Total time | 2 – 3 hours (1.5 – 2 hours kayaking, 1 hour to hang out at the springs)
- Kayak Distance | 3 miles (round trip)
- Epic-ness rating | 7
The first time I saw a photo of Blue Heart Springs in Idaho, I quickly assumed the vibrant blue colors were heavily edited. There was no way that such a place could exist in Twin Falls, a town I had come to know for its expansive farmland and sagebrush covered flatlands, but Caribbean colored lagoons? No way!
While living nearby in Idaho Falls, I decided I had to see for myself, and planned a solo kayaking trip to Blue Heart Springs. When I arrived at the springs, I was shocked and perplexed to find that the colors really are that blue.
Keep reading if you want to see for yourself!
- Beautiful, tropical blue lagoon
- Fairly easy kayaking trip from Banbury Hot Springs or Blue Heart Kayaking
- Awesome spot to hang out on a summer day
- Gets crowded, especially on weekends
- Heavy winds can make the trip more difficult
How to get to Blue Heart Springs in Idaho
Blue Heart Springs is located on the Snake River, west of Twin Falls in southern Idaho. The popular launch points are about 15 to 20 minutes from the smaller towns of Buhl and Hagerman, Idaho.
There are a few ways that you can reach Blue Heart Springs by boat. The most popular route is from Banbury Hot Springs or Blue Heart Kayaking, but you can also start from Ritter Island if you’re looking for a longer trip.
Blue Heart Springs Map
The map below displays the location of the three launch sites, Banbury Hot Springs, Blue Heart Kayaking or Ritter Island, and Blue Heart Springs.
- To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
- To save this map for future use, click the star next to the title. From your phone, open the Google Maps app and click the “saved” tab, followed by the “Maps” icon. From your Gmail account, navigate to Maps –> “Saved” –> “My Maps” –> “Maps” tab.
- To email this map to yourself, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
1. Blue heart Springs from Blue Heart Kayaking
- 2 hour kayak rental | $20 (single kayak), $35 (tandem kayak)
- 4 hour kayak rental | $30 (single kayak), $50 (tandem kayak)
- Boat launch fee | $5
- One-way shuttle | $10 – $15 per kayak
Blue Heart Kayaking is a new company that offers the closest kayak launch point to Blue Heart Springs itself. From the launch point at Blue Heart Kayaking, it’s about a 20-minute kayak-trip to Blue Heart Springs.
Blue Heart Kayaking offers single kayaks, tandem kayaks, and paddleboards for rent for 2 to 4 hours. They also offer a one-way shuttle service if you don’t want to kayak the upriver return trip.
Blue Heart Kayaking is open 7 days a week from mid-March to mid-October. Their hours are 9:00am to 8:00pm from March 16th through August 30th and 10:00am to 7:00pm from September 1 through October 15th.
Rental reservations are available and recommended, especially on weekends during the summer.
2. Blue Heart Springs From Banbury hot springs
- 2 hour kayak rental | $20 (single kayak), $30 (tandem kayak)
- 4 hour kayak rental | $30 (single kayak), $45 (tandem kayak)
- 8 hour kayak rental | $40 (single kayak), $60 (tandem kayak)
- Boat launch fee | $10
Banbury Hot Springs is a resort near Hagerman, Idaho that offers kayak and paddleboard rentals and a boat launch. Banbury Adventures offers kayak rentals onsite for 2 hours, 4 hours, or 6 hours from Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays!).
You can also bring your own kayaks and launch them at the boat launch at Banbury Hot Springs but note that they do charge a $10 launch fee.
From Banbury Hot Springs, it’s a 30 to 45 minute kayak downriver for 1.5 miles to reach Blue Heart Springs. The trip back takes a bit longer, between 45 minutes to an hour, as you’ll be paddling downriver.
Whether you plan to rent kayaks or launch your own, it’s recommended you make reservations online in advance.
3. Blue Heart Springs From Ritter Island
If you’re looking for a longer kayaking trip, you can also reach Blue Heart Springs from Ritter Island, part of the 1000 Springs State Park. From here, the kayaking trip is about twice as long as the route from Banbury Hot Springs.
You could either kayak out and back from Ritter Island (7 miles), or launch at Ritter Island and end at Banbury Hot Springs (5 miles) if you have two vehicles available. If you choose to kayak one-way, start at Ritter Island so that you can kayak downriver to Banbury (unless of course, you’re looking for an extra challenge!).
The abundant waterfalls and crystal clear water around Ritter Island are absolutely beautiful, so I’d highly recommend this route if you have the time and energy!
Important Tip | Kayak rentals are not available on-site at Ritter Island. You’ll need to bring your own or rent kayaks from a local supplier. Adventure Bros is based in Twin Falls and offers daily kayak rentals for pickup or delivery. They’re very informal, and the best way to reach them is by sending a text.
Blue Heart Springs FAQs
Can you hike to Blue Heart Springs?
No, Blue Heart Springs is only accessible by water. The little oasis is surrounded by the Snake River on one side and a steep canyon wall on the other, so it’s not possible to hike to Blue Heart Springs.
How difficult is kayaking to Blue Heart Springs?
As far as kayaking trips go, Blue Heart Springs is a fairly easy, half-day trip from Banbury Hot Springs or Blue Heart Kayaking. The current of the Snake River is generally pretty mild, making for a comfortable 3-mile round-trip paddle.
Making the journey from Ritter Island is more than twice as long and adds a considerable amount of difficulty, but can still be done easily in one day.
Heavy winds can also make the kayaking trip significantly more difficult, so be sure to check the weather before making plans.
Tip | Conditions on the Snake River change seasonally and depending on recent weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check current Snake River flow rates, and do not attempt to kayak if conditions are unsafe.
When is the best time to kayak to Blue heart springs?
The best time to kayak to Blue Heart Springs is spring through fall. Both Banbury Adventures and Blue Heart Kayaking only offer kayak rentals from March/April through mid-October.
During the winter, you could launch your own kayaks, but it’d be a rather chilly day out on the water!
Banbury Hot Springs is also closed on Sundays, so it’s not possible to rent kayaks OR launch your own boat. However, Blue Heart Kayaking is open 7 days a week.
What should i pack for kayaking to Blue Heart Springs?
Below are a few important items to make sure you pack for your kayaking trip to Blue Heart Springs:
- Dry bag for keeping your valuables dry
- Bathing suit
- Water sandals or shoes
- Snacks, lunch, and extra water
- Compact towel
- Life jacket and paddles (if using your own kayaks)
- Camera and/or GoPro
Blue Heart Springs trip details
In the section below, we’ll give you all the details about the kayaking trip from Banbury Hot Springs to Blue Heart Springs!
I kayaked to Blue Heart Springs as a solo adventure while living in Idaho Falls, and had an awesome time!
I rented a kayak from Banbury Adventures for 4 hours and started my trip at 9am, the first available rental time slot. It took me only about 30 minutes to reach Blue Heart Springs, and when I first arrived it was pretty quiet.
I climbed up the massive boulder piles for a stunning view of the springs from above, found a nice boulder and basked in the sun for an hour or so. Slowly more and more people started to roll in, on everything from kayaks and SUPs to fishing boats and pontoon boats. By the time I left, the springs were rather crowded.
Getting to Banbury Hot Springs
When you arrive at Banbury Hot Springs, park in the gravel lot across from the tent camping area. Then make your way downhill to the main office next to the pools.
Picking up the kayaks
Inside the main office, you’ll check in and then head down to the river to pick up your kayaks. The folks with Banbury Adventures will put the kayak in the water for you and provide you with a paddle and life jacket.
Kayaking to Blue heart Springs
After acquiring your kayak, hit the water and head to the left from the dock at Banbury Hot Springs. To get to Blue Heart Springs, you’ll be kayaking downriver, which makes for a pretty leisurely paddle!
Even at this point on the Snake River, the water is a beautiful shade of dark blue, and on a calm morning the reflection over the still water is quite a sight! Along the way to Blue Heart Springs, you will pass by a few small islands and the entrance to Box Canyon Springs, another unit of the 1000 Springs State Park.
It’s not possible to enter Box Canyon from the Snake River, but be sure to stop by after your kayaking trip.
Exploring Blue Heart Springs
Coming from Banbury Hot Springs, Blue Heart Springs is located on the right side of the Snake River, tucked away in a corner just before a sharp bend in the river. It took me about 30 minutes to reach the springs on a calm morning, and I actually kayaked right by it at first, thinking there was no way I had already arrived!
You will paddle in through a narrow passageway before arriving at the stunning Blue Heart Springs. Paddle around and soak up the beauty of the vibrant colors, and then dock your kayak.
It’s a bit tricky finding a good spot to get out, as the shore is lined with massive boulders and the water is a bit deep. There’s also a small grassy area to the left and right that may make it easier to get out of your kayak.
Beside Blue Heart Springs, there is a massive pile of boulders lining the canyon, which make an awesome opportunity to climb up and get an aerial view of the spring. The crystal clear water is even more impressive from above!
I’d recommend packing or wearing a pair of shoes with some good traction if you wish to climb around the boulders. Find a nice large boulder and spend as much time as you please hanging out!
Remember that to get back to Banbury Hot Springs, you will be paddling upriver so expect the journey to take a little longer. It took me about 45 minutes to return, but it may vary based on wind conditions and river flow rate.
Do your part to protect this beautiful spot!
Please do your part to help preserve this incredible area for generations to come, and remember to practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.
It especially important to remember to stay on the established trail, be well prepared (especially for the high altitude), pack out any food and trash you bring with you, do not feed animals, treat the archaeological site with respect and take only photos and memories with you!
Other Idaho Resources
Looking for more fun adventures in Idaho? Check out these articles!
- Kayaking to Shoshone Falls
- Box Canyon Springs
- Malad Gorge
- Perrine Coulee Falls
- Best Waterfalls in Twin Falls
- Things to do in Twin Falls
- Best Hikes in the Sawtooth Mountains
- Sawtooth Lake Hike Guide
- Alice Toxaway Loop Backpacking Guide
- Alice Lake Hike Guide
Questions about how to kayak to Blue Heart Springs in southern Idaho? What’re your favorite spots near Twin Falls? Let us know in the comments below!