A hidden oasis nestled among the vast farmland of southern Idaho, Box Canyon Springs is an unexpected gem just outside Twin Falls. Part of the 1000 Springs State Park, Box Canyon features a rocky canyon carved by crystal clear water oozing from underground springs. A 3 mile round-trip trail through Box Canyon shows off the area’s beauty and includes stops at a fun swimming pool and beautiful waterfall. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to plan your visit to Box Canyon in Idaho, including details on hiking the Box Canyon Springs trail.


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Box Canyon Springs Idaho

Box Canyon Springs is a nature preserve located in southern Idaho near Twin Falls, and is one of six sections of the 1000 Springs State Park. The beautiful blue springs can be viewed from a nearby overlook. However, the best way to experience the park is to lace up your boots and hike the Box Canyon Springs trail, leading down into the canyon, up close to the vibrant blue water and an impressive waterfall.

Highlights

  • Dreamy, clear, blue springs
  • Great spot to hangout by the springs

Lowlights

  • Gets crowded on summer days

1000 Springs State Park in Idaho

Box Canyon Spring is located within 1000 Springs State Park, which is conveniently located just an hour’s drive from Twin Falls, Idaho.With six unique units, this isn’t just any old state park! Each of the six units feature their own attractions: Box Canyon, Ritter Island, Malad Gorge, Niagara Springs, Kelton Creek, and Billingsley Creek.

As the name implies, 1000 Springs State Park is home to over 1000 naturally occurring springs, many of which produce waterfalls that appear to be oozing out of the canyon walls. The park features stunning bright green and blue waters, rocky canyons and gorges, countless waterfalls, and crystal clear springs!

Box Canyon Springs Preserve

Box Canyon Springs is the 11th largest spring in North America, featuring vibrant waters that will make you forget you’re evev in Idaho. In addition to its stunning springs, Box Canyon also features an impressive waterfall. The water flowing through Box Canyon eventually empties into the Snake River, just a few feet from Blue Heart Springs.

From the parking area for Box Canyon, there is a stunning viewpoint overlooking the springs. The water is so clear that you can see the sand, rocks and plants on the bottom of the water. Because the water flows from an underground aquifer through tiny pores in the basalt rock, the water is naturally filtered and extremely pure, giving it that crystal clear appearance.

The best way to explore Box Canyon is to hike the 4-mile Box Canyon Springs trail, which drops 400 feet down into the canyon and then follows along the edge of the water all the way to the Snake River.

Entrance Fees

Entrance to Box Canyon Springs Preserve costs $7 per vehicle per day for out-of-staters and is covered by the Idaho State Parks Passport, a $10 annual pass that includes entrance to all Idaho state parks for one year for Idaho residents. The pass includes all six units of the 1000 Springs State Park.

Note that the pay station at Box Canyon is cash only. You can purchase a pass using credit card at the 1000 Springs State Park visitor center or stop to get cash in Twin Falls before you go.

When is the best time to visit Box Canyon in Idaho?

The best time to visit Box Canyon Springs is during the spring through fall, April through September. Summers in southern Idaho can be extremely hot with high temperatures often reaching into the 90s, so be sure to pack plenty of water and sun protection and plan to hike in the morning.

Winter in Box Canyon Springs is cold, with average highs in the 30s and lows that often dip into the 20s. Snow is not uncommon, with an average snowfall of 18 inches per year.

Box Canyon Springs in Idaho

Box Canyon Springs Trail

Hike Stats

  • Distance | 3 miles
  • Elevation gain | 400 feet
  • Difficulty | Easy
  • Epic-ness rating | 5
  • Cost | $7 per vehicle
  • Dogs allowed | Yes

Find this hike on AllTrails: Box Canyon Springs Trail

Parking and getting to the trailhead

The trailhead for Box Canyon Springs is located about 35 minutes from Twin Falls, Idaho. There are two parking areas: the main parking lot, and an overflow lot.

The main parking lot is located right next to the Box Canyon Overlook and cuts off about 1 mile round trip on the Box Canyon Springs trail, so it’s worth trying to get a spot there. The overflow lot is a good backup if the main parking area is full.

Box Canyon Overlook

The Box Canyon Overlook is just a short walk from the main parking area, and offers a bird’s eye view looking down over the colorful springs. It’s definitely worth stopping by the overlook before heading out on the Box Canyon Springs trail.

view from the Box Canyon overlook

Starting the hike

From the overlook, follow the trail along the edge of the canyon. The trail immediately offers beautiful views looking down Box Canyon at the bright water flowing from the springs.

Dropping into Box Canyon

After about half a mile walking along the rim, the trail starts to drop down into Box Canyon. The trail gets quite steep, so a pair of hiking boots or shoes with good traction is a good idea! Once in the canyon, you’ll be treated to close-up views of the vibrant waters flowing towards the Snake River.

Box Canyon Waterfall

Soon after dropping down to the canyon floor, you’ll come upon the impressive Box Canyon Waterfall. Below the falls, there are several large boulders that offer a nice view of the cascading water and bright teal pool below!

Box Canyon Springs pool

Towards the western end of Box Canyon the river widens and collects into a small pool area, with rocky beaches and boulders lining the shore. This is a popular spot to swim and hang out by the water for a few hours. Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit, small towel and some lunch if you plan to spend some time here.

Return hike

From the Box Canyon Springs pool, you have two options to get back to the trailhead. You can either return back the way you came, or continue further west along the trail to complete the hike as a loop. If you return the way you came, the hike is about 2 miles round trip. If you opt to do the loop, the full hike is about 3 miles.

We’d recommend continuing along the trail and completing the full loop. The trail continues west through Box Canyon until the springs empty into the Snake River. From here, you’ll begin to climb out of the canyon following along a narrow dirt road. As you gain elevation, you’ll get a nice view over the Snake River and the end of Box Canyon.

Once you’ve returned to the rim, it’s about a mile-long, flat walk back to the main parking area.

Other things to do nearby

Looking for more to do near Twin Falls, Idaho? Check out the resources below for more help planning your trip!

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For all things Idaho: Idaho Travel Guide

Questions about visiting Box Canyon or hiking the Box Canyon Springs trail in Idaho? Let us know in the comments below!

2 Comments on “Box Canyon Springs: An Unexpected Oasis in Southern Idaho

  1. Idaho is not a place that’s ever registered in my mind as a place to visit. This post has me intrigued. Thanks for sharing.

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