South Central Idaho Virtual Tour
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Thousand Springs Scenic Route
Located Near Hagerman, ID

From the Snake River Plain Aquifer, an abundance of natural springs gush from the steep canyon walls and cascade into the river below.. In fact, the aquifer creeps through an area of several thousand square miles under southern Idaho's porous volcanic rock before emerging from the springs in the cliffs of the Snake River Canyon.

This pure, clean, oxygenated water maintains a constant temperature of 58 degrees F., ideal conditions for trout. The hatcheries located along the 30-mile stretch of the Snake River in the Hagerman Valley raise about 70 percent of the trout produced in the United States.

Today hydroelectric and irrigation projects divert some of the water. So while you won't see literally a "thousand springs" along the route, it is nevertheless an impressive sight.

Thousand Springs Preserve

The 400-acre preserve meanders along the Snake River for over two miles. Minnie Miller Falls burst out of the cliff side and cascade down the canyon wall for almost 200 feet into a brilliantly clear creek that separates the preserve headquarters on Ritter Island from the mainland. Most of the preserve is open for day hikes and nature walks every day.

From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the 70-acre island is open on Friday and Monday from 9-5, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7. Otherwise, the hours are irregular. So call 208-536-6797 or 208-536-5748 to be sure the gate is open. The historical farmhouse and dairy barn are open for guided tours only.