As winter sets firmly into Utah, it can prove quite refreshing to experience a change of scenery. Despite the excellent skiing and winter recreation surrounding Salt Lake City, the valley smog and weekly routine can become oppressive in the wake of the holiday rush. If you’re feeling flat, it could greatly lift your spirits to get out of town next weekend and see something new. Especially if that trip were to an inexpensive destination rich with natural hot springs.
Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, stands about 2.5 hours north and slightly east of Salt Lake City. This small, mountain town has a newly renovated, 20,000-gallon outdoor pool with more than 2.5 million gallons of naturally hot mineral water coursing through it every day. The water is constantly refreshed and contains no chemicals, sulfur, or odors.
In terms of lodging, you’ll find a plethora of affordable options ranging from vacation rentals, to bed & breakfasts, and budget motels. For a town of its size, Lava Hot Springs also has a surprising amount of dining and night life. And while some options are down-home, country style, others are rather high brow.
The town of Lava Hot Springs is a charming and petite community, with cowboy bars and all amenities within walking distance of each other –perfect if you plan to drink. The pool itself is open 363 days a year (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas); check online for specific hours. If you’re interested in even more relaxation, look into getting a massage at the Aura Soma Lava Hot Springs Rejuvenation Center.
With I-15 leading more than 90% of the way from Salt Lake City to Lava Hots Springs, the town requires only about 10 miles of off-interstate driving (on US 30) to reach –so should be doable in almost any road conditions.