When we moved to Jackson, Wyoming, we had to learn all new routes to get to our favorite places. The route to get back to Montana is pretty familiar, but the route to get to Nevada where my family lives
Lava Hot Springs, located in Southeast Idaho only two hours from Jackson, Wyoming, and two hours from Salt Lake City, Utah, is a unique family-friendly resort town featuring odor-less natural mineral hot springs. When we drove through this summer I was amazed by the number of people in the pools and tubing in the river, and intrigued by the cute restaurants and shops. Our family loves hot springs. We had a membership at the hot springs in Helena, Montana before we moved and miss it terribly! So when we had an unexpected few off days together this fall, we decided a quick trip to Lava Hot Springs for a weekend getaway was just what we needed.
Lava Hot Springs Weekend Getaway Day One – Thursday
Since we’re always ready for camping, we were able to just throw in the clothes and food we needed for the trip in our travel trailer and get on the road. The weather was supposed to be cold at night and clear and warm in the afternoons, so we made sure to pack layers and of course our swim suits.
We decided to stay at the Lava Spa Motel Campground because it’s right next to the hot pools and they had last minute space available. Our space was right along the Portneuf River and very scenic. The rapids were loud and added a bit of noise privacy from the neighbors, who were quite close. With a dog and preschooler, we were a little nervous to be so close to rushing water, but we just made sure to keep a close eye on them both.
As soon as we got the trailer setup we drove further into town just a few blocks to the small but well-stocked grocery store to pick up the groceries we’d need for breakfasts and something for a late dinner. It was getting late and dark out, but we wanted to get a quick soak in before the pools closed.
When traveling to Lava Hot Springs in the shoulder seasons, make sure to pay close attention to the hours of the different pools as they vary. With groceries in the trailer, we changed into swimsuits and walked down to the pools. The Lava Spa Motel is right across the street, which made the chilly walk there and back easy with a kiddo.
The Hot Pools are a series of soaking pools ranging from 102 degrees to 112 degrees. There’s lots of locker room space and a huge family changing room! We really enjoyed our evening soak in the Lava Hot Springs Hot Pools. Most of the pools were too hot for the balmy evening and our three year old, but the 102 degree pool was a good temperature. The pools are either natural rock or gravel bottomed and feature zero entry, sitting benches, and platforms.
After a quick
Lava Hot Springs Weekend Getaway Day Two – Friday
The next morning was clear and cold! We followed our normal camp routine and made our favorite easy camping breakfast, breakfast tacos. Then we went right back down to the hot pools for a morning soak! We purchased the all-day pass so we could go back as much as we wanted, and also visit the Olympic Swimming Complex when it opened later that afternoon.
We visited the park and playground just above the bridge on the main street – for the life of me I can’t find a name of the park – and then took a little scenic drive to encourage our three year old to nap before the evening’s main event, the trip to the Olympic Swim Complex Indoor Swimming Pool and Kiddie Cove. When we visited in October, the outdoor pools at the Olympic Swim Complex, including the slides, were closed for the winter and the indoor pools were open weekends only in the evenings starting at five.
To maximize our pool time we showed up right at five! We were again impressed with the facilities including the huge family changing room. Bowman absolutely loved the Kiddie Cove for kids under 11 full of different water features! We kept switching from that pool to the indoor pool to splash around and jump in. It was quiet from 5-6:30ish, and then got really busy until closing at
We’d the exhausted ourselves at the pool, so instead of tackling dinner in the trailer we called in an order to Riverwalk Thai and picked it up. I didn’t even get pictures of the food – we were so hungry! Of what we ordered, the green curry was amazing, the pad thai was average, and the chicken satay was just okay. We’d go back, though! After
Lava Hot Springs Weekend Getaway Day Three – Saturday
And that concluded our trip! The next morning we had breakfast tacos again, and then headed up to Idaho Falls for a trip to the U-Pick Red Barn to cross some items off of our Fall Bucket List. We really enjoyed our weekend getaway to Lava Hot Springs and definitely plan to go back this winter to check out the nearby ski hill and soak, and hopefully plan a summer trip to try out those water slides, too!