Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies relaxed
at Lava Hot Springs in Idaho
August 10-11, 2013

history bookLava Hot Springs is a city in Bannock County, Idaho. It is part of the Pocatello, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located in the mountainous valley of the Portneuf River on the old route of the Oregon Trail and California Trail, the city has become a popular resort location, noted for its numerous hot springs amenable to bathing and a turbulent inner tube run through part of the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.71 square miles of which 0.68 square miles is land and 0.03 square miles is water. Lava Hot Springs is a friendly, vibrant community rich in natural resources.

Long before white settlers discovered the natural, odor-free mineral waters here, the Bannock and Shoshone Indian tribes gathered here to bathe, rest, and worship. For centuries, the Indians paid tribute to the Great Spirit for the curative powers of these springs and set the area aside as a neutral ground to be shared in peace by all tribes. Traders and trappers arrived in the early to mid 1800s. Bob Dempsey set up a trading post, befriended and became champion of the Native Peoples, and married Chief Tendory's daughter Margaret of the Lemhi tribe.

The settlement that is now Lava Hot Springs was originally called Dempsey. The State of Idaho began developing the hot springs in 1911 and continues to administer this natural resource for all to enjoy.

It is a beautiful day
the two RV Gypsies at the Lava Hot Springs sign
a small flower garden at the entrance to Lava Hot Springs

The two RV Gypsies walked from the roadside, down a short but steep sidewalk to the hot springs. They entered a building and had to chose whether to pay per visit, or for an all-day pass. There were five outdoor pools. This was a non-smoking facility, open 365 days a year. On cold winter days, the steam rising from the pools wraps people in a cocoon of anonymity. The heated sidewalks and dressing room floors keep their toes toasty warm, even on the coldest of nights. Locals told the two RV Gypsies that they love coming here in the winter snow storms. But that is something the two RV Gypsies will most likely never experience.

looking at the entry of Lava Hot Springs
looking at the entry of Lava Hot Springs

The two RV Gypsies came here to relax in the Natural Hot Springs, with water temperatures ranging from 102 degrees to 112 degrees. Bubbling out of natural underground springs, the hot water is laden with minerals, but had no sulfur and therefore no bad odor.

a flower bed at Lava Ht Springs
one of the hot springs pools

Below The second hottest area is known as 'the cooler hot pool'. It had a rocky bottom, and a small section at the far end had a cover and a very small platform where a few people could relax in the sun. There were some ledges to sit on, plus stairs. This 20,000 gallon stone-lined pool had water that was just a little bit cooler than the larger main pool. The end that had the red covers is the coolest end of this pool.

The second hottest area known as the cooler hot pool
The second hottest area known as the cooler hot pool
The second hottest area known as the cooler hot pool
a wooden carving by the real hot pool

Below: Views from the super hot springs pool. The hottest of the 5 pools.

View from the super hot springs pool.
View from the super hot springs pool.

The super hot springs pool area - not too many people used this one, at least not for very long! But Karen Duquette spent most of her time in this hot one and loved it.

The super hot springs pool area
The super hot springs pool area

Below: Karen Duquette in the hottest pool area, which she liked the best. This section was very shallow throughout - about knee height. There were stairs and ledges at the far end to sit on and relax. This is the 112 degree pool.

hot stuff signhot stuff
Karen Duquette in the hottest pool area
Karen Duquette in the hottest pool area

There were three other hot springs pools which the two RV Gypsies did not photograph because there were so many people in them. Lee liked the two that were of medium heat and they also had jets and a tile bottom.

The coolest pool at 102 degrees was always the most crowded but neither of the two RV Gypsies tried that one at all. Most of the time, the two RV Gypsies observed that the coolest pool had standing room only. The coolest pool is the healthiest one for children because the very hot water is not good for their growing insides. That is a fact parents seem to be unaware of.

Besides the hot springs, this city also had a large indoor swimming pool with an aqua climbing wall and diving board, plus an Olympic outdoor swimming complex and water slides. The two RV Gypsies enjoyed everything about this area. Karen really hopes they get this way again.

other attractions near Lava Hot Springs

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continue on to the next Adventure in Washington stateContinue viewing the two RV Gypsies' adventures in Idaho in the order they occurred - Tubing down the Portneuf River.

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continue on to Oregon If you have already seen all of the 7 sites in Idaho, please continue on to Wyoming: a beautiful canyon, Martin's Cove, Mormon Handcart Historic Site, Devil's Gate, Independence Rock, downtown Buffalo, wildlife, and Devils Tower National Monument

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