Driving through the town of Soda Springs, every hour on the hour, it’s hard to miss the 100 to 150 foot plume of water shooting over the tops of the city buildings. I drove into town looking for the water explosion and was happy I pulled into town just in time to see the show. Unfortunately, I only caught the end of the show over the rooftops, but I didn’t let that deter me. Soda Springs is a great town to spend an hour, or an entire afternoon, exploring.
An hour later, I was standing on the deck above the Soda Springs Geyser, ready to watch the hourly eruption. I wasn’t disappointed! What a show! I was impressed with the water shooting higher and higher into the sky...my dog, however, was not. I guess his BucketList did not include seeing the Soda Springs Geyser.
This is a really unique BucketList item. In some ways it is like visiting Yellowstone and seeing geysers there, but it is not a natural phenomenon. The Soda Springs Geyser is the only captive geyser in the World! Another plus is the beautiful park that surrounds the geyster and the fact it is right in the middle of downtown Soda Springs. The downtown has an old town feel, with the celebrity geyster adding in touches here and there for the visiting tourist. Make sure to bring a raincoat though….water that goes up must come down!
History: As previously mentioned, the Soda Springs Geyser is the only captive geyser in the World. On November 30, 1937, a local man, drilling in search of heated water for a swimming pool, penetrated an underground chamber 315 feet down. It unleashed the geyser. However, in contrast to the well-timed hydramatics of geysers like Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, the Soda Springs geyser didn’t know when to quit. It would spray continuously if allowed. This left the the geyser in danger of exhausting itself. The town capped the geyser and it is controlled by a timer making for an impressive show worth the drive to Soda Springs!
Location: The Soda Springs Geyser is located in Soda Springs. From Boise take I-84 E 167 miles. Merge onto I-86 E via the exit on the left toward Pocatello/I-15 and continue for 63 miles. Merge onto I-15 S via EXIT 63A toward Salt Lake. Follow for 25 miles then take the US-30 E exit, EXIT 47, toward I-15 Bus Loop/Soda Sprs/McCammon/Montpelier. Turn left onto E Highway 30/US-30 E. Continue to follow US-30 E for 35 miles. Once you reach Soda Springs, the geyser is smack in the middle of town. Geyser Park. Downtown. Behind the Enders Hotel on 1st South and Main St./Hwy 30.
Hours: The geyser erupts every hour on the hour, unless wind conditions might cause water drift that interferes with downtown business. Open 24 hours a day.
Cost: There is no cost to view the geyser.
Good to Know: There is a Visitor Center and restrooms in the park. The Visitor Center explains the marvels of the Man-made Geyser with interpretive signs, and a wind meter lets you know whether your visit is poorly timed. Around the geyser is a boardwalk along with two viewing decks.
Eats: There are plenty of restaurants throughout Soda Springs. Picnic tables and benches pepper the park. On a nice day I would go with the picnic!
Special Notes: The park is great for kids and they will love seeing the geyser shoot up into the air. The park is pet friendly, but please be courteous and pick up after them. On a chilly day you can watch the action from your vehicle in the parking lot. (I strongly advise this in winter. It gets super cold over there!)
Soda Springs is only a 4 to 5 hour drive from Boise. If you combine this BucketList item with a few of the others in the area, it makes one heck of a great way to spend a weekend!