Back in the day, the cure for stress was simple: Get away for a while. Slow down. Change the scenery. Take a break from work and get down to the business of distraction-free relaxation.
Sounds blissful, doesn’t it? At Lava Hot Springs, the prescription for the ills of modern life hasn’t changed much in 100 years. Lava offers a chance to immerse yourself in healing waters and embrace wellness as a way of life. Here, there’s no pressure to do more than soak, sleep, eat, and enjoy the nature all around you.
Whether you’re just starting on your journey to better health or you’re exploring Lava as part of your regular self-care routine, you’ll discover boundless opportunities to let go of stressors that are no longer serving you and emerge fresh. At Lava, all four seasons bring their own special pleasures, so you never have to wait for the perfect time to renew your wellbeing — you can dive into self-care all year long. Hoping for extra calm? Plan your escape for mid-week or shoulder season, when crowds are small and you can focus on soaking stress away.
PHOTO CREDIT: IDAHO TOURISM
Take In the Waters
For hundreds of years, humans have been enjoying the waters that flow through Lava Hot Springs. Our famous waters bubble up from natural, underground springs — clean, odor-free, and laden with restorative minerals. Every drop of our water contains manganese, calcium bicarbonate, sodium, sulfate, potassium, magnesium, naturally-occurring fluoride, zinc, and iron. The benefits range from muscle relaxation (magnesium) to stress relief (zinc) to improved immune function (manganese).
Lava Hot Springs has many hotels with their own pools and baths (more on that in a minute), but our large complexes offer a number of ways to sample these waters at once.
This resort is world famous for good reason — in a state blessed with hundreds of hot springs, Lava’s stand out. The waters don’t smell of sulfur as many hot springs do, and there are so many ways to enjoy yourself! Start your day with leisurely laps at the Indoor Aquatic Center before plunging into the stress-relieving hot pools. If you’re looking for a mellow experience, consider visiting during the week to avoid weekend crowds. All-day passes are reasonably priced and based on group size.
Downata Hot Springs is just under 30 miles away from the town of Lava Hot Springs but fed by the same underground spring system. This year-round resort features a massive swimming pool and hot pools, massage therapy, a steam canopy, a sauna — even nail services! Book one of Downata’s yurts or cabins for a simple, worry-free break from it all.
Stay and Soak
Public pools aren’t the only places to take in Lava’s healing waters. Many hotels in the area have their own, private soaking spots so you can relax at your own pace.
This charming hotel has been a Lava Hot Springs fixture for more than 100 years. Most rooms feature a natural hot springs bath, so you can turn on the soothing benefits of Lava’s waters at your convenience … and then walk just a few steps and get some much-needed rest in your king-size bed.
Why not treat yourself like royalty? Immersing yourself is easy at Lion’s Gate Manor, which features themed suites like The Roman Bath and The Phantom’s Lair. Soak in Lion’s Gate’s hot mineral tub, or draw your own air-jetted en suite bath. Plus, you’ll love waking up to the manor’s fresh-cooked country breakfasts.
For the ultimate relaxation experience, book a stay at a hotel that features an on-site massage therapist or a full-scale spa.
This boutique hotel in nearby McCammon has become an icon of understated luxury. Whether you choose a traditional room or a suite with a full kitchen, you’ll have access to The Harkness Salon and Spa, where professionals can work out shoulder knots during a hot stone massage or uncover radiance during an enzyme facial.
With a private hot spring, on-site massage therapy, spacious riverside grounds, and a meditative labyrinth, the Lava Hotel & Spa is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend of recovery.
This hotel along the Portneuf River was once a hospital, so it makes sense that it’s also home to a dedicated water therapy pool. Try the inn’s aquatic bodywork, which is deeply healing for people with arthritis and mobility issues, or book a traditional massage or reflexology session. The inn’s private springs range from nearly body temperature to deeply hot; to really work your circulation, plunge into the cold pool from time to time.
Sometimes, it’s nice to step away from non-stop family pressures and focus on your well-being — and the adults-only Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa makes a great getaway. Relax your muscles in one of the inn’s three private hot springs soaking tubs before treating yourself to a muscle-melting massage at the spa. Cap off your day with on-site fine dining at the Portneuf Grille & Lounge.
Revival With a View
Relax with dazzling views that will lift your spirits at Lava Hillside Suites. Located above the hustle and bustle of main street and offering condo-style rooms with an outside roof-top bar, the healing power of nature sweeps across the outdoor patios as you unwind and enjoy the solitude of your inner self or the conversation of good friends.
You will also find quaint and secluded bed and breakfast facilities located throughout the rolling hills of the countryside and along the streets of the city.
Balance Play With More Play
Lava Hot Springs is set among some of Idaho’s most beautiful country, with multiple mountain ranges in sight and the clear Portneuf River flowing through town (a haven for both anglers and tubers). Relax and play as you camp by the river or along a creek at the many open-space campgrounds surrounding the city. With fresh, clean air and star-studded skies, your stress will fade away. The area is also home to some of the best high country hiking and biking in the state. If winter sports are more your speed, plunge yourself down Pebble Creek Ski Area’s 2,200-foot vertical drop or work up a sweat cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Pebble Creek Campground. Whatever you choose, you’ll clear your lungs and mind in Idaho’s fresh mountain air.
PHOTO CREDIT: MIMI PAYNE
Lava Hot Springs is supremely walk-able — you won’t feel stressed trying to get from place to place here. Take a break from non-stop soaking, recreating, and napping by strolling through downtown. You’ll discover a collection of restaurants serving up delicious meals and locally-owned stores featuring unique, handcrafted treasures. Grab lunch to go and have your own picnic in one of Lava’s eight scenic parks before heading back to your lodging.
Meet Fellow Wellness Warriors
Who says wellness has to be a solo endeavor? Lava Hot Springs offers plenty of places to host a yoga retreat, meditation weekend, or even a girls’ getaway. Once a year, Lava Hot Springs hosts the Wellness Festival, a one-day event designed to nourish body, mind, and spirit. Offerings change yearly, but expect expert speakers on topics like emotional health and holistic healing modalities, exercise classes, and an exploration of our famous waters.
Ready to plan your escape? Visit the Stay section of our website for great lodging options, from RV and camping spots to luxurious B&Bs.