23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Lava Hot Springs (Idaho)

Lava Hot Springs is a small city that forms part of Idaho’s Bannock Rock County and lies along the Portneuf River.

This well-liked attraction has a lower population density in contrast with nearby towns. In 2021, it had a population of 369 people.

As its name implies, this little city is known for its clear thermal springs and turbulent canal.

Lava Hot Springs is virtually a paradise beyond the regular meditative kind, as it offers many fun activities. Many fun, thrilling, and relaxing things exist at Lava Hot Springs, ID.

Continue reading to see some of the best things to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

Things to Do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

1. Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs
Credits: Zachary Wade Johanson / Shutterstock
Lava Hot Springs

One of the top things to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, is to relax and detoxify your body through a long warm, and comforting deep in the hot springs.

This facility features five outdoor pools with rubbles of rocks at the bottom; 2 have jets. There is also a cloakroom where you can change your clothes. The heated floors will keep you warm no matter the season.

The hot water which bubbles out of the earth is odorless and chemical-free, and the temperature of the springs is roughly between 102 and 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can rest assured that the water is sanitary as the facility ensures that more than 2.5 million gallons flow in and out of the springs and are channeled to the Portneuf River daily.

You can stay beneath the pool area canopies to escape the sun or rain. The deck around the hot pools at Lava Hot Springs has a snow-melting system to prevent freezing.

Explore the facility’s gift store to pick up gifts and souvenirs for your loved ones at home or to remember your trip to this attraction. Snacks and drinks are also available.

Address: 430 East Main Street, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

2. Baker Ranch

The Baker Ranch of Dempsey Creek is designed for horse-drawn wagon tours of the local fauna. They plan three-hour excursions into the wildlife territory in a horse-drawn wagon.

Exploring the area in the evening will be enjoyable, with the golden light of the setting sun filtering through the clouds. It’s typical for tourists to encounter local wildlife while visiting a location.

If the above occurs, you can stop the wagon and gently descend its stairs in time to take a close-up photo of an animal. To enhance the experience, campfires and music will also be present.

You can bring your kids along when you go here. There are walking trails, tire horse strings, and slides for their entertainment and satisfaction.

During winter, Baker Ranch offers cross-country Skiing, snowshoeing, and fat bike trails. However, it would be best to visit with your equipment for any activities you choose.

Going on a horse-drawn wagon tour with your partner is one of the most romantic things to do, especially during sunset.

Address: 11716 S Dempsey Creek Rd, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, United States

3. Downtown Lava Hot Springs

Downtown Lava Hot Springs
Credits: Decumanus [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Downtown Lava Hot Springs
To meet the natives of Lava Hot Springs, socialize with them, and learn about their culture and history, visit Downtown Lava Hot Springs; it is one of the top things to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

The experience you will get when you walk through the hamlets and villages in the downtown area can only be described as “uplifting.”

You can step into the little shops to purchase some gift items, souvenirs, and trinkets to remember the nice time you had when you visited the town.

This location will make you comprehend the importance of taking things slow and living for now. Feel free to visit any of the old houses in the area.

The residents and locals are friendly and hospitable, so you can ask them for directions or any needed information that you will not find in any article.

Downtown Lava Hot Springs is also the go-to place to try out authentic native American meals that you will most likely not find elsewhere, as it features several restaurants.

Address: 110 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID, 83246, USA

4. Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens
Credits: Edgar Zuniga Jr./ Flickr
Sunken Gardens

The Sunken Gardens is a natural picture-worthy location that comprises distinctive imported and native floras all through the seasons.

This beautiful attraction is located off Main Street atop the globally known Hot pools and springs, and you do not need to pay any fees to get in.

The Sunken Gardens have been and still is a go-to place for the locals and tourists who wish to relax in a natural environment; the site is mesmerizing.

Do not forget to go along with a camera, as the beautiful garden offers a beautiful backdrop to take awesome photographs that will leave all who see them in awe. You might get the chance to capture birds in the area.

Despite being close to the hot spring, the Sunken Gardens offer a conducive temperature, and you will enjoy the calmness and the cool breeze that comes with it

The almost lava-like rock walls are the ruins of long-gone algal reefs that grew in the Portneuf River, and they now provide a lovely backdrop for flowers, fauna, and other forms of nature.

If you are interested in plants or the natural environment, spending time at the Sunken Gardens should be on your list of the best things to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

Address: 430 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

5. Lava Hot Spring Trails: Bird Canyon Trail, Centennial trail

Lava Hot Spring Trails: Bird Canyon Trail, Centennial trail
Credits: soft_light / Shutterstock

It is a known fact that the Lava Hot Springs is not only a fun and relaxing zone but also offers adventurous activities within its scenic attractions.

If you love to go on leisure walks or long adventurous hikes, you will be satisfied by the various trails available in this tourist location.

One of the best trails you will most likely come across is the Lava Hot Springs Trail’s east and west Koa; you will probably see the trailheads on your way to various attractions.

You can also hike the delightful Bird Canyon Trail. If you are a fan of bird watching, it would be best to go with a camera to capture the beautiful bird species.

Another trail worth exploring is the Centennial Trail; unlike the others mentioned above, this trail offers more of a challenge; however, the heavenly view waiting for you at the top is worth every step.

If you are new to climbing, you may also explore Lava Lions Park. It is much easier than those mentioned above and suitable for trekkers, kids, and even senior citizens. Hiking these trails is one of the fun things to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

Address: Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

6. Lava Zipline Adventure

Lava Zipline Adventure
Credits: RossHelen / Shutterstock

Are you a thrill seeker who enjoys activities that get your heart beating fast and adrenaline pumping through your veins? If yes, you should endeavor not to miss out on Lava Zipline Adventures.

Be assured you are safe; the experts will ensure you are strapped in properly. All you need to do is free your mind and enjoy the gliding adventure.

You will be picked up by the facilities Army truck which will take you through scenic sites towards the north axis of Lava Hot Springs. The instructors will help you get set to zip over the canyon when you arrive.

This activity might be a little expensive, but the thrilling adventure on the complex ropes course is worth your money and time.

Enjoying the Bird’s Eye view of the canyon while soaring through nature with Lava Zipline Adventures will make a perfect addition to your itinerary of the best things to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

Address: 155 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, United States

7. Idaho Falls Water Lantern Festival

Idaho is home to several water festivals in different locations and times of the year; however, the Idaho Falls Water Lantern Festival is one of the most famous.

The festival commemorates the importance of positivity, hope, and cheer amongst all humans.

During the festival, you will be provided with lit, floating lanterns to release in the flowing water. The festival offers fun music and a chance to socialize with new people.

They also offer a marker to write down all your wishes and goodwill messages on the lantern before gently tossing it into the water.

Before launching the lanterns into the water, you will also be given a marker to pen down all your goodwill, hopes, and wishes on the lantern with the belief that they will come through.

Address: Jefferson County Lake, Idaho Falls, ID, 83401, USA

8. Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church

If you are enthusiastic about Christianity, you will not miss the opportunity to attend the holy mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

The church is situated in Lava Hot Springs, welcoming Catholics from the area surrounding the 1-15 corridor and the Portneuf Valley.

Preston, Our Lady of Lourdes, Blessed Sacrament, St.Mary’s, St. peters, Soda Springs, and St. Paul’s, are part of the Diocese of Boise in Southeast Idaho mission and Parishes under the Good Shepherd Catholic Community.

Our Lady Of Lourdes and its sister Cathedrals and Churches are dedicated to spreading the word and steering its members into living the Catholic way.

Feel free to drop by, listen to the word, and pour out your heart in a confession session to free your mind, knowing that the God you serve is a forgiving Father.

Address: 132 S 1st E St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

Check out more cities in Idaho. Here is a guide on things to do in Lewiston, and things to do in Sun Valley for a fun time

9. South Bannon County Historical Centre and Museum

Among what to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, especially for history enthusiasts, is to visit and explore the South Bannon County Historical Center Museum.

For almost 30 years, the South Bannon County Historical Centre and Museum have served as an encyclopedia of the town’s past.

The Museum provides permanent and changing exhibits about the development of the rural settlements of Downey, Inkom, Aromo, McCammon, Swan Lake, and Virginia, as well as the history of the Lava Hot Springs region.

The many tribes that inhabited the area at various times are described in writing and physically. These include the Arimo, Swan Lake, Inkomm, McCammon, Downey, and Virginia tribes.

The attraction also has a collection of documents from the many trappers and traders who came here during the 1800s. The stories surrounding the water’s supposed therapeutic qualities are fascinating.

Address: 110 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

10. Lava Hot Springs Inn and Spa

Lava Hot Springs Inn and Spa
Credits: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr
Lava Hot Springs Inn and Spa

A popular location in Lava Hot Springs for people who wish to go on a romantic getaway or to release stress and rejuvenate is Lava Hot Springs Inn and Spa.

You can choose between the Cottage or Vacation Rental and Bed & Breakfast. The inn’s lodgings have a full Buffet Breakfast and Outdoor Mineral Pools.

Native Americans have known the water’s healing properties for over a thousand years. The hot pools are accessible to all who wish to visit.

Lava Hot Springs Inn and Spa are known for having one of the most friendly staff among other facilities of its kind in the Southeast Idaho region.

The Spa offers different kinds of Massage Therapy, such as Hot Stone, Aquatic BodyWork, Swedish, Reflexology, and Deep Tissue, after which you can soak in the hot pools to rejuvenate your spirit, mind, and body.

The facility also features a new water therapy pool wired to present a spectacular river view. The Aquatic Bodywork uses healing mediums such as massage and breathwork myofascial release.

Address: 1 Center St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA.

11. Mike’s Market

Mike's Market
Credits: Mikes Market / Facebook
Mike’s Market

A nice way to stock up while in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, is to shop at Mike’s Market. This is the go-to place if you are searching for deli food, as the Market is reputed for being the number one deli spot.

Along with freshly cut meats, hot deli, and full-service grocery, vegetables and fresh fruits come in a variety. There is always access to staple foods and drinks, such as icy cold beer.

Before becoming Mike’s Market in 1975, the location was called Lew and Dan’s. It is not far from the “tourist” area of Lava Hot Springs.

The swimming pool is only over the street and is only a short trek to the hot springs from this location. If you need to stock up or forget anything crucial at home, go here.

Additionally, out-of-town guests can browse the assortment of gifts. A wonderful approach to lower the cost of on-site beverages at the hotels in Lava Hot Springs is to enter Mike’s Grocery Market.

Address: 30 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

12. The Purple Moon

The Purple Moon
Credits: Purple Moon World Market Lava Hot Springs / Facebook
The Purple Moon

Are you searching for a place to pick up souvenirs and memorabilia during your visit? If yes, then go to the Purple Moon.

The Purple Moon Crystal has been in the area for almost eighteen years; as such, it has attained the status of a landmark, so it is not difficult to locate.

Feel free to make a quick stop and explore the dynamic, broad selection of gift items. The facility offers Acupuncture treatment through its Xindao Clinic nearby, and you can also try out any healing artists for Tarot, Reiki, and Toe Readings.

The store offers surplus resources for people looking for one-of-a-kind world goods, spiritual items, and more; the staff is cheerful, friendly, and helpful.

Some items at Purple Moon are textiles from across the globe, knives and swords, gemstones of all sizes and shapes, martial arts tools, jewelry, furniture and sculptures, scented candles, and lots more.

The store is the town’s special treasure chest, waiting for visitors like you to explore and find something appealing. You may also sit in for one of the many workshops held here.

Address: 50 E Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, United States

13. Chesterfield Village

Chesterfield Village
Credits: paulwbond / Flickr
Chesterfield Village

Chesterfield Village is a small historic town between Soda springs and Lava Hot Springs, and it is Chesterfield’s little countryside town.

Chester Call discovered this location to avert the overcrowding of the Salt Lake Valley in the 1880s. He deems the location fit for a settlement because of its abundance of grazing land

Not long after the discovery of the area, the number of homes and other structures, as well as people and livestock, multiplied.

Chesterfield Village has kept the secrets and history behind the Lava Hot Springs for many years. You will come across relics in the form of structures and items as proof.

Suppose you are a fan of history or just interested in ancient American history, traditional settlements, and cultural practices. Visiting this location should top your list of the best things to do In Lava Hot Springs, ID.

Address: Chesterfield, Idaho, 83217, USA

14. Olympic Swimming Complex

Olympic Swimming Complex
Credits: Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock

The Olympic Swimming Complex is a famous Olympic standard, heated swimming pool featuring five, seven, and ten-meter diving points and a three-meter springboard.

The entire floor in the cloakroom is heated, making it conducive even in the winter. The fun does not have to stop over a little downpour. There is a play zone for the little ones with a zero-depth splash.

Aside from water amenities, the complex also has bbq stands and spacious green areas, ideal for family, couples, and group picnics.

The Aquatic Center inside the complex building is available to the public year-round featuring a diving board, climbing wall, and basketball hoops. However, the outdoor pool is only available during the summer.

If you want to try something more thrilling, go on the Curly slides or the newly installed speed slides, which will have you jetting down at more than 35 miles/hr.

Visiting the Olympic Swimming complex will be a great inclusion to your list of fun things to do in Lava Hot Spring, Idaho, for a family fun time.

Address: 195 N. Center St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246

15. Disc Golf Courses

Disc Golf Courses
Credits: GenMills / Shutterstock

If your perception of outdoor recreation involves throwing a frisbee/disc over a long distance while aiming at targets, then you should try the different disc golf courses in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

Some golf courses available in the region include Lions Club Park, Park DGC, Ann Morrison Park Disc Golf Course, the Baldfoot Disc Golf Course, and Farragut Disc Golf Course.

However, there are only two nine-hole frisbee golf courses, one in Buddy Campbell Park and one surrounding the Olympic Swimming Complex.

The best part about the Lava Golf courses is that you can play without the hassle of making reservations, and it is completely free. Check out the stores in the area to purchase Discs.

Some of the golf attractions offer courses suitable for kids, beginners, and professionals distinctively. You can even sign your kids up for disc golf lessons.

Address: 430 East Main & 195 N Center, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho 83246, USA

Are you considering more exploration of Idaho? Here is our list of things to do in Driggs, and things to do in Pocatello,  for a fun vacation.

16. The Rooftop Bar

The Rooftop Bar
Credits: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Are you looking for what to do in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho? Hang out, chill, and vibe with friends in the Rooftop Bar

Situated 75 feet high from Main Street, the Rooftop Bar offers a spectacular sight of the Marsh Valley and Lava Hot Springs. The spot is always vibrant, as it receives many visitors daily.

Imagine watching the sunset as you sip your beer while laughing with friends. The bar allows you to look out to the mountains like you are on the same level. You will feel like you are on top of the world here.

Chilled drinks and nice views aren’t all this bar offers; the rooftop bar also hosts musical performances from local and regional musicians.

The Rooftop Bar Has the best viewpoint in all of Lava Hot Springs and is the best place to watch the town’s fireworks show.

Address: 289 E 1st Aly S, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, USA

17. Lava Hot Go Karts

Lava Hot Go Karts
Credits: Lava Hot Go Karts/ Facebook
Lava Hot Go Karts

Lava Hot Go Kart is a group/family-friendly Go Kart race track with tracks suitable for beginner and advanced racers.

This establishment upholds the safety of its visitors by providing them with helmets and eyewear. They further ensure your safety by putting a speed limit on the Go-karts.

The speed limit enables beginners and kids to enjoy the ride without the worries of any fatal crashes. The staff and their employer are very cheerful, friendly, and respectful.

The track is quite muddy, so be sure to come with separate clothes and old shoes; after your ride/race, you can get a quick shower to clean up and deep in the hot pools to expel the cold. The price is fair for a 30-minute ride.

Address: 8068 S Blaser Hwy, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, United States

18. Lava Hot Springs Indoor Aquatic Center & Portneuf Kiddie Cove

Lava Hot Springs Indoor Aquatic Center & Portneuf Kiddie Cove
Credits: Denis Moskvinov / Shutterstock

If you travel with kids, it is only fair that you dedicate a day or two to them for a fun and happy experience, and the best way to do that is to take them for a splash in the Portneuf Kiddie Cove.

Don’t worry; while you are there, you can also have a nice time on your own. The Aquatic Center and Portneuf Cove offer indoor children’s and ten-man hot pools.

The coolest part about the attraction is that it is completely uninterrupted by the weather. The kiddies’ pool has a beach entrance with a gentle slope as the kids walk in until it reaches a maximum depth of 18 inches.

The kids love to go on the slides and play with the sprays and toys in the area, and the heated deck makes the water warm and comfortable. Aside from the water, there is also a climbing wall.

The area also offers a 102-degree mineral hot pool, ensuring that adults and kids have fun. The large doors lead to a beautiful green lawn encompassing an outdoor pool used during summer to escape the heat.

This facility is available on weekday mornings to mid-day in October. Please ensure you follow the establishment’s rules. Kids below three years must wear diapers. The kiddies pool is meant for kids aged 11 and below and must be accompanied by adults.

Address: 430 East Main, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho 83246, USA

19. Smith’s Trout Haven

Smith's Trout Haven
Credits: Ancapital / Shutterstock

Smith’s Trout Haven is among the best places to visit in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. It is a campground that welcomes family and group visits. This location is ideal for a weekend getaway with your kids or a gathering of the whole family.

The area features 14 tent sites, 4 group campgrounds, and 60 RV sites with electrical installations. At 10:00 pm, quiet hours start, and they are carefully observed.

Smiths Trout Haven offers a lovely setting for unwinding and enjoying some time in nature. The property is a mile or so west of the crowded downtown center. While being close to Lava Hot Springs’ activities, you may take in the serenity of the countryside.

Two playgrounds in Trout Haven offer children open grassy spaces for playing and having fun. Within the campground, there is a trout pond where the old and young can fish for trout; its abundance of trout gave the area its name.

The property is available to the public from the 1st of May through the 30th of September. So if you are visiting this period, don’t forget to check it out.

Address: 9589 E Maughan Rd, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

20. Portneuf Grille & Lounge

Portneuf Grille & Lounge
Credits: Jacek Chabraszewski / Shutterstock

Among the best places to visit in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, with your significant order is Portneuf Grille and Lounge.

This quaint and cozy eatery and lounge are situated at the storied Riverside Hot Springs Inn of Downtown Lava Hot Springs, where it has served the town’s residents for several years.

The eatery provides a variety of dining styles offering Northwest American meals which focus on fresh seafood. If you love grilled fish, you will love the food here.

Aside from seafood, this restaurant serves pasta and gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes and upholds its reputation of fantastic service, consistency, quality, and freshness.

For drinks, you will have countless regional beers, wines, and inventive cocktails. The interior is stunning; however, for a romantic dinner, you might prefer the beautiful outdoor riverside dining area.

The restaurant and lounge are available every day from 5 pm through 9 pm and have their happy hour scheduled for 4:30 to 5:30 pm. If you enjoy late-night drinks with appetizers and dessert, go there from 9 am to 11 pm on Friday or Saturday.

Address: 255 Portneuf St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

21. Mountain Mayhem Adventure Rental

Mountain Mayhem Adventure Rental
Credits: PPstock / Shutterstock

Tubing/ floating along the well-known Portneuf River has become a popular activity in the Lava Hot Springs, Mountain Mayhem Adventure Rentals is the best tube rental service in the area.

Mountain Mayhem Adventure Rentals started as a small rental business with only a few tubes in 1990. The store’s Pro-shop section also sells lava Hot Springs Shirts, water shoes, and swimsuits.

The United States of America has included the Portneuf River Tubing among the top three in the United States Poll. Feel free to vote for MMAR online after you have been impressed by their floating and river rafting adventures.

Tube rentals are only one of the establishment’s main services. They also provide ATV rentals, river shuttles, river rafting, snowboard and ski rentals, mountain bike, longboard rental services, and more.

Aside from rentals, one of the major reasons why visitors and locals frequent this location is its adventurous zipline tours which offer an aerial view of the area.

Mountain Mayhem Adventure Rental is available to the public from Sunday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Address: 155 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, USA

22. Pocatello Zoo

Pocatello Zoo
Credits: l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock

The Pocatello Zoo is Idaho’s main zoo, featuring 25 acres of space, 30 exhibits, and 98 different animal species. It is also known as Zoo Idaho.

Part of the zoo’s goals is to help, save and conserve wildlife by finding troubled or wounded animals and catering to their needs.

Aside from the wide and dangerous exotic species, there are other animals you and your kids can get close enough to pet. The establishment created a contact yard to allow visitors to get a closer look at the animals.

The animals you will find at the museum are most peculiar to Idaho, such as coyotes, bears, cougars, pronghorns, elks, and bison. Additionally, the collection encompasses birds of prey, such as the great horned owl.

Among all the exotic animal species you will find at the zoo, the most famous are the pair of grizzly bears. They are usually the focus of the tourists and locals who visit.

Pocatello Zoo offers a different but effective way to acquire insight into native wildlife using exhibits, classes, programs, and other events.

Address: 2900 S 2nd Ave, Pocatello, ID 83204, USA

23. Blue Moon Bar & Grill

Blue Moon Bar & Grill
Credits: DwaFotografy / Shutterstock

The Blue Moon Bar and Grill is precisely what its name implies, a spectacular blend of bar and grill services. It is a well-liked pub amongst locals and visitors.

The pub is also available in the morning; they are renowned for their delectable breakfast burgers and lunch chicken sandwich, amongst other delicacies.

This pub’s other amenities include wheelchair access, street parking, and clean restrooms. The bar and dining areas are well furnished with TV screens and lighting, giving it a warm and cozy look at any time of the year.

The Bartenders and servers are jovial; they will ensure you get the best service and amazing food. Check out their simple but extensive menu, and you will surely see something that works your appetite.

This pub is ideal for unwinding with a bottle of ice-cold beer while listening to live music. Additionally, it is ok to go there without cash as the eatery accepts credit card payments,

Dine at Blue Moon Bar and Grill in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, to refuel and energize after an adventurous day.

Address: 89 S 1st E St, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, United States,

Check out the top things to do in Rexburg, things to do in Moscow, and things to do in Meridian for a memorable exploration of Idaho.

Plan Your Trip to Lava Hot Springs

The town of Lava Hot Springs is considered one of the most well-kept secrets of Idaho. When you visit, you will understand.

This little town still has the features of a small town in the olden days. Before visiting this location, many people did not consider this town a place worth seeing, but in the end, they felt lucky to have decided to visit.