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Lava Hot Springs in Bannock County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Lava Hot Springs’ healing waters

 
 
Lava Hot Springs' healing waters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
1. Lava Hot Springs' healing waters Marker
Inscription. (This marker is composed of series of photographs and their captions.)

Good for what ails you!

Idaho's hot springs have drawn people to them for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Long before indoor plumbing and hot water heaters, bubbling hot springs provided places to bathe and rejuvenate tired muscles. What could have felt better after a hard day hunting buffalo, a freezing day checking a trap line, or a long dusty day's work on the farm? A soak in these natural hot tubs provided rest, relaxation and even spiritual renewal.

Poha-Ba: medicine water
(photo: top center)

Native Americans from many tribes frequented this area for centuries before Euro-Americans arrived. They fished the streams, hunted wildlife, and enjoyed the natural hot springs.
Shoshone-Bannock Indians refer to the hot springs as "Poha-Ba" or "medicine water." They sought healing and spiritual renewal from the springs. Minerals and lava rocks found around the thermal pools are still used for ceremonial purposes.

Dempsey's Bathtub
(photo: center, 2nd from top)

The early hot pools were not much more than shallow mud puddles. Bathers lay in the mud, and the waters trickled over them.
Lava Hot Springs' healing waters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
2. Lava Hot Springs' healing waters Marker
When these pools were deepened, the forerunners of the present pools were called "Dempsey's Bathtub."

Pool rules and etiquette
(photo: center, 2nd from bottom)

In the early years, men and women took one-hour turns using a single pool. Men bathed in the nude while women wore bathing suits. (Bath house sign: Splashing and Rowdyism strictly prohibited! Any party or parties found guilty of same will be prosecuted.)

Modernizing the springs
(photo: center, bottom)

By the late 1920s facilities in Lava Hot Springs included an enclosed natatorium, an open-air pool with a high diving tower, a sanitarium with two pools, for men and women, and a mud bath. The city's Spa Mineral Plunge (left) was a popular pool..

It's no wonder Lava Hot Springs is still a hot destination after all these years!

Although the science about the healing properties of these mineral-laden waters is a little turkey, few dispute the fact that you feel better after a soak in the hot pools!

A grand geological gift
50 million years of hot water
(side-bar on right)

The Lava Hot Springs area contains several hot springs. They occur along a north-sour
Lava Hot Springs today image. Click for full size.
By Lava Hot Springs.com, November 12, 2009
3. Lava Hot Springs today
fault southwest of town, and an east-west fault which follows the Portneuf River canyon.
Hot springs are produced by a very slow circulation of rain water to depths of 8,000-10,000 feet. Here, molten rock or other subterranean geologic activity heats the water in underground reservoirs.
Bubbling to the surface, the warm waters keep a constant temperature of 102-112 Fahrenheit (39-44 Celsius). Lava Hot Springs water contains over 16 different minerals.
The springs here are odorless (thanks to a lack of sulphur), colorless and constantly flowing as they have been for 50 million years. Nearly 3 million gallons of fresh water pass through the pools daily and into the Portneuf River.
 
Location. 42° 37.158′ N, 112° 0.336′ W. Marker is in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, in Bannock County. Marker is on Main Street near U.S. 30, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 430 Main Street, Lava Hot Springs ID 83246, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Furs and farms, fire and floods... (approx. mile away); Lead Bell Mining Company (approx. mile away); Hudspeth's Cutoff (approx. 4.5 miles away); Chesterfield
Mineral Health Baths, Idaho State Natatoriums, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho image. Click for full size.
By Vintage Postcard
4. Mineral Health Baths, Idaho State Natatoriums, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
(approx. 6.8 miles away); McCammon Railroad Center (approx. 9.8 miles away); Location, location, location.... (approx. 10.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Lava Hot Spring.com. Bubbling out of natural underground springs, the hot water is laden with minerals, but has no sulfur and therefore no bad odor. Over 2.5 million gallons a day course through the hot springs and are diverted into the Portneuf River keeping the springs ever changing and clean. The spring's temperatures range from approximately 102˚ to 112˚ degrees. (Submitted on September 13, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. EntertainmentNative AmericansNatural Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 78 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 13, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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