When the pioneers on the Oregon Trail came upon the area that is now called Soda Springs, Idaho, it was much an oasis to them. After what was practically desert and rock throughout Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming, the natural, volcanic, hot, carbonated water bubbling out of springs here must have been a different and refreshing change. It is the second oldest settlement in the state of Idaho. In fact a few pioneers with good business minds started to bottle the water from the ground to sell (remember, this was before manufactured carbonated water). Another great landmark on the trail. The tale of this particular individual geyser starts much later….
In 1937 someone thought, that the spot where the geyser now stands, would be a good place to make a natural hot bath pool for people to use. Using the hot spring water from underneath. However, after drilling down just over 300 feet they inadvertently released the built up water and carbon dioxide. This sent the water rising non stop 100 feet high into the sky……..
Of course the plan for a pool never thus materialised but to end the permanent rushing geyser they put a cap on it with a time release. It is timed to let go every hour on the hour and still rises 100 feet. So now it has the tag of the world’s only ‘captive’ geyser. Of course most nature produce with man opening the torrent.
There is a visitors centre located there. Plus, a viewing platform and a boardwalk around it. Yes, you do get that lovely volcanic whiff of sulphur as you wander round. You can tell the hour is coming when more people stop to wander around or passers by stop and wait.
The deposits have built up bright orange over time and given it a great contrast on a clear blue day. Naturally, the whole area of Soda Springs has bubbling hot water underneath and we shall be showing more ways that it has been used in coming posts 🙂