Idaho spring geyser

Idaho Soda Springs Geyser is a natural wonder located in Soda Springs, Idaho. This geyser is known for its unique and significant features.

I came upon this unique marvel as I was travelling across Idaho as part of my Oregon Trail Roadtrip.

This particular geyser’s importance is that it is one of the few man-made geysers in the world, created unintentionally during the drilling of a well in 1937. Unlike most geysers, which are naturally formed, the Soda Springs Geyser is a result of human activity.

spring geyser in Idaho

What makes this geyser truly unique is its consistent and predictable eruptions. It erupts every hour, shooting a column of water up to 100 feet in the air, making it one of the tallest geysers in the world. This regularity allows visitors to witness the breathtaking spectacle of the eruptions without having to wait for unpredictable natural cycles.

BaldHiker Retreats
view of Idaho Spring Geyser

History Of The Geyser

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.

Soda Springs 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). The tale of this particular geyser started much later.

the geyser water spurt

Location and History

The geyser is situated in the city of Soda Springs, which lies in Caribou County, Idaho.

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.

Soda Springs Geyser in Idaho in full efffect

The geyser’s significance lies in its rare and unpredictable eruptions. Unlike many geysers that have regular eruption schedules, the Spring Geyser has no fixed intervals between eruptions. This unpredictability adds to its allure and attracts visitors from far and wide.

Over time, the geyser has become an iconic symbol of Soda Springs, showcasing the natural beauty and geological wonders of the region. The local community has embraced the geyser as a beloved landmark and has taken steps to preserve and protect its natural splendor for future generations.

orange rock beside the geyser

Geological Features

Seeing the geyser first hand was mesmerising. It certainly was unique. But I really wanted to find out more and what the causes were and what made it so unique.

Idaho Spring Geyser is characterized by its geological features, underground water source, and pressure buildup. The geyser is formed due to the presence of a geothermal reservoir beneath the Earth’s surface. This reservoir contains a large amount of hot water and steam.

The underground water source for Idaho Spring Geyser is supplied by precipitation that infiltrates into the ground. The water percolates through porous rocks and fractures, gradually making its way deeper into the Earth’s crust. As it descends, the water is heated by the geothermal gradient, which is the increase in temperature with depth. This heated water becomes the source of the geyser’s eruption.

The pressure buildup in Idaho Spring Geyser is a result of the geothermal heat causing the water to boil and convert into steam. As the water is heated, it expands and creates pressure within the geothermal reservoir. Over time, this pressure builds up until it reaches a point where it can overcome the confining pressure of the overlying rocks. This sudden release of pressure leads to the eruption of the geyser, propelling a column of hot water and steam into the air.

The geological features surrounding Idaho Spring Geyser play a crucial role in its formation and eruption. The geyser is typically found in areas with volcanic activity or geologically active regions. These areas often have a combination of porous rocks, such as sandstone or limestone, which allow water to percolate through, and fractures that provide pathways for the water to reach the heated reservoir. Additionally, the presence of a heat source, such as magma chambers or geothermal gradients, contributes to the formation of geysers like Idaho Spring Geyser.

Idaho: Soda Springs Geyser flying high

Eruption Patterns and Frequency

write a section explaining why idaho spring geyser erupts at set patterns

The eruption patterns of the Idaho Springs Geyser are believed to be influenced by several factors. These include the underground geothermal activity, the unique geological features of the area, and the hydrothermal system dynamics.

The geyser’s eruptions are typically regulated by the build-up of pressure in the underground water reservoir, which eventually leads to a sudden release of steam and water through the geyser’s vent. This recurring process creates a predictable pattern of eruptions at the Idaho Springs Geyser.

Visitor Information

Accessing Idaho Soda Springs Geyser:
The Idaho Soda Springs Geyser is easily accessible by road. To reach the geyser, follow these directions:

  • Take Interstate 15 and exit onto Highway 30.
  • Continue on Highway 30 until you reach Soda Springs.
  • Once in Soda Springs, follow the signs to the geyser.

Operating Hours:
The Idaho Soda Springs Geyser is open to visitors year-round during daylight hours. It is advised to check the local weather conditions before visiting.

Admission Fees:
There is no admission fee to visit the Idaho Soda Springs Geyser. It is a free attraction open to the public.

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2 Comments

  1. Claudine Covarrubias says:

    Mr.Paul I so enjoyed pictures you have shared and the history it always brightens my day : )

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Lovely to hear Claudine 🙂 Thanks

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