The perfect getaway - Lava Hot Springs

I'm sure you've seen me post about Lava Hot Springs before because I absolutely adore this quiet, little town. Since our home base is in Twin Falls, Lava is just far away and remote enough to feel like a getaway without spending a ton of time in the car.
After talking with friends and co-workers about our latest weekend in Lava I've realized that some people don't know that Lava Hot Springs is an actual town, albeit small, not just a place to soak in mineral water.
PC: M. McCue
Lava Hot Springs is small with a local population of just over 400. It is located 37 minutes south-east of Pocatello, nestled in a narrow valley below towering mountains. A river and parallel set of train tracks make it seem longer than it is but the bulk of the town is really only about 5 blocks in total. Natural hot water runs below the town providing opportunities to soak in the mineral water at many local businesses. If you're looking for a great winter getaway, read on for some of our favorite things about Lava Hot Springs!

Where to stay

•We've stayed at so many different inns and motels on our various weekend getaways to Lava and we've finally found the PERFECT place to stay. The Aura Soma Lava on Main Street instantly became our favorite. We were greeting by an incredibly nice woman who explained everything about our room, the hot tub, the services they offer like couples massages and facials. Our room was along a line of four matching doors, right across from Aura Soma's adorable tiny houses (which are on the books for our next visit!). Like the rest of the rooms, our room was recently remodeled with a large bathroom, comfortable bed, TV, mini fridge and beautiful art on the walls. 
PC: M. McCue
Our favorite part? Reservations at Aura Soma Lava include access to the hotel's guests-only, hot spring pool! We went so many times that our swimwear never had the chance to dry completely. It was quiet and hidden behind a barrier of tall trees that opened at the top so we could see the stars through the steam. I'm tellin' ya...It was perfect.
PC: M. McCue

What do eat

Our favorite breakfast joint in Lava is the Chuckwagon. This cute mom-and-pop restaurant is known for huge portions of their authentic, home cooked meals. We've never been let down or left hungry. I highly recommend getting a fresh scone (and maybe one to go) smothered in their homemade raspberry sauce...It's to die for. 
Pro tip: You get a 10% discount off your meal with your Aura Soma Lava room key or room rental receipt! SCORE!
PC: M. McCue
Another great place to grab a bite to eat is The Royal Pizzeria. They've got a full menu of specialty pizzas, calzones, and pasta that will surely fill the carb void in your life. They also have a list of creative drinks like the "dirty cocoa" and always have a couple flavors of jello-shots on hand.

One of the newest restaurants in town is called the 78 Main Street Eatery. This place is surprisingly upscale for the small town, with creative dishes that still have a home-cooked quality. We highly recommend the stuffed french toast for breakfast and the Elk surf n' turf for dinner.

While you're there you must stop at Sweet Stuff Ice Cream Parlor. Not only do they have a variety of candies and sugar filled goodies, but they also have delicious ice cream served by a unique, square scoop. Their mint chocolate chip ice cream is what my dreams are made of. 
PC: M. McCue
Winter Fun

Aside from the private pools offered by some of the local hotels like Aura Soma Lava, the Lava Hot Springs Hot Pools are the biggest pools open to the public. They are open year-round, every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adult one-time passes are $8 or all day pass for $10. 
Pro tip: Take a few quarters with you for the coin-operated lockers.
PC: M. McCue

The Lava Hot Springs Indoor Aquatic Center is also open from fall-spring on Friday-Sunday with special Tuesday night activities. Open swim for adults is $5 for a day pass.

• Baker Ranch offers snowshoe rentals for just $7/day which is a cheap price to pay to enjoy fresh mountain air on a well groomed trail. 

• The karaoke scene is killer in Lava Hot Springs. The Wagon Wheel Lounge and the Blue Moon Bar & Grill both offer karaoke nightly for those brave souls who want to sing their hearts out. Bonus, they are both within walking distance of most motels so no Uber needed!

• If you're looking for something fun to do as a group during the winter, look no further. Lava Escape Games currently has a Buckshot's Mine themed room where panning for gold might be your ticket out.

• Something fun we like to do while we're in the area is drive out to Soda Springs to see the geyser. The Soda Springs Geyser was initially found by accident while drilling for hot water. The geyser is now controlled and set off every hour, on the hour for visitors to enjoy the 100 foot tall spray.
PC: M. McCue
Summer Fun

• If you're going during the summertime, the Lava Hot Springs water slides are where it's at. These water slides are no joke and include a 60 foot drop, shooting sliders up to 38 mph! The outdoor swimming center is open every day from mid-May to Labor Day.
• Another way to soak up some magic mineral water is to float the Portneuf River that runs right through the middle of town. Throughout the summer there are vendors set up around town where you can buy or rent inner tubes and life vests to float down the lazy stream. If you missed it in the summer, not to worry! You can float the river every winter during the Fire & Ice Festival, Polar Float Parade. 

• Lava Zipline Adventure is the perfect place for the adrenaline junkies who want to experience the area around Lava like never before. The tour is 3.5 hours long and includes access to their high ropes course, geodesic dome, and climbing wall. 

• Just 22 miles away in Soda Springs is Hooper Springs, a natural, sparkling, soda water well. The springs well is covered by a nice pavilion where visitor can sit and sip the nature-made soda water.

• The Idan-Ha Drive In Theater is open late May to late August and offers a nightly double-feature. Set your radio to their station and enjoy a movie from the comfort of your car or a lawn chair outside! It's a trip down memory lane.


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