Hot Springs Retreat in Idaho City
By Chelsea Chambers
Photos by Kimberlee Miller
Stress (noun): A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Relax (verb): To make or become less tense or anxious.
We’ve all been there—when the toils of life become all too overwhelming. Whether it stems from work, love, relationships, or money, stress can begin to take its toll, both physically and mentally. And while a certain level of stress keeps us motivated, the adverse effects can quickly become more than we bargained for. Chronic stress can lead to heart issues, depression, high blood pressure, weight gain (or loss), ulcers, skin issues, and more. However, we can learn to combat the negative factors caused from stress by actively seeking moments of peace and relaxation. It may seem like a simple task, but as we all know, it’s much easier said than done.
But for us lucky Idahoans and those traveling through our beautiful state, we know that spending time in nature is one of the best and most effective ways to alleviate stress and allow our bodies the much-needed time to rest, relax, and recharge. And what better way to unwind than with a lengthy soak in a natural hot spring?
For centuries, hot springs have been widely used for their incredible health benefits, the most prominent being their ability to soothe tension, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The natural minerals, such as calcium and sodium bicarbonate, work to increase blood flow to the rest of the body, allowing oxygen to travel throughout the cells, stimulating cell growth and regeneration. The heat soothes strained muscles making hot springs a biological pain reliever. The water also smooths rough skin and can provide relief for those suffering from any number of skin-related issues, such as eczema and psoriasis.
And while Idaho is famed for its wealth of hot springs (boasting well over 100 natural springs in our state alone), some of them stand out above than the rest. The Springs, located in Idaho City, just 45 minutes outside of Boise, is an absolutely stunning respite and the perfect place to relax and recharge in naturally healing water.
The Springs got its start in 1862, where a gentleman would sell buckets of hot water to local miners. As the years progressed, The Springs grew to become a commercial business, and eventually reopened with their newest owner, Jesse Pearson. Pearson rebuilt the area, developing The Springs into the aesthetic beauty that we now know and love.
Beyond the pure, unadulterated water that flows through The Springs, they also offer an endless array of amenities such as therapeutic massages, aquatic bodywork, and Shiatsu (a combination of acupressure, stretching, and energy balancing). But The Springs knows how to go even more above and beyond the traditional hot springs relaxation methods; they’ve grown to include a seven-room hotel that guests can stay in overnight to extend their time of rest and recharging.
And after a long, rejuvenating soak, The Springs facility also includes a café, so guests may replenish themselves with a healthy meal and a delicious beverage. With options like a turkey breast panini and a grilled portabella veggie sandwich, there is something for every kind of eater—from picky to adventurous! They also have a rotating selection of entrees available. These made-to-order meals are the perfect complement to a long soak in naturally healing water.
Envision this—temperately warm water soothing your aching muscles, releasing the tension from your neck, shoulders, and back. The constant buzz and whir of daily life replaced by the smell of pine and the sound of birds chirping in the distance. The sun begins to slowly fall behind the tree-lined mountains and hundreds of thousands of tiny stars trace across the lowly-lit sky. The steam of the water rises up around you, soothing your lungs and softening your skin. The stress melts away. Your heart rate slows to an appropriate pace, your breathing becomes soft and methodical, your eye lids slip gently closed as you inhale deeply, a smile opens up across your face. Another deep breath in and a long, slow exhale. After a while, your stomach rumbles and you realize you haven’t packed any meals. Luckily, The Springs café is still open and a fresh garden salad and a flat bread sandwich is just what your body is craving. You reach for your towel and head to change. You find complimentary tea and spring water, along with house-made shampoo and body lotion. Not long after dinner, your body desires comfortable bed and a soft blanket. You head over to Inn the Pines hotel and check into your room, where you fall gently into the sheets and fast asleep, your body still reveling in all the relaxation. Maybe you’ll schedule a massage in the morning before you head back to your busy life.
Idaho photographer, Maike Munden, is a huge fan of The Springs, and had this to say about her experience, “Going to The Springs is like going on a mini vacation for your mind. I used their facilities after a major surgery to help heal my body and it worked wonders. Their private pools are luxurious and surrounded by wildflowers. And it’s so refreshing to spend some alone time while sipping a delicious beverage. My experiences there are always memorable and relaxing. I could spend a whole life time here.”
You deserve this. Stress is hard on the body and we all need the space to relax and rejuvenate. Make time for yourself and head up to The Springs, whether it’s a day trip or an all-nighter, there is something for everyone!
For reservations call 208-392-9500 or visit their website www.thespringsid.com.