1965 - 2015 : Celebrating 50 years of helping you make lasting, outdoor memories!

Thousand Springs Video

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Thousand Springs Snapshot

Location (Park HQ at Malad Gorge)
99 miles E of Boise, ID
140 miles W of Pocatello, ID
33 miles W of Twin Falls, ID
245 miles NW of Salt Lake City, UT
 
Park fees
$5 entrance fee per vehicle
Free with your $10 Idaho State Parks Passport!
 
Acreage
About 2000 in nine units
 
Elevation
2,800
 
Open/hours
Welcome kiosk at Malad Gorge (exit 147 from I-84) open 7 days a week 7:30am to 4 pm Memorial Day through Labor Day.
 
Ritter Island is open Thursday-Monday 10:00 am to 3 pm. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
 
Amenities
Flush toilets, group shelter, interpretive areas, historic buildings
 
Activities
Canoe, kayak, hike, bike, horseback ride, fish, view wildlife and historic areas, picnic
 
Trails
Hike, bike, horse, Nordic
 
Group
Shelters at Niagara Springs and Malad Gorge (ADA), group picnics, receptions. Reunions at Ritter Island
 
Learn
Interpretive areas, guided tours at Malad Gorge, guided tours at Ritter Island
 
WiFI
No
 
Pets
Yes in park on leash
 
 

Most of the history at this park is geologic in nature. The cracks and folds of rock along the canyon cliffs record the movements of earth, lava and water. Early Native Americans piled rocks along the rim to capture bison and other game animals. During the 19th century, the historic Kelton Trail brought pioneers over this portion of the Oregon Trail.

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Welcome to Thousand Springs State Park

Thousand Springs State Park is a testament to why this rugged area of southern Idaho is called the Magic Valley.  The park is divided into units that are all within short driving distance of each other.  Each unit offers a unique experience.  
 
Visitors can explore the Oregon Trail at the Kelton Trail; hike and picnic at magnificent Malad Gorge; fish, view wildlife or ride horses in the indoor arena at Billingsley Creek;  step back in time and tour historic agricultural structures at Ritter Island; hike in Box Canyon Nature Preserve and watch bald eagles; picnic at Niagara Springs; or teach the kids to fish at Crystal Springs. 
Learn more about the Thousand Springs Art Festival that takes place on Ritter Island annually.
 

Billingsley Creek

Billingsley Creek is located in the Hagerman Valley. The lower portion of the site sits along the U.S. Highway 30, on the northern edge of the City of Hagerman. The property was purchased for state park use in 2001. 
 
Before it became an Idaho State Park, it was known as the Emerald Valley Ranch, used primarily for agriculture. 
 
You can enjoy Billingsley Creek from sunrise to sunset. The park offers spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities, an indoor horse riding arena, excellent fishing and featured events throughout the year. 

See video

Malad Gorge

This 451-acre park is located just off Interstate 84 at the Tuttle exit. People pass the park in an eye blink, never suspecting the spectacular canyon views that await them just a mile off the highway. Malad Gorge is open for hiking, picnicking and day outings. Guided tours can be arranged by calling the park. Malad Gorge gate is open from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
 
The Magnificent Gorge

The Malad River crashes down stairstep falls and into the Devils Washbowl, then cuts through a beautiful 250-foot gorge on its way to the Snake River, 2-1/2 miles downstream. Watch a short video.Views of the gorge are best from the sturdy bridge that crosses the canyon. You can take a short hike to discover nearby fingers of the gorge where crystal-clear springs produce ponds and streams.Ritter Island offers excellent opportunities for photography and birdwatching. Nestled alongside the picturesque Snake River, between two magnificent springs, the property provides a sense of serenity and solitude - the perfect venue for small events and someday, small retreats. 

 

Maps

Malad Gorge

FAQs

Is there a trail down to the Malad River?

No, but you can access the lower river via the Idaho Power service road off of Highway 30.

Can you camp at Malad Gorge?

No, but there are several private campgrounds in the area.

How high is the footbridge over the Malad Gorge from the river?

Approximately 175 feet, but the canyon deepens to 250 feet as it gets nearer the Snake River Canyon.

How long is the Malad River?

The river is about 12 miles long and is formed when the Big and Little Wood Rivers combine near Gooding, Idaho, northeast of the park.

 

 


See video

Ritter Island

Ritter Island offers excellent opportunities for photography and birdwatching. Nestled alongside the picturesque Snake River, between two magnificent springs, the property provides a sense of serenity and solitude - the perfect venue for small events and someday, small retreats. The site will continue to host the annual Thousand Springs Art Festival that it has become famous for and offering the public the opportunity to tour the existing historic structures.  

Learn more about Ritter Island.

It is anticipated that the homes onsite will convert easily into overnight accommodations for families wanting to experience the property’s charm.

Learn More

Read about the history and background of Ritter Island from the Nature Conservenc:

 

 

Maps

Ritter Island

 

Take a Tour

Ritter Island will be open starting Memorial Day Weekend 10:00 am until 3:00 pm Thursday through Monday until Labor Day weekend. You can take a self guided tour of the barn and walk to Minnie Miller Springs. Volunteers will be there to answer questions you may have. 

Schedule a Tour  

Call Thousand Springs State Park staff: (208) 837-4505.

 


Kelton Trail

The Kelton Road offers views of the abutments for the bridge that carried wagons traveling the Oregon Trail. From about 1864 to 1883 this was on the regular route that carried mail, freight and passengers between Boise and the railhead at Kelton, Utah. The trail had so much traffic that grooves were cut into the rocks, but by July 1884, a traveler on the old route noticed that "grass grows over the defunct overland Kelton stage road where a weary traveler once traveled in clouds of dust..."

Most of the history at this park is on the geologic scale. The cracks and folds of rock along the canyon cliffs record the movements of earth, lava and water.  The shorter history of humans in the area starts with the Indians, who piled rocks along the rim to capture bison and other game animals. The historic Kelton Trail runs through the park, providing Western-history buffs with excellent wagon ruts and traces of the Kelton Stage Stop.
 

Maps

Kelton Trail

 


See video

Niagara Spring

Tumbling down the canyon side at 250 cubic feet per second, Niagara Springs is a sight you won’t soon forget. The churning water is the icy blue of glaciers. The springs are a National Natural Landmark and part of the world-famous Thousand Springs Complex along the Snake River.

The park provides your best opportunity to drive into the 350-foot-deep canyon, but be cautious: The road is narrow and steep. We advise you not to risk it in a motorhome or while pulling a large trailer. Take a quick video tour.

 

Crystal Springs Lake

Once inside the canyon, you’ll find year-round fishing in Crystal Springs Lake, including a handicap-accessible site. Wildlife—especially waterfowl—is abundant. The park also features modern restrooms, picnic tables and a group picnic shelter.

 


See video

The Idaho State Parks Passport: Providing Savings for 2013!

When implemented, the Idaho State Parks Passport will allow Idaho motorists to check "Yes!" to support Idaho State Parks by agreeing to pay an additional $10 in conjunction with renewing their license plates through the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and County Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Offices.  The Passport sticker will allow participating Idahoans unlimited daytime entry to Idaho state parks, IDPR operated recreation areas and boating access sites. The Passport will also provide nightly discounts on camping.  

When you pay the additional $10 for your passport, you'll receive a sticker that will adhere to your motor vehicle.  The sticker will provide unlimited access to all 30 state parks for the entire registration year.  

Out-of-state guests will have a savings option too, with the purchase of an Idaho State Park Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual.

 

What Will $10 Buy You and Your Family?

  • Admittance to all 30 Idaho State Parks for a year
  • Nightly discounts on camping
  • Hundreds of miles of hiking, cycling, mountain biking and Nordic trails
  • Your favorite boat launches
  • Countless historical and cultural sites within your state parks

Good for Idaho, Good for Idahoans!

Idaho‘s State Park Passport is simply a sustainable way to pay for the maintenance and management of Idaho’s 30 cherished state parks.  For those Idahoans who choose to participate in the program, the Idaho State Parks Passport sticker will replace the $5 per motor vehicle entry fee currently in place at state parks while also providing nightly discounts on camping.  

Out of State Guests

Our out-of-state guests have savings options too! You can purchase a $40 Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual and receive access to all of Idaho's State Parks and nightly discounts on camping. MVEF Annuals can be purchased at any Idaho State Park and online.

 


The Beloved Archie B. Teater and His Painting of an Idaho State Park

(Archie Boyd Teater)

1901 – 1978 - During a career that spanned over fifty years, Archie Boyd Teater continued to paint in the outdoor light. His plein air landscapes were inspired by the mountainous beauty of his birthplace in Idaho. Throughout his lifetime, Teater continued to paint the Western landscape, in addition to the landscapes of the many countries he visited. Landscapes and street scenes from Scandinavia, the British Isles, Western Europe, Africa, Russia, the Middle East, the Orient, South America, Australia and New Zealand comprise what is known as his International Collection.

Teater’s paintings have been featured in museum exhibitions next to work by artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Thomas Moran, Thomas Hart Benton, in addition to John Sloan and John Carroll in New York galleries.

Teater, born in 1901, balanced his early painting career between the need to earn a living and his passion for painting. He worked alongside miners, trappers and lumberjacks who had little patience or understanding for the sensitive artist, and so he would often take his wagon into the mountains, where he enjoyed the solitude, to work for days on his landscapes.

Archie and his wife lived, part of the time, in Hagerman Idaho. Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home and studio for Archie and his wife Patricia in 1952. The home, overlooks the Snake River, and is the only studio designed by Wright for another artist.

IDAHO LANDSCAPES
From the high desert near his home above the Snake River in Hagerman Valley to mountain towns nestled below the alpine peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho, the artist never failed to find either the simple beauty of the land or the dramatic grandeur of nature.

The Painting Entitled:

“Thousand Springs, As They Were”

Thousand Springs State Park, with its five beautiful units and multiple areas, is a testament to why the area is called the Magic Valley. Visitors can view wagon ruts and bridge abutments at Kelton Trail, explore the magnificent Malad Gorge, access the riding arena at Billingsley Creek, get writing inspiration at Vardis Fisher, step back in time and tour historic structures at Ritter Island and Bonnieview, take in the scenery at Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve, view Niagara Springs, fish at Crystal Lake. Day use opportunities abound within the units of Thousand Springs State Park.

 “Minnie Miller Ranch, Gooding County”

The Ritter Island/Minnie Miller Farm property was part of the Thousand Springs Preserve purchased by the Nature Conservancy. It is now part of Thousand Springs State Park. In 1918 Minnie Miller purchased what is now the state park at sheriff’s auction. A successful businesswoman and farmer, Minnie Miller was also concerned about protecting the natural wonders found at Thousand Springs. In 1944 her classic dairy farm was featured in National Geographic magazine as one of the state’s most impressive. Hundreds attended her annual ice cream social and heard educational and agricultural speakers. The farm passed to Judge Wallis Ritter in 1954. For the next 31 years Judge Ritter and his heirs fought diversion of the farm’s free flowing springs. In 1986 the Nature Conservancy purchased the farm for $1.2 million and in December of 2006 the farm with 300 acres including Ritter Island and 2 miles of Middle Snake riverfront passed to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. The original farmstead includes a two-story stone farmhouse, three small cottages, a well-preserved dairy farm, and other farm buildings.

Thousand Springs Video

See video

Thousand Springs Snapshot

Location (Park HQ at Malad Gorge)
99 miles E of Boise, ID
140 miles W of Pocatello, ID
33 miles W of Twin Falls, ID
245 miles NW of Salt Lake City, UT
 
Park fees
$5 entrance fee per vehicle
Free with your $10 Idaho State Parks Passport!
 
Acreage
About 2000 in nine units
 
Elevation
2,800
 
Open/hours
Welcome kiosk at Malad Gorge (exit 147 from I-84) open 7 days a week 7:30am to 4 pm Memorial Day through Labor Day.
 
Ritter Island is open Thursday-Monday 10:00 am to 3 pm. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
 
Amenities
Flush toilets, group shelter, interpretive areas, historic buildings
 
Activities
Canoe, kayak, hike, bike, horseback ride, fish, view wildlife and historic areas, picnic
 
Trails
Hike, bike, horse, Nordic
 
Group
Shelters at Niagara Springs and Malad Gorge (ADA), group picnics, receptions. Reunions at Ritter Island
 
Learn
Interpretive areas, guided tours at Malad Gorge, guided tours at Ritter Island
 
WiFI
No
 
Pets
Yes in park on leash
 
 

Most of the history at this park is geologic in nature. The cracks and folds of rock along the canyon cliffs record the movements of earth, lava and water. Early Native Americans piled rocks along the rim to capture bison and other game animals. During the 19th century, the historic Kelton Trail brought pioneers over this portion of the Oregon Trail.

Next Events

No events found.

See all Thousand Springs events

Welcome to Thousand Springs State Park

Thousand Springs State Park is a testament to why this rugged area of southern Idaho is called the Magic Valley.  The park is divided into units that are all within short driving distance of each other.  Each unit offers a unique experience.  
 
Visitors can explore the Oregon Trail at the Kelton Trail; hike and picnic at magnificent Malad Gorge; fish, view wildlife or ride horses in the indoor arena at Billingsley Creek;  step back in time and tour historic agricultural structures at Ritter Island; hike in Box Canyon Nature Preserve and watch bald eagles; picnic at Niagara Springs; or teach the kids to fish at Crystal Springs. 
Learn more about the Thousand Springs Art Festival that takes place on Ritter Island annually.
 

Billingsley Creek

Billingsley Creek is located in the Hagerman Valley. The lower portion of the site sits along the U.S. Highway 30, on the northern edge of the City of Hagerman. The property was purchased for state park use in 2001. 
 
Before it became an Idaho State Park, it was known as the Emerald Valley Ranch, used primarily for agriculture. 
 
You can enjoy Billingsley Creek from sunrise to sunset. The park offers spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities, an indoor horse riding arena, excellent fishing and featured events throughout the year. 

See video

Malad Gorge

This 451-acre park is located just off Interstate 84 at the Tuttle exit. People pass the park in an eye blink, never suspecting the spectacular canyon views that await them just a mile off the highway. Malad Gorge is open for hiking, picnicking and day outings. Guided tours can be arranged by calling the park. Malad Gorge gate is open from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
 
The Magnificent Gorge

The Malad River crashes down stairstep falls and into the Devils Washbowl, then cuts through a beautiful 250-foot gorge on its way to the Snake River, 2-1/2 miles downstream. Watch a short video.Views of the gorge are best from the sturdy bridge that crosses the canyon. You can take a short hike to discover nearby fingers of the gorge where crystal-clear springs produce ponds and streams.Ritter Island offers excellent opportunities for photography and birdwatching. Nestled alongside the picturesque Snake River, between two magnificent springs, the property provides a sense of serenity and solitude - the perfect venue for small events and someday, small retreats. 

 

Maps

Malad Gorge

FAQs

Is there a trail down to the Malad River?

No, but you can access the lower river via the Idaho Power service road off of Highway 30.

Can you camp at Malad Gorge?

No, but there are several private campgrounds in the area.

How high is the footbridge over the Malad Gorge from the river?

Approximately 175 feet, but the canyon deepens to 250 feet as it gets nearer the Snake River Canyon.

How long is the Malad River?

The river is about 12 miles long and is formed when the Big and Little Wood Rivers combine near Gooding, Idaho, northeast of the park.

 

 

See video

Ritter Island

Ritter Island offers excellent opportunities for photography and birdwatching. Nestled alongside the picturesque Snake River, between two magnificent springs, the property provides a sense of serenity and solitude - the perfect venue for small events and someday, small retreats. The site will continue to host the annual Thousand Springs Art Festival that it has become famous for and offering the public the opportunity to tour the existing historic structures.  

Learn more about Ritter Island.

It is anticipated that the homes onsite will convert easily into overnight accommodations for families wanting to experience the property’s charm.

Learn More

Read about the history and background of Ritter Island from the Nature Conservenc:

 

 

Maps

Ritter Island

 

Take a Tour

Ritter Island will be open starting Memorial Day Weekend 10:00 am until 3:00 pm Thursday through Monday until Labor Day weekend. You can take a self guided tour of the barn and walk to Minnie Miller Springs. Volunteers will be there to answer questions you may have. 

Schedule a Tour  

Call Thousand Springs State Park staff: (208) 837-4505.

 

Kelton Trail

The Kelton Road offers views of the abutments for the bridge that carried wagons traveling the Oregon Trail. From about 1864 to 1883 this was on the regular route that carried mail, freight and passengers between Boise and the railhead at Kelton, Utah. The trail had so much traffic that grooves were cut into the rocks, but by July 1884, a traveler on the old route noticed that "grass grows over the defunct overland Kelton stage road where a weary traveler once traveled in clouds of dust..."

Most of the history at this park is on the geologic scale. The cracks and folds of rock along the canyon cliffs record the movements of earth, lava and water.  The shorter history of humans in the area starts with the Indians, who piled rocks along the rim to capture bison and other game animals. The historic Kelton Trail runs through the park, providing Western-history buffs with excellent wagon ruts and traces of the Kelton Stage Stop.
 

Maps

Kelton Trail

 

See video

Niagara Spring

Tumbling down the canyon side at 250 cubic feet per second, Niagara Springs is a sight you won’t soon forget. The churning water is the icy blue of glaciers. The springs are a National Natural Landmark and part of the world-famous Thousand Springs Complex along the Snake River.

The park provides your best opportunity to drive into the 350-foot-deep canyon, but be cautious: The road is narrow and steep. We advise you not to risk it in a motorhome or while pulling a large trailer. Take a quick video tour.

 

Crystal Springs Lake

Once inside the canyon, you’ll find year-round fishing in Crystal Springs Lake, including a handicap-accessible site. Wildlife—especially waterfowl—is abundant. The park also features modern restrooms, picnic tables and a group picnic shelter.

 

See video

The Idaho State Parks Passport: Providing Savings for 2013!

When implemented, the Idaho State Parks Passport will allow Idaho motorists to check "Yes!" to support Idaho State Parks by agreeing to pay an additional $10 in conjunction with renewing their license plates through the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and County Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Offices.  The Passport sticker will allow participating Idahoans unlimited daytime entry to Idaho state parks, IDPR operated recreation areas and boating access sites. The Passport will also provide nightly discounts on camping.  

When you pay the additional $10 for your passport, you'll receive a sticker that will adhere to your motor vehicle.  The sticker will provide unlimited access to all 30 state parks for the entire registration year.  

Out-of-state guests will have a savings option too, with the purchase of an Idaho State Park Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual.

 

What Will $10 Buy You and Your Family?

  • Admittance to all 30 Idaho State Parks for a year
  • Nightly discounts on camping
  • Hundreds of miles of hiking, cycling, mountain biking and Nordic trails
  • Your favorite boat launches
  • Countless historical and cultural sites within your state parks

Good for Idaho, Good for Idahoans!

Idaho‘s State Park Passport is simply a sustainable way to pay for the maintenance and management of Idaho’s 30 cherished state parks.  For those Idahoans who choose to participate in the program, the Idaho State Parks Passport sticker will replace the $5 per motor vehicle entry fee currently in place at state parks while also providing nightly discounts on camping.  

Out of State Guests

Our out-of-state guests have savings options too! You can purchase a $40 Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual and receive access to all of Idaho's State Parks and nightly discounts on camping. MVEF Annuals can be purchased at any Idaho State Park and online.

 

The Beloved Archie B. Teater and His Painting of an Idaho State Park

(Archie Boyd Teater)

1901 – 1978 - During a career that spanned over fifty years, Archie Boyd Teater continued to paint in the outdoor light. His plein air landscapes were inspired by the mountainous beauty of his birthplace in Idaho. Throughout his lifetime, Teater continued to paint the Western landscape, in addition to the landscapes of the many countries he visited. Landscapes and street scenes from Scandinavia, the British Isles, Western Europe, Africa, Russia, the Middle East, the Orient, South America, Australia and New Zealand comprise what is known as his International Collection.

Teater’s paintings have been featured in museum exhibitions next to work by artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Thomas Moran, Thomas Hart Benton, in addition to John Sloan and John Carroll in New York galleries.

Teater, born in 1901, balanced his early painting career between the need to earn a living and his passion for painting. He worked alongside miners, trappers and lumberjacks who had little patience or understanding for the sensitive artist, and so he would often take his wagon into the mountains, where he enjoyed the solitude, to work for days on his landscapes.

Archie and his wife lived, part of the time, in Hagerman Idaho. Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home and studio for Archie and his wife Patricia in 1952. The home, overlooks the Snake River, and is the only studio designed by Wright for another artist.

IDAHO LANDSCAPES
From the high desert near his home above the Snake River in Hagerman Valley to mountain towns nestled below the alpine peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho, the artist never failed to find either the simple beauty of the land or the dramatic grandeur of nature.

The Painting Entitled:

“Thousand Springs, As They Were”

Thousand Springs State Park, with its five beautiful units and multiple areas, is a testament to why the area is called the Magic Valley. Visitors can view wagon ruts and bridge abutments at Kelton Trail, explore the magnificent Malad Gorge, access the riding arena at Billingsley Creek, get writing inspiration at Vardis Fisher, step back in time and tour historic structures at Ritter Island and Bonnieview, take in the scenery at Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve, view Niagara Springs, fish at Crystal Lake. Day use opportunities abound within the units of Thousand Springs State Park.

 “Minnie Miller Ranch, Gooding County”

The Ritter Island/Minnie Miller Farm property was part of the Thousand Springs Preserve purchased by the Nature Conservancy. It is now part of Thousand Springs State Park. In 1918 Minnie Miller purchased what is now the state park at sheriff’s auction. A successful businesswoman and farmer, Minnie Miller was also concerned about protecting the natural wonders found at Thousand Springs. In 1944 her classic dairy farm was featured in National Geographic magazine as one of the state’s most impressive. Hundreds attended her annual ice cream social and heard educational and agricultural speakers. The farm passed to Judge Wallis Ritter in 1954. For the next 31 years Judge Ritter and his heirs fought diversion of the farm’s free flowing springs. In 1986 the Nature Conservancy purchased the farm for $1.2 million and in December of 2006 the farm with 300 acres including Ritter Island and 2 miles of Middle Snake riverfront passed to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. The original farmstead includes a two-story stone farmhouse, three small cottages, a well-preserved dairy farm, and other farm buildings.