Box Canyon construction is completed. Due to eagles wintering in the area, the back parking lot will remain closed until Spring 2021. The front parking lot will remain open. It is less than a mile walk to the overlook and the trail head. But just a reminder, it is $7 to park in that parking lot, unless you have your Idaho state park passport.
About the 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 seven 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.
Construction of the new Visitors Center is underway!
Work began in September and will be finished by the fall of 2021, enhancing recreational and historical offerings for Thousand Springs State Park and the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument by putting rangers and resources in a single location. The $2.5 million project springs from a novel partnership between the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) and the National Park Service (NPS), which have agreed to co-locate to provide more services at less cost.
The 3.400-square-foot center will consolidate access to the seven units of Thousand Springs – Malad Gorge, Kelton Trail, Billingsley Creek, Ritter Island, Crystal Springs, Niagara Springs, and the Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve. It will also provide better access to the Hagerman Fossil Beds, bringing information and interpretation close to the archaeological site.
The State of Idaho is building the center, while NPS has agreed to lease space for the next 25 years. Only a handful of such agreements are believed to exist in the nation.
In addition to the center, two related projects at Thousand Springs will boost recreational opportunities:
- A new, $460,000 bridge to Ritter Island, currently under construction, will provide better, safer access for visitors.
- A new, 50-spot Billingsley Creek Campground, which will begin construction a year from now, will add needed camping opportunities. The $6 million campground is expected to open by early 2023.