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PARK UPDATE:

March 2024 Update:

Beginning March 1, 2024, the Visitor Center will be returning to 5 days a week. Thursday through Monday from 9 AM to 3 PM.

Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve

Just west of Twin Falls is Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve, one of the five units that make up Thousand Springs State Park. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the turnout to the front parking lot to Box Canyon, as it’s a bit tucked away. 

You can park in the front parking lot or you can drive to the new parking lot in the back, saving you a mile walk.

You will come to an overlook of the nation’s 11th largest spring, where a pool of bright blue water shines in the midday sun.

Make sure to read the interpretive signs which contains loads of interesting information about this unique canyon, including what Box Canyon has in common with Mars.

As if this site in front of you wasn’t impressive enough, follow the trail and hike down into the canyon to reach a 20-foot waterfall that is simply beautiful. 

view of canyon with water at bottom
Where does the water originate from?

The spring water discharged from Thousand Springs State Park comes from the Snake River Plain Aquifer. The Snake River Plain aquifer acts less like an underground pool and more like a river moving water underground from high areas to low areas. Depending upon where a particular particle of water enters the aquifer and providing it is not removed from the aquifer for agricultural or municipal purposes, it may take 12-350 years for that particle of water to emerge from the aquifer at Thousand Springs.

How much water flows out of the spring?

According to the sign at the entrance of the park the springs flow at 180,000 gallons a minute making it the 11th largest springs in the United States.

How pure is the water?

Because the water must flow through the cracks and crevices of the basalt rock that contains the aquifer the water is very pure. You may notice that there is a bright light green plant in the water. That plant is Water Veronica which is an indicator of stream health.

Where does the water go?

The water flows toward the Snake River. Just before reaching the river there is a diversion pond. From this pond water is piped across land and then goes under the Snake River to the fish hatchery on the far bank of the river. Part of the water from the diversion pond is allowed to flow directly into the Snake River.

Current Conditions

Contact the Park

Address: 17970 U.S. Hwy 30
Hagerman, ID 83332
Phone: (208) 837-4505
Hours of Operation: Beginning March 1, 2024, the Visitor Center will be returning to 5 days a week. Thursday through Monday from 9 AM to 3 PM. | Day-use locations within state parks are open from 7 am to 10 pm, hours may change based on manager's discretion.

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