Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve is a sight to be seen. Being the 11th largest spring in North America, the crystal clear waters are one you must add to the bucket-list.
Box Canyon State Park is located on W Point Road near Wendell, Idaho. Buhl, Idaho is also only fifteen minutes away! Either town will lead you to the parking lot that sits at the beginning of the trail head.
The park is one unit of Thousand Springs State Park. Thousand Springs is an expansive park with several units to explore including; Malad Gorge, Niagara Springs, Ritter Island, and a few others! At the parking lot, you must pay a $5 vehicle fee. This fee will get you into the other components of Thousand Springs if purchased at Malad Gorge. Follow the farm road/dirt trail for about a mile from the lot.
The canyon will start to emerge, and you will see it isn’t just an old farm road. Peering in, the aqua blue water will glisten on a sunny day. The mermaid tail shaped spring will beckon your name to come swim! The blue pools can be accessed from the lookout. Following the canyon ledge will give you the option to climb down at a caved-in area. These makeshift stairs face East or West. Both descents require sturdy shoes, and high physical exertion.
If free-climbing down a canyon doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry, there is another pool to be accessed! Continue walking down the path another mile, following the canyon’s ledge. This will lead to a more user-friendly path down the side of the canyon. There is a rail and rope for assistance.
Once at the base of the canyon, keep following the trail! Rushing water will indicate you are getting closer to the destination. Walk down the man-made staircase to view one of the most gorgeous waterfalls belonging to the Thousand Springs State Park units. The 20-foot waterfall runs year round.
After you’ve finished admiring the falls, continue on through the lush, forest area that mostly follows the water. The path will end at another aqua blue pool. Feel free to swim in the freezing springs to cool off on a hot day! Amazement levels will be at an all time high when viewing the the crystal clear waters. There is even a giant tree, totally emerged underwater, clearly seen from above.
Remember to always be a good steward of the land. These springs must be taken care of, so pack out what you pack in. Always be cautious of where you’re stepping and what you’re stepping on. Happy trails!