Idaho Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The South Eastern Corner of Idaho

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

USA Travel Insurance

After driving through Soda Springs and Montpelier, we continued along Highway 30 into the southeastern extreme of Idaho, occupied by Bear Lake and a handful of small towns. It was late October, but winter had come early to the region and a fresh layer of snow was blanketing the ground.

Snow-Camping

The border between Idaho and Utah cuts through the middle of oval-shaped Bear Lake. Set on top of limestone deposits, Bear Lake has a unique ecosystem which supports several endemic species, such as the Bear Lake Whitefish. And the strange, intensely turquoise color of the lake’s water have led locals to call it the “Caribbean of the Pacific Northwest”.

But Bear Lake is most well-known for the legendary creature which haunts it. The story of the Bear Lake Monster stretches back to the 19th century, and the arrival of the original settlers. The deadly beast hunts in the water, but can run onto land in pursuit of its prey. Like an Alligator-Shark-Bear. And it totally exists! If you don’t trust me, perhaps you’ll believe that shining beacon of journalistic integrity: Animal Planet.

Perhaps some skepticism is warranted. After all, the man responsible for the original reports of the Bear Lake Monster, Mormon missionary Joseph C. Rich, eventually admitted it was all a scam; a ruse to drum up curiosity about the region. Usually, a full confession would be enough to close the case, but nothing can apparently deter the charlatans at Animal Planet from peddling their sensational myths. And, apparently, being a hoaxster doesn’t put off the voters of Idaho: Joseph C. Rich went on to become a state senator!

The sky was overcast when we visited, so we weren’t able to appreciate the famous blue water of Bear Lake, and neither did we encounter any monsters. But it was still a gorgeous drive. We drove along the lake’s northern border, on a narrow strip of land that separates it from the rather less enchanting Mud Lake, then picked up Highway 89 which brought us into Paris.

A tiny town in Bear Lake County, Paris best known for its tabernacle, built in 1889 by Mormon pioneers. A Romanesque structure of red sandstone, the tabernacle is completely out-of-place in the unassuming little village. But the impressive temple is in wonderful condition and still in use today.

We also swung by the Oregon Trail Museum in nearby Montpelier. Although it was closed for the season, we managed to charm our way inside so that we could snap a few photos. More than just a collection of information or dry exhibitions, this museum attempts to recreate the experience of being a settler on the trail; visitors first equip themselves at a general store, then walk along the trail with stops for camp songs and stories.

Location of Bear Lake | Paris, Idaho

Feed Your Kindle With Our Travel Books

Frosty Morning Idaho
Bouncy-Road-Idaho
Cloudy-Hills-Of-Idaho
Golden-Clouds
Idaho Road Trip
Weather-Front-Idaho
Stuck-Oregon-Trail
Oregon-Trail-Camp
Mercantile
Store-Saddler-Museum-Idaho
Wagon-Restaurant-Idaho
Old-Oregon-Trail-Art
Iron-Smith-Idaho
Idaho-Horns
Snow Tree
Winter-Off-Road-Idaho
Idaho-Winter-Wonder-Land
Cloud-Reflection
Scary Clouds Idaho
Take A Rest In Idaho
Cloud-Bear-Lake
Crazy-Weather-Idaho
Paris-Idaho-Church
Paris Post
Frosty-Fall-Leaves
Eiszapfen-Idaho
Winter House
Winter-Idaho-2012
Winter-Wood
Idaho Turkey
, , , , , ,
December 24, 2012 at 12:24 am Comments (4)

The Wonders of Soda Springs

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Buy Mineral Water Online

Towns as tiny as Soda Springs should count themselves lucky if they have one special attraction or unique characteristic that brings in tourists. But Soda Springs lays claim to at least three.

Fresh-Mineral-Water

The settlement of Soda Springs got its start as an oasis along the Oregon Trail, eagerly anticipated among emigrants for its thousands of fresh mineral water springs. A couple of enterprising pioneers recognized the commercial potential of these springs, and began bottling the water under the name of “Idanha”. This was before the days before water could be artificially carbonated, and the lightly bubbly Idanha was a hit, winning the top prize at Chicago’s World Fair in 1893, and again in Paris in 1900.

There are multiple places around town to try out the water, which is still bubbling unabated out of the ground. We took a cup to the Hooper Springs to sample it. Not bad, it tastes like lightly carbonated bottled water, a bit sweeter and more mineralized.

Not far away from Hooper Springs (and in fact, too close for comfort) is the Monsanto Phosphorus Plant. Soda Springs sits on top of one of the largest phosphate deposits in the entire world, and Monsanto’s large-scale mining and purification plant has changed the town’s landscape. Literally. As part of its manufacturing process, Monsanto frequently dumps red-hot slag down the side of a massive, man-made hill. It cools quickly, but as the molten metal is poured out of the truck, it looks just like lava running down a volcano.

A huge hill of man-made lava, naturally carbonated springs of drinkable mineral water, and we haven’t even arrived at Soda Springs’s top highlight. In 1937, during an attempt to find hot water for a pool, a drill accidentally unleashed a geyser in the middle of town. It roared for months, nearly flooding the little village, before engineers were finally able to get a handle on the situation. They capped the geyser with a timed valve, making Soda Springs the proud owner of the “the world’s only captive geyser“. It erupts every hour, on the hour; more reliable than Old Faithful.
Location of Soda Springs
Hotels in Idaho

Geyser-Soda-Springs
Strange-Idaho
Strange-Landscape-Idaho
Steam-In-Idaho
Splash
Geyser-Fountain
Hooper-Springs
Idanha-Mineral-Water
Idan-Ha-Water
Bubble Hell
Steam-Mountain
Hello-In-Idaho
Liquid-Lava-Soda-Springs
Steamy Road
Snow-Smoke
Steam-Soda-Springs
USA-Sticker
Hotel-Lunch-Soda-Springs
Hotel-Round-Sofa
Face-Of-Soda-Springs
Old-Movie-Tickets
Lunch-In-Idaho
Burgers-Soda-Springs
Frozen-Herbs
Snow-Flower
Fresh-Snow-Idaho
Yellow-Snow
Snow-River
Soda-Springs-River
Green-River
Saddler-Tracks
, , , , , , , , , ,
December 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm Comments (2)
The South Eastern Corner of Idaho After driving through Soda Springs and Montpelier, we continued along Highway 30 into the southeastern extreme of Idaho, occupied by Bear Lake and a handful of small towns. It was late October, but winter had come early to the region and a fresh layer of snow was blanketing the ground.
For 91 Days