Thousand Springs State Park

Last updated
Thousand Springs State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Thousand Springs 2016-10-13 2361.jpg
Cliff with springs along the Snake River
at Ritter Island
USA Idaho relief location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Idaho
Usa edcp relief location map.png
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Location in the United States
Location Gooding County, Idaho, United States
Nearest city Hagerman, Idaho
Coordinates 42°51′28″N114°52′35″W / 42.85778°N 114.87639°W / 42.85778; -114.87639 Coordinates: 42°51′28″N114°52′35″W / 42.85778°N 114.87639°W / 42.85778; -114.87639
Headquarters, Malad Gorge
Area2,000 acres (8.1 km2) [1]
Elevation2,800 ft (850 m) [1]
Designation Idaho state park
Administrator Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
Website Thousand Springs State Park

Thousand Springs State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area consisting of multiple units — Billingsley Creek, Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve, Malad Gorge, Niagara Springs, and Ritter Island — in Gooding County, Idaho. [1]


Park units

The state park was created in 2005, when four existing state parks in the Hagerman Valley were merged into a single entity, [2] with an additional unit subsequently added to the complex.

Billingsley Creek

This former ranch was purchased by the state in 2001. [1] One feature is the homesite of western author Vardis Fisher. [2] Billingsley Creek Unit totals 286 acres (116 ha). [3]

Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve

This 350-acre (140 ha) box canyon has 250-foot-high (76 m) walls. At its head is the eleventh-largest spring in North America, gushing 180,000 US gallons (680,000 L) per minute. [3] There is a 20-foot (6.1 m) waterfall. [1] The 350-acre (140 ha) property was developed by the Nature Conservancy which purchased the site in 1999, then completed its transfer to the state in 2016. [4] (Does this include Priestly's Hydraulic Ram, listed on the National Register of Historic Places?)

Malad Gorge on the Malad River MALAD GORGE STATE PARK, IDAHO.jpg
Malad Gorge on the Malad River
Malad Gorge

Malad Gorge is a 250-foot-deep (76 m) canyon formed by the Malad River, downstream from a 60-foot (18 m) waterfall. This 652-acre (264 ha) day-use unit is off Interstate 84 and offers hiking and picnicking. A section of the Oregon Trail is visible. [1] Rock pigeons, red-tailed hawks and golden eagles nest in the canyon. Yellow-bellied marmots are found on the canyon floor.

Niagara Springs

Proclaimed a National Natural Landmark, [5] this area borders the Snake River and features sheer basalt cliffs 350 feet (110 m) high. [3] There are 179 acres (72 ha) in two parcels, acquired in 1971 and 1976. [3]

Ritter Island

This unit lies along the Snake River between two large springs. [1]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Thousand Springs State Park". Idaho Parks and Recreation. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Thousand Springs State Park Master Plan, Chapter 1" (PDF). Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 7, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Thousand Springs State Park Master Plan, Chapter 3" (PDF). Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 7, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  4. "Thousand Springs, Ritter Island & Box Canyon". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  5. "Niagara Springs". National Natural Landmarks. National Park Service. Retrieved January 13, 2017.

Further reading