Any guess exactly how hot this "hot spring" is?

We have some great hot springs in Idaho that have become swimming holes, but you wouldn't even want to dip a toe into this one.  Do you know where it is?

I took my daughter to Yellowstone National Park this summer on a quest to see a wolf, and although that journey was a big fat fail (wolves are better seen in the winter it seems), we did see some other fascinating things like moose, elk, and these smokin' hot, hot springs.

Yellowstone has several of these hot water features around Old Faithful in the western side of the park, but we saw this steamy bed on the eastern side at a place called West Thumb.

Part of Yellowstone sits on a volcano in Wyoming, and that means some odd landscape features will pop up creating steam, mud bubbles, and super hot mini-lakes.  The tour guide told me that this one reaches 221 degrees Celsius, which would be over 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Ouch.  It looks so blue and inviting.  But ouch.  Even in the winter with 10 to 12 feet snow all around, this little water feature is still cranking out heat.  The bison and bears must love this all-natural space heater.

Many of the hot springs around Idaho are swimmable, but of course, we're not sitting on top of a volcano that we know of.  Rocky Canyon Hot Springs is right above the Middle Fork of the Payette River and those are the closest to Boise.  (From - Take South Middle Fork Road for 12 miles from downtown Crouch. The road will turn to gravel after about 8 miles and a small pull-off on the left side will signal the parking area after the remaining 4. Look for steam across the river and pools on the hillside.)  Rocky Canyon is wadable, and therefore we know it's not 400 degrees.

Blue is not always cool, but we do know Mountain Village Lodge in Stanley and Burgdorf Hot Springs are other good and safe places to take a dip in Idaho when we're in the mood.

The earth is really fascinating, right?  And it's all good, as long as we know what we're about to get ourselves into.

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