(left panel:) Tour Our National Byways
Click on the Tour Our National Byways photograph to enlarge it and view the local byway routes.
The springs of Soda Springs - indeed a curiosity
For eons naturally carbonated springs have bubbled up from beneath the earth in southeast Idaho. Some springs even make notable sounds and others are known for peculiar smells and flavors.
Soda Springs was known as "Beer Springs" to the early explorers and pioneers
Click on the Soda Springs was known as "Beer Springs" photograph to enlarge it and view the early Preuss Beer Springs map.
Trappers and explorers
Explorer Benjamin Bonneville, 1832 "Captain Bonneville describes Beer Spings as having the taste of beer. His men drank it with avidity and in copies draughts.....The Indians, however, refuse to taste it." — Washington Irving, 1837
Explorer John C. Fremont,1842 In the early 1840s, John C. Fremont traveled to the West on exploratory trips for the U.S. government. Traveling with Fremont's party was Charles Preuss who mapped in detail (right) the fascinating mineral springs observed in the Soda Springs area.
Oregon Trail pioneers
Emigrant Narcissa Whitman, 1836 "Went today ten miles off our route - to visit the Soda Springs."
Emigrant Sarah White Smith, 1838 "Traveled ... along the bank of the bear river & are encamped at Soda Springs. This is indeed a curiosity. The water tastes like soda water, especially artificially prepared. The water is bubbling and foaming like boiling water. I drank of it ... We find it excellent for baking bread, no preparation of water is necessary. Take it from the fountain & the bread is as light as any prepared with yeast.
Soda Springs Geyser - unleashing the sleeping giant
The world' s only "captive" geyser
In 1937, Soda Springs' city fathers, intent on locating hot water for a community swimming pool, unwittingly drilled into the mound in front of you, unleashing a 100-foot geyser and startling the local citizens.
"Such a scene as that, only a few men have ever witnessed."
"On November 30, 1937 tired and cold drillers leaving for dinner discovered to their surprise that a rampaging geyser was shooting 100 feet high and "roaring like a dragon." For most of the night, Soda Springs was enveloped in a mist of steam water running down main street and threatening business
basements." — The Soda Springs Sun, December 2, 1937
Early Soda Springs
Native Americans, trappers, explorers, and pioneers were drawn to the warm, bubbling mineral waters in the area. Some left illustrations and diary entries of these natural curiosities.
First destination resorts in Soda Springs
At the turn of the 20th century, the train brought guests eager to enjoy the renowned springs at Soda Springs. Many stayed in the luxurious Idanha Hotel or Mineral Heights Resort, enjoying the warm mineral waters.