Soda Springs Complex

Photo image of bubbling carbonated springs at Soda Springs.
Photo image of bubbling carbonated waters at Soda Springs.


Soda Springs Complex - Soda Springs, Idaho

The natural fountains at "Beer Springs" were rightfully considered to be one of the marvels of the overland trails. Emigrants frequently took advantage of the hot water to wash clothes, and almost every emigrant account noted the picturesque scenery and the natural curiosities of the area.

On July 24, 1838, Sarah White Smith, "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."

The development of the town and the building of Alexander Reservoir has destroyed or covered many of these historic springs. Steamboat Spring, Wagonbox Grave, Hooper Spring, Octagon Spring, and two short traces of ruts can still be seen in the area.

Image map showing the location of the Soda Springs Complex.
Image map showing the location of the Soda Springs Complex.

NPS Image

Last updated: February 10, 2020

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Mailing Address:

National Trails Office - Regions 6, 7, 8
Oregon National Historic Trail
1100 Old Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe, NM 87505

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