Soda Springs Geyser is the only man-made geyser in the world. It is located in Soda Springs, Idaho, and if you are in southeastern Idaho, you should definitely stop and check it out.
Way back in the 1930s someone decided to drill a hole down to the warm water below Soda Springs. The idea was to create a natural spa that would be a good attraction for the city. Well, they had to drill much deeper than expected, and the water that came up was only 75 degrees, which is far too cool for a hot spring. The new spring seemed to be disrupting Old Faithful in Yellowstone, so they decided to cap it, but they put a timer on it. Soda Springs Geyser now goes off every hour on the hour.
The geyser can easily be found by driving into Soda Springs. Turn north onto Main Street and about a block ahead on the left, you will see a sign for the geyser. There is a boardwalk that climbs to an observation point and then continues down around the geyser. We thought the best place to see the geyser was on the benches on the far side.
The cool thing about Soda Springs Geyser is that you are allowed to play in it. We took off our shoes and climbed right off the boardwalk up onto the geyser surface, which we would never consider at a place like Yellowstone! The water is 72 degrees (cooler than your body temperature) so it is not dangerous at all. The only real warning is that you can’t put anything into the geyser, so make sure to follow that rule. Also, the geyser shoots 100 feet into the air, so you obviously wouldn’t put any part of your body over the hole. (By playing “in” the geyser, we mean climbing up and standing in the shower and runoff).
The geyser is said to go off every hour on the hour, which it does fairly consistently, but it did miss four o’clock on the day we were there for some unknown reason. This is a great side trip to pair with Formation Cave and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center on your Bear Lake Vacation.