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BLUEHEART SPRINGS - HAGERMAN, IDAHO

Google Earth: N 4241'26", W 11449'21"

Date of Dive: 15-Jul-2006
Event: Desert Divers of Idaho club event
Elevation: 2921 feet
Maximum Water Depth: 11 feet
Average Water Temp: 53 - 58
Above Water Temp: 98
Visability: 100 feet+
Location: 25 min boat ride up the Snake River from Sligar's 1000 Springs Resort. (N 42.71, W 114.83)

For this event, there were 18 divers in all. This was enough that two boat trips were needed to get us all there and back. The boat ride was about 25 minutes long each way. The dive site is on the east side of the Snake River. (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=N+42.71,+W+114.83&ie=UTF8&ll=42.710002,-114.830003&spn=0.004076,0.011083&t=k&om=1 )

While Group 1 was up river diving, Group 2 cooked burgers and ate like kings at the potluck buffet. Group 1 left for the dive site around 9:30am and returned around 12:30pm. Lots of smiling faces emerged from Group 1's boat when they hit the dock. Group 2 rolled out around 1:00 pm for the dive site and returned around 3:30pm. Group 1 took over the reins of the BBQ and potluck.

The boat ride up the river was smooth and slow. The heat was killing us as we geared up in our wetsuits. With reported water temperatures in the mid-50s, we were going to need our heavy wetsuits. The dive site is just around a bend in the river, through a 15 ft wide outflow channel. As the boat was pulling into the channel, you could certainly see the difference in color and clarity of the water. At this point where the spring water interfaces with the river you could see it was going to be special. The river is really murky and I would have to guess the viz of it to be near zero (0). However, the water flowing out of the spring was as clear as glass! As the boat motored over to the far shore you could see all the way to the bottom. Granted it was only 11 ft but it was the clearest water I have ever seen in Idaho. The size of the spring I would say is about 100 ft wide by 150 ft long.

We put the finishing touches on our gear and jumped in. We found it to be safer to inflate your BC/tank unit and throw it into the water then jump in after it. Once in the water and over the thermal shock of jumping from near 100 F air to 55 F water, you will find the water is a clear as any water you would find at an exotic tropical location.

The viz was incredible: 100 ft+ at least. The bottom mostly consists of heavy sand and the shallower edges on the west side are covered with plants. We did kick up some sand but since it was so heavy the viz returned rather quickly. There were plenty of sculpin fish around. Especially near where the spring water was bubbling up out of the sand. The bubbling cauldrons of sand were along the east side of spring, in the rocks and around on the bottom. Most cauldrons were small but there were a few big enough to climb into and sink to your waist in. The plants around the edges were covered algae and small snails. There were also lots of large snails as well around on the rocks and among the plants.

During our dive a few boats came into the bay and left. Perhaps we should have deployed a dive flag?

We (Group 2) explored about every inch of the spring over the course of our approximately 55 minutes in the water. We all got back on the boat by removing our gear and climbing up on to the rocks and on to the front of the boat.

It took just about as long to get back to the dock, having to stop a few times to clear algae out of the boat propeller. Once we arrived, we headed back to the picnic area and waited for our dive gear to be delivered. The boat owner was nice enough to shuttle our gear over to the picnic area on his trailered boat.

We gathered our gear, packed up the picnic/buffet equipment and supplies, and said our goodbyes around 4:45 pm.

I had a great time. It was well worth the time and money to do at least once a year. The cost was $28/pp for the boat ride and $2/car to park and use the picnic facilities.

Thanks to all those that helped pull this together. I can see a lot of work was put into the planning and execution of this one.

Submitted by Jim Hull


Date of Dive: 10-Apr-2004
Maximum Water Depth: 9 feet
Average Water Temp: 58
Above Water Temp: 65
Visibility: 200+ feet
Dive Access: Tour boat from Sligar's 1000 Springs Resort

Great diving all day. It is a trip to look forward to and enjoy. This was the clearest water that I dived in since I left Alaska! I wish I could have stayed longer. The shallow water could make a good training location for new and younger divers. Well worth the boat ride to go and dive. I must make plans to do this again!

Drive from Boise to Bliss at either Exit 136 or Exit 141. At Bliss drive South on U.S. Highway 30 through Hagerman and a few miles further towards Buhl to Sligar's 1000 Springs Resort. Board on a tour boat or your own boat (not recommended due to the shallowness of the river unless you know where the channels are) and head upstream about 4 miles and to the left.

Submitted by Harvey

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