It’s been a real winter in Boise—lots of snow and cold that is apparently unheard of here and none of the locals can stop talking about it. For me and my family, though, the current state of Idaho’s weather is all too familiar. Being from Minnesota, we are used to snow day after day, week after week, and a constant air temp that never breaks freezing.

But you know what’s not a part of the Minnesotan’s winter repertoire? Glimpsing pink light from the setting sun falling onto snow-covered foothills. Trading city streets messy with unplowed snow for pristine mountain roads. Hot springs.

I thought about these winter differences just before Christmas as we drove up Highway 21 towards Idaho City; winter in the mountains is, duh, a completely different deal than winter on the northern plains.

A couple hours later, as the group of relaxed in the hot mineral water with our faces turned to the sun, glasses of wine in hand, I had to acknowledge (as a card-carrying winter loather) that this was winter on a new level and that I was good with it.

If You Go

The Springs, Idaho City
Approximately 1 hour from Boise

Soaks, overnight stays, and bodywork at a small and well-maintained hot springs retreat near Boise, Idaho. The owners cultivate a decidedly non-frat vibe here; it was busy but not crowded (reservations are required) and the atmosphere was very quiet and low-key. We happened to be there on their child-free day otherwise kids are allowed. Outside food and drinks are not allowed, however—but they’ve got friendly poolside service for coffee, tea, and wine and we put in a food order that we ate in the toasty warming house.

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