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Your Unofficial Guide to Cooling Down

Campus Scenes, Aerials, cityscape, photo by Matt Crook

It’s that time of year — that 100 plus degree time of year. When it’s that hot around Boise, often our days look a lot like pointing a fan directly at your face, standing in front of the fridge with the freezer door open, or plopping down on a vent hoping the A/C does its job. But you don’t have to spend your days totally inside. We’ve collected some spots around Boise that have the power to keep you cool even on the hottest days.


Ann Morrison park and the square at The Grove both have interactive fountains you can jump into when you need to cool down. In fact, the Ann Morrison fountain is getting a massive remodel right now, which should be open by the end of the summer. You can also take a quick ride to Settler’s Park in Meridian or, if you want the full experience, check out Roaring Springs Water Park. Just make sure you wear sunscreen!

Ice cream & snow cones

On a sweltering summer day there’s nothing better to cool you down than an ice cold snow cone or ice cream. Thankfully (as you may have already seen) there are snow cone shacks scattered across the treasure valley. You can often find them near parks, like Hyde Park or Veterans Memorial Park. As for ice cream, check out our Boise food hubs article because there’s ice cream to be found at several of those stops — like BODO, Hyde Park, and 8th street. Now, which flavor are you gunna get?

Lakes, rivers, and ponds

If there’s one thing Idaho has plenty of, it’s bodies of water. If you’re having one of those days where you just need to jump in the first pool you can find, the Boise River (just right off of the Greenbelt) is a super easy option and you’ll have to do very little traveling. However, if you’re willing to drive a little bit farther from campus you’ve got options like Esther Simplot Pond,  Lucky Peak, Lake Lowell, Lake Cascade, Redfish Lake, and even McCall or Coeur d’Alene if you’re willing to make a day (or weekend) trip.


Okay. Hear me out. I know you’re thinking, “Hot springs? In the summer?” but not all springs are hot. And even the ones that are lukewarm still feel really nice! Especially if you go to some up in the mountains. Personally, I just went to one in Idaho City on a day where it was almost 100 degrees down in the valley, but overcast and 80ish degrees up there and the water was pure bliss. That spring, for example, is only 45 minutes from Boise. A lot of springs will have a slightly warm pool as well as separate hot springs. Some good options are in Buhl, Lowman, Stanley, Crouch, Sun Valley, Cascade, and McCall.

Stay cool out there, Broncos!

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  • Trisha