I finally had the chance to visit an area hot spring for my first time that I've been curious about ever since I first passed the road sign years ago. Many of the locals in the Magic Valley have used one word to describe this Twin Falls oasis, and that's "overcrowded."

My soon to be 6-year-old son is presently taking swim lessons, but he's having some difficulty focusing on what his instructor is telling him. So, my wife and I decided to take him out to a southern Idaho hot spring to help him get in some extra time in the water. I had been curious about Nat Soo Pah for quite a while, so we packed up the truck and decided to head there late Sunday afternoon in an attempt to avoid crowds.

We figured that with school starting Monday (August 16), many parents would be taking off early from the hot spring to get their kids home and rested for the big day. We were wrong about that, but we decided to stay and get in the water anyway. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. There's a reason the place is so popular, and that's because Nat Soo Pah is an absolute gold mine.

The hot spring has everything one needs to spend a day lounging outdoors. A snack bar, water slide, pool table, picnic tables, horseshoe pits, hot tub, sprawling campground and plenty of interesting characters wandering about. Once I slid into the hot soak pool, I never wanted to get out.

After swimming for about two hours, we set up our chairs out under some trees, and barbequed some dinner. Normally, I can't stand being surrounded by dozens of strangers, but we really had a great time. If you think about the cost to get in, and multiply that by the amount of people that visit on an average weekend, Nat Soo Pah is about the closest thing Twin Falls has to an active gold mine.

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