The Hagerman Valley
The Hagerman Valley was formed 15,000 years ago by the Bonneville flood, which gouged out canyons, moved house-sized boulders and left enormous sand bars as a huge torrent of water formed the Snake River canyon as we know it today.
The Valley’s unique landscape is dotted with innumerable, rounded boulders, known as “rock melons,” — some the size of an automobile.These large rocks bear silent testimony to the colossal flood that shaped the Snake River canyon.
Thousand Springs Valley
The Thousand Springs Valley is a land of natural hot springs and pure, freshwater springs. Natural hot springs produce warm water that can soothe your aching muscles. The Thousand Springs complex gushes water at about 58 degrees, a temperature that’s perfect for raising trout.
The volcanic lava flows, deep box canyons, fossil beds, mine diggings and vast rock formations tell the story of days gone by. Here you will see the canyon of the mighty “Pohogawa,” the River of the Sage Plain, as the Indians called the Snake River. You can experience its rapids, whirlpools, waterfalls and wildlife.
It is a land of melon farming, the nation’s largest fish farms, waterfowl, a large diversity of fish in the Snake River, deer hunting and more. It is a land of hot summers and mild winters; a land that through the years has been home to Native Americans, Oregon Trail emigrants, settlers and homesteaders, farmers and ranchers.
“The Valley of the Thousand Springs” is one of those rare natural rest stops that has been serving travelers for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. The mild, almost snowless winters, hot springs and natural fisheries provided by the clear flow of springs at a constant 58 degrees made the valley a favorite wintering area for Native Americans.
The City of Hagerman
The City of Hagerman, which gives the valley its name, was originally the site of a stagecoach stop (Overland Trail Route) along the Oregon Trail. Remains of this historic pioneer route can still be seen along the west side of the Snake River. Hagerman itself was officially established in 1892 when Stanley Hageman and Jack Hess opened a combination Post Office/General Store.
- The town was actually named for Stanley Hageman but a misspelling in the central post office registry changed its official name to Hagerman.
- There was only one store in Hagerman in 1893, when Billy Coltharp established his saloon, originally a barrel of whiskey and a tin cup.
- Billy lived in two small rooms in the rear of the saloon he built (now the Masonic Hall).
- He also built the original part of the old Morris Roberts store (now the US Bank).
- He established the park, which today bears his name and built the Park Opera House (now the American Legion Hall).
- Billy also helped organize the Hagerman State Bank (located in a corner of the Morris-Roberts Store) and served as its director. This bank later became the National Bank and moved to a new building in 1909 (now the Historical Society Museum).