Boise Summers Were More Fun With This Long Lost Waterpark
The #1 song in the country was Jennifer Lopez's "If You Had My Love." Disney'sTarzan was the #1 movie. Bill Clinton was still in office. That's how long ago Roaring Springs opened.
Opening day on July 19, 1999 seems like it was a lifetime ago but at the time Roaring Springs was the Treasure Valley's new waterpark. Long before Snake River Run, Viper's Vortex and Avalanche, Boise kids looked forward to riding Bonzai, Corkscrew and Roundhouse during summer vacation.
Those were three of the slides you'd find at Boise's first real waterpark. Located at 1850 Century Way, Wild Waters was a summer staple until the mid-'90s when it was demolished to make way for the Flying Y. Today, you'll find the Cole/Overland exit ramp near where the park used to be located.
Wild Waters took advantage of Boise's natural topography to create some of its most exciting slides like Bonzai. That ride is the twin racing slides you see in the upper left-hand corner of this photo that Facebook user Dane Mullen shared. Some remember the vertical drop on it being so steep that it felt like you were falling instead of sliding. In Dane's comments, a former employee identified the slide on the far right as Sidewinder.
We're not sure where in the picture Cliff Hanger was but it was another ride that comes up time and time again when you mention Wild Waters. It was a bar that you held onto while sliding down a track, eventually causing you to plunge into the 12-foot-deep pool. The same pool had a high platform that you could jump from.
In the popular "Boise & the Treasure Valley History" group on Facebook, Courtney gave one of the best descriptions of the park we've read over the years. The multi-level ride she described was called "Snake River." You'd slide down in tubes, land in a pool of water, slide down to the next level and land in another pool and repeat until you made it all the way to the bottom. A few group members admitted to trying to stay on the tubes as long as they could, eventually forcing the lifeguards to get in the water and push them down to the next level.
Wild Waters also had a hot tub, swimming pool and kiddie play area. Day passes were about $7. Season passes started at $50. Unlike most modern-day waterparks, you could actually bring your own food into the park. Having a Wild Waters season pass was such a badge of honor that Boise OG, a local business dedicated to preserving the most nostalgic places, people and events in the Treasure Valley, reproduced them as stickers.
Idaho's OTHER Wild Waters
At one point, there was a similar Wild Waters park in Coeur d'Alene but unlike the Boise park, it wasn't immediately demolished after its final season in 2009. For years, it decayed and started to look like something you'd see in a dystopian future. YouTube user "adamthewoo" explored the remains in 2016.
The heavily vandalized park was finally demolished in 2018, but no one's sure what the lot along I-90 will become. The last we heard, it was likely going to be a large apartment complex. Here are some incredibly haunting stills from Adam's video shot before the demolition.
Want to watch the whole video? Scroll past the gallery. We've included the full video!