Twin Falls, Idaho
Very short walk from the parking lot
$3 per car, $20 per tour bus Season passes are available for $25
Bring a bottle of water if needed.
Any but in spring the flow of the river is higher
Open year round.
Lots of sun exposure
All paved or metal stairs
Bring snacks if needed
Once you enter the park the road winds down a hill towards the overlooks. There are several small waterfalls along here. I was there in winter once which made for lots of cool ice. In spring and summer its like a small green oasis.
Shoshone falls is a huge waterfall sometimes called Niagara of the west. The falls are 212 feet tall and 1, feet wide. There are several different overlooks at the park to view the falls. None are more than a few hundred feet from the parking lot. The water from the Snake River is always fluctuating depending on the time of year and how much they are letting through the dam above the falls. The gorge below the falls is very beautiful. This is the spot where Evel Knievel tried (and failed) to jump the canyon in a steam powered rocket.
If you park near the small gift shop this is where the easiest and most popular view points are just above the brink of the falls. I have visited here 3 different times with VERY different results in water flow. I will include short videos of the falls in each state as well. In late summer the water can actually completely dry up as the nearby farmers use most of the incoming river water. It is a very serious debate whether or not the series of dams has ruined not only Shoshone Falls, but nearby Twin Falls which is permanently cut in half by dams. I can see both sides of this argument. I would love to see the falls in its 100 percent natural state but on the other hand I eat a LOT of potatoes.
This was the view in January with 350 cfs flow.
This was the view in March 2017 when the falls were at 18,000 cfs due to recent floods and no need yet for farm water. It was really an amazing thing to see. Pictures do no justice of the power and volume of water at this time! There was so much mist that it made it hard to actually see part of the falls.
There is another upper parking area that you can either walk to or park at with several picnic tables. The canyon rim trail starts here. If you walk a little ways down this paved trail you get a great full view of the falls and great views of the canyon. Keep your eyes open there are several other falls that can be seen from here in the spring.
Also keep your eyes open for the small arch in the cliffs.
Here is the great panoramic view of the falls.
If you hike a short ways beyond the view platform you will see the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. I swear every state has one by this name.
Bonus Trek Nearby:
Make sure you also make the drive to the nearby Twin Falls Falls. Its the most confusing name in the world to google. It is a quick ten minute drive from Shoshone. This is the fall that the city was named after. The fall is kind of sad to me. It has been permanently cut in half by a dam. The “Twin” in the falls is forever gone. It is still a cool area to see. Here is the plaque at the site with a historical picture of what it used to look like. The 125 foot falls is still worth a visit. The coordinates for Twin Falls are: 42.58852 N, 114.35738 W
Here was the view in May
Here was the view during the flooding in March 2017
This is a very cool sight to see. When at high flow there are few waterfalls that can compare. It is taller than Niagara and still 1,000 feet wide. If you are either go to or from Boise to Utah then this is a very worthwhile detour to stretch your legs and take some cool pictures.