Several years ago I became obsessed with finding waterfalls during my road trips. After traveling through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and spending a week hiking to as many as I could find, I made a point to search for waterfalls wherever I traveled. One day I was scrolling through Instagram and someone had shared a photo of Shoshone Falls.
It’s been on my list for awhile and I’m so glad that I finally had a chance to see it in person and spend some time exploring the outdoors in Twin Falls, Idaho.
For as beautiful as it is, Shoshone Falls was once an even bigger spectacle. Much of the water flowing to the falls has been diverted to help the agriculture industry in Idaho lowering the overall volume. It’s still quite a sight to see and seeing it is pretty easy to do. They constructed a very nice viewing platform and an easy to navigate trail that lets you see the water from different angles.
While there’s a free parking lot view from above the park, it’s definitely worth paying the small fee to enter the park if you’re already taking the time to visit. As soon as you exit your vehicle you’ll immediately feel the mist from all of the water. (On a windy day, you’ll probably get more than you want.)
Twin Falls is full of outdoor recreation and completely exceeded my expectations. The area is perfect for anyone looking to hike, swim, go fishing, boating, camping, or even jump off a bridge.
That’s right – Twin Falls is home to I.B. Perrine Bridge, one of the few places in the U.S. where BASE jumpers can leap year-round. The bridge is 486 feet above the canyon and it’s not uncommon to hear the sound of parachutes popping overhead while you’re hiking along the trails below. I saw at least half a dozen jumpers while I hiked the Mogensen Trail at Centennial Waterfront Park – which is about 20 minutes west of Shoshone Falls.
Speaking of the trails – they are perfect for the average person to enjoy without being overwhelmed and just scenic enough that advanced hikers won’t get bored. You’ll encounter some small waterfalls along the way and the view of the bridge overhead with the Snake river in the background is pretty great.
If there’s one waterfall not to miss – it’s Perrine Coulee Falls which you’ll see as you first make your way into the park. It’s easy to drive by as there isn’t a dedicated parking lot and cars are making a super sharp turn down the road into the park. It’s easiest to see this on your way out of the park – just pull off the road and park along the curb. You’ll have to climb down some rocks to a path below which will take you directly behind the waterfall. Of all the waterfalls I saw during my visit – this was my favorite to photograph.
If the area sounds somewhat familiar – this is the place where Evel Knievel attempted a high profile jump across the river in 1974. There’s a monument near the visitors center to mark the occasion. (Fun fact – stunt man Eddie Braun successfully made the jump in 2016 using a rocket motorcycle.)
If Twin Falls is on your radar, consider staying a couple of days to take your time and enjoy the scenery and experiences. The regional tourism office has more information on other things to see and do while visiting southern Idaho.