During our epic drive from Oregon back to Salt Lake City, we spent much of our time driving through what was seemingly the ‘middle of nowhere’ (with the caveat that we were surrounded by a mass of natural beauty). An impromptu visit to Shoshone Falls Idaho soon made our drive well worth the effort! There is something about the simplicity and natural beauty of waterfalls that provides an intriguing attraction wherever they are located around the world.
I will openly admit right now that I love waterfalls, whether we are talking about one of the largest in the world or just a small trickle at the end of a trail. The sound of water crashing over the edge and tumbling down through the cascades is my idea of relaxation, but regardless of your opinion on waterfalls I am convinced that Shoshone Falls, Idaho is worthy of your time.
Where is Shoshone Falls Idaho?
Located in the gorgeous town of Twin Falls, Idaho, Shoshone Falls State Park is easily accessible from I-84. A little over 3 hours from Salt Lake City, this provided the perfect spot for us to take a break from our long road trip en route from Oregon and appreciate the stunning scenery.
With an admission cost of just $3 per vehicle, this is well worth a trip if you are passing through this part of the state. After we left I-84 and paid a quick visitor to the Visitor’s Center of Twin Falls, we immediately noticed the canyon where the Snake River passes through.
The Perrine Bridge is a spectacular architectural design so that is worth marveling over if you have any sort of appreciation for fine architecture. The views are breathtaking through the canyon but of course the real highlight begins when you head east and start exploring Shoshone Falls.
Niagara of the West
Having previously visited Niagara Falls, when we heard that Shoshone Falls was renowned as the ‘Niagara of the West’ we were a little skeptical over how impressive this could be.
I initially thought this was going to be a stereotypical marketing ploy to try and get more visitors to Idaho, but I was soon proven wrong as we passed through the entrance to the park and saw the stunning sight in front of us.
Did you know that Shoshone Falls is actually higher than Niagara Falls? You do now! At 212 feet, they are over 40 feet higher than their famous counterpart and they certainly don’t disappoint as the water crashes from a variety of angles passing down the Snake River.
There are a couple of different overlooks, one which is at the entrance and another as you wind through the mountain side and approach the visitor center. The overlook at the entrance is technically free as you can park here without passing through the ‘toll booth’.
The views are decent from here but slightly obstructed, so I would definitely recommend paying the $3 for the best views.
When I reference ‘best views’, I mean these will literally blow your mind (hence the title of this post! You can even take the Centennial Trail and head towards the infamous Evil Knievel Jump Site. Regardless of your thoughts on this and what it may mean, it is still a pretty cool spot to experience Shoshone Falls.
Shoshone Falls is one of the easier waterfalls to see with very little needed in terms of walking or hiking. All of the overlooks are mostly accessible via paved walkways and a couple of them have short flights of steps allowing you to drop down and experience the falls with a different context.
Meanwhile away from Shoshone Falls, you have equally breathtaking panoramic views of the Snake River canyon back towards the site of the Perrine Bridge and downtown Twin Falls. Plus on the scenic drive down to the parking lot where you can access all of the overlooks, there are a couple of waterfalls (including the one below) that may intrigue you to try and pull over on the side of the road to capture a shot!
Evil Knievel Jump Site
So how daring are you? If you an avid base jumper or perhaps someone who is inclined to try some death-defying stunts, Shoshone Falls in Idaho is definitely the place for you. It is a popular location along with the Perrine Bridge for base jumpers and extreme athletes who love the thrill of throwing themselves off a cliff into the unknown.
This is a little too adventurous for both myself and Heather (I am speaking for her here but she may claim that she would do it…that is until it comes to actually jumping!) but I can imagine it would be incredibly cool to watch people doing this and experiencing the ultimate thrill of a lifetime.
It may be a fair stretch to compare any waterfall around the world to Niagara Falls, but when you have the reputation of being renowned as the ‘Niagara of the West’, Shoshone Falls in Idaho is one that certainly lives up to its name.
For only $3, this is a real bargain if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Twin Falls, Idaho but will this attraction alone be sufficient to attract you to this part of the Gem State? I am not sure but I am delighted that we were passing through and had the opportunity to add this waterfall to our list of breathtaking natural landmarks around the world!