Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho is 212 feet high, some 40 feet higher than Niagara Falls. The shear beauty of the Falls and their are several side falls as well are worth the side trip about 5 miles east of Twin Falls, Hwy 93. Not as wide and as powerful as Niagara, but it does have its own charm and spray.
There is a park that you can enter to view the falls and picnic areas, restrooms, and a small tourist trap shop are located within the park. There are several lookouts to view the falls, Snake River, and the cliffs above as well as a trail within the park. Kept up as a State Park, admission is charged per car. The grounds are kept clean and worth stopping for a picnic lunch or just relaxing.
The Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho is the only manmade structure that allows you to jump off the bridge from a height of 486 feet to the Snake River below, without a permit. Of course, you better have some form of gear, parachute advised, that allows you to land safely or bye-bye. BASE jumpers refer to the bridge as the "Potato Bridge". While in Twin Falls, I witnessed 2 jumpers that walked from a parked car, onto the middle of the bridge, unfolded their gear and climbed up on top of the railing and jump off the bridge. Within 2 seconds and about 100 feet down the chutes opened and they floated, well almost sped to the river below. Not for me.
BASE jumping is a popular extreme sport, but not for everyone. The letters have a meaning in the word, BASE. B=building, A=antenna, S=span, and E=earth. So, the Perrine Bridge is a span and the time to get to the Snake River at the bottom, with a parachute, is about twelve seconds long. The beauty of the bridge, which was completed in 1974, is from the Visitors Center on the south-west side. The view is best near sunset.
Twin Falls, Idaho has the Snake River running through it, well it really is north of the city and not much after the Perrine Bridge to see for a while. The canyon walls that the river has carved through over the centuries has created a natural beauty of cliffs and river. At Sunset, this is a wonderous sight to behold with the glimmering water shining like gold from the setting sun. A great lookout spot is at the Visitors Center just before the Perrine Bridge.
The Snake River runs for over 1.000 miles with the source being inside Yellowstone National Park, over 200 miles to the northeast and merges with the Columbia River in the state of Washington on the Pacific Coast. Fishing, boating, golfing, hiking, and even BASE jumping are activities in the Twin Falls region of the Snake River.
The Shoshone Falls on the Snake River are a spectacular attraction, one you would think the city of Twin Falls would promote a little more, and for which they would provide better signage and directions. Nonetheless, it can be found without too much of a hassle, and we were impressed. The falls are, at 212 feet, actually taller than Niagara Falls. They are most awesome in the spring when fed by snow melt in the mountains. We were there in early June - a perfect time. I've read that later in the summer water is diverted for irrigation and to create hydroelectric power.
The overlooks, footpaths, and park facilities all make for a most enjoyable experience. There is a very nominal entry fee.
Built in 1976, according to Wikipedia, the I.B. Perinne bridge replaced what was once the highest bridge in the world--a steel cantilever toll road bridge. The current structure is a steel truss arch span that is 486 feet above the river and spans 1,500 feet. It is named after one of the founders of Twin Falls, and agricultural promoter in the area, I. B. Perinne. On both sides of the bridge are parking lots for those who want to stop and gaze at the amazing Snake River. My images were taken with my iPhone during a cloudy winter day, so believe me this river is really beautiful on a clear summer day.
Downtown Twin Falls is worth a visit. It is not very large and its main thoroughfares are not too pleasant for pedestrians, but it is large enough to provide services and interest, with some interesting buildings and some good places to eat as well as good-looking shops on a couple fairly pedestrian-friendly streets.
Just before the entrance to Shoshone Falls park there is an Elk farm. It was closed on the Sunday when I passed so am not sure if you can visit. There is an elk in an enclosure just on the last bend before the farm. Drive carefully here as there are people with cameras (me) and cars badly parked.
We made a short detour here to see the Shoshone Falls on the Snake river and didn't regret the visit, although the water level wasn't very high. These falls must be spectacular during the Spring runoff as they, are at over 64 metres, 10 metres higher than Niagara, but of course without the amplitude. Once on the viewing platform, a little further downstream can be seen a smaller fall, seemingly coming straight out of the hillside.
Cost is 3$ to enter the park with a vehicle inc. passengers.
Please vist VT member "guthriecolin"s pages on Shoshone Falls for a native American legend on these falls.
Shoshone Falls gained the nickname “Niagara of the West” by early settlers who thought it bared similarities to the eastern giant. The falls had a similar Block type formation and the all too familiar large volume.
In 1905 the Milner Dam was constructed and canals built from that point fed a growing irrigation project that saw the town grow into the “Magic Valley” for the fertility of its soil. Since that time the water level has been very sadly reduced by another dam just before its crest that is used for electricity production. In the heat of the summer the falls can dry up completely and leave only dry rhyolite cliffs.
The newest addition to the park is a trail which follows the canyon downstream from the falls and allows visitors to get other viewpoints of the falls.
Unwisely the town of Twin Falls has no signage pointing the directions to these excellent falls. I attempted to view them on my last trip and had no directions so I had to return and even then I had to buy a map to find the directions. Either way Shoshone Falls is the most well known in Idaho and is often nicknamed the “Niagara of the West.”
The falls are well known for their height at 212 feet (65 m) and tremendous volume which averages 10,000 cubic feet/s (283 cubic meters/s) and can reach up to 50,000 cfs (1502 cms) at flood stages. The comparison to Niagara seems to be fairly one sided except for in height. Shoshone Falls is 45 feet taller than Niagara but carries a smaller volume. The falls have a viewing platform that is only about 50 feet from the main parking lot and a trial that leads up the bank of the canyon for other vantage points.
Dramatic overlook into the gorge from the visitor center's parking lot. From "Road Trip USA" website: The one unique attraction of Twin Falls, the site of Evel Knievel’s aborted motorcycle jump, is a mile north of town on US-93, south of the I-84 freeway. There’s a large parking area and a visitor center at the south foot of the delicate Perrine Memorial Bridge, and it’s well worth stopping for, not only to see the remains of his launch pad (a triangular pile of dirt, on private property a mile or so east of the bridge) or the stone monument that calls him "Robert ‘Evel’ Knievel—Explorer, Motorcyclist, Daredevil." The views down into the 500-foot-deep gorge, the floor of which has been irrigated and filled with a bright green golf course, are also impressive, especially at sunset when the whole scene takes on an otherworldly glow.
This is one of the main waterfalls near the city of Twin Falls, which actually takes its name from another nearby waterfall, Twin Falls.
Much of the beautiful scenery near Twin Falls is along the Snake River. One of the primary sights to visit is the Perrine Bridge over the Snake River Gorge, just on the northern edge of town.
Get a great view and watch these daredevils leap off this bridge and parachute down to a little predetermined spot....way cool
Once you get through the new shopping district and head towards the older section of Twin Falls you will find some intact vintage storefronts that bring you back to another time.