Boasting epic scenery, one-of-a-kind natural wonders, and stunning wildlife, it’s no wonder why the region surrounding Twin Falls is known as the “Magic Valley.” From the thundering water of Shoshone Falls to the otherworldly views at Craters of the Moon National Monument, the opportunities for outdoors adventure are nearly endless, while history buffs will relish in the remarkable frontier past on display in this one-time pioneer town. Bring an adventurous spirit, but don’t forget your camera on a visit to this crown jewel of the Gem State.
Billed as the “Niagara of the West,” the 212ft Shoshone Falls are even taller than their famed cousin back east. No trip to Twin Falls is complete without experiencing the spectacular sight up close and personal and the best place is to start is at scenic overlook that extends from the opposing cliff face. There are also hiking trails and a swimming area, so you can easily spend an afternoon experiencing everything the falls have to offer. The town’s Visitor Center, nestled on the edge of Snake River Canyon, is also a great place to learn about the history of the area’s landmarks, especially the historic Perrine Stagecoach, which ferried 19th-century passengers from a downtown hotel as far as northern Nevada.
Ride the Snake
The 500-foot-tall canyon walls of the Snake River provide a truly majestic opportunity for paddlers looking for a unique perspective on the area’s natural wonders. Head upstream from Centennial Waterfront Park and you’ll quickly find yourself at the foot of both Pillar and Shoshone Falls. The four-hour trip is a summer must–do among locals. Nearby Dierkes Lake provides a calmer, more serene experience with plenty of room to swim, rock climb and picnic in a family-friendly environment. Luckily for anglers, both locations, as well as the town’s reservoir and smaller tributaries, provide world-class trout, salmon and bass fishing.
With stunning panoramic views of the falls and the iconic Perrine Bridge, the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail is a 10-mile trek along the edge of the awe-inspiring canyon that will astound even the most experienced hikers. It’s the best way to get the lay of the land, but hikes like Auger Falls Heritage Park and the Box Canyon Trail in Thousand Springs State Park reveal less well-known but equally beautiful landscapes. Keep an eye out for deer, moose, and golden eagles during your hikes. About two hours to the northeast, Craters of the Moon National Monument gives visitors the chance to see volcanic craters, caves and lava flows that have cooled into unique lunar-like landscapes. From the vents of the North Crater trail to the panoramic views of the Inferno Cone, there’s nowhere in the world quite like this surreal environment.
In 1974, the great Evel Knievel attempted to jump a mile-wide stretch of Snake Canyon in a rocket-powered motorcycle. Though he failed in the attempt, thrill-seekers have been testing their mettle against that of the famed daredevil ever since. These days, iconic Perrine Bridge is one of the few places in the country where you can legally tandem BASE jump year-round. Bungee jumps are also available, though on a limited basis only. After tempting fate, burn off your extra adrenaline with a hike behind the Perrine Coulee Falls. The well-maintained trail will keep you (mostly) dry and is just a quick outing from the downtown area.
For More Information
Twin Falls Visitor Center
Idaho Division of Tourism Development