Located in southern Idaho’s Snake river northeast of Twin Falls, Shoshone Falls is a beautiful waterfall and must-see attraction and is famously known as the “Niagara Of The West.” This spectacular waterfall is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the whole of the United States of America.
The Shoshone waterfalls look beautiful all year round and definitely, cannot be missed during a road trip to Idaho. Besides this beautiful waterfall, Twin Falls is full of outdoor adventures, amazing cuisine, and breweries. The Snake River canyon is famous for kayaking and boating, and the city of Twin Falls has many things to offer tourists.
Formation Of Shoshone Falls
The Shoshone Falls is 900 feet in breadth and 212 feet in height. Twin Falls has fewer than 50,000 inhabitants, and Shoshone Waterfalls is almost 7 miles from the city. The beautiful waterfall was created in the Pleistocene Ice Age during the Bonneville Flood 15,000 years ago.
During the Bonneville Flood, the Snake River Canyon was engraved by the water of the Great Basin. Several regional waterfalls were formed during this process, including the Shoshone Falls.
The Flow Of The Shoshone Waterfalls
Most of the water of Shoshone Waterfalls is received from the snowmelt of Idaho’s Rocky Mountains, Wyoming mountains, and the Snake River Canyon’s springs. The water flow of the Shoshone Waterfalls depends on various conditions. The quantity of snowfall this place receives every year affects the water flow of Shoshone Waterfalls.
When the region receives very heavy snowfall, the water flow of Shoshone can reach up to 20,000 cubic feet per second. The Shoshone Falls looks breathtaking during Spring when the snow starts melting. During summers, some portion of the river is sidetracked for irrigation. Therefore, the flow of the waterfall gets reduced.
The Snake River is a savior of the region. However, during autumn, the flow of Shoshone Falls looks almost dry. During this time, the water from the Snake River is used to revive the reservoir system of the falls.
The region’s economy largely depends on the river used for irrigation. The irrigation water serves farmland of more than 500,000 acres of land, and the crops’ worth is 62,000,000 US dollars per annum.
How To Reach Shoshone Waterfalls
Driving by road is the easiest way to visit Shoshone Waterfalls. From Boise, it takes a drive of 2 hours, whereas, from Salt Lake City, it takes a 3-hour long drive.
It would be best if you take Twin Falls City’s Champlin Road and then change to Shoshone Waterfalls Grade.
Interesting Facts About Shoshone Falls
Below are some interesting and fun facts about Shoshone Falls that many people do not know about.
- The Shoshone waterfall is named after Lemhi Shoshone. Lemhi Shoshone is a particular tribe of Northern Shoshone that lived in this region thousands of years ago. Due to the Snake River’s salmon migration, it served as an important food and trading center for the native tribe. The tribe was popularly named Salmon eaters or Akaitik.
- The Shoshone Waterfalls drift over a trachyte lava flow in the Snake River Plain that is 6 million years old and is one of the oldest geographical areas on the earth.
- The Shoshone Waterfalls have been a popular attraction for quite a long time. The Europeans discovered the waterfall during the 1840s, and although it was located in an isolated location, it already became a famous tourist attraction from the initial days of 1840.
- Throughout the 12 months, Milner Dam regulates and controls the water flow 20 miles upriver from the Shoshone Waterfalls. A maximum of the water is used for irrigation purposes. The Idaho Dam contains the water level in the Snake River Basin and is maintained by the United States Bureau of Reclamation.
Best Time To Visit Shoshone Waterfalls
The Shoshone Waterfalls State Park offers plenty of fun and exciting outdoor activities. You can visit the Shoshone Waterfalls all year round. The only difference you can find in various seasons is the water level.
To experience the Shoshone Waterfalls in full potency, the best time to visit the region is during late Spring, which is from April to June. During the summer, the Snake River is diverted by the Idaho Hydroelectric Power Company for irrigation, and the water levels of the fall decrease to half, without compromising on the beautiful scenic view.
During winter, the place receives less number of tourists, which is an ideal time to visit if you want to admire the beauty is solitude. Also, during the winter months, the frozen Shoshone Falls look spectacular. However, during the autumn and late summer seasons, the water levels of the waterfall are the lowest.
Fun Things To Do Near Shoshone Falls
Besides experiencing the beauty of the mighty Shoshone Falls, there are several things to do in the region. Below are some popular touristy things you can do while visiting the Shoshone Falls.
If you are taking a day trip to Shoshone Waterfalls, going for a hike is a great activity to experience the beauty of the Snake River Canyon and the waterfalls. The hiking trails originate from the Dierkes Lake Park and Centennial Parks.
A 12-mile-long hiking trail, the Canyon Rim Trail originates from the western part of Twin Falls to Shoshone Waterfalls and gives spectacular town views. One of the most famous and easiest trails is the Shoshone Waterfalls Observation Deck Trail.
However, although the trails are easy, the path is rocky, uneven, and damp due to the increase in water levels during the late spring season. Always remember to wear good and waterproof shoes during the trail. You can also take your loving pet dog to the Shoshone Waterfalls, as the region is pet friendly.
Although you cannot swim in Shoshone Waterfalls, you can go for a fun and daring kayaking at the Snake River for almost 2-3 hours. The AWOL Adventure Sports in the Centennial Waterfront Park arranges kayak rentals.
However, you can only go kayaking if the weather permits and the water level of the falls are normal. During kayaking, you can halt by Pillar Falls, witness the base jumpers, appreciate the grand Canyon, or get underneath the bridge of Perrine.
At Shoshone Falls Park, numerous green landscapes have great facilities to enjoy a relaxing picnic with your friends and families. There are benches for picnics, barbeque areas, and shady places in Shoshone Waterfalls Park and Dierkes Lake Park.
4. Witness Other Waterfalls
If you are a waterfall lover, there are numerous beautiful waterfalls in the region. With hiking, you can access the waterfalls and get some fantastic views of the waterfalls created by the upper Rockies and Snake river.
5. Exploring Twin Falls
You can either admire the breathtaking views of the Perrine Bridge at Twin Falls or visit the historical Herrett Center. In addition, you can also experience base jumping at the Perrine Bridge. Also, you can take a walk in the historic city of Twin Falls and learn about the city’s rich history and culture. Moreover, you can also sit by the Snake River Canyon and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.
6. Check The Dierkes Lake
Dierkes Lake is located a mile from the Shoshone Waterfalls, sharing a common entrance with the Shoshone Waterfalls Park. Tourists much love Dierkes Lake, and the area is surrounded by greenery. In addition, you can also go boating during the summer season.
7. Bonus: Check Shoshone Falls From The Best Spot
There are two main decks to get the best view of this spectacular waterfall. The first viewpoint is the most visited one and is along the entrance of the Shoshone Falls Parks. To reach the observation point deck, you must climb stairs. You can experience a bird’s view of the Shoshone Waterfalls, which looks fantastic.
The second observation point is a little ahead and gives a closer panoramic view of the waterfalls. If you are adventurous, you can experience trekking trails or kayaking.
Visit the magnificent Shoshone Falls and witness the waterfall’s natural beauty. If you plan to visit in May, you will see the light and sound show at the falls from 9 pm to 11.30 pm. The waterfall looks magical and colorful, thus giving you the experience of a lifetime.
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