Twin Falls, Idaho - located in southern Idaho is an absolute gem. Stunning scenery, beautiful waterfalls, scenic canyons and endless adventures will fill your time when visiting this beautiful area of Idaho. Perched along the edge of a canyon overlooking the Snake River, Twin Falls is the 7th largest city in Idaho and offers a plethora of outdoor activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, rock climbing, stunning waterfalls and even BASE jumping! Here is how to spend an amazing weekend exploring beautiful Twin Falls, Idaho.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Day 3 (if you have an extra day)
TWIN FALLS VISITOR CENTER
Start your time in Twin Falls by heading to the Twin Falls Visitor Center. Situated along the edge of the canyon overlooking the beautiful Snake River Canyon and Perrine Bridge, the Visitor Center is a great stop to spend a bit of time learning about the history of area - including how the current irrigation and agricultural rich area came to be, earning the area the name 'Magic Valley'. From the inside the views out over the canyon are stunning, but even better - spend some time outside the visitor center and soak in the natural beauty of the area - the views are simply jaw-dropping.
Spanning the Snake River, the Perrine Bridge is 1,500 feet long and sits 486 feet above the Snake River Canyon, offering some of the most iconic views found in the area. Looking out from the Twin Falls Visitor Center you able to see this bridge over the Snake River and in fact, the bridge itself is pedestrian friendly and you can walk across the bridge itself and enjoy more amazing views. Particularly interesting is the fact that the Perrine Bridge is of the few places in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed year round without a permit. When we visited the bridge, the amount of BASE jumpers was impressive! There was a continuous stream of BASE jumpers to watch - and wow - what a sight! Leaping from the bridge down to the canyon floor below was such a cool experience to watch! I'm not sure that I'd ever have the courage to do such a thing - but our 3 year old son was asking when it was his turn to BASE jump! Welp! Maybe in a few years buddy - not quite yet!
SNAKE RIVER CANYON TRAIL
Offering more than 10 miles of developed trails thru Twin Falls, this trail follows along the Snake River Canyon rim and offers more spectacular views of the area. Access to the trail can be found in numerous locations throughout Twin Falls, but one of the most convenient access points was found right at the Twin Falls Visitor Center. We spent a bit of time walking the trail from the Visitor Center access and loved this wonderful trail! Biking this trail would also be great! Maybe next time we visit Twin Falls, we'll bring our bike with us!
TWIN FALLS DOWNTOWN COMMONS
For those traveling with kids - spend some time exploring downtown Twin Falls - particularly the Downtown Commons area. This open spaced plaza is used to host different community events and also has a water splash park which was a welcome break for our son after a long day of exploring. After a delicious dinner at Milner's Gate an Idaho Craft Brewery - which we highly recommend - we finished our evening at the Downtown Commons letting our son run and play in the water splash park. A perfect end to a fun day of exploring in Twin Falls, Idaho!
Known as the 'Niagara Falls of the West', Shoshone Falls is an absolute must see when visiting the Twin Falls area. Up until recently, I had never heard of this magnificent sight but upon seeing a picture of Shoshone Falls, I knew this was a place that we had to visit and boy was it worth it! The entrance fee to visit Shoshone Falls Park is only $5, and at 212 feet tall and 900 feet wide, this is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States and is an absolutely stunning sight! Wander around the numerous observation points and just soak up the outstanding views - visiting Shoshone Falls was a definite highlight of our time in Twin Falls!
Located just up the road from Shoshone Falls Park, Dierkes Lake Park is included with the $5 admission that was paid to enter Shoshone Falls Park. So out of curiosity, we stopped by Dierkes Lake to check it out. Wandering thru we found a nice looking swimming area along the lake that I hear is quite popular in the summer months (we were visiting in September after Labor Day so the crowds were gone). In addition, we learned that Dierkes Lake is actually a popular scuba diving area with a scuba park that includes items such as sunken rowboats, metal sharks and even a treasure chest! For us, our favorite part was the playground - our 3 year old son had a blast playing at the playground for a bit before we continued onto our next stop of the day.
PERRINE COULEE FALLS
Twin Falls is also known as the 'City of Waterfalls' and it doesn't disappoint! While Shoshone Falls was absolutely stunning - Perrine Coulee Falls provided a unique experience where we could actually walk behind the waterfall! How cool is that! The 200 foot waterfall can be viewed in two different ways - from above by walking along the Canyon Crest Walkway or from the base which is the method I would recommend. Parking along a roadside pullout, we made our way to the path that leads behind the base of the waterfall - feeling the spray of the waterfall and the sound of the plunging waters makes for a truly memorable experience when visiting Perrine Coulee Falls! Our son still to this day talks about the waterfall that we walked behind!
KAYAK THE SNAKE RIVER
Centennial Waterfront Park is the primary access in Twin Falls to recreational activities along the Snake River. In addition to the park being a great place to come have a picnic and enjoy the sensational views, Centennial Waterfront Park offers an opportunity to spend some time paddle-boarding or kayaking along the Snake River. A couple companies operate out of the park during the summer months and we were able to set up a 4 hour kayak rental with AWOL (A Way of Life Adventure Sports). From Centennial Waterfront Park, it is a short quick paddle until you pass under the Perrine Bridge - stop and watch the BASE jumpers as you're passing - what a cool sight! Continuing on, keep paddling along the calm waters of the Snake River until you reach Pillar Falls - paddling to Pillar Falls will provide you with a four mile roundtrip paddle and is perfect for a relaxing afternoon along the river. For those with more time, you can continue another two miles until you reach the base of Shoshone Falls. Upon reaching Pillar Falls, you can dock your kayak and get out and explore the area. Pillar Falls is actually named for the 'pillar' like rock formations that cross the river in this area and the 'falls' themselves are actually only the small 5 foot rapids that spill over the shelf edge near the 'pillars'. For us, the falls were running quite low (we visited in September) but we really enjoyed scrambling along the rock features and small pools in this unique area.
Day 3 (if you have an extra day)
HAGERMAN FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
For those that have an extra day in the Twin Falls area, head about 45 minutes north to Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. Home to a fossil rich area dating back to prehistoric times, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is known for it's variety of fossils including saber-toothed cats, mastodons and the Hagerman Horse fossils for which the area is named. The area contains the largest concentration of Hagerman Horse fossils found anywhere in North America. When visiting this Monument, visitors can explore the Visitor Center or drive to a couple different overlooks that provide views of the quarries where the fossils have been found. Click Here to read my full blog on visiting Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.
Interested in planning your own trip to Twin Falls, Idaho? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!
Day 1: Start day at Twin Falls Visitor Center, walk the Snake River Canyon Trail - (starts at Visitor Center, walk short amount - views of the Perrine Bridge), Downtown Commons (fountains to swim/play in), eat dinner at Milner's Gate.
Day 2: Explore Twin Falls: Shoshone Falls ($5), Perrine Coulee Falls, Centennial Waterfront Park (kayak from here to Pillar Falls under the Perrine Bridge), AWOL Adventure Kayak Rental (1pm - 5pm, located in Centennial Waterfront Park). Idaho Joes for Dinner
*For another wonderful day trip in the greater Twin Falls area - spend a day visiting Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. CLICK HERE to read more.