Next stop on our journey was another unknown…Idaho… The only thing I knew about Idaho is that they are famous for Potatoes. While that was true (along with being a huge provider of other produce as well as dairy) we discovered just how beautiful and understated the state is. Keep in mind that we only really visited the Twin Falls area, but some locals told us that the terrain is very similar across all of southern Idaho, which is officially classified as high desert (I had assumed it would be mountainous…shows what I know).
First stop for us was the pride and joy of the Twin Falls area, Shoshone Falls. As we drove up to the canyon we were wondering how this impressive falls we had heard so much about could be out in the county among all the dairy farms and fields of crops, but then all of a sudden there was a massive chasm. We drove down into the chasm, and seemed to keep going down and down until finally there was a park. We found a parking spot and walked to the overlook where we were greeted with a wonderful aquatic display.
As you can see in the video, the water was running very hard and fast. Our friends who had been here a week early only saw about half this much, but luckily the week difference had really let the snow melt and that drastically impacted the amount of water coming over the falls. You can easily see why they refer to this as the “Niagara of the West”. It was way more impressive in person than the pictures and video can convey. I definately suggest checking this out if you are in the area.
Afterwards we drove up to the Perrine Bridge on the north edge of Twin Falls. We drove across from south to north and there was a pull off on the other side. We hopped out and took the short trail down to the scenic overlook underneath. What a view… The bridge itself is gorgeous, but the view of the Snake River running through the chasm is absolutely stunning. Here are a couple shots from the lookout…
That was all just the first day…crazy right? We spent a couple more days just enjoying our campground and the town of Twin Falls. We really did enjoy the area and the people. I remember talking multiple times about how it reminded me of home in Ohio (with the exception that it gets CRAZY cold in Idaho in the winter). It really has the small town midwestern feel to me.
Our next big exploration was to head out to Malad Gorge State Park. It was about 45 minutes west of where we were staying, but right off the highway…so it was a pretty easy drive. After entering the park, the first stop on the tour is what is called “The Devil’s Washbowl”. The washbowl was a narrow chute dropping into a 60ft waterfall runs right underneath the interstate. It’s hard to imaging all those people driving over such a crazy sight and not even knowing it’s there…
There were multiple other stops in the park with views of the gorge, power plant, man-made lake, and ending with another waterfall…this time into a huge gorge that was carved by the same river before the course changed. It was amazing to see how Mother Nature’s old projects still amaze when they are past their prime! You can see various views from the park in the video below and I included a couple stills below that.
After checking out the park, we drove into the town of Hagerman and lucked into the Hagerman Fossil Beds Visitor Center. The guy on staff was fabulous and we learned a ton about fossils discovered in the area. Then he gave us directions to the actual fossil beds, which we then drove to check out. There were no active digs going on so there wasn’t a ton to see, but we did also get to see the remnants of the Oregon Trail that also runs through that area. Pretty cool stuff. You can learn more about the Hagerman Fossil Beds here.
All told, we totally enjoyed our time in Idaho and are truly looking forward to coming back for some more exploring, but for now it’s off to Montana! Look for another post soon!