Twin Falls is a hugely popular jumping off point for excursions that let you soak up the region’s stunning natural landscape – and there are plenty of city-based highlights too.
Perched in southern Idaho, the city of Twin Falls is the perfect introduction to the awe-inspiring beauty of this unique corner of America. The opportunity for adventure here is simply endless, with natural wonders every which way you turn. And even in the city boundaries itself, there are plenty of great things to see and do. To help inspire you, here are 10 of the best.
Visit the ‘Niagara of the West’ at Shoshone Falls
At 212 feet tall and 900 foot wide, Shoshone Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States. It’s taller than Niagara Falls too. The falls plunge an incredible 200 feet into the pool below, framed by craggy canyon walls. There are a few different viewing points to enjoy the spectacle from, but the best is the constructed viewing platform that extends over the water. The falls are located in Shoshone Falls Park, which offers picnic areas, boat ramps, trails and swimming holes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even rent a stand-up paddleboard for a closer view of the waterfall.
4155 Shoshone Falls Grade
Zipline across the Snake River Canyon at Zip the Line
Strap up for an exhilarating ride and fly through the sky with Zip the Line, a unique ziplining experience in an iconic Twin Falls’ destination. Run by AWOL Adventure Sports, the four-line zip course charts the course of the Snake River below at around 45 mph, with spectacular views of waterfalls and canyon walls below. The final zip line is a whopping 1750 foot long – longer than the Perrine Bridge. Along the way and between the lines, instructors provide a fascinating insight into the history, geology and ecology of the landscape too. It’s located in Centennial Waterfront Park.
Canyon Springs Road
Experience high dining at Elevation 486
Elevation 486 has been a local institution for years – and now in-the-know travellers are getting in on the action too. The bistro is located on a scenic bend on the Snake River, with a terrace offering 180-degree views over the Snake River Canyon and the Perrine Bridge, all the way out to the Magic Valley region. While the views are the big draw, the food is excellent too. Expect hearty American fayre like Kobe Beef Meatloaf and BBQ Baby Back Ribs. There are innovative seasonal craft cocktails too, like the ‘Watermelon Crawl’, made with pearl cucumber vodka, jalapeños and watermelon Red Bull.
195 River Vista Place
Visit Idaho’s largest planetarium at Herrett Center for Arts and Science
The Faulkner Planetarium gives aspiring astronomers the chance to soar through the solar system. With 144 seats under a 50 -foot dome, featuring a state-of-the-art projection system, it’s the largest planetarium in Idaho. Outside of the planetarium, the Herrett Center for Arts and Science offers seven galleries packed full of fascinating exhibits on natural history, astronomy and art. Visitors can get a closer look at a complete mammoth skeleton, hundreds of fossils and artefacts from ancient cultures. They host regular events throughout the year too, including weekly solar viewings and nighttime telescope festivals.
314 Falls Avenue
Tee off in a canyon at Canyon Springs Golf Course
Widely regarded as one of the best-looking golf courses in the whole of Idaho, Canyon Springs Golf Course sits at the base of the towering Snake River Canyon. The 18-hole course features waterfalls and a winding river, with spectacular views from inside the canyon. It used to be part of the I.B. Perrine estate, owned by one of Idaho’s most famous farmers and businessmen. A local favourite for more than 45 years, it’s now become popular with holidaymakers keen to get a taste of the unique golf terrain. You’ve got a good chance of spotting some interesting wildlife here too.
199 Canyon Springs Road
Go for a dip in Dierkes Lake
Set in 191 acres, Dierkes lake is a popular swimming and fishing hole. It’s the perfect patch to head to on a sunny day, with a beach, picnic tables and surrounding nature trails to explore. Serious swimmers can scuba dive here too. Down in the depths, there are sunken rowboats, a swimming triangle, a metal shark cutout and a hidden treasure chest to explore. Over the next few years, more are being added to it too, to create a scuba diving park. Interestingly, until 1907 it was a ‘blind canyon’ – the lake came about by accident when irrigating the surrounding fields.
Falls Avenue 1 1/4 mile north of 3300 East
Watch the BASE jumpers at Perrine Bridge
As the most famous bridge in Idaho, Perrine Bridge is worth a trip in its own right. Stretching 993-foot wide, with a 486-foot plummet to the bottom of the Snake River canyon, it’s the fourth highest bridge in North America. But as well as being architecturally impressive, it’s also the only bridge in the U.S. where BASE jumping is legal year round without a permit. Head here at the weekends and you’ll find a group of adrenaline-pumped jumpers leaping from the east side of the bridge. The 48-storey drop is famous within the BASE community – fondly referred to as the Potato Bridge.
Picnic in the park at Rock Creek
It’s hard to believe that Rock Creek, one of the city’s prettiest parks used to be a landfill. It was once one of the city’s largest junkyards, right up until 1973 when the area underwent major development. Today the 12 acre space is filled with picnic pavilions, playgrounds, volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. The Old Towne Parkway Trail winds along the Canyon to downtown Twin Falls from Rock Creek Park and back again. For keen anglers, there’s plenty of fishing fun to be had, with regular stocks of rainbow trout and brown trout fingerlings, as well as beaver pounds to enhance the fish habitat. Then, there’s the professional 18-hole disc golf course too, which includes tee-boxes with elevated vantage points in the picturesque surroundings.
Take a hike around the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail
On the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail, you can get right up to the canyon’s edge. More than ten miles of trails follow the rim of the canyon, with all-encompassing views of the sheer drop canyon walls, waterfalls and pastures. The paths wind past the Magic Valley Mall, the Twin Falls Visitors Center and Perring Bridge. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the brilliant bird-watching opportunities, with hawks and other birds of prey paying regular visits to the canyon throughout the year. While it’s popular with hikers, anyone is welcome to visit, whether you’re on a bike or out for a stroll.
Washington Street North
Catch a movie at the Orpheum Theater
Twin Falls is a popular destination for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts, but those looking to uncover a little history and heritage won’t be disappointed either. Twin Falls Downtown Historic District covers 20 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bars, restaurants and shops sit behind historic facades that give a glimpse of what the streets used to be like here a century ago. But the pinnacle is the Orpheum Theater. The cinema was built in 1921 and has been refurbished to its former glory. Today, you can watch classic movies, comedy shows, theatre performances and festivals there throughout the year.
146 Main Avenue West