Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls Idaho is known as “the Niagara of the West.” Or, at least, that’s what the guidebooks and websites and an on-site sign call it. Now, I’ve never been to “the Niagara of the East,” so I can’t compare, but I can say that this giant waterfall was a highlight of my Idaho road trip (alongside the cowboy muffler man and Craters of the Moon) and should be added to any itinerary that brings you through the state.
Shoshone Falls is an impressive waterfall that is located on the Snake River in Twin Falls. The southern Idaho waterfall reaches 212 feet (65 m) high, which is actually 45 feet higher than the famed Niagara Falls in New York State. At 900 feet wide, it’s also one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States
The water flows over a rim nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) wide and can be a glorious, breathtaking site…or a massive disappointment, depending on weather conditions and what time of year you arrive. How flowy the flow is dependent on many things, but especially the amount of snowfall in the area each winter. The more snowfall the region receives in winter, the more massive in flow the waterfall will produce
In the spring and early summer you can find high flows and a spectacular water show when the falls can reach more than 20,000 cubic feet per second (though the typical amount is between 10,000 and 12,000 CFS).
In the winter the flow is diminished, and it’s possible for you not to find any water in the waterfall, but, even so, the vantage point still allows a spectacular view over the region.
If you’re taking a road trip to or from Boise to eat a famous ice cream potato or stay in a potato-shaped AirBNB, this stop offers a gorgeous landscape, recreational facilities, playgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, and more.
Shoshone Falls Park: the Niagara of the West
Location: 4155 Shoshone Falls Grade, Twin Falls, ID 83301
Cost: $5.00 per car (March 1 – September 30) Season passes, coupon books, and bus rates are available.
Hours: Dawn to dusk, year round (except when road conditions are poor)