Shoshone Falls Idaho Trip

The Shoshone Falls are the biggest waterfalls of western United States. Called “the Niagara Falls of the West,” at 212 feet, these falls are actually higher than the Niagara Falls themselves.

Located at just approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of the city of Twin Falls, these waterfalls are the most epic point to visit on the Snake River.

The Snake River (highlighted in yellow) is the major river that runs through the State of Idaho. It starts in Yellowstone and Teton National Parks, in Wyoming, and crosses through Idaho and then borders north along Idaho and Oregon. The river flows into the Columbia River (highlighted in blue) in Washington, which ends on the Pacific Ocean.

The Shoshone Falls are the best natural beauty of the Snake River. The way the rocks are carved and how the water flows over them in several layers, makes for one of the most artistic and gorgeous waterfall settings in North America.

Accessibility and Cheap Admission Fees

Along with the amazing sights there are also parks for eating and recreation and handicap accessible as well.

The Shoshone Falls Park admission is only $3.00 per car (subject to change). It is not a State Park, it is a City of Twin Falls Park and they charge the fee.

Therefore, if you are an Idahoan and paid for the general State Park fee for the year and have the $5 waiver, that won’t work for this park. The $3 is the City Fee, not State Fee. Either way it is still amazingly cheap!

In the summer, the park is full of picnic tables under lush trees and green grass.

Here is a video of our family when we visited last August. We didn’t have much experience with the drone at the end, plus at times it was a little too windy:

The Shoshone Falls are very easily accessible throughout the year, including the freezing winters.

Hiking Trails and Dogs

The rustic trails are perfect for wild hikes, but dogs are required to be leashed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and waterfronts.

Marmots

The little critter that abounds in the area is the Marmot. You will see them in the grassy fields, on top of high rocks watching everything, and running to their burrows.

They are 4 to 5 times bigger than a squirrel. People at first confuse them with a small beaver or a fox until they look at them better. They are cute little creatures indeed.

Parking

Parking can get difficult to find during summer. Some have even decided to park at Dierkes Lake, which has more parking space, and walk down to Shoshone Park. Others park in the back roads of the park as well.

Can you swim at Shoshone Falls?

At the entrance to Shoshone Falls, there is another entrance to Dierkes Lake to the right. If you want to see the waterfalls keep going on the main road to the left.

If you want to swim go to Dierkes Lake where there are some amazing rock cliffs to jump into the water for swimming in a place where the fish are friendly.

Dogs however are not allowed at Dierkes Lake, except one day a year that the city announces ahead of time.

As for the Shoshone Falls, no, you cannot swim in the Falls area for obvious reasons of danger.

The Shoshone Falls can dry out

There are certain times of the year in which the Falls can dry out and all you get to see are massive rocks and no water going over them.

That doesn’t happen every year, but beware, the water that feed these falls come from the snow-melts from the Teton Mountain ranges.

If during the winter there wasn’t enough snow, or during periods of drought, these massive water falls can dry out.

We went once on a very dry year in September and there wasn’t much to see. It was very disappointing.

I remember a couple got married and wanted to take pictures of the waterfall and it was a sorry looking idea… I felt sorry for that couple. It did not look nearly as majestic as other times.

October could also not be the best moment to see the waterfalls.

We once went at the end of November and by then the Autumn rains had started in the mountains and valleys. Once again, the waterfall was stunning as the ice was forming around it.

We have gone in February and it is also beautiful to see such spectacle in the snow.


But for the biggest show ever, the Shoshone Falls are best to be seen during the Spring and Summer.

If the winter was long and heavy with snow as it was in early 2017, rest assured that the falls will be torrential, and the mist can even get you soaked on the walkways even half a mile away.

Beware as well, some tourists have noted that at times the mist is so big around March that the Falls are impossible to look at.

Can I kayak to the Shoshone Falls?

Yes. Although it is for experts only.

It will take a 7 hour round trip in Kayak from Twin Falls to this area, and it would be best to go with someone that knows how to get you through Pillar Falls first, as these areas could be dangerous.

Also, they would let you know what distance would be safe for you to watch the Shoshone Falls from.


For more information, check the Canoeing, Kayak, and Paddle rentals at Centennial Park, Twin Falls.

Can I use my drone to film?

Yes, but beware of the wind and mist… It is windy most of the time, sometimes too windy for flying drones in the area.

A time to Reconnect with Nature

However you decide to plan your visit, spending a day at Shoshone Falls will help one reconnect with nature and appreciate the wonders of Idaho.