From Moab, UT to Twin Falls, ID

Twin Falls, ID

We left the rocks of Moab, UT Monday morning and headed toward Salt Lake City.  As we drove north the rocks of Moab gave way to the snow covered peaks of the Manti-La Sal National Forest north of Price, UT.

Good-by rocks . . .

. . . hello mountains

Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City

We drove about 250 miles that day and spent a nice, quiet night parked in the new Cabela’s in Farmington, north of Salt Lake City.  The new Station Park shopping area right across the street has a variety of restaurants and a one of those nice chain coffee shops from Seattle!

It rained that night so the next morning we had to wait a few hours for the roads to dry.  But with that coffee shop nearby we had no difficulty with the delay.  Then, it was off to Idaho!

We had a reservation for two nights at 93 RV Park just west of Twin Falls.  We’ve never been to Twin Falls and wanted a day to explore the town.  Twin Falls is located on the southern side of the Snake River Canyon and appeared to have some interesting things to see.  Our first stop the next morning was at the visitor center located along the canyon on US-93 as you enter the city.

93 RV Park

From the visitor center you get a great view of the Perrine Memorial Bridge, a four lane truss bridge 1,500 feet long and 486 feet over the Snake River.

“The Twins” sculpture in Twin Falls

While at the visitor center we came upon a group of people wrapping parachutes on the small lawn next to a bridge view overlook.  It turns out that this bridge is the only man-made structure in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed year-round without a permit.  BASE jumping is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff. “BASE” is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna, span, and Earth (cliff).

We observed two different “styles” used in dealing with a parachute.  One is to fold it up in a pack, like the jumpers in the photos above, then free fall briefly before pulling a cord to release the chute.  The other is to hang an open chute over the railing and allow it to fill with air, then jump.  We couldn’t decide which method we should use so we just watched for a while.

Wide landing area along the river

After watching numerous jumps off the bridge, we drove about five miles to the east for a visit to the major tourist attraction in Twin Falls, Shoshone Falls.

Sometimes called the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is 212 feet high, 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls, and flows over a rim nearly 1,000 feet wide.

While at the observation area for the falls, we overheard someone say that the river was at its highest level since 1997, which made for a spectacular scene.  In drier years, especially at the end of the summer, the flow of water is so small that all of it goes into the adjacent power plant and the “scenic” section is virtually dry.  Below is a photo we found from a drier time.  Compare it to the photo above.

Image result for shoshone falls 2016 vs 2017

There is a paved two mile biking/walking trail that leaves from the parking area near the falls that winds its way steeply up to the top of the cliff.  As you reach the top of the cliff you can see a large mound of dirt about a quarter of a mile to the west.  This mound is the remains of a stunt attempted by daredevil Evil Knievel.

Approaching Knievel’s ramp on the bike path

In September of 1974, Knievel attempted to jump over the canyon on a rocket-powered motorcycle.  Knievel and his team leased land on both sides of the Snake River and built a large earthen ramp and launch structure.  A crowd of 30,000 gathered to watch Knievel’s jump, which failed because his parachute opened too early, causing him to float down towards the river.  Knievel likely would have drowned were it not for canyon winds that blew him to the river bank.  He survived with only a broken nose.  

The ramp today (John is on the top)

Image result for evel knievel snake river canyon jump

The takeoff

The view across the canyon from the top of the ramp

We returned back down the path to the Jeep and drove about three miles further east to visit the actual Twin Falls.  The falls no longer has a twin as the southern portion was closed off to accommodate a power plant.

Another “falls” was in the center of this photo before the power plant was constructed

There was one more set of falls to visit in the area.  To get to a spot where we could view the Pillar Falls, we drove back into the city, crossed the Perrine Bridge, and made a right turn on to Shoshone Falls Road.  After two miles we turned off the road on to a dirt trail that leads to the north edge of the Snake River Canyon.

A high clearance vehicle is needed for this short path

We were a bit underwhelmed with the Pillar Falls.  Maybe it should be called the Pillar Rapids!

From the Pillar Falls viewpoint we had a great view of both the Shoshone Falls and the Knievel mound to our east.

We only spent one day in Twin Falls but really enjoyed the scenic spots along the Snake River.  Now it’s time to continue our journey to the west.  Next up is a stay in Caldwell for a visit to nearby Boise, ID.

More on that later . . .

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37 Responses to From Moab, UT to Twin Falls, ID

  1. Sue says:

    Once again great pictures of a pretty interesting place. Safe travels!

  2. You guys are a couple days ahead of us. We will drive through Twin Falls tomorrow–no stopping for this bus, the horse is going to the barn!

    • placestheygo says:

      Haha! Too bad you can’t hold that horse back a little, but I understand the desire to just get the journey over. That’s how I felt when we left Florida to return west…just get me there!

  3. Laurel says:

    Finally, a couple of things NOT on my must-do list: 1) jumping off a bridge with a parachute, 2) traversing a canyon on a rocket powered motorcycle. We enjoyed hiking along the rim of Shoshone Falls—it’s a beautiful spot. Hope you enjoy Boise—we loved it! Such fun biking trails, and excellent food. If you like paella, don’t miss the Basque Market in the Basque Blocks. Also delicious lunches at Bleubird Cafe downtown, not far from the beautiful capitol building. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      I must say those same two things aren’t on my list either! I wish we had had better weather for our Boise stay. Showers, wind, and cold limited out sightseeing. But I am glad we got try real paella at the Basque Market.

  4. Gerri & Mike says:

    I’m afraid BASE jumping would definitely not be my sport!!!
    Shoshone Falls is beautiful. Good you got to see it with so much water flowing!! Very pretty!!

  5. geogypsy2u says:

    Glad you’re not as crazy as Knievel and enjoyed the views with your feet on the ground.

  6. Jan Hogeveen says:

    Twin Falls is beautiful and yes did remind me of the Niagara Falls. Great pictures !

  7. pmbweaver says:

    What stunning photos of the mountains. We have never driven that route.
    Oh my gosh…you know me. I could barely look at the photos of the Perrine Memorial Bridge let alone watch those nuts jump off of it.
    I love the Shoshone Falls. A waterfalls always makes me feel so calm. How beautiful.
    Good grief, John. Don’t even think about attempting to run down that hill.

  8. exploRVistas says:

    I remember watching Evel attempt that jump on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. That was one crazy guy!

  9. Those BASE jumpers are nuts…but fun to watch! I love your views of Shoshone Falls, beautiful!

  10. aelkins1 says:

    “We couldn’t decide which method we should use so we just watched for a while.” — You crack me up. 🙂 Beautiful images of the various falls.

    I wonder why Knievel didn’t try again – not enough money for another rocket?

    I’ll echo another reviewer – LOVE Boise. We were just about to build a house there before we started RVing full-time instead.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed John’s humor. There is a lot of building going on here on the west side of Boise. I guess a lot of people are discovering the area.

  11. Sherry says:

    Gorgeous mountain pictures. What a wonderful drive. Pretty amazing bridge over the Snake River. Very interesting to see the foks jumping. Count me out. But that waterfall is spectacular. I’d definitely make a trip to Twin Falls just to see it. Your pictures are wonderful. The difference between low and high water is remarkable. Thanks for finding that photo. It’s a shame about the “twin”. Wonder what ever happened to Evel?

  12. Debbie L says:

    Just when I think your pictures and posts can get any better, you pull out another amazing post! WOW, these photos are so amazing….love the good bye rocks and hello mountains!
    About that base jumping….not sure we could watch it! YIKES! Crazy….just like Evil!!!

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  14. colibabas says:

    What a beautiful area. We’ve always blasted through Twin Falls heading back to Canada. Next time we’ll stop. Thanks for the tour!

  15. Jodee Gravel says:

    Loved your wrap up of Moab, I never tire of all the beautiful red rock and you saw such beautiful areas in your hikes! Glad to see the falls full in Idaho as well. Your pics of Shosone are stunning. Now the BASE jumpers……I had to hold one on to my chair while looking at those!! How long do you have to run your generator when you make an overnight at Cabela’s?

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Jodee! We never tire of looking at the red rocks and the snow capped mountains either. It was a little crazy watching those people jump off the bridge.

  16. Jeff Pierce says:

    We’ve reserved a spot in Twin Falls for the Great American Eclipse. Your post could be used by the Chamber of Commerce as a visitor guide. Thanks for the highlites!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks so much, Jeff! Hope there is still some water flowing in August. They say the falls can be dry by Sept, but with all the water this year, maybe there will be a small one.

  17. LuAnn says:

    So much to explore in Idaho. We stayed in northern Idaho with friends a couple of years ago but the fires in the area kept us from spending more time there. It looks like a return trip may be in order. Beautiful country!

  18. Gay says:

    Twin Falls is very pretty. Love the rainbow! We often see BASE jumpers on Kane Creek Road…not for me either!

  19. Twin Falls would have been one of our stop this year but not anymore 😦 Thankfully your photos and explorations will do just fine especially that I don’t have any interest in BASE jumping 🙂

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