Waterfalls in Section 5
At the city of Twin Falls, take Falls Avenue east 2 miles to the Shoshone Falls Park junction; turn at this junction and drive 2 more miles to reach the cataract.
Situated at an elevation of 3,200 feet in the Snake River Canyon East, Shoshone Falls is recognized as the most famous waterfall in Idaho. In addition, Shoshone Falls’ large watershed and magnitude have placed the cataract in first place for the top ten waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. With a width of more than 1,000 feet and a 212-foot descent, Shoshone Falls provides visitors with picture-worthy scenery and a bit of Native American history. During pioneer times, the Shoshoni Indian Quish-in-demi related the following story to J.S. Harrington regarding the cataract’s tragic past. This tale is taken from the 1937 Federal Writers’ Project publication of Idaho: A Guide in Words and Pictures:
Visitors should be advised that spring offers the best views of the cataract before summer crop irrigation consumes much of the Snake River.
Twin Falls is situated at an elevation of 3,400 feet along the basaltic-layered rocks of the Snake River Canyon East. Descending in segments as the Snake River divides, only one portion of this cataract is allowed to fall. While a dam blocks the larger section of Twin Falls, the smaller segment still descends. During the early spring months, this segment plunges 125 feet with a large watershed. By summer, however, the flow is significantly reduced as a dam upstream draws water off the river for crop irrigation.
Bridal Veil Falls
The springs of Dierkes Lake feed the 25 to 40 foot plunge of Bridal Veil Falls in the Snake River Canyon East. Situated at an elevation of 3,200 feet, Bridal Veil Falls offers visitors easy access in the same vicinity as other reputable Idaho waterfalls.
Perrine Coulee Falls
Perrine Coulee Falls loses contact with its bedrock surface as it plunges 197 awe-inspiring feet in the Snake River Canyon West. Situated at an elevation of 3,500 feet, this cataract is fed by agricultural activities in the area and provides visitors with easy vehicle access.
Occurring along the Snake River, Auger Falls drops 25 to 50 feet over a rocky surface. Although the north rim of Snake River Canyon West used to provide outstanding vistas, public views are decreasing as more housing developments arise in the area.
Upper Salmon Falls
Upper Salmon Falls divides into four segments along the Snake River as each section drops 15 to 25 feet. At an elevation of 2,880 feet, Upper Salmon Falls is easily accessible. For an up-close vantage, park at the road’s east end and follow an unmarked footbridge across the Snake River to a small island. Continue down the cement path to the falls. Visitors are urged to use caution while viewing the falls as Idaho Power may at times flood the walkways with no liability for any accidents.
Lower Salmon Falls
Lower Salmon Falls is easily accessible and viewable for visitors of all ages. Descending as a wide band from a section of the Snake River, the cataract plunges 10 to 15 feet with a large watershed.
Falls of Thousand Springs
Falling in multiple threads as the Snake River diverges, Falls of Thousand Springs includes eight major cataracts and several smaller waterfalls descending in ranges from 40 to 100 feet. Located next to a one-mile stretch of the Snake River Canyon’s north edge, the springs significantly increase the river’s volume.
Falls of Banbury Springs
The Falls of Banbury Springs is located in the same general vicinity of Falls of Thousand Springs. However, gazing across the Snake River at the Falls of Thousand Springs access point provides limited views of this cataract’s 30 to 80 foot descent. For up-close views, proceed to Banbury Hot Springs Resort.
Devils Washboard Falls
Devils Washboard Falls is located near the Clear Lakes Trout Company, one of the world’s largest trout farms. The cataract’s spring-fed 15 to 30 foot plummet is impressive at times, but visitors should be warned that a nearby power company occasionally diverts some of the waterfall’s flow from Clear Lakes.
Descending at an elevation of 3,200 feet, Pillar Falls drops along the Snake River amid 30 to 70 foot basaltic rock towers. With 10 to 20 feet cascades, this cataract’s location is famous for Evel Knievel’s 1970’s attempt to jump the Snake River canyon on a rocket-cycle. After parking, hike 0.3 mile through abandoned dump areas to the Snake River Canyon ledge. Caution is advised in this area as the canyon rim occurs suddenly and is unfenced. Sightseers will find Pillar Falls descending directly below and a distant view of Shoshone Falls upstream.
The following Idaho waterfalls are also located in this section with limited directions/access available:
Little Drops Falls and Big Drops Falls
Sinking Canyon Falls
Ross Falls and Phantom Falls