Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway begins where the Teton Scenic Byway reaches it northern end in Ashton, at the junction of US 20 and Idaho 47. From there, the route travels through the town of Warm River toward its main attractions: the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls.

The Mesa Falls are the only major falls in Idaho not used for irrigation or hydroelectric projects, and as such maintain a look and feel of nature undisturbed. At 110 feet and 85 feet, respectively, the Upper and Lower Mesa falls offer equally spectacular views in a beautiful forest setting. Both falls can be viewed in full, with the area surrounding the upper waterfall enhanced with paths and viewing areas that make it easily accessible to all. Though only about an hour’s driving time, the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is often a half-day’s journey, with travelers mesmerized by the spectacular display in the midst of a truly backcountry setting. In addition, the historic Mesa Falls Lodge has been restored to its original splendor and is now open seasonally for visitor information.

This scenic byway begins at the southern end of Idaho 47 in Ashton, northeast 12.4 miles to the old Bear Gulch Ski Area site, then northwest along Forest Service Route 294 to the northern end at US 20. Idaho 47 is a two-lane road. Forest Service Route 294 is closed in winter and becomes a Forest Service snowmobile route. If you have a snowmobile or cross-country skis, winter is the time to see the byway; if you don’t, there is no access. Spring through fall is great by car. Travelers should allow at least 1 hour for the 28.7-mile trip.

Reprinted from Idaho Department of Transportation Brochure

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