South Central Idaho geography is the result of huge prehistoric cataclysmic forces resulting in the breathtaking Snake River Canyon. For 67 miles, the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway provides a glimpse into this remarkable geology, history, and a nostalgic rural lifestyle.
The byway begins on US-30 just after leaving I-84 at Bliss. Quickly the byway drops into the huge Snake River Canyon, providing a grand entrance and vista to the country ahead. As the byway meanders south, the visitor discovers “melon” boulders, Hagerman horses, the Devil’s Washbowl, wind farms, country towns, historic places, fish hatcheries, and wildlife habitats, and the recreation of your choice.
Just south of Hagerman, Thousand Springs is clearly visible from the byway. The vast Snake River Plain Aquifer flows 1,308 miles beneath volcanic rock from the City of St. Anthony to the Snake River before reaching the Thousand Springs cliffs. The aquifer might be as much as 9,000 feet thick, with the bulk of the water in the top 2,000 feet. This pure, clean oxygenated water maintains a constant temperature of 58 degrees F., ideal conditions for growing trout. The hatcheries located along the 30-mile stretch of the Snake River in the Hagerman Valley raise bout 70 percent of the trout produced in the United States. Boat tours and dinner cruises available in the Hagerman area allow visitors to get up-close and personal with some of the Thousand Springs along this beautiful stretch of the Snake River.
Travel on and you will enjoy tree-lined streets of Buhl, and Filer…home to small town delights and festivals such as the Trout Festival in Buhl and Idaho’s largest county fair in Filer, both in September. In Twin Falls visit Historic Downtown Twin Falls…home to unique shops and galleries. The City Park is the site of the historic band shell and home of one of the country’s longest playing city bands. Take a side trip to Shoshone Falls; the falls tumble 212 feet to the mighty Snake River below. They are best viewed in the early spring of high run-off years before the water is put to work irrigating the area’s fertile farmland. The Centennial Trail that starts at Shoshone Falls Park will take you to the Evel Knievel jumpsite and provide you with breathtaking panoramic view of the area.
In the fall, travel to the South Hills via Hansen and Kimberly for spectacular fall foliage and trails for cycling, horseback riding and hiking. This area is also home to some of the best winter recreation in the region.