Our Spring Break recommendations combine world-class sight-seeing opportunities with a dash of culture and a twist of adventure. Most of our tips fall on the Rest & Relaxation side of the scale … with some food and wine worked into the mix to enhance your pleasure and experience.
Visit Shoshone Falls and Caldron Linn – Snake River flows are plentiful this year because of deep snowpack in the mountains. The big flows are putting on quite a show at Caldron Linn, a 25-foot waterfall and big rapids near Murtaugh, and at 212-foot Shoshone Falls, known as the “Niagara of the West.” Weekends have been quite busy at Shoshone Falls Park, so you might try to schedule a mid-week visit. Caldron Linn is not nearly as busy, and you’ll need a 4WD high-clearance vehicle to reach the site, east of the little town of Murtaugh. See this new safety video from the BLM about Caldron Linn … the video footage of the big water flow is very recent.
Castle Rocks State Park/City of Rocks National Reserve are waking up to a beautiful spring. The deluxe way to stay there is to rent “The Lodge” at Castle Rocks Ranch, the Bunkhouse or one of the yurts. That will keep you warm and dry at night, and during the day, you can go sight-seeing in the park, hiking, bird-watching or rock-climbing. The Lodge is ideal for several couples traveling together or a family with multiple children. It has a full kitchen, several bedrooms and sitting rooms, and wifi and TV to keep the family entertained at night. Contact the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to rent the overnight facilities.
Sample Southern Idaho history and culture by visiting the Hagerman Museum, known as the “Biggest Little Museum in Idaho,” in the town of Hagerman. Here you can learn about the Hagerman Horse, see a replica of the animal that dates back to the Pleistocene era, and much more about the fossils discovered at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, located nearby. While you’re doing the museum tour, stop by the Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum in Jerome. Here, you can learn how southern Idaho was settled by pioneer farmers and ranchers, tough people who cleared fields of sagebrush, set up a huge array of irrigation canals to water the desert, and single-handedly transformed the region into the most productive agricultural land in the state of Idaho. Both museums are open on Fridays and weekends at this time of year. Click on the links to learn more.
Call ahead and reserve a private room at Miracle Hot Springs, Banbury Hot Springs or Thousand Springs Resort to ensure a little privacy with your honey while enjoying a soothing soak in natural geothermal water. All three hot springs are located along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway, between Hagerman and Buhl.
Speaking of the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway, we recommend stopping by the Ritter Island unit of Thousand Springs State Park, tour the Minnie Miller dairy barn, enjoy the springs flowing out of the Snake River basalt rims. If you’re so inclined, take a hike around the island next to the Snake River. Official tours don’t start on a regular basis until Memorial Day, so call ahead at 208-837-4505 to arrange for tour of the Minnie Miller dairy barn.
Go fishing, birding or play disc golf at Lake Walcott State Park. Located north of Rupert, the park has a spacious lawn that’s great for walking, 18 holes of disc golf and there’s bird-watching nearby at Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge. White pelicans nest along the shoreline of the lake, so that’s one of the birds you’ll want to see when you visit. Bring your binoculars.
For the 7th and final tip, we recommend going to the Faulkner Planetarium called “Eclipse: The Sun Revealed.” The program features other solar eclipses from the past, what makes them happen, and tips on viewing the eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. There’s still room in our special trip with an astronomer to see the full eclipse. Here’s how to sign up.
Food and drink: While you’re in the ‘hood, we recommend setting up a private tour at Holesinsky Vineyard and Winery in Buhl or at Synder Winery near Buhl. Be sure to call ahead to arrange for a tour. Holesinsky requires a group of four or larger. Thousand Springs Bed & Breakfast features Feathered Winds fine wines, and it has overnight accommodations in the Hagerman area along the scenic byway.
Into craft beer? Here are a couple of choices in Southern Idaho – Von Scheidt Brewing Company in Twin Falls and Magic Valley Brewing in Buhl.
We know you’ll be hungry while you’re touring Southern Idaho, so here are some foodie recommendations via Trip Advisor and a Reader’s Choice list. Need a place to stay? Here is a comprehensive list of lodging options in Southern Idaho.
Hope you have a wonderful spring break!