One of the biggest perks of traveling to Idaho isn’t the minimal crowds, dazzling nature, or kind locals, it’s the affordable options you can find while traveling. Twin Falls, Burley, and Hagerman all have extremely cheap accommodations, plus nature is pretty much free everywhere you go here! If you’re looking for a budget friendly vacation, Southern Idaho is a wonderful choice!
The cheapest time to visit Twin Falls, Idaho and the surrounding area is September – March. To be as budget friendly as possible we recommend you visit during this shoulder season period of time. Enjoy your budget friendly traveling in Southern Idaho.
Most places around Southern Idaho don’t cost to get in. There are a handful of locations that cost $5-$7 to park, but we will show you our favorite free locations.
Canyon Rim Trail
The Canyon Rim Trail in Twin Falls spans 8 miles of the Snake River where you can walk on top of the canyon and see the Perrine Bridge, Pillar Falls, Evel Knievel’s Jump location, and Shoshone Falls. Parking is free to get on this trail everywhere except starting at Shoshone Falls City Park ($5 vehicle admission fee.) We recommend parking at the Twin Falls Visitor Center for free. Walk in either direction on the path to see beautiful views.
Another wonderful place to hike that’s completely free of charge is Auger Falls Heritage Park. There are many biking trails to zoom around, or hike to the Snake River waterfall area called Auger Falls. Just across the river here is Yingst Grade where you will see Mermaid Cove waterfall flowing into the river. On this side of the canyon you can also hike for free past two waterfalls and endless views of the canyon.
City of Rocks
City of Rocks National Reserve is also free to get in. The expansive park is stunning! Boulders and mountains span the landscape and there are dozens of hikes to embark on. Camping at the City of Rocks costs anywhere from $14-$30 a site.
Little City of Rocks
The Little City of Rocks near Gooding is also free to enter. The park also has incredible rock formations all around. There is a 7 mile loop hiking trail, or you can explore in and out of the hoodoos and arches you’ll find at the wilderness study area.
Hotels in Southern Idaho stay low in price compared to neighboring states. Thankfully, paying an arm and a leg for one night in a mediocre hotel is unheard of. On average, hotels cost around $100. In Burley, the closest city to the City of Rocks, the hotels range from $60-$98. (Prices may vary depending on season/demand.) Our favorite hotels in Burley are the Best Western Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, the Hampton Inn, and the most affordable of all is the Super 8 by Wyndham.
In Twin Falls, the largest city in Southern Idaho, hotels range from about $70-$120. (Prices may vary depending on season/demand.) You can also find a large amount of Airbnbs around the area! These are extremely well priced compared to other nature destinations, and with the right amount of people you could be paying as little as $20 per night.
There is free camping all around Southern Idaho! From the Snake River Canyon Parks on the Jerome side of the Snake River Canyon to the BLM land in the South Hills. In the summer season when hotels are at their higher end, we recommend getting a camp site and enjoying a night under the stars with your family.
A popular place for free camping is at Balanced Rock County Park. Pitch your tent or pull up the van inside the gorgeous canyon. The campground is just down the road from the famous, Balanced Rock. 6-15 camping sites are here depending on the vehicle size, the maximum RV length is 45 feet. There are no RV hookups, but there are restrooms.
There are also many places to camp with hook-ups and accommodations that cost very little a night. Find RV spots for as little as $20-50 per night. Some of our favorites are Oregon Trail Campground in Twin Falls, Rock Creek RV Park in Twin Falls, Hagerman RV Village, 1000 Springs Resort, and look out for a brand new option at the future location of the Thousand Springs State Park Visitor Center (coming 2022!)
Budget Friendly Traveling in Southern Idaho
The cost of living in Southern Idaho is low compared to other tourist destinations. While we have affordable restaurants like La Fiesta, Koto Brewing, Anchor Bistro, Ketchum Burrito, and 2nd South Market, you can get all your groceries at numerous stores and save big. Get yourself a lovely little airbnb equip with an oven, fridge, microwave etc, and get your own food to cook! It’s a great way to cut costs, and maybe even enjoy some bonding time with your family. Rudy’s A Cook’s Paradise located Downtown Twin Falls has tons of locally sourced ingredients to spice up your cooking. Try a plethora of oils, wines, spices, seasonings and more. Enjoy your low cost vacation in Southern Idaho and create amazing memories that won’t break the bank!