Towering 486 ft above the Snake River is the entrance to Twin Falls; the Perrine Bridge. It is a is a truss arch four-lane bridge that connects Jerome and Twin Falls county. Driving across the 1,500 foot long bridge will show views of the Snake River Canyon stretching east and west as far as the eyes can see. Visitors are allowed to walk all the way across the bridge on either side. BASE Jumpers leap from a platform located in the middle of the Perrine Bridge to land on the hiking path below. This architectural wonder is a sight to behold any time of year!
The Perrine Bridge is located in the Magic Valley of Southern Idaho. It spans across the Snake River Canyon connecting Twin Falls and Jerome County. Drive time is about 3 hours from Salt Lake City, Utah, and 2 hours from Boise, Idaho. The Bridge sits on the north end of Twin Falls, about 10 minutes south of I-84. Drive north on Blue Lakes Blvd in Twin Falls to access it, or drive south on Hwy 93 from Sun Valley.
The arched structure got its name from I.B Perrine who is largely credited as being one of the founders of Twin Falls! View his life-size statue near the bridge lookout at the Visitor’s Center. Find history, facts, recommendations, souvenirs, and information about Twin Falls and surrounding towns inside the Visitors Center. Construction of the bridge began in 1973 and was completed 3 years later, in 1976. It cost a whopping $10.56 million!
Radom Fact: this technically isn’t the first Perrine Bridge, and the original one still exists! I.B Perrine lived on Blue Lakes Ranch which is located at the bottom of the canyon on the north side of the river. He constructed the much smaller bridge just upstream from Blue Lakes. Perrine funded this bridge himself, so he allowed locals to pay their way to cross in order to get his money back. Public use of the bridge was closed in 1921. The first Perrine Bridge is still in use, although not for the public, it carries a pipeline of potable water from Blue Lakes to the City of Twin Falls.
Looking past the bridge, east or west, is the Snake River. The river runs through the base of the canyon. The incredible landscape was caused by a flood from Lake Bonneville about 17,000 years ago. The cataclysmic Bonneville Flood lasted about two weeks and did some damage. 15 million cubic feet per second, way more than the the maximum flows have ever been recorded on the Snake River, surged and cut deep into the canyon walls and left holes in the canyon floor, creating waterfalls, alcoves, and other incredible geological sights. Views of the canyon are accessible on either side of the bridge. East of the bridge is Pillar Falls, a popular but strenuous hike. West of the bridge is Auger Falls, an even more popular hiking, biking, running, climbing, and waterfall viewing area.
Another way to view the canyon is by driving north across the Perrine Bridge to the Jerome side. The north side has many off-roading areas leading up to the edge of the canyon. Lookouts are gorgeous around here, and can even provide views of Shoshone Falls. You cannot beat a sunrise or sunset at these locations.
Hike, boat, or kayak below the bridge by visiting Centennial Waterfront Park. Kayak and paddle board rentals are available over the summer from AWOL Adventure Sports. They have a booth for you to rent the kayaks right at the water and will put them in for you. Reserve ahead of time to assure you get one at (208)735-53344. It is truly incredible to kayak up to and under the huge bridge! If you’re lucky, BASE Jumpers might jump right before your eyes! It is also possible to put in your boat here. Boaters can travel upriver to Pillar Falls, but to continue on boaters would need to portage due to river rocks and waterfalls. There are many beaches to dock on either side of the Snake River.
The Perrine Bridge is one of the only legal bridges in the United States to BASE jump off of! These jumpers are professionals, and pack their chutes near the Visitor Center. From the Visitor Center, they will generally walk out on the east side of the bridge, climb over the rail, and stand on the ‘diving board.’ They jump off and soar to the landing zone at the end of Mogensen Trail below. Does an adrenaline rush sound fun to you? You can Tandem BASE jump with a pro, Sean Chuma, by contacting him via 619-987-6990 or his Facebook page. He jumps off of the platform with you and automatically deploys the shute, assuring a safe and fun glide to the bottom!
Things to see
Spanning seven miles on the south side of the Snake River Canyon’s edge is the Canyon Rim Trail. Parking at the Visitor’s Center provides you access to the Canyon Rim Trail. Walk east to find Pillar Falls, Evel Knievel’s Jump location, and Shoshone Falls! Shoshone Falls is a 212 foot waterfall that lights up with a rainbow whenever the sun is out! It is taller than Niagara Falls and is a jaw-dropping sight! There are many other waterfalls and cool canyon features to view along the way. Look for snakes and rock chucks wandering in the sagebrush and on the canyon’s ledge! Walk west to see Twin Falls Love Locks Gate, Perrine Coulee Waterfall, and locally owned businesses.
On the Canyon Rim, you can dine and enjoy drinks with a view! Get a table at Canyon Crest Dining Center to enjoy a quiet evening on the patio. The service is delightful as well as their food and drinks. Elevation 486 is a perfect place to dine too. Expect high quality drinks, service, and cuisine accompanied with canyon views cannot be beat! Both of the restaurants are west of the Perrine Bridge, about a mile from the Visitor’s Center. Try Elevation 486’s delicious desert menu and watch the sunset over the canyon at either location.
Stay at the nicest hotels in town to assure your vacation includes all the necessities. We recommend Hampton Inn in Twin Falls. The Hampton Inn is one of the top rated hotels in Twin Falls. Get a lovely breakfast, delightful rooms, a huge pool, and a highly rated fitness center. Enjoy a more historic stay by lodging at the Fillmore Inn. Enjoy a homie atmosphere at this boutique hotel because each room has a unique touch to it, including a jacuzzi with no walls in one of the rooms.