Shoshone Falls, a spectacular 212-foot waterfall a few miles east of Twin Falls, is roaring to life with substantial flows on the Snake River this week, creating an unexpected early Christmas gift for us this holiday season.

Shoshone Falls is considered a must-see experience because of the sheer grandeur of the powerful waterfall, known as the “Niagara of the West.” There’s a small park maintained by the City of Twin Falls where people can park, view the falls from several platforms and vantage points, and take pictures and video. There are portable toilets on site. And with these chilly December temperatures, be sure to dress warm! And be careful! There may be icy spots in the viewpoint areas.

Higher flows of 5,000+ cubic feet per second will be pouring over Shoshone Falls for the rest of this month, and flows are expected to continue to increase into late December as water is being released from Upper Snake River reservoirs upstream. Generally, in the winter most of the water is held back and released in April for summer Irrigation. But this year, the reservoirs are plum-full.

While you’re visiting, you might need a warm cup of coffee while you enjoy your day. Check out our tips on finding the best coffee venues from our coffee trail posts – one for the western side of the valley, and another for the Twin Falls area and eastern side of the valley.

Near Shoshone Falls, consider taking a walk in Dierkes Lake park, where you also can go rock-climbing. The Canyon Rim trail, accessible from Shoshone Falls Park, Dierkes Lake Park, or at trailheads in Twin Falls, is another nice hiking destination, providing fetching views of the yawning Snake River canyon and interesting features below.   

Twin Falls Visitor Center

The Southern Idaho Visitors Center, perched at the edge of the Snake River Canyon on the way into Twin Falls on U.S. 93, is a great place to stop and learn about a multitude of outdoorsy things to do while you’re in town. Customer service representatives are on hand to answer questions.

Several family friendly activities in the Twin Falls area include visiting the Gemstone Climbing Center, an indoor facility with rock-climbing walls, and JumpTime, an indoor trampoline park for all ages.

Downtown Twin Falls recently has been renovated, and it’s all lit up for the holiday season. Here’s a link detailing what you can see and do in historic downtown Twin Falls.  

West of Twin Falls, you could drive the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway toward Hagerman and visit one of three hot springs establishments open year-round. Miracle and Banbury Hot Springs are located across Highway 30 from each other, and 1000 Springs Resort is just a few miles to the west of there, with great views of the Snake River and the Ritter Island unit of Thousand Springs State Park.

In order to find the best lodging deals that fit your taste, see our lodging listings on the Visit South Idaho web site, and for Bed & Breakfast suggestions, see this post.

Enjoy your time in Southern Idaho and Happy Holidays!