Marcus Jones has spent the majority of his life catching flights to every corner of the world. He has explored in over 55 countries and loves every day of it. Marcus visited Southern Idaho in October, and this is his story. Be sure to follow along on his travels @MarcusMeetsWorld on Instagram.
I finally took a trip to Southern Idaho, yes you heard correctly, Southern Idaho. I can say that Idaho definitely left a positive impression on me. It was nothing short of amazing while visiting locations all over. Usually when I take trips I’m the one doing the planning and research on locations that I feel would fit best to showcase a location. Visit Southern Idaho’s website helped me pick out the perfect locations with very cool itineraries full of adventures each day.
I flew in from Houston and rented a car once I got to Boise, Idaho. I suggest renting a mid-size SUV or a car that is meant for a little off roading because some of the locations are off on dirt roads, and you want to make sure the car can withstand the terrain ahead. My hotel was booked for the Prairie Inn in Fairfield, a cozy hotel with kind service.
So, from Boise I drove down to Fairfield, Idaho where I visited Worswick Hot Springs, natural hot pools on the side of the mountains. I went around sunset which happened around this time of season at like 6:30pm. It was pretty cool seeing how the springs came down from high up in the hills, also the misty fog was still strong streaming down to the pools so it made for some cool photos. Each pool had its own range of temperature, if I’m correct, I remember the temperatures get up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t let that scare you though the water felt so great in the colder weather. After soaking for a good hour in the hot springs I went and grabbed dinner to go from the Wrangler. I definitely suggest trying the huckleberry milkshakes at the Wrangler. I found out it was locally made and was so good!
I woke up early morning after a great sleep at the Prairie Inn, and started to head for “Little City of Rocks”. It can easily be located off Google maps as Apple Maps might put you a little further down from the actual location. The Little City of Rocks reminded me of the old Flintstone movie where Fred Flintstone would work. This hike can go as far as 9 miles down so you could definitely spend a few hours at this location just doing some trek walking.
After the Little City of Rocks I went on to Tea Kettle Cave. Now this place definitely was on the top of my list to visit. It was about an hour south of Fairfield not too far from Gooding, Idaho. Off the highway will be driving in dirt terrain with lava rocks from old volcanoes that had once erupted in the area. If you’ve got time to search the area I’m sure you’ll come across even more hidden caves. Now once you come up to Tea Kettle you’ll enter a small cave entry that will take you down to the hole with ferns growing in the center. It’s highly suggested and asked that you don’t build cairns so that the ferns may grow freely. Depending on the season it’s likely you can catch the light peeking down from directly above you to make for a cool shot.
Later that evening I went and visited Box Canyon State Park to catch the sunset. Box Canyon is located south of Gooding near the town Hagerman. This hidden place is very cool. You’ll see a dried up rock where a waterfall use to fall into the river below. Oddly, the river flows from beneath the rock continuously. That evening I went to El Cazador for dinner great Mexican restaurant in Buhl, Idaho. Food was great there and the service was great as well. I stayed at a very nice lodge with a blue river running through it. It is called Billingsley Creek Lodge. I had a no contact check in and was able to walk right into my place with ease. I definitely recommend staying here.
I took the morning easy and got out to adventure a little late, but it was probably one of the most memorable experiences I will ever have as I kayaked down to Blue Heart Springs. It was my first time kayaking in a river and I had so much fun just being one with nature hearing the water flow and watching the pelicans fly by. Yes there were Pelicans, huge ones at that! The water at Blue Heart was so crystal blue, I definitely had to get some drone shots to capture how blue it was from above.
Once I finished there, I headed to Twin Falls to see Perrine Coulee Falls. Now this was epic because I was able to head down and go behind the fall to capture one of the most amazing shots I’ve come to do in my life. I shot at sunset for the lighting. The best part of it all was that you could see the icicles above dripping down by the falls. For dinner, I went and had the salmon with asparagus dish at Canyon Crest dining and event center. The food was great and I definitely suggest checking them out if you’re in Twin. I stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites which was an excellent hotel, located just minutes from the falls.
In the morning drove out to Shoshone Falls, the largest waterfall I’d seen in my life. I never knew we had something like this in the middle of the western states. Best time in this season to go out is about 9:30am to catch the sunrise over the falls. Later that afternoon I drove out to the “Big” City of Rocks which was quite unique. I spent time learning from some locals about the rocks and how some had been around for billions of years. The City of Rocks National Reserve is a must stop. For lunch I went to El Caporal another local Mexican restaurant located about 30 minutes from the City of Rocks in Burley. I suggest trying their street tacos, they were definitely delicious.
Later that evening I headed to TeePee Rocks. Now this location is definitely off the grid and I suggest heading to Visit Southern Idaho’s website page for the exact coordinates. It’s about an hour drive outside of burley and 20-25 minutes of the drive is on a dirt trail. So make sure your tires are in good condition. This place was so cool it really gives you tribal Indian vibes, and I suggest if you want a sunset to arrive around 4:20pm so you have enough time to set up and figure out how you’d like to capture the essence of it.
Once I left TeePee rocks I headed for dinner at Morey’s Steakhouse in Burley. This place had a wide variety to choose on the menu and it was really, really good! I had the salmon with mixed vegetables and a loaded baked potato, and can’t deny it was really tasty. To sell you on the menu, it says if you don’t like your food in the first bite they give you a whole new meal and refund you. That says a lot about how much they believe in there menu options. I stayed at the “best” hotel, the Best Western Burley. It was sparkling clean and was very comfy.
My last day in Idaho, I went for brunch to Sophie’s Chatterbox in Rupert, Idaho. They were very friendly and the breakfast was very good, as I had the Spanish omelette with biscuits and gravy. I suggest trying the huckleberry lemonade as well, its very thirst quenching. From there I went up to Black Magic Canyon north of Shoshone. This place is so unique, I would’ve never guessed this would be in Idaho. It is very similar to the antelope canyons in Arizona in a way. I highly recommended a visit, make sure you go about a half a mile in the canyon to see the most amazing part.
From here, I went back into Twin Falls to visit Pillar Falls. If you’ve got a drone you can capture endless content here. You can also kayak here, but I hiked. For the last and final dinner I visited Milner’s Gate – Idaho craft and brewery. I’m not kidding when I say this, I’ve never had any better Brussels sprouts in my life than what I’ve tasted at this restaurant along with my Kobe beef steak and potatoes. It’s definitely a nice place to eat and enjoy with friends and family.
Well this was my itinerary for the trip I really hope you guys enjoyed my journey and hopefully can help you guys to fulfill yours when you head into Southern Idaho. I want to give a special thanks to Visit Southern Idaho and Sarah of Visit Southern Idaho for having me. Idaho definitely surpassed my expectations and can’t wait to share my experiences with others around the world so they too can enjoy the great state. If you all would like to see and follow my journey in the future you can do so by following me on Instagram @MarcusMeetsWorld.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this trip amazing including photographers and drone pilots: Kelby, Crystal, Brayden, and Nash. Also thanks to my friend Drake for making the trip to help me capture some great content!
Until next time, don’t pick your destination, let your destination pick you.