Adventurous families who love to explore together and create memorable experiences are meant to take a trip to Southern Idaho. An incredible family known as The Traveling Child paid a 5 day visit and enjoyed kayaking to Shoshone Falls, a white water rafting trip, lots of waterfalls, delicious food, and beautiful views for family photos.  The Hambrick family is made up of 2 girls, age 8 and 6, plus mom and dad. If your children are ready for fun adventure, this is the place for you! Follow along with their adventurous 5 day itinerary traveling through Southern Idaho in July.

Day 1: City of Rocks National Reserve 

Flying into Southern Idaho

The Hambrick family flew into Salt Lake City and drove up to Idaho with a rental car. The first stop they made on the journey was the City of Rocks in Almo, Idaho. This location is about 2.5 hours from Salt Lake City. Food was a necessary stop before exploring, so the family of four started off with dinner at Outpost Steakhouse next to the Almo Inn. The Outpost Steakhouse is of course known for its delicious steak dinners. They also have delicous salmon, vegetables and those Idaho French Fries are to die for! 

Hikes in the City of Rocks

Once filled up on food the Hambrick Family visited Window Arch for a family photo. They then hiked into Creekside Towers trail to see expansive views of the park. It is possible to drive through the whole park and enjoy astonishing views the entire drive.  There are many other spots to stop and hike at in the City of Rocks, but prepare a map before your trip because there is not service at the City of Rocks. If you’re unsure of where to visit stop in at the Visitor Center in Almo and get yourself some Idaho souvenirs. 

Day 2: Kayaking to Shoshone Falls

After a restful night at a Jerome, Idaho Airbnb, they started day 2 off with breakfast at Twin Beans Coffee Co. Freshly made crepes of all flavors gave the traveling family the energy they needed for the crazy adventure ahead; kayaking to Shoshone Falls.

Booking a tour with AWOL

The paddle begins with booking a tour online with AWOL Adventure Sports, then meeting at Centennial Waterfront Park to fill out waivers and get fitted for lifejackets. The AWOL crew will pack waters on the boat but recommend that you bring some for yourself too as it gets warm on the Snake River.

For an adventurous family it is possible to make the whole paddle, however, with young girls the Hambricks chose to book the boat ride option. This tour provides a 2 mile scenic boat ride to Pillar Falls where the boat driver will fill you in on history of the area as well as stop under the Perrine Bridge to see BASE Jumpers. Then, a drop off and a short hike over Pillar Falls to the other side of the Snake River. From here, the guides at AWOL Adventure Sports had kayaks ready for the Hambrick Family to get back into the water. They opted for tandem kayaks so one child could paddle with one parent. 

The Paddle

From Pillar Falls the family paddled along side the guides for 2 miles, all the way to the base of Shoshone Falls. Being beneath Shoshone Falls is an incredible experience, one of those core memories the family will never forget. The tour guides were sure to keep them far enough away from the falls for safety and are prepared at any moment to help anyone in need. 

The paddle back to Pillar Falls another 2 miles, so before heading out they had snacks, water, and re-applied sunscreen. The guides assist with getting back into the kayaks and pulling the kayaks up on Pillar Falls’ shore. From here they got back into the AWOL boat and had a lovely ride back to Centennial Waterfront Park. The entire experience lasts about 4-5 hours depending on speed of paddling. 

Dinner Time

After their exciting adventure, the Traveling Child family took a break at their accommodation and rested before dinner. The perfect way to end a day in Twin Falls is to dine at Elevation 486. This fine dining restaurant sits on the edge of the Snake River Canyon. Have dinner with a view and enjoy locally sourced ingredients. 

Day 3: Whitewater Rafting 

Idaho Guide Service

The Hambrick Family had whitewater rafting on their bucket list for years.  Southern Idaho is a wonderful place to finally check that off the list. Whitewater Raft in Hagerman with Idaho Guide Service to experience a day you’ll never forget! Idaho Guide Service has been doing tours for over 40 years. They have plenty of experience in providing safe, fun, and exciting adventures for people of all ages and abilities. White water rafting is truly the perfect family adventure on a hot summer day in July. 

Hagerman Stretch of the Snake River

The trip began with information about rafting, getting fitted with life jackets, and learning the proper ways to help yourself if you end up in the water. Then, everyone loaded into the rafts and start floating down the Snake River. The Hambrick decided to sit at the back of the raft for less of a chance fall in or get wet. Later in the trip as the kids got more confident, and dad wanted a taste of water, they moved their way up to the top of the raft and got soaked! 

At different points of the Whitewater Rafting trip you will stop to pick berries, enjoy a lunch on a beach, have the opportunity to jump in the river and float, and even ‘ride the bull’ of the raft and let those waves hit you head on! During the month of July the Hagerman Stretch of the Snake River provides class 2 rapids.

Dinner Time

There are options to dine in Hagerman like at the Snake River Grill and Bullzzeye BBQ. Stop in at the brand new Visitor Center in Hagerman to learn more about the area too! The museum is fascinating and full of history, and there are souvenirs for the whole family. Hagerman has lovely accommodations to stay at such as the Hagerman Valley Inn and Billingsley Creek Lodge.

Day 4: Shoshone Ice Caves 

North of Twin Falls there are lava fields left from volcanos that erupted years and years ago. The lava formed tunnels underground leaving caves for you to explore!  The Hambrick family booked their Shoshone Ice Caves tour a week in advance to assure they got the time of tour they wanted. The girls cracked geodes to find crystals before heading inside the entrance of the Shoshone Ice Caves. Here, their guide greeted them and began the tour. 

Always bring a jacket when visiting the caves. They remain just under 30 degrees cold all year round! The tour lasts about 30 minutes. Learn all about the history and geology of the Shoshone Ice Caves from the guides. Walk on a wooden platform over the frozen cave floor and observe bear bones and other artifacts in the cave. 

Chasing Waterfalls & Zip-Lining with AWOL

After the Shoshone Ice caves the Hambrick Family checked out Perrine Coulee Waterfall, and then went zip-lining! AWOL Adventure Sports has a 4 line zip line in the Snake River Canyon at Centennial Waterfront Park. The trip also has to be pre-booked. AWOL provides water and shaded resting spots along the zip line route. The trip took the family of 4 about 1.5 hours. 

For dinner The Traveling Child headed Downtown Twin Falls. They had the options of Koto Brewing, Milner’s Gate, Saffron, Jasmine Thai, 2nd South Market, and more! There are also lovely local shops scattered around Downtown Twin Falls like 150 Main, Unique Twist Jewelry, Perrine Man Press, Brass Monkey and dozens of others located up and down Main Street. 

Day 5: Lake Cleveland & Mt. Harrison

July is the best time to visit Lake Cleveland and Mt. Harrison because it is wildflower season! Driving south of Burley and up to Lake Cleveland takes about an hour and a half from Twin Falls. The traveling family enjoyed spotting all the gorgeous wildflower patches on the way up the mountain. There are pull-offs as well as trails you can hike into to find more flowers and expansive views on the way up to the lake.

All around Lake Cleveland, the campgrounds nearby, and on top of the mountain showcases all types of flowers. Two types that are gorgeous to spot are red Indian Paintbrush and purple Lupine. Above the lake at the Mt. Harrison lookout you’ll see 360 views of Southern Idaho. The road is paved all the way up the mountain making it an easy trip with the kids.

Dinner Time

Stay in Burley, Idaho to just be a short drive away and to have many choices for food. Try out a pizza restaurant that doubles as a bowling alley, Puder’s Pizza. Can’t get enough of those mountain views? Dine at Morey’s Steakhouse located right on the Snake River. Sit out on the patio at Morey’s to watch the sun go down over the mountain you just drove up! Staying at the Fairfield Inn in Burley is a great choice for a cozy hotel before making your way home after a lovely 5 day travel itinerary through Southern Idaho.

Find The Hambrick Family on social media @TheTravelingChild and find our page @VisitSouthernIdaho to stay inspired for trips to come!

*Tip* You can find more beautiful locations to visit on our Visit Southern Idaho App!