*Shoshone Falls is temporarily closed for quagga mussel treatment. Closures are in place along the Snake River until further notice. For more information on closures and river access visit idaho.gov/quagga.
Southern Idaho is a high desert climate meaning that droughts are very common. When Southern Idaho is experiencing a drought, Shoshone Falls may or may not be flowing. We know you want to see the booming Niagara of the West, but sometimes it is not flowing because of low water levels. Don’t you worry though, we recommend visiting other beautiful places to see other waterfalls and hidden gems!
See other waterfalls and destinations around Southern Idaho that are not Shoshone Falls. Continue reading for where to see waterfalls when Shoshone Falls is dry.
Shoshone Falls City Park
If you’re visiting Shoshone Falls and see there is not a waterfall happening, first, look west! This Snake River Canyon view shows the perfect “photo opportunity” of the jarring steep canyon walls. Even if Shoshone Falls is dry, there will still be water in the Snake River. This view is stunning at sunset and truly is one of the best views of the Snake River Canyon.
Another fun place to visit right above Shoshone Falls is Dierkes Lake. Despite the low water, Dierkes Lake will be full. Enjoy a 2 mile hike around the lake that will show you rock formations, Snake River Canyon views, and views above and next to Dierkes. If you’re a climber, there are plenty of routes to enjoy at Dierkes Lake, bouldering and sport. This is also a perfect sunset location, especially when the water stills and the reflection of the walls show on the lake.
Visit another waterfall in Twin Falls, Idaho that will be running regardless the drought. Perrine Coulee is located above Centennial Waterfront Park that is about 5 miles west of Shoshone Falls. This waterfall is debatably even cooler to see than Shoshone Falls because you can hike behind it! Prepare to get a little wet from the gorgeous waterfall. Just below Perrine Coulee are a couple hiking opportunities like Mogensen Trail, Centennial Waterfront Park, and Auger Falls.
There is one benefit of Southern Idaho being dry, this means you can fully explore Pillar Falls! When the water levels are up, you cannot safely navigate the river waterfall area. When the water levels are low, you can kayak or boat to Pillar Falls and hop around the incredible rock formations. Rent kayaks or book a boat tour with AWOL Adventure Sports. Meet at Centennial Waterfront Park to get on your water transportation and kayak 2 miles to Pillar Falls. *Please do not swim at Pillar Falls, it is not safe for any level of swimmer.
Yingst Grade just past Jerome’s Golf Course, Jerome Country Club, is where you’ll drive to find Mermaid Cove. Mermaid Cove is a little waterfall cove hidden in the side of the Snake River Canyon. You can hike all the way to the bottom of Yingst Grade to get to the Snake River Canyon and ‘Broken Bridge.’
Box Canyon Waterfall
One waterfall you can visit no matter the water levels or time of year is Box Canyon. Box Canyon is a unit of Thousand Springs State Park and showcases bright blue water all year long. To get to the waterfall, you will have to hike down the canyon about 1.5 miles. The 30 foot waterfall is a sight to behold! Walk in the water if your dare, the temperate is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. If you’re on a mission to chase down all the waterfalls, Thousand Springs State Park has several more other than just Box Canyon. Find Malad Gorge’s Devil’s Washbowl, Lemmon & Minnie Miller Falls, Niagara Springs, Crystal Springs and others you can see while driving along the byway.
BONUS HIDDEN GEMS
Little City of Rocks Wilderness Study are is a unique hike to visit. The park is located north of Gooding. Hike around Little City to see hoodoos, arches, and other awesome rock formations. See wildflowers bloom early summer like camas lilies, lupine, and sun flowers.
Shoshone Ice Cave is an incredible place to visit when Shoshone Falls is dry. The guided tour of Shoshone Ice Caves will take you underground. The cave is filled with ice, which you’ll walk above on a boardwalk. Bring a jacket because it can get chilly down there, even on the hottest summer day!
Downtown Twin Falls is the perfect place for you to visit if you love to browse local shops while traveling. Where to find the coolest shops? Main Street! Find a variety of retail stores, restaurants, and breweries. All around Main Street there are other really neat businesses as well like Bearded Axe, where you can throw axes, and Hands On Twin Falls, where you can paint pottery.
We are sorry Shoshone Falls is dry, but Southern Idaho truly has so much more to explore! We hope to see you back another year when Shoshone Falls is flowing higher. Until then, enjoy our how-to see other waterfalls and views during drought conditions in Southern Idaho.