My family moved to Twin Falls a year ago. We chose to settle down in Twin Falls partially because there are so many awesome recreation opportunities close by. You may be surprised by that statement if you’ve only driven by Twin Falls on I-84 on the way to Boise. From the interstate, the Twin Falls area just looks like boring, flat, farm country. However, if you take the time to stop and explore the area, you’ll discover it is home to many hidden gems.
One thing that makes Twin Falls unique is that there is an amazing canyon located right by the city. It is the type of place that you’d expect to see in a national park, but in Twin Falls, the canyon is next to neighborhoods and strip malls.
There are many places in Twin Falls that would make great destinations for a day trip or a weekend getaway for those of you in East Idaho. Today I want to tell you about five of those places.
Shoshone Falls/Dierkes Lake
Shoshone Falls is the pride and joy of Southern Idaho. The falls are located in the Snake River Canyon just a few miles east of town. The falls cascade from stone cliffs creating a magnificent sight. The falls are 212 feet high which makes them higher than Niagara Falls. You can view the falls from several viewing platforms located on the southern side of the canyon. This waterfall does have dams located upstream so water levels vary depending on water needs at the dams, but even at low flow times, the falls are beautiful.
If you have time, plan to visit Dierkes Lake after viewing Shoshone Falls. Admission to the lake is included in the cost of admission for Shoshone Falls. The lake has a popular swimming beach. It’s calm waters also make this a perfect place to kayak or paddleboard. If you want to hike, there is a 1.7-mile loop trail that is really cool. It goes alongside one side of the lake, past the “Hidden Lakes,” up some metal staircases to the top of a plateau, skirts the rim above the Snake River, and then drops back down to the parking lot for Dierkes Lake. There are many rock climbing routes accessible from this trail too.
Location: 4155 Shoshone Falls Grade, Twin Falls, ID
Hours: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Cost: $5 per car from April to October. Free the rest of the year.
Phone Number: (208) 736-2265 (For Twin Falls Parks and Recreation
Centennial Waterfront Park
On my first visit, I was surprised to find out that people can drive down into the Snake River Canyon. I’d assumed the river took up the whole canyon floor but there are several places where large banks line the sides of the river. Centennial Waterfront Park is one of the best places to access the Snake River and gives you incredible views of the Perrine Bridge and the canyon walls. The park has a playground and other amenities you’d expect at a city park, but it has several notable extra features. There is a Zip Line course operated by AWOL Adventure Sports. AWOL also provides kayak rentals. You can rent a kayak and paddle upstream under the Perrine Bridge, up to Pillar Falls, or all the way to Shoshone Falls. You can also bring your own watercraft and put in at the boat ramp at this park.
Location: Canyon Springs Rd, Twin Falls, ID
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Cost: Free to enter park. There is a cost to rent equipment
Phone Number: (208) 734-9491 (For Twin Falls County Parks)
Twin Falls Visitor Center/Perrine Bridge/Canyon Rim Trail
The Perrine Bridge doesn’t look like much when you are driving across it, but the architecture of the bridge is beautiful from any other angle. The Twin Falls Visitor Center is located on the southwest side of the bridge. The visitor center has great views of the bridge and the Snake River Canyon. But don’t plan to just look from one point. You can walk several miles east or west along the canyon rim trail and see many stunning sights. If you head east along the Canyon Rim Trail, you will go under the bridge. You may see people B.A.S.E jumping into the canyon from the east side of the bridge. Another good place to view the canyon is the viewpoint east of Sportsman’s Warehouse, about one-quarter of a mile east of the bridge. From that viewpoint, you’ll be able to see down to Pillar Falls at the bottom of the canyon.
Location: 2015 Neilsen Point Place Twin Falls, Idaho
Hours: Viewpoints and trail are open Dawn to Dusk. The Visitor Center is open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
Phone Number: 1 (800) 255-8946
Harrett Center for Arts and Sciences
If you are looking for an indoor activity, I highly recommend visiting the Harrett Center on the College of Southern Idaho’s campus. Parking and admission to the museum are free. You’ll see displays about Idaho’s indigenous people, art displays, and a whole room of natural history specimens, including a huge mammoth skeleton.
The center also has a planetarium with excellent night sky tours and IMAX style movies. There is a cost for tickets to the planetarium shows, but they are very well done.
Location: 315 Falls Avenue Twin Falls, ID
Hours: Closed Sundays and Mondays. Open 9:30AM – 9:00PM Tuesdays and Fridays. 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM Wednesdays and Thursdays. And 1:00PM-9:00PM on Saturdays.
Cost: Museum admission is free. Planetarium tickets are $6 for adults ages 18-59. $5 for seniors ages 60+. $4 for children ages 2-17. And free for children under age 2.
Phone Number: (208) 732-6655
Nat Soo Pah Hot Springs
These hot springs are located about 15 minutes south of Twin Falls. This is a fun place for families to go swimming during summer months. There is a large pool with a water slide. A tree-filled campground is also on the property so this would be a nice place to stay if you are interested in extending your trip. Nat Soo Pah is open during the summer months. If you are looking for a year-round hot spring, there are three hot springs located about 30 miles west of Twin Falls. They are 1000 Springs Resort, Miracle Hot Springs, and Banbury Hot Springs.
Location: 2738 E 2400 N Twin Falls, ID
Hours: Open from the beginning of May through Labor Day. Hours vary, but is generally open every afternoon and evening with some morning hours on weekends.
Cost: $4 for children 1-5. $8 for anyone age 6 and up
Phone Number: (208) 655-4337
I hope I’ve inspired you to plan a trip to Twin Falls soon. However, I feel like I have to warn you: this is only a small sampling of what there is to see and do in Twin Falls. There are many more awesome things in the area.
My family first came to Twin Falls for a visit in May 2018. We saw some great things and then kept coming back to see more. Within a year, I realized that the best thing to do would be to just move here. We bought a house in Twin Falls within 15 months of our first visit.
Want more ideas for outdoor recreation locations in Twin Falls and the surrounding area? Check out this list of over 30 awesome things to see and do: Outdoor Recreation in the Twin Falls Idaho Area – The guide I wish I’d had.