Straddling Idaho’s southern borders with Nevada and Utah, the high desert region of Southern Idaho beckons with outdoor adventures, jaw-dropping sites, and a laid-back and inviting charm.
Here you’ll find the stunning Shoshone Falls, the 200-foot “Niagara of the West,” as well as outdoor adventures from hunting, fishing and hiking to mountain biking, skiing, world-class rock climbing, and scenic byways and back roads.
The City of Twin Falls, the hub of the region, sits perched on the edge of the gaping Snake River Canyon, a gravity-fed playground famous for Evel Knievel’s 1974 “Sky Cycle” jump attempt.
The Perrine Bridge spans the canyon right in the heart of Twin Falls, and is a great spot to watch the BASE jumpers peeling off the edge of the bridge. It’s the only man-made structure with year-round, legal BASE jump access – and if you’re not the daring type out for a tandem jump (arrange it right at the site!), it’s exhilarating to watch the daredevils do their thing.
Or drive down into the canyon where you can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle your way under the Perrine Bridge to Pillar Falls. The canyon also offers great hiking trails, mountain biking to Auger Falls, fishing, golf, or take a ride with Zip the Snake, a two-hour zipline tour.
An arid region, Southern Idaho also encompasses the “Magic Valley,” so named because the elaborate Snake River irrigation network creates some of the most productive farm, ranch, and dairy land in the United States and a boasts a rich agricultural tradition dating back more than 100 years.
It’s that very rural character that is one of the greatest charms of the region – fields of alfalfa, corn, and barley stretching to the horizon, spanned by irrigation pivots and dotted by small towns where life hasn’t changed much since the first prairie schooners stopped and stayed here in the 1800s.
Just south of Twin Falls, the landscape changes and the South Hills recreation area will take you as far as the Nevada border and beyond. Here you can enjoy some top-notch mountain biking and hiking trails, great
wildlife viewing and hunting, and skiing all winter on a vast network of Nordic trails as well as at the hometown Magic Mountain Ski Resort.
Another popular winter destination, Pomerelle Mountain Resort near the town of Albion boast some of the best snowfall in the state and is a great place for children to learn and for the whole family to get out on the slopes.
And for the adventurous, City of Rocks National Reserve is a world-class granite playground for rock jocks, and it’s also a great place to gawk at the intrepid climbers or just take in the otherworldly scenery.
Water is the lifeblood of the region. The Thousand Springs State Park and the town of Hagerman prove that Southern Idaho is about the richest place you can imagine, as the Snake River Aquifer spills out fresh from the cliffs into the river in a stunning display. You can see the waterfalls from Highway 30, or take a boat trip for a closer look.
The Snake River also offers the chance for some incredible whitewater adventures, either the mellow Class III section of the Snake near Malad Gorge and Hagerman, or the challenging Class V Murtaugh section near Twin Falls.
Adventures abound in Southern Idaho, and access is easy. Most sites are convenient to Interstate 84, which links Boise in the west with Salt Lake City, Utah to the southeast, and good accommodation and friendly locals make a visit here easy and fun.
For all of the information you need, go to visitsouthidaho.com. And don’t miss the useful trip planner page, which can calculate mileage and help you print out your own personalized itinerary.