Welcome to Twin Falls!
Twin Falls is in southern Idaho and has a population of around 45,000 people and is the 7th largest city in Idaho. It is home to a variety of food companies such as Chobani, Glanbia Foods, and Falls Brand and is home to the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). It is in the Magic Valley Region, enjoys a semi-arid climate, surrounded by agriculture, and is part of Idaho’s Waterfall Country.
We stopped first at the Twin Falls Visitor Center which is located next to the Perrine Bridge.
The Perrine Bridge is named after Ira Burton Perrine who was an early Twin Falls settler and developer. The bridge is located along Highway 93 and crosses the Snake River Canyon, is 1,500 feet long, and 486 feet high above the Snake River. There is a statue there, “The Twins”, by David Clemons of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. There are several view points at the Visitor Centers which provide a great view along the Snake River Canyon to various parks and golf courses along the river.
BASE jumping! BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Spans, and Earth and BASE Jumping refers to jumping off one of those structures and using a parachute to land. Perrine Bridge is used by BASE jumpers and is the only man-made structure in the US where BASE jumping is allowed year round without a permit. Jumpers from all over the world come to this bridge to jump and you can watch them packing their chutes on the Visitor Center lawn before they make their way to the bridge, climb over the railing, take a requisite selfie, and then hurl themselves over the side. YIKES is all I have to say!!
There is a paved Canyon Rim Trail that runs along the south edge of the canyon which can be used for viewing the jumpers, bicycle riding, and walking. Here’s a few jumpers taking a selfie before, during, and after their jumps as taken from the trail.
They will hurl themselves off the bridge before throwing out their parachute (or pulling a cord).
And then they drift slowly down over the river as people above and kayakers below watch their descent.
There is a target on the banks of the river that the jumpers aim for and many of them land spot on.
Then after they have safely landed they pack up their chute, put it on their back, and make the long, arduous climb back up the steep slopes. As I was leaning against the trail wall up above then suddenly a jumper appeared from down below and jumped up over the wall right in front of me!! It did give me a scare for a second because I had no idea they were there!
There is even an organization which offers Tandem jumping so if you are inexperienced you can go with someone and try it out!! Good Luck!!
Our next stop was Shoshone Falls which is less than 5 miles east (as the crow flies) of Perrine Bridge and is often referred to as the “Niagara of the West”. It is located in the Shoshone Falls/Dierkes Lake County Park and is a fee entry. They do accept the National Parks pass for a free entrance.
The falls are 212 feet high and 900 feet wide and are one of the tallest natural falls in the US. By comparison Niagara Falls is 167 feet tall. Of course, the flow of the falls are impacted by the seasons and by summer local irrigation. We visited in July and there was some flow but probably nothing like a few months prior. There is plenty of parking, picnic areas, a few trails, some great view points, and great scenic vistas of both the falls and the Snake River Canyon..
Part of the park also includes Dierkes Lake which is a popular fishing and swimming recreation area. It is only about one mile from Shoshone Falls and is even viewable from the falls. It has a playground, swimming area, picnic areas, and seasonal concession stands and life guards. Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake.
Evel Knievel’s Snake River Jump Site
In September 1974, Evel Knieval attempted to jump the almost 500 foot deep, 1/4 mile wide Snake River Gorge. He failed but survived and the ramp still stands just a few miles east of the Visitor Center. You can climb to the top and get some great views.
From the top of the ramp you have great views of not only the Snake River Canyon but also the Canyon Rim Trail.
AND just in case you needed this, the Visitor Center DOES sell Evel Knievel items!!
Along the way we passed the beautiful Twin Falls Temple which was dedicated in 2008, stands 159 feet tall, and is the tallest building in Twin Falls.
American Solar Car Challenge
While at the Visitor Center we noticed that the American Solar Car Challenge was to finish in Twin Falls while we were there. We have to go we said to each other.
The American Solar Car Challenge is a solar car race across the US and started in Missouri and ended in Twin Falls. The competition included the design, build, and driving of a solar-powered car in a time/distance rally event. We read the brochure and there are quite a number of rules and regulations and consists of a number of colleges and universities across North America competing. The 2022 race followed the Oregon Trail. The finish line was at Herrett Center for Arts & Sciences which is next to the College of Southern Idaho (CSI).
We watched as the cars came in over the finish line. We could track their locations on a phone app so we knew when they were getting close.
After the cars arrived they were put on display so we could check them out.
It was a great location to watch the finish of the race. We thoroughly enjoyed not only the race but our whole time in Twin Falls. Maybe we should move here?