Twin Falls Stories and Tips

Day 8 - Twin Falls and Bingham Canyon Mine

Perrine Memorial Bridge - Twin Falls, Idaho Photo, Twin Falls, Idaho

Leaving the capital of Idaho in my rear view mirror, I drove to Bliss at Exit 141. I took the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway from there to Twin Falls. It follows the Snake River most of the way, and features several small waterfalls. The road eventually leaves the Snake and enters Twin Falls at the southwest corner of town.

There is a Visitor Center up near the Perrine Memorial Bridge, where I was able to get some directions and tips on the best viewing areas. From there, I drove down into the Snake River Canyon to the Riverfront Centennial Park. The view of the Perrine Bridge from there was unfettered. The bridge is very photogenic.

A three-mile drive down Falls Avenue took me to the entrance to Shoshone Falls/Dierkes Lake State Park. The falls is a few feet higher than Niagara, and is sometimes called The Niagara of The West.

While in the park, I learned that it was just a mile downriver that Evel Knievel attempted his jump of the Snake River Canyon back in 1974. The dirt ramp he used is still there, but it is on private property, and inaccessible. You can see how wide the canyon is there from the falls, though.

A short distance upriver is the second falls, but you have to leave the park and drive a couple of miles to see it. The second cataract is called Twin Falls, and it is equally impressive. Both falls are used to produce hydro-electric power, and have power plants at their bases.

A little trivia... Shoshone Falls is not pronounced like the Native American Tribe, but has only two syllables -- show-shown. The locals are quick to correct you if you pronounce it wrong.

My destination for that night was Salt Lake City, but rather than get on I-84, I took a country road down through Jackpot, Nevada to the town of Wells. I-80 goes by Wells, and I wanted to drive across the Bonneville Salt Flats on that road.

Actually, I was interested in stopping at the artistic monument out along the road called The Ball Tree by some and Tree of Life by others. When I got out to where I could see it, I learned by the road signs that only westbound travelers could stop there. I couldn't even stop across the road to take a picture of it.

My next and final destination for the day was the huge Kennicott Copper Mine at Bingham Canyon. It is awesome in scope and the mine has been in continuous operation for over a century. It takes some back road driving to get there, but it is worth the drive and the admission price of five dollars.

I ended my eighth day at a motel by the Salt Lake City Airport and watched a desert thunderstorm out my window that evening.

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