Sunday, July 26, 2009

Twin Falls, Idaho

Our family decided to make the arduous trip to Glacier National Park in Northern Montana for our summer vacation. Coming from our home in California it was an 18 hour drive. We broke that up with a couple of stops along the way. Stop one happened to be in Twin Falls, Idaho.

It took us about 10 hours (with stops) to get here. Once here we were ready to stretch our legs and see just where Twin Falls gets its name. We checked into our hotel for the night (the Hampton Inn) and asked how to get to the falls.

A short drive through town takes you to Shoshone Falls. You can park at the top of the hill and walk down to the observation areas, picnic area, and tiny gift shop, or you can pay $3 to drive down.

I think I was most amazed at how well this area was attended to. The grounds were lovely with plenty of grass, clean picnic areas, and great observation areas. We had some gorgeous views of Shoshone Falls.

Dierkes Lake is here as well. Again, either park at the top parking lot and walk or pay the $3 to park right by the lake. When we visited there were quite a few people at the lake and we were just checking it out so we didn't hang around. There is a nice roped off swimming area for kids and a diving board for bigger kids. I do not recall seeing any lifeguards.

This seemed to be a popular spot for families and young teenagers. There were quite a few groups of people settling in for swimming and sunbathing. The area has trees and plenty of shade for the non sun worshipers.

After visiting Dierkes Lake and Shoshone Falls we headed down into the canyon. It's a very short drive, I loved how close everything was to the center of town, into the canyon. Once there you will find more picnic areas.

This area is particularly beautiful. The mountains form a nice wall with several waterfalls cascading down into the canyon below. This is also a great starting point for the trails that lead along the canyon rim. Our time here was very limited so we did not do any hiking, but if we are ever in the area again I would imagine it will be added to our must do list. The amount of waterfalls and likeable scenery are something we would like to explore.

You have a great view of the Perrine Bridge from here as well. It is not a good spot if you are interested in watching the base jumpers. You can see the base jumpers jump off the bridge but are left to wonder if their parachutes opened. They quickly disappear behind a distant rock while you wonder what happened to their chutes and where they landed.

There is a lookout point across the bridge that you can watch from. It's the perfect spot to see them jump off and land. Definitely drive across the bridge and catch this. There is no set time that the jumping occurs, you'll just have to take your chances as people come and go all day.