Twin Falls, Idaho

This weekend’s road trip was to Twin Falls, Idaho, a town of about 45,000 people in the southern part of the state. It’s a 2 3/4 hour drive from Elko, heading first east to Wells, then north over the border crossing at a town called Jackpot (another border town made up of mainly casinos). The main feature of Twin Falls is the Snake River Canyon, and the neighbouring Shoshone Falls. The canyon forms the northern part of the Great Basin, a huge sink, or basin, that covers most of Nevada. Nearly all of the rivers in this part of the country don’t flow to the sea, but ‘disappear’ internally into the basin.

Lunch was at Elevation 486 which sits on the southern rim of the canyon, offering great views of the golf course, canyon, and the Perrine Bridge which spans it. We could see why the restaurant was voted the best in town. Not only were the views great, but the food was pretty good too! That good we went back for dinner that night, but sat inside as it was breezy and cool. After lunch we went to the visitor centre which sits next the the southern end of the Perrine Bridge and offers great views with the floor to ceiling glass windows, as well as many story boards inside showing the history of Twin Falls and what it has to offer now to outdoor enthusiasts. They even had a Darth Tater t-shirt which I wanted but Julie overruled. How can you not come to Idaho, home of the famous potatoes, and leave without a potato-themed souvenir!

After the visitors centre we took a stroll under the end of the bridge and were lucky enough to see a BASE jumper taking a leap of faith from the bridge and landing on the shore down below. It was literally all over in about 1 minute – I hope he enjoyed it as it’s a long walk back up to the top! The Perrine Bridge is the only bridge in the US where you can BASE jump all year round without a permit.

Our accommodation for the night was at the Blue Lakes Inn, a renovated boutique hotel with the look of an old drive-in motel but done up in a retro, modern style. They offered breakfast with the room, but we opted to try the local McDonalds thinking the breakfast at the inn wouldn’t be that good. Little did we know it was a full breakfast, as when Julie went to check out she could smell the bacon cooking and see the breakfast service. Oh well, next time we’ll take them up on their breakfast.

After breakfast we went down to the Shoshone Falls and arrived soon after the gates opened as we’d heard it could get busy. From the ticket booth ($3 per car) the road winds down the canyon wall to about half way where the waterfall plunges over the canyon rim. There was a slight breeze which caused the water spray to come up over the wall and into the carpark. Within a minute the car looked like it had been through a rain shower! We all quickly ran to the lookout but the spray from the waterfall covered most of the view, though the roar was deafening. In order to get a better view, Harrison and I decided to walk the track to another lookout further around the canyon which was near where Evil Knievel had a failed attempt to jump the canyon in a rocket powered motorcycle. From there we were able to see the falls and took some pictures without the lens getting covered in water.

After the falls it was back into town for a quick lunch at Red Robin’s which is a ‘burger and brews’ family restaurant. Like most meals, Julie and I shared as they are so big – all the meals in the US are huge and we’ve learnt not to order one each. Then it was time for the journey home back to Elko to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

 

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