Famous Landmarks in Twin Falls – Our Top Five
Not only is Twin Falls beautiful, but it’s also the home to several famous landmarks. These include the highest water falls in the continental United States, several stops on the world-famous Oregon Trail, fossils of the original horse, and the home of a failed rocket motorcycle jump in 1974. Let’s take a look at our top five famous landmarks in Twin Falls, and why you need to visit!
Shoshone Falls is among the most spectacular of natural beauties along the Snake River and at 212 feet, the falls are actually higher than Niagara’s. The City of Twin Falls owns and operates the Shoshone Falls park complex. It boasts a unique blend of playgrounds, a lake, picnic areas, boat ramps, and an amazing scenic overlook. Shoshone Falls, and the neighboring Twin Falls, were also stops on the historic Oregon Trail.
One of the oldest emigrant trails to carve across America, the Oregon Trail was originally used by fur trappers between 1811 and 1840. In the early days of the trail much if it was impassable by wagons, leaving the only option to walk or ride a horse or mule. By 1836 the trail had been improved so much that wagons could make the trip and Twin Falls became a major stop on both the trip to Oregon and California.
Directions – 3 miles east of Twin Falls on Falls Ave., follow signs.
Hagerman Fossil Beds
Did you know that the horse evolved in North America? The Hagerman Horse, Equus Simplicidens, Idaho’s state fossil, was the first true horse. It was about the size of a modern Arabian horse. Hagerman is home to over two hundred different species of fossil plants and animals. The list includes Sabertooth Cat, a Hyena-like dog, Mastodon, Otter, Bear, Shrew, Camel, and Ground Sloth, as well as many other species, and over 3,000 new fossil fragments are found each year. There is a visitor’s center in Hagerman where the Hagerman Horse is on display, but you can visit the actual fossil beds as well.
Directions – Visitor Center: Hagerman, 35 miles NW of Twin Falls; Monument: 6-8 miles W. of Hagerman, across the Snake River.
South of Buhl in the Salmon Falls Creek Canyon stands Balanced Rock. Over 48 feet tall and 40 tons, the wind-carved rock balances precariously on a pedestal only 3 feet by 17 inches. Nearby Balanced Rock Park is an excellent spot for a picnic.
Directions – Follow the signs from Buhl to Castleford then drive 6 mi. NW through farmland to Balanced Rock.
Perrine Bridge and the Snake River Canyon
This amazing bridge spans the Snake River Canyon on the northern edge of Twin Falls. It is 1,500 feet long and 486 feet above the Snake River. The four-lane bridge has pedestrian walkways with views of the river, sheer cliffs, the Blue Lakes, waterfalls, a park and two golf courses. BASE jumpers enjoy the Perrine Bridge as their launching pad for parachuting from the bridge to the canyon floor below.
In 1974, world-famous daredevil Evil Knievel tried to jump the Snake River Canyon on what was essentially an unguided missile. Unfortunately Knievel’s chute deployed early and both he and his missile bike fell into the canyon leaving the daredevil with only a few minor injuries. Knievel’s launch ramps still stand on the sides of the canyon.
Directions – I-84, south on Blue Lakes Blvd.
Shoshone Indian Ice Caves
This natural wonder is actually a lava tube that is 1,000 feet long, with an ice depth ranging between 8 and 30 feet in height. Take a tour and explore the trails but be sure to dress warmly, even during the summer months. Constant below freezing temperatures make a pleasant contrast to the often scorching summer heat.
Directions – Located 16 miles north of Shoshone on US Hwy 75.