Thursday, July 14, 2016

Two paddling adventures suitable for Idaho bucket list - 1000 Springs & Shoshone Falls

Photos courtesy VisitIdaho 
Taking off from Centennial Park toward Shoshone Falls 
Hi all,

I've been exploring the Southern Idaho region more than usual this year, working on Southern Idaho Tourism for Carew & Co., a really great Boise ad agency. I've been posting items on social media, blogging and shooting photos and video for content posted on

Along the way, I've been touting two paddling trips in the region that are really world-class adventures because of the scenery and surroundings:

1. Paddling from Centennial Park in Twin Falls to the base of Shoshone Falls, a 4-mile trip one way.
2. Doing a loop around Ritter Island below the rushing water of Thousand Springs, pouring from the Snake River cliffs above. 2-mile loop

Now that we're in mid-summer, it's prime time for paddling adventures! In terms of crafts, these trips are best suited for Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP), sit-on-top hard-shell kayaks, canoes or inflatable kayaks. In fact, these trips are perfect for them!

You can take your own gear down there, or rent stuff in Hagerman at Hagerman Valley Sports & Merc (for Thousand Springs tour), or at Centennial Park in Twin Falls for the trip to Shoshone Falls. Idaho Guide Service provides guided tours to Shoshone Falls with lunch. The cool thing about renting watercraft from AWOL Adventure Sports at Centennial Park is it's very handy. You just show up, rent your gear and go! Prices are very reasonable - $20 to $45, depending on craft.

They'll tell you how to portage Pillar Falls (two miles toward the falls) and what to expect on your journey to Shoshone Falls. Most of the time, you'll encounter a west wind on the way back. Just remember that for travel time. Bring plenty of food and drink to enjoy the day.

The big highlight of the trip is to hang out below Shoshone Falls and take in the roaring water from river level, hearing the sound of nature pounding on the water and mist rising into the sun's rays, sometimes forming rainbows.

Here's an informative blog post about the paddling trip to Shoshone Falls, titled "Hiking on Water to Shoshone Falls" by Justin Fricke, published by VisitIdaho. And here's a May post that I penned about Paddling the Snake.

For the Ritter Island Tour, travel to Thousand Springs State Park, east of Hagerman, on the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway. There are detailed maps on the state park web site. You can tour the Minnie Miller dairy barn while you're there, and hike around the island, if you wish (2 mile trail). Launch your boat on the Thousand Springs channel near the entrance to the park, and then paddle out to the Snake River, go downstream to the bottom toe of the island, and paddle back around the Thousand Springs channel. Do as many loops as you want!

Paddling in channel below Thousand Springs 
While you're in the neighborhood, I recommend the Twin Falls Sandwich Company in downtown Twin Falls for lunch, Elevation 486 for a top-shelf dinner with a stupendous view of the Snake River canyon, and the Snake River Grill in Hagerman for a delicious fish dinner or your choosing.

For lodging, you can find an RV campground in the area or book at hotel room.

Have a great time!
- SS

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