Thursday, March 7, 2019

Shoshone Falls is coming to life! Spring is the ideal time to tour Magic Valley waterfalls

Shoshone Falls last weekend as the flows were beginning to come up. (Courtesy Southern Idaho Tourism) 

Looking downstream of Shoshone Falls into the yawning Snake River Canyon. 
Hi all,

Thanks to the bountiful precipitation we received in February, the mountain snowpack situation in
Idaho is totally positive, if not a bit over the top in places (are we tired of back-breaking snow-shoveling yet???). All of the snow ensures that we're going to have a big river runoff season this spring in every river basin statewide!

The Snake River is no exception, with 115-125 percent of normal snowpack at the moment in the Upper Snake region. The Bureau of Reclamation is beginning to release flood-control flows below Milner Dam in the mid-Snake region, bringing mighty Shoshone Falls to life.

Today, about 6,000 cfs were passing over the 212-foot falls, the Niagara of the West. That makes for a breath-taking view!

Road trip anyone? Shoshone Falls Park is open for daytime viewing. I'd recommend going to see the impressive falls as a fun day trip or overnight, weekend trip. Maybe hit a hot springs along the way, go to the Twin Falls Sandwich Company for lunch, or select from this Trip Advisor menu of top local lunch and dinner spots.

Check out this drone video of Shoshone Falls from Reeder Flying Service shot in February 2017 when all of the low-elevation snow came off and flooded the region. This is why you should go!

Remember that there are a number of other waterfalls to experience while you're in the neighborhood. See a local guide for details.

Did you like seeing all the bald eagles roosting in a tree near Wendell this week? Here's how to get there ... Read this post:

If this weekend doesn't work for Shoshone Falls, know that flood-control flows will be coming over the falls for the next couple of months through May, according to the BOR. You can see what they're releasing online at any time (check cfs by Milner Dam). I'd guess that it's going to run strong for the next 8-10 weeks, given the deep snowpack. I'm just guessing ... no guarantees.

Upper Snake teacup shows reservoir contents and outflow (click to enlarge) 
On your way to the Magic Valley, I recommend taking the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway from Hagerman to Buhl and Twin Falls. You can go fishing in that area by Hagerman WMA, stop at one of three hot springs, or visit the Minnie Miller springs and other units of Thousand Springs State Park.  

Also, the Middle Snake is known for kick-ass whitewater boating and some sweet flatwater paddling as well. Contact Idaho Guide Service if you'd like to run the Class 4+ Murtaugh reach of the Snake River during the spring flows. Think big rapids, big roaring whitewater. After the river flows calm down, you can paddle from Centennial Park in Twin Falls up to the brink of Shoshone Falls in the deep Snake River canyon while maybe seeing a base-jumper parachute overhead while passing underneath the giant Perrine Bridge.

Stop in the Visitor Center in Twin Falls on the south side of the Perrine Bridge for information about what to see and do in the region. It's a beautiful building next to the canyon.
Notes: There's a Scoop the Poop event on Saturday, sponsored by the City of Boise. Click on the event page for more information. Dog owners are encouraged to go out and scoop up poop next to our foothills trails from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Please do your part!


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