Water, Wind, and Mystery….Adventures in the Snake River Canyon

This winter, we experienced above normal snow fall in the Southern part of Idaho.  This has caused enormous amounts of water to flow down the Snake River.  We live only 1/2 block from the river as it flows through our town, but on the advice of a friend we decided to head 2 1/2 hours west to the city of Twin Falls.  The Snake River flows through a canyon in this area.  In particular we wanted to see Shoshone Falls and Cauldron Linn.  With the high water flows, these two places were reported to be spectacular.  Being Easter week-end we decided to stay the night.  Jim used some of our reward points off of one of our credit cards, so we had a free room at the Shilo Inn.  Next we googled, things to do in Twin Falls…2 items in particular caught our interest, one was a zip-line in the bottom of the canyon and the other was an Escape Room in the city.  So we made the necessary arrangements and the week-end was set.

We left Idaho Falls about 9:00am. and arrived in Twin Falls at around 11:30.  Our zip line tour was not until 2;00pm, so we decided to try Idaho Joes Cafe.  They had a nice weekend buffet that Jim took advantage of, but the burgers and sandwiches were delicious as well.  The cinnamon rolls were yummy.

We headed toward the west end of the canyon, but we were still a bit early so we stopped at Centennial Waterfront park.  The river was high as the boat dock was flooded.  We had a nice view of the Perrine Bridge, which is a favorite with BASE jumpers.  Jade and Jerie also took advantage of the swings…you are never to old to swing.

Our meeting point for the zip line was the Canyon Springs Golf course.  It was nice to see the trees were in bloom, as it will be several more weeks before our trees bloom.

At the office of Zip the Snake we met Zach and Sara.  We signed all the appropriate releases, and we had a mini orientation.  We have zip lined before, so we were pretty excited that the harnesses would allow us to zip outside down.

Zach explained that there would be 4 zip lines of different lengths…460 feet, 860 feet, 420 feet (this was the fastest and very bouncy), and the last was 1750 feet, which is 300 feet longer than the Perrine bridge.  We caught our ride to the first zip.  We had to wear our helmets on the ride, as we skirted the golf course, and they didn’t want us to get hit with a stray golf ball.

We were ready to have some wind in our hair as we zipped down the lines. It made it that more fun and interesting to be in the canyon.

The weather was perfect as it was 65. Zach told us the canyon can be extremely hot in the summer.  Jade got ready to jump, struck a pose, and yelled, “follow me”.  This became his theme for the week-end.

The last zip we had to climb a tower. Normally, we would race, as this was a 2 line zip, but since it was just Zach as the brake person, we went one at a time. We had to be tethered while we waited, so that no one “accidentally” fell.

We had great views of the bridge as well as looking down the canyon.

We met our ride back and also got a final picture.  Zach told us on our way out of the canyon to stop at Perrine Coulee.  This is a man-made waterfalls, that returns irrigation water to the river.  Depending on the time of year, there may or may not be a falls.

Before stopping at Perrine Coulee, we headed down the canyon to explore a bit.

At Augler Falls, there is a very nice parking lot with information.  There are numerous trails with a bike “filling” station in the parking area.

On the way back we stopped to look at the rapids, as well as several more water falls coming over the canyon walls.

On our way back to Perrine Coulee, we stopped for one last look at the zip course and canyon.

Zach had told us to park on the side of the road and take a short, but steep hike down to the falls.  There is a path that goes behind the falls.  At one time, this was a stage-coach road.  When the wagons neared the water falls, they would stop and blind fold the horses so they would not be spooked by the falling water.  Just so you know, Coulee is a french word, meaning “to flow”.

Behind the falls…

It was pretty insane how narrow the road was, but we loved the roar of the falls.

It was a fun and interesting afternoon, we headed to our hotel and then went to Twin Falls Escape Room.  We were paired with a group of 6.  So 10 of us were locked in a room for an hour.  We were given clues that would help us find keys or codes.  These would help us unlock puzzle pieces.  Once we had all the puzzle pieces, we had to decipher the code to unlock the door.  It was like Clue and a scavenger hunt all in one.  We made it with 13 minutes to spare.. woohoo!!

The next morning, we headed east to Shoshone Falls, which is known as the Niagara Falls of the West.  It costs $3.00 to drive down to the falls, but it is well worth it, as the climb up is not for the faint of heart.  We have been to the falls when there is no water flowing over it.  That was not an issue on this day.

The rainbows from the mist were amazing.

It took a short hike to a lookout farther down the canyon.  We saw a wood chuck sunning himself on a rock.  The hike was worth it as we had great views and Jade’s “follow me” pose.

There also is a recreation area, that is very nice for picnics or swimming.  They even have a sandy beach.

We left the Shoshone Falls area, and headed toward Murtaugh, a small farming community.  We wanted to see the Cauldron Linn.  We followed GPS directions and ended up on the wrong side of the river.  However, we obviously were not the only people to get lost, as someone had posted a sign with directions.  The easiest way to go is take Exit 188 off of Interstate 15.  Turn Left onto Valley Road, which at about 2 miles makes a left turn and becomes 1300 S. or Powerline Road.  Turn right onto 1900 East and then left at 1475 S. from there follow the signs.

There is no entrance fee.  The road is very rutted and steep.  It advises against taking passenger cars down the road, but there were several cars in the parking lot.  We advise not to do it on a rainy day.  We parked the Jeep and made the short walk to the falls.  The path is very uneven. It is called Cauldron Linn as it was discovered by Scottish explorers/trappers.  Linn is Scottish for water falls.  The Cauldron part come from the pool below the falls looks like a boiling pot or cauldron.  You could hear the roar of the water from the parking lot.

There are no guard rails, so extreme caution needed to be taken while walking.  We walked to a higher vantage point and saw a lizard.  Jade did his “follow me” pose.

The views were stunning and the sound deafening.

Jade and Jerie wanted to at least try and feel the water.

All in all, our Wind, Water, and Mystery adventure was a success.  What a great way to spend a week-end!!

Categories: adventure, History, Idaho, travel

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