Idaho

The Ultimate Shoshone Falls Visitor Guide

Known by many as the “Niagara of the West”, the breathtaking Shoshone Falls in Southern Idaho is a landmark that all travelers who visit the American Southwest should have on their itinerary.  With a drop of 212-feet (roughly 65-meters), Shoshone Falls is actually 45-feet (or roughly 14-meters) taller than the infamous Niagara Falls on the border between New York State and Canada.  In addition to the high drop, the fact that rim of Shoshone Falls stretches to roughly 1,000-feet wide makes this waterfall special.  So if you are a waterfall enthusiast, landscape photographer, or just love to see some of mother nature’s breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, the Shoshone Falls in Southern Idaho is an absolute must-see destination.

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While Shoshone Falls isn’t on national park land, it is part of an Idaho State Park, which means that it is protected land.  To visit Shoshone Falls State Park, you will need to arrive during the hours the park is open and pay a modest visitor fee to enter.  If you are looking for more information on the best way to visit the park, including how to get there, where to stay, and how best to view the falls, then you have come to the right place.  In this guide, I will provide you will all of the information that you will need to make your visit to Shoshone Falls an experience you won’t ever forget.

How to Get There

Shoshone Falls US Map

Shoshone Falls is located in Southern Idaho and is a reasonably short drive from Boise, Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Bozeman, Montana.  It is also an easy day trip from Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks, so if you are staying at those parks for an extended period of time and are looking for a good day trip to take, Shoshone Falls is a great suggestion.  For more information on how far Shoshone Falls is from other large cities in the Western United States, I have included a table of driving distances from nearby large cities and a map for you to review below.

CityDistanceDrive Time
Boise, ID131 miles2hrs 8min
Salt Lake City, UT218 miles3hrs 15min
Bozeman, MT363 miles5hrs 44min
Missoula, MT469 miles6hrs 45min
Billings, MT498 miles7hrs 53min
Portland, OR558 miles8hrs 27min
Casper, WY560 miles8hrs 44min
Denver, CO692 miles10hrs 19min

If you are visiting from outside of the United States and would like to visit Shoshone Falls, I would suggest flying into either Boise, Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah, or Bozeman, Montana.  If you are visiting from inside the United States and are planning a road trip out west, I have included a map below that outlines where Shoshone Falls is in relation to the large cities in the region.

Shoshone Falls Region Map

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Shoshone Falls sits inside Shoshone Falls State Park, which has a number of viewpoints, walking paths, and a refreshments stand for visitors to enjoy.  In order to assist you in better understanding the layout of the park and the location of the viewpoints, I have included the map (with a link to a downloadable PDF map) for you to review below.

Shoshone Falls Park Map

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When to Visit

Shoshone Falls-1488

Before you start planning your trip to visit Shoshone Falls and the surrounding area, it is important to decide it makes the most sense to plan your trip.  Depending on what you plan to do during your trip, different times of the year are going to be better for you to visit than others.  Among the factors that you will want to consider when deciding what time of year is the best for your trip are the average temperature and the average amount of precipitation the area gets throughout the year.  In order to assist you in making the decision that is best for your trip, I have included data on both of these factors for you to review below.

Average Temperature (°F)

One of the most important factors that you will want to consider when deciding on the best time to visit the falls is what the average temperature will be when you visit.  Because of its elevation, Shoshone Falls can get quite cold during the winter months of December thru February.  If you plan on visiting during this time, it will be important for you to dress appropriately and plan on the possibility of driving in snowy conditions.  Because the snow can obscure some of the falls and reduce the water flow, the winter months are the least popular months of the year at the falls.

On the contrary, the summer months of June thru August can get quite hot at Shoshone Falls.  If you plan on visiting during these months, it will be important for you to make sure you bring enough water with you when you visit.  If you are looking for moderate temperatures when you visit, your best bet is to target the spring and autumn months as the average temperatures in this area in late spring and early autumn are much more comfortable.

Average Precipitation (Inches)

The area around Shoshone Falls doesn’t get an overwhelming amount of rain and snowfall throughout the year, but it does get some.  If you are visiting the see and photograph the falls, you probably want to have good weather when you visit.  If you would like to visit when the area around the falls is the dryest, your best bet is to plan your trip during the months of July thru September.  However, these months also tend to be some of the hottest months of the year in the area, so you will need to make sure you bring enough water with you.

Other Things to See in the Area

Craters of the Moon-1609

In addition to Shoshone Falls, there are plenty of other amazing things to see and do in Idaho and the surrounding region.  Among these other attractions are the Craters of the Moon National Monument, which is one of the most interesting landscapes you will find in North America, as well as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, which sit on the border of Idaho and the states of Wyoming and Montana.  If you are going to be in the area and would like to fill out your itinerary with some additional attractions, I have included a link to my Craters of the Moon National Monument and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Visitor Guides for you to review below.

READ MORE:
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument Visitor Guide
READ MORE:
Grand Prismatic Hot Spring
Yellowstone and Grand Teton Visitor Guide

Where to Stay

camping

Campgrounds

When visiting the national parks and monuments of the United States, it is a really neat experience to camp out during your visit.  Some of the best campgrounds in America can be found inside the country’s national parks and monuments and the surrounding areas.  If you are interested in camping out during your visit, I have included a map and list of some recommended campgrounds for you to review below.

Shoshone Falls - Campgrounds Map

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Twin Falls / Jerome KOA Holiday
Anderson Camp
Oregon Trail RV
Rock Creek RV Park
Curry Trailer Park
Twin Falls 93 RV Park

Hotels

If camping is not your speed, you need not work as there are a variety of good hotels for you to choose from in the area as well.  If you are in the process of planning your trip to Shoshone Falls and are looking for recommendations on hotels in the area, I have included a map and list of recommended hotels and different price points for you to review below.

Craters of the Moon National Monument - Area Hotels Map

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Travelodge by Wyndham Pocatello ($)
Tops Motel ($)
Quality Inn & Suites Twin Falls ($$)
Comfort Inn & Suites Jerome – Twin Falls ($$)
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Twin Falls ($$$)
Hilton Garden Inn Twin Falls ($$$)
Hampton Inn Burley ($$$$)
AmericInn by Wyndham Hailey Sun Valley ($$$$)
Limelight Hotel – Ketchum ($$$$$)
Sun Valley Resort ($$$$$)

Resources

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When planning any trip, you can never have too many resources at your disposal.  In addition to the information I have provided you in this guide, I have linked to a number of other official resources from the US National Parks Service below for you to use to plan your trip as well.

Activities in the Area

rafting

If you have some extra time while you are at Shoshone Falls and the surrounding area and are looking for some activities to do during your visit, I have included a list of suggestions below for you to review.

Photography Advice

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Visiting the Shoshone Falls is an experience that will deeply move you.  The breathtaking scale and intensity of the falls is something you won’t soon forget.  When you visit, I strongly recommend that you bring a camera so that you can document the experience.  If you are looking for some tips on how to photograph the falls and other public lands that you will be visiting on your trip, I have included some useful photography guides for you to review below.

READ MORE:
Mountains Photographer
Ten Useful Tips for Photographing Landscapes
READ MORE:
National Parks Photography
Tips for Photographing National Parks
READ MORE:
National Park Sunrise
10 Easy Tips to Make Your Vacation Photos Really Pop

Photo Gallery

I was able to capture a number of beautiful shots when I visited Shoshone Falls.  Really, it is hard to take a bad photograph of a place this beautiful.  If you would like to see some more of the shots I took during my visit, I have included a gallery for you to review below.

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4 replies »

  1. We’ve pretty much sworn off the Southwest in summer due to that heat* we just endured (you know…), so if Europe is still a no-go zone next summer 🙁 we may be looking to a more northerly part of the west. Shoshone Falls looks like a great place to hit. I’ve wanted to explore more of Idaho for a while now. Beautiful shots, by the way.

    *Let’s see how long this “swearing off” lasts. 😉

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