On the surface it may not seem like there is a ton to do in Twin Falls, Idaho. But dig a little deeper and you will find that this little town is bursting with hidden gems! With crystal clear springs, tropical-colored waters, deep, rocky canyons, and cascading waterfalls, there is no shortage of beautiful sights and fun things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho! Within a couple hour’s drive you also have access to the Sawtooth Mountains, Bruneau Sand Dunes and Craters of the Moon National Monument. In this article, we’ve rounded up 11 of the best things to do in Twin Falls to help you plan an amazing getaway!
Hi there! We’re Sarah and Matt, two nomads road tripping across the United States with our cat, Fitzgerald, making a new place our home month to month while working full time and adventuring as much as possible. We spend any free time we can get hiking, camping, backpacking, and exploring new places! We hope that our experiences will help you plan for your next adventure and inspire you to be an outlier!
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Twin Falls, Idaho
Located in southern Idaho, the small town of Twin Falls offers no shortage of natural beauty just waiting to be explored. Its convenient location 2 hours from Boise, 3 hours from Salt Lake, and 2 and a half hours from Idaho Falls makes exploring Twin Falls the perfect weekend getaway!
In a state known for its many waterfalls, Twin Falls, Idaho is home to many of the best! From the enormous Shoshone Falls, known as the “Niagara of the West” to lesser known gems like Minnie Miller Springs, there’s really no better place to go chasing waterfalls in Idaho than Twin Falls!
In addition to the many falls, Twin Falls also offers awesome hiking trails, kayaking, and other water sports on the Snake River, and easy access to nearby gems, like the Sawtooth Mountains, Craters of the Moon, and Bruneau Dunes.
Where to stay in Twin Falls
From camping to hotels and Airbnbs, there are plenty of choices for where to stay in Twin Falls. Below we’ll cover a few options for hotels, campgrounds and dispersed camping.
Hotels & Lodging
Twin Falls has a good selection of hotel and Airbnb options conveniently located in town at reasonable prices. Below we’ve listed a few great options:
- La Quinta Inn Twin Falls
- Twin Falls Holiday Inn
- Townhouse in Twin Falls (Airbnb)
- Home in Twin Falls (Airbnb)
Campgrounds & RV Parks
Unfortunately, there are currently no campgrounds in 1000 Springs State Park. However, a 50-spot campground in Billingsley Creek is currently under construction and expected to open in early 2023. Until then, your only options for camping are privately owned campgrounds and RV Parks. Below are a few options near Twin Falls:
- Milner Recreation Area | 26 campsites on BLM land with moderate ammentities, including fire rings, picnic tables and a pit toilet.
- Murtaugh Lake Campground | Nice campground located on Murtaugh Lake about 30 minutes southeast of Twin Falls.
- Balanced Rock Park | Free camping with basic amenities near Balanced Rock, about 35 minutes from Twin Falls
- 1000 Springs Resort | Campground and RV park on the Snake River near Ritter Island and Box Canyon
- Banbury Hot Springs | Offers RV and tent sites; a great place to stay if you plan to kayak to Blue Heart Springs.
- Oregon Trail Campground | RV park conveniently located 12 minutes from Shoshone Falls, Perrine Coulee Falls, and Twin Falls.
- KOA Twin Falls/Jerome | Small cabins, tent sites, and RV hookups located about 10 to 15 minutes from Twin Falls
Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of great dispersed camping options close to Twin Falls. If you are looking for a scenic and free spot to camp, check out Cauldron Linn:
- Cauldron Linn | Beautiful spots right by the Snake River and located near the Cauldron Linn Falls. The road gets a bit rough, so we’d recommend having high clearance and AWD.
When is the best time to visit Twin Falls?
For mild temperatures, the best time to visit Twin Falls is during the spring (late March through May) and fall (September through early October).
Spring is the best time of year to see the Twin Falls waterfalls at their best due to increased flow caused by snowmelt from nearby mountains. In fact, some of the falls don’t actually flow year-round. The exact timing varies each year depending on weather conditions, but typically by mid-summer, the water levels are significantly lower.
Summer in Twin Falls is very hot, with average highs in the upper 80’s. If you do visit during the summer, plan your hikes in the early morning and try to spend your days near the water to keep cool. Winter in Twin Falls is cold, with average highs in the 30’s and lows that often dip into the 20s. Snow is not uncommon, with an average snowfall of 18 inches per year.
Note: Ritter Island is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so you will have to visit during the summer to see Lemon Falls and Minnie Miller Springs
11 Best Things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho
In the following sections, we’ll go into detail about each of the best things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho.
- See the “Niagara of the West”
- Kayak to the base of Shoshone Falls
- Explore 1000 Springs State Park
- Take a day trip to the Sawtooth Mountains
- Hang out by Dierkes Lake
- Kayak to Blue Heart Springs
- Go waterfall hopping!
- See the Perrine Bridge
- Take a day trip to Craters of the Moon
- Run or walk the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail
- Visit Bruneau Dunes State Park
Map of the best things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho
The map below displays the locations of each of the best things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho, including each section of the 1000 Springs State Park, the Sawtooth Mountains, Bruneau Dunes State Park, and Craters of the Moon National Monument.
- To email this map to yourself for future use, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
- To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
1. See the “Niagara of the West”
- Location | Shoshone Falls Park, on the South bank of the Snake River, about 10 minutes from Twin Falls town center.
- Fees | $5 entrance fee (March 1 through September 30)
- Difficulty | easy (short walk to overlook)
- Hours | Dawn to Dusk
- Distance from Twin Falls | 10 minutes
The most famous and impressive waterfall in Idaho, Shoshone Falls is often referred to as the “Niagara of the West”. The massive waterfall stands at 212 feet high and 900 feet wide, forming a sort of semi-circle of cascading water, and is one of the can’t miss things to do in Twin Falls!
The flow of Shoshone Falls varies widely by year and season. In fact, we’ve seen Shoshone Falls twice and both times it was so low that only a section of the massive falls was actually flowing. You can expect the falls to be at their most impressive following years with heavy snowfall, as spring snowmelt fuels the Snake River. For the best shot at seeing Shoshone in all its glory, visit during the spring (March through May).
Reaching Shoshone Falls requires just a short walk from the parking area to a viewing platform. If you wish to get a little more exercise, you can also continue along the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail for up to 6 miles (one way), which leads all the way to Perrine Coulee Falls near Centennial Park.
Fun fact: Did you know that Shoshone Falls is actually taller than Niagara Falls? At 212 feet high, Shoshone is 45 feet taller than Niagra, at 167 feet high.
2. Kayak to the base of Shoshone Falls
- Kayaking distance | 8 miles
- Cost | $25 – $50 per person
- Difficulty | hard (due to distance and portage)
- Epic-ness rating | 7
- Distance from Twin Falls | departs from Centennial Park (in Twin Falls)
Looking to enjoy Shoshone Falls in all its glory, without the crowds?! Well, you’re in luck! In addition to viewing the falls from above, it’s also possible to kayak to the base of Shoshone Falls to see the cascading water up close, a view that not many get to see.
If you’re up for a challenge, kayaking to Shoshone Falls is an 8-mile round trip excursion on the Snake River that will fill the majority of your day. To reach Shoshone Falls by water, you will have to bypass a smaller set of waterfalls, Pillar Falls, along the way by portaging your kayak about 300 feet, adding an extra element of difficulty to the journey.
However, experiencing the beauty of Shoshone Falls from the water, with only the pounding sound of cascading water is well worth the challenge!
3. Explore 1000 Springs State Park
- Cost | $7 day use fee per vehicle
- Epic-ness rating | 6
- Distance from Twin Falls | 30 minutes to 1 hour
Located within an hour’s drive of Twin Falls lies the 1000 Springs State Park. But this isn’t just any state park! In fact, there are actually six different units to 1000 Springs State Park, each unique in its own right: Box Canyon, Ritter Island, Malad Gorge, Niagara Springs, Kelton Creek, and Billingsley Creek.
As the name implies, 1000 Springs State Park is actually home to over 1000 naturally occurring springs, many of which produce waterfalls that appear to be oozing out of the canyon walls. The park features stunning bright green and blue waters, rocky canyons and gorges, countless waterfalls, and crystal clear springs!
Below we will provide more information about the four most popular sections, including Malad Gorge, Box Canyon Springs, Ritter Island, and Niagara Springs.
Box Canyon Springs
While not quite as impressive as the tropical-colored waters of Blue Heart Springs, Box Canyon Springs is the 11th largest spring in North America, featuring vibrant blue and teal waters that will make you forget you’re in Idaho. In addition to its stunning springs, Box Canyon also features an impressive waterfall.
From the parking area for Box Canyon, there is a stunning viewpoint overlooking the bright blue springs. The water is so clear that you can see the sand, rocks and plants on the bottom of the spring. Because the water flows from an underground aquifer through tiny pores in the basalt rock, the water is naturally filtered and extremely pure, giving it that crystal clear appearance.
There is a 3-mile loop hike through Box Canyon Springs, which starts on the rim and drops 400 feet down into the canyon. The trail leads along the stream and gets you up close to the Box Canyon Waterfall. It also leads to a lovely spring that makes a great spot to hang out for an afternoon.
From Twin Falls, it’s about a 35-minute drive to reach Box Canyon State Park.
Ritter Island is one of the most popular units of 1000 Springs State Park and features two incredibly picturesque waterfalls, Minnie Miller Springs and Lemmon Falls. Both falls can be viewed from a 2-mile trail that leads along the perimeter of the island, surrounded on all sides by the vibrant teal and green waters of the Snake River.
Ritter Island is about a 45 minute drive from Twin Falls. To reach the Ritter Island Loop trail, walk across the footbridge from the parking lot and follow the gravel path to the left or right. It’s about a half mile walk to the right to reach the best view of Minnie Miller Springs. At a grassy area with an outcropping in the trees, you will find a picture perfect view of the falls and a picnic table to sit and enjoy lunch while you soak it in. From Minnie Miller Springs you can continue along the Ritter Island Loop for about a mile until you reach Lemmon Falls.
Ritter Island is another great spot to put in a kayak or paddleboard. The crystal clear teal water is absolutely beautiful, and you can enjoy the beauty of both Minnie Miller Springs and Lemmon Falls by water.
Niagara Springs is another section of the 1000 springs state park, located about 40 minutes outside of Twin Falls. The park is located inside the Snake River Canyon, and you must drive on a steep, windy road that drops into the canyon to get there – it’s not recommended for trailers or RVs.
What makes Niagara Springs so unique is that it actually flows out of the ground before plummeting 250 feet down the Snake River Canyon. Further into the Niagara Springs State Park, you will also find another smaller set of springs and a small, calm lake known as Crystal Springs Lake.
A beautiful 250-foot deep rocky canyon carved by the vibrant blue waters of the Malad River await those who visit Malad Gorge, another section of the 1000 Springs State Park. The most impressive landmark in Malad Gorge is Devil’s Washbowl, a huge waterfall that cascades through the canyon.
To walk overtop of the waterfall and across the canyon, stop by the Devil’s Washbowl Overlook. Here you can walk across a footbridge above Devil’s Washbowl to the other side of Malad Gorge. Although it’s a bit tough to really see the falls, the footbridge offers one of the best views looking down Malad Gorge.
If you continue along the paved path on the opposite side of the canyon for about a quarter-mile, you’ll arrive at an awesome viewpoint of the waterfall (the best view of Devil’s Washbowl, in my opinion).
After visiting the overlook, drive the scenic road through Malad Gorge, which offers several spots to pull off for more views of the gorge and Devil’s Washbowl.
4. Take a day trip to the Sawtooth Mountains
- Cost | Free
- Epic-ness rating | 8
- Distance from Twin Falls | 2 – 3 hours
Idaho’s beautiful Sawtooth National Forest is located just two hours from Twin Falls. With distinctly jagged peaks, these unique mountains certainly live up to their namesake! There are countless incredible hikes and beautiful alpine lakes in the Sawtooth Mountains, making it well worth a day trip or weekend excursion from Twin Falls.
The Sawtooth Mountains are also known for having an abundance of natural hot springs, many located on the Salmon River. We can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than soaking in a hot spring after a morning hike in the Sawtooths!
Our favorite hike in the Sawtooth Mountains is Alice Lake, a 12-mile round trip hike to a stunning alpine lake below the Sawtooth’s El Capitan peak. If you’re looking for a longer backpacking loop, the Alice-Toxaway Loop features 4 incredible alpine lakes over an 18 mile loop. The beautiful Sawtooth Lake is another classic, covering 10 miles and 1900 feet of elevation gain.
5. Hang out by Dierkes Lake
- Cost | $5 per vehicle (included in Shoshone Falls Park entrance fee)
- Epic-ness rating | 3
- Distance from Twin Falls | 10 minutes
If you are looking for a nice place to relax and cool off on a hot summer day in Twin Falls, check out Dierkes Lake. Dierkes Lake Park features a swimming area and beach, plenty of space to hang out around the lake, a playground, picnic tables, and group shelters with grills available for reservation.
Non-motorized boats are permitted on the lake, so it’s also possible to go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on Dierkes Lake. Additionally, there is a 1.7-mile trail that leads around the edge of the lake.
Located just minutes from Shoshone Falls, Dierkes Lake makes for an easy way to spend a few hours in Twin Falls and entrance is covered by the Shoshone Falls Park fee.
6. Kayak to Blue Heart Springs
- Distance from Twin Falls | 30 minutes (near Hagerman, Idaho)
- Total cost | $30 per person (kayak rentals)
- Total time | 2 – 3 hours (1.5 – 2 hours kayaking, 1 hour to hang out at the springs)
- Kayak Distance | 3 miles (round trip)
- Epic-ness rating | 7
Idaho is full of surprises, and Blue Heart Springs is no exception! The aptly named lagoon features vibrant, crystal clear blue water in the shape of a heart. Although just a half-hour drive from Twin Falls, the vibrant blue waters of this hidden lagoon will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Caribbean.
The first time I saw a photo of Blue Heart Springs in Idaho, I quickly assumed the vibrant blue colors were heavily edited. There was no way that such a place could exist in Twin Falls, a town I had come to know for its expansive farmland and sagebrush covered flatlands, but Caribbean colored lagoons? No way!
While living nearby in Idaho Falls, I decided I had to see for myself, and planned a solo kayaking trip to Blue Heart Springs. When I arrived at the springs, I was shocked and perplexed to find that the colors really are that blue. But don’t just take my word for it!
Blue Heart Springs is located off the Snake River and is accessible only by boat, so it is not possible to hike here. The most popular way to reach this little slice of paradise is to kayak downriver from Banbury Hot Springs, an excursion that takes around 2 hours roundtrip. It is also possible to visit by motorized boat, entering the Snake River at Banbury Hot Springs or Ritter Island.
If you’re looking to explore one of Idaho’s best hidden gems and spend a half day on the Snake River, add kayaking to Blue Heart Springs to your list of things to do in Twin Falls!
7. Go waterfall hopping!
- Distance from Twin Falls | 5 minutes to 1 hour
- Total cost | Varies by waterfall
- Epic-ness rating | 7
While you may know of Twin Falls as the home of the famous “Niagara of the West”, Shoshone Falls, the area also features a huge selection of other beautiful waterfalls. Most of the falls near Twin Falls are quite easy to access (although can sometimes be tricky to find). You could easily fill an entire day (or two!) chasing waterfalls around Twin Falls.
A few of our favorite waterfalls in Twin Falls (aside from Shoshone Falls, of course!) include:
- Perrine Coulee Falls | located in Centennial Park (5 minutes from Twin Falls)
- Twin Falls | located in Twin Falls Park (10 minutes from Twin Falls)
- Box Canyon Waterfall | located in Box Canyon Springs (35 minutes from Twin Falls)
- Minnie Miller Springs | located on Ritter Island (40 minutes from Twin Falls)
- Devil’s Washbowl | located in Malad Gorge (35 minutes from Twin Falls)
P.S. We’ve rounded up a list of the best waterfalls in Twin Falls, complete with all the details you need to plan an epic day of waterfall hopping here:
8. See the Perrine Bridge
- Distance from Twin Falls | In Twin Falls
- Total cost | Free
- Epic-ness rating | 4
One of Twin Falls most famous landmarks, the Perrine Bridge spans 1,500 feet across the Snake River Canyon. The bridge includes 4 lanes of traffic and two pedestrian walkways on either side of the road, featuring awesome views of the Snake River and rocky canyon walls. To walk across the bridge, park at the Twin Falls Visitor Center on the south side of the river.
Tip | Perrine Bridge is also a popular spot for base jumpers from all over the world. The adrenaline-inducing activity is legally permitted from Perrine Bridge without a permit. Keep an eye out for parachutes as you walk over the bridge!
9.Take a day trip to Craters of the Moon
- Distance from Twin Falls | 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total cost | $20 per vehicle or covered by the America the Beautiful pass
- Epic-ness rating | 6
Just an hour and a half north of Twin Falls lies the weird and mysterious Craters of the Moon National Monument, home to otherworldly lava-covered landscapes including massive basalt rocks, lava tubes, cinder cones, and large lava fields. Craters of the Moon is the largest lava field in the lower 48 United States, formed over eight different periods of eruption during the past 15,000 years.
One of the coolest features of Craters of the Moon is the lava tubes, massive underground tunnels through which molten lava once flowed. When the lava cooled, it left behind huge caves that you can explore at the park today!
To explore the caves, check out the Caves Trail, a 1.6 mile loop that provides access to four caves: Indian Tunnel, Dewdrop Cave, Beauty Cave, and Boy Scout Cave. To enter the caves at Craters of the Moon, you must have a permit which may be picked up from the visitor center.
In addition to the Caves Trail, there are several other short hikes in Craters of the Moon that feature some of the park’s most unique landscapes:
- Inferno Cone | Short, steep 0.5 mile hike up a volcanic cone with great views of the park.
- Tree Molds Trail | 2-mile hike that features ancient trees encased in lava.
- Broken Top Loop | 1.8 mile loop with rolling hills and large lava fields.
- North Crater trail | 3.5 mile out and back trail that leads into the mouth of North Crater and ends at the Spatter Cones.
10. Walk or run the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail
- Location | Starts in Centennial Park and ends in Shoshone Falls Park
- Distance | Up to 12 miles
- Elevation gain | up to 900 feet
- Cost | Free (or $5 entrance fee if starting in Shoshone Falls Park)
- Difficulty | easy to moderate (mostly flat)
Find this route on AllTrails: Snake River Canyon Rim Trail
The Snake River Canyon Rim Trail spans 6 miles from Centennial Park to Shoshone Falls Park along the Rim of the Snake River. The rim trail is an awesome spot to go for a scenic run (or just a leisurely walk!) in Twin Falls with awesome views of the Snake River the entire time. Complete the entire trail for an epic long run, or just go out and back as far as you please.
The Snake River Canyon Rim Trail begins just outside of Centennial Park. You can also pick the trail up from Shoshone Falls Park. The trail is fairly flat, with one large drop as you head into Shoshone Falls Park.
11. Visit Bruneau Dunes State Park
- Distance from Twin Falls | 1 hour 20 minutes
- Total cost | $7 per vehicle
- Epic-ness rating | 7
Home to the tallest sand dune in North America standing at 470 feet high, Bruneau Dunes State Park is just an hour’s drive from Twin Falls! Explore the massive dunes by foot or rent a sandboard from the visitor center and go sledding.
Bruneau Dunes State Park also has a campground that is open year-round round, featuring showers, flush toilets, and 120 sites equipped with fire rings. If you do stay overnight, the Observatory at the Bruneau Dunes is a popular spot for stargazing!
Bruneau Dunes State Park is located about 1 hour 20 minutes from Twin Falls and requires a $7 per vehicle entrance fee.
More resources: Things to do in Twin Falls
Looking for more details on the best things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho? Check out these resources below:
- Complete guide to kayaking to the base of Shoshone Falls
- How to Visit Blue Heart Springs: Idaho’s Tropical Lagoon
- How to Find Perrine Coulee Falls in Twin Falls
- Sawtooth Lake: Ultimate Trail Guide
- Hiking to Alice Lake: Best Hike in the Sawtooth Mountains
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For all things Idaho: Idaho Travel Guide
What’s your favorite thing to do in Twin Falls, Idaho? Questions about planning your trip? Drop us a comment below!