Twin Falls, Idaho may not seem like an exciting place to visit, and especially not a place to vacation. But the Idaho town actually has some amazing gems to see. Here are our favorite things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Click the links below to skip to any of the following sections:
Downtown Twin Falls
Snake River Canyon & the Perrine Bridge
Minidoka National Historic Site
Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
Things to Do In Twin Falls: Video from our sister site JaclyTravel.com
Downtown Twin Falls is similar to so many small town downtowns around Idaho. Although many businesses moved out of downtown decades ago and to the mall or suburbs, the buildings are being redeveloped and business is moving back to downtown Twin Falls.
You can find boutique clothing stores, coffee shops, and even a cheese shop! Spending an hour or two in downtown Twin Falls is a great way to start or end your trip to the Idaho town.
Probably known most famously as the canyon that Evel Knievel attempted to jump his motorcycle over in 1974 (emphasis on “attempted”), the Snake River Canyon is a geological phenomenon and beautiful place to visit in Twin Falls.
The Snake River runs 50 miles through ancient basalt lava flows that formed the canyon.
The Perrine Bridge is a bridge that runs over the Snake River Canyon, connecting Jerome County and Interstate 84. The bridge is around 1,500 feet long and nearly 500 feet above the Snake River. It is the eighth highest bridge in the United States, and is open to walk from end to end — which is fun and well worth the photos you can take while you do it.
To visit the Perrine Bridge and Snake River Canyon, you can park at the nearby visitor’s center — stop in and learn about the area before venturing out on the bridge.
BASE jumping in Twin Falls
When visiting the Snake River Canyon and Perrine Bridge, you will likely see BASE jumpers jumping off the side of the bridge. Part of this has to do with the Perrine Bridge being one of the only man-made structures in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed all year without a permit.
Shoshone Falls is one of the many waterfalls located on the Snake River in Twin Falls, and the area has been built up as a scenic overlook for tourists (and locals) to visit and view the waterfall year round. Sadly, during the winter there is very little water trickling over the falls, but it’s still worth visiting.
Shoshone Falls was formed by flooding of Lake Bonneville during the Pleistocene Ice Age around 14,000 years ago and is the upper limit of fish migration along the Snake River. Idaho became an important point on the Oregon Trail due to the trading that happened because of the culture surrounding Shoshone Falls in the 1800s.
The Niagara of the West
Shoshone Falls has been called the Niagara Falls of the West due to its size and comparison to the famous eastern waterfall. Shoshone Falls is 212 feet, which is much taller than Niagara Falls’ 167 feet.
The Minidoka National Historic Site, otherwise known as the Minidoka Internment Camp, is a location just outside of Twin Falls that served as a Japanese internment camp during World War II.
After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which forced more than 120,000 people with Japanese ancestry into prison camps across the western United States — and Minidoka is one of those. According to the National Park Service, the Minidoka Prison Camp encompassed more than 33,000 acres, with 900 used for residential living. There were 12 barracks, a mess hall, and a latrine.
Between 1942 and 1945, more than 13,000 people were forced to live at the Minidoka Prison Camp. Across the 10 Japanese internment camps across the United States, there were 120,000 total people imprisoned during this time.
In 1979, Minidoka was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2001, became a unit of the National Park Service. You can visit year round as most of the site is outside. We visited in November and the visitor’s center was closed, but the rest of the site was walkable and open. You can find hours here.
Also located just outside of Twin Falls, Idaho is the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. Hagerman is home to a fossil bed from the Pilocene Epoch that includes now-extinct creatures like the saber-toothed cat, mastodon, and ground sloth, as well as other animals like horses, beavers, and birds.
While the actual fossil beds are not accessible to the public due to due their instability, the visitor center in Hagerman has a bunch of cool items, including the Hagerman Horse. The horse fossil is one of the oldest horses of the genus Equus and was discovered in 1928.
The Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is moving to a new location and is expected to open their Thousand Springs Visitor Center in 2022.
We took a day trip from Boise and did all these things in one day, but there is plenty more to do in Twin Falls, Idaho if you have even more days. Consider taking a trip to southern Idaho to explore everything there is to do.