ILX + TSX Drive: Shoshone Waterfalls, Idaho

Odometer (Legend):  529,310

529310

Odometer (ILX):  78,764

78764

Trip Distance:  340 Miles

logan_to_twin_falls

A rainbow shimmered in the mist far below as I watched thousands gallons of the Snake River tumble to the canyon floor ahead of me.  Even from a viewing platform at the opposite end of the canyon, the sound of the water crashing down was powerful.  Idaho’s name is the “Gem State,” and I cay say with a certainty that Shoshone Falls must be one of the state’s hidden gems.  Even more impressive:  Shoshone, just outside the small town of Twin Falls, is a full 50 feet taller than world-famous Niagara Falls at the New York – Ontario border!

tyson_at_falls

I was inspired by my friend Josh’s recent post about his visit to Shoshone in southern Idaho, so when I put together a plan to visit some family in northern Utah for a long weekend, I figured it was well-worth the 5-hour round trip drive to lay eyes on the “Niagara of the West.”  I was right.  For anyone in the western U.S., you need to see this place.

After exiting Cache Valley last Saturday morning, most of my drive was on Interstate 84 westbound which routes northwesterly through some rolling hills of northern Utah.  Amenities are few and far between along this stretch.  Thankfully, Utah has posted the speed limits through that region at 80 miles per hour so the drive goes fairly quickly.  I set the cruise control at the ILX at 80 which revs the 2.4 liter at around 3,400 RPM.  A critical pit stop – of course – was when I got a photo at the Idaho state line.  Josh had agreed to meet me at the falls, so at this point we were nose-to-nose in opposite directions on I-84.

idaho_welcome

From there, I-84 and I-86 intersected and I headed due west through the small southern Idaho towns of Rupert and Burley.  You may remember Burley from a trip through this same area last year to a family reunion.  Exiting the interstate toward Kimberly, I crossed the mighty Snake River on Hansen Bridge, a 1966 replacement to a suspension bridge that was initially constructed in 1916 as one of the only gorge crossings in the area.

As Josh and his 2005 Acura TSX finished up the last few miles of his westward trip toward Twin Falls from Boise, I had a few minutes to explore historic downtown Twin Falls.  I stumbled across a charming little Volkswagen / Porsche repair facility on Main Street called R.S. Garner Enterprises.

rs_garner_enterprises

Josh and I met at the best sushi place in town, “Sushi Ya” on 2nd Avenue.  The all-you-can-eat menu hit the spot.  After lunch, I took a moment to admire the condition of Josh’s TSX.  Aside from a total of 3 or 4 dings in the body, the condition looks more like a 90,000 mile car than a 401,000 mile car.  I got a kick out of Josh’s description of how he sets up his windows & sunroof for optimal wind distribution throughout the cabin when he’s on his drives.  We cranked up our 2.4 liter engines and headed toward Shoshone just a few miles away.

tsx_ilx

josh_tyson_shoshone

Park entry was $3 and gave us access to Shoshone as well as an adjacent lake called Dierkes Lake.  Shoshone was everything it was cracked up to be.  The falls tumble 212 feet to the canyon floor.  Certain sections of the falls have individual names:  Bridal Veil, Two Graces, and Sentinel.  Water levels vary throughout the year, but at certain times it’s possible to see the entire span of the canyon flowing with water.  It’s also possible to see the falls nearly completely dry, as the Snake River is utilized for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.  Josh and I hiked around the south rim of the canyon for a few minutes and admired the scenery. It wasn’t far from this place where famous stunt devil Evel Knievel attempted to jump a sky-cycle (motorcycle) across the entire (1,500-foot-wide) Snake River Gorge back in September 1974.  His attempt failed but he survived, caught by the wind and carried to the canyon floor by his parachute.

From Shoshone, we cruised a few minutes up the road and visited Dierkes Lake which was bustling with recreation on a Saturday afternoon.  There is even a diving board set up there for swimmers, and we saw others who preferred to cliff-dive into the blue-green water.

dierkes_lake

Our last stop before we headed separate ways was the I.B. Perrine Bridge.  It was completed in 1976 and stands 486 feet above the canyon floor.  Josh and I parked our Acuras at the north end of the bridge and walked down beneath it. The bridge is a popular place for “BASE” jumpers and we watched a couple of crazies jumping off it with parachutes and sailing to the river below.

perrine_bridge

I had a great time seeing some of Idaho’s beauty and I thank Josh for joining me for this adventure!  He and I will be getting together soon for more drives.  “I’m only 5-6 hours away from so many national parks!” he said.  Only someone with 400,000 miles on his Acura would say “only” in reference to a 6-hour drive.  Haha.

Here’s a video that contains a few of the photos from our trip as well as a short clip.

Heading out on a bright Saturday morning from Providence, Utah.  The Wellsville Mountain Range in the distance will be snow-capped for awhile yet this year.

wellsville_mountains

I-84 West was a pretty lonely place aside from a handful of truckers out and about.

84

Not long after crossing into Idaho, two freeways merged together.

twin_falls_sign

I set my sights on Twin Falls.

dist

Stay Alert – Stay Alive!  It’s easy to get into a daze in this desolate stretch of southern Idaho.

safety_corridor

Clever road name.

idahome

I took this one in Burley, Idaho for a friend named Conor.  Didn’t have the chance to try the menu!

connors_cafe_burley

Crossing the 1966 Hansen Bridge.

hansen_bridge_sign

Parked at the overlook of the ravine near Hansen Bridge.

snake_river_gorge

Made it to Twin Falls!

twin_falls_welcome

Can’t miss this place:  “Stinker” gas Station.  The Stinker name was coined originally in 1936 when the first station opened in Twin Falls.

stinker_station_twin_falls

A few shots of the VW repair facility called R.S. Garner Enterprises on Main Street.

rs_garner_3

rs_garner_2

Getting closer to the falls!

shoshone_street

Best sushi place in town!

sushi_ya

Battle of the bugs.

bugs

Josh takes a minute to refuel (only 91 octane for the TSX!) and clean up his windshield.

josh_cleaning_window

Here’s where the odometer sat at that very moment:  400,798.

josh_gauges

I followed Josh the 4 or 5 miles to the area on the south side of the Snake River Gorge where Shoshone Falls was located.

following_tsx

Quick photo-op.

tyson_with_tsx

Happened to enter right behind a nice looking Acura MDX.

mdx

Brochure in-hand and ready to roll.

brochure

Here are some shots of the falls.

shoshone_2

I can only imagine what these must look like when water is at full capacity.

shoshone_falls

Looking westward through the canyon at some of the cliffs.

rocks

Small waterfalls alongside the road.

falls_by_road

Parked at Dierkes Lake.

tsx_ilx_2

Josh crossing the Snake River on the Perrine Bridge.

tsx_on_perrine_bridge

And here’s a look eastward through the ravine.

snake_river_2

View underneath the Perrine Bridge.

under_bridge

View to the west, including a golf course.

snake_river

Back on the road to run up a few more miles en route to Logan, Utah.

speed_80

Passed this Canterbury Green 1994-95 Legend L/LS sedan but the driver didn’t even notice my thumbs-up.

cbury_legend

Thanks for coming along!  And a huge thanks to Josh for being a great host in showing me around Twin Falls.  Be sure and follow his blog at TSX Travels for more of his insightful posts about driving his Acura around Idaho.

20 Responses to “ILX + TSX Drive: Shoshone Waterfalls, Idaho”

  1. good times! now if we can only get Carlos to man up & come visit from FL. 🙂

  2. Carlos Says:

    Did somebody call my name? 🙂

    I love waterfalls. Those falls look tempting. My TSX has taken me to two waterfalls in Virginia and North Carolina.

    I would like to visit Idaho when Josh gets close to the 500,000 mile barrier.

    Tyson and Josh: Maybe we can visit Beartooth Highway and the Going to the Sun road to commemorate the big 500,000 milestone. I believe both of these roads are in Montana. They are both considered some of the most beautiful roads in America,

    • Stop reading my mind! I will be driving the Beartooth Highway from Wyoming to Montana on Saturday, June 7th in the ILX with my dad. Can’t wait! I’ve been reading all about it. But, we definitely do need to plan a big hurrah road trip for Josh as he gets closer to 500k. There had better be red carpet involved.

  3. I’d settle for red velvet cake… haha

  4. I’ll have to check out those falls next time I’m in that neck of the woods.

    Hard to believe they are taller than Niagara.

    • I know, I found that hard to believe too. I’d really like to get back to Shoshone when the water level is at its peak. Must really be a sight to see. I’ll take a swimsuit and dive into Dierkes Lake up the road too.

  5. Eric E Says:

    I’d say the guy in the Canterbury green was just embarrassed by his paint job.

    • Yeah, it was a younger guy – rocking out to some song, paying zero attention to the world around him. Haha. Rare to see a Legend sighting in that area — or at all, lately — so it did get me a little excited.

  6. ChrisB_EasleySC Says:

    Tyson, your ILX’s front bumper had more bugs showing than paint! Ha! How in the world are you going to get it clean?

    I used to scrub and scrub the front of my TL, but as soon as it dried–still bug-guts in one spot or another. I guess it needed waxing more often, huh?

    Just got an MDX & I need to protect it’s larger front area now before summer sets in and it gets covered beyond recognition. Can you give any recommendations of a good paint protectant?

    Your pics of the falls were great. If I ever make it out to Idaho, definitely going to put Shoshone Falls on my list of things to see.

    Cheers!

    • Hey Chris! I’ve already got the bugs cleaned off the ILX front end — not to worry! It took a bit of elbow grease and a high-pressure hose but the front end actually cleans up perfectly. I’ve still got a “clear bra” installed up there so there’s really no permanent damage from any road debris up there. You should probably look into something like that for your MDX. It’s worth the investment. Yeah, definitely hit up Shoshone and you’ll love it. What area are you located in?

      • ChrisB_EasleySC Says:

        I’m on the east coast, in South Carolina, but I have family in Oklahoma that I visit nearly every year. Last year we visited New Mexico & Colorado, so my western travels are still a bit limited at the moment.

        From all of the great pictures and articles on your site, I really need to get out that way more often. You’ve visited some really awesome places, most of which I’ve never heard of.

        Safe travels!

  7. Tyson, wow! I need to add those Falls to my bucket list now. Gorgeous pix!

  8. You know Tyson, looking at our cars in front of the Sushi place sure makes me appreciate the advances Acura has made in the body design department. My TSX almost looks like the “Plain Jane” sitting next to the prom queen, beside your ILX.

    • I think I can see what you’re saying. The ILX has some very prominent character lines, like that swooping beltline along the sides and the angular front end. My car is also outfitted with the optional “Sport Underbody Kit” so the design language is amplified even more. Vehicle design definitely has come quite a ways in 10 years, but I still think the TSX has aged very gracefully.

  9. Nice write up as usual. I will be watching the TSX Travels now.

    • Thank you, Terry! I appreciate the visit and comment. Josh would be glad to have you follow his page as well. I hope you’re having a great weekend!

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