Idaho July 03, 2016
10 Unbelievable Idaho Waterfalls Hiding In Plain Sight… No Hiking Required
By now you’ve checked out our Idaho waterfall road trip series (
North, East, South, and Central) leading up to spring’s peak waterfall season. If not, you should! We packed it full of hidden cataracts and beautiful, plummeting mists in every corner of the state. But Idaho is also home to dozens of falls that aren’t quite as far off the beaten path, perfect for youngsters, families, and waterfalls enthusiasts of every age – and they’re all well worth a visit, too.
While some of these falls can be considered “roadside,” many do involve brief, level, and easily accessible walks. For a few easy and family-friendly adventures this weekend, check out this list of no-hike falls.
1. Jump Creek Falls, Marsing
This towering, 60-foot waterfall in the middle of the Owyhee county desert is unexpected, but totally worth it. Bonus: the walk from your car to the top of the canyon only requires stepping over some sagebrush! Just take Highway 55 to Marsing, turn left onto Cemetery Road, before another left onto S. Jump Creek Road. The mouth of the canyon will be visible from a distance.
2. Phantom Falls, Oakley
Southern Idaho is home to dozens of beautiful falls it seems like. Phantom Falls are well off the beaten path -- which makes these airy, ghost-like falls blessedly preserved. Just outside of Oakley, take Goose Creek Road for 20 miles or so and take a left at the fork. From there, you'll be able to follow the signs.
3. Hunt Creek Falls, Priest Lake
Lush Northern Idaho is scattered with scenic falls, but many are buried in miles of trees and underbrush. Fortunately, the east side of Priest Lake showcases a number of gorgeous water features! From Priest
River, simply head north on Highway 57 for 22 miles, turn on Dickensheet Road, right on Cavanaugh Bay Road, and right Take this road up the hill and turn immediately to the left. Follow the road until it gets too rough, walking on foot the last 100 feet to this lush gem.
4. Perrine Coulee Falls, Twin Falls
A Twin Falls classic, this plummeting waterfall is as easy to see as you can get. Just drive down Canyon Springs Road just as you enter town, following the road down to the parking area. You'll be able to see these falls from the overlook.
5. Snake River Falls, Idaho Falls
Idaho Falls' namesake waterfalls stretch 1200 feet across the Snake River just off of the greenbelt and only half a mile from the center of downtown. While only 20 feet tall, this man-made waterfall is beautiful to look at!
6. Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls
You knew this one would make the list! Rather than turning onto Canyon Springs when you enter the city, turn left onto Falls Avenue East and another left onto 3300 E. Road. Here, you can just follow the signs to Idaho's most renowned waterfall, which will cost $3 to access. But even in the dry season, this beauty is quite the sight!
7. Ross Falls, Hansen
This hidden gem is just a short jaunt through the South Hills and it only takes an easy 1/3 mile walk with a barely noticeable incline. Just outside Hansen and slightly north of the Magic Mountain Ski Resort, simply follow the signs on Rock Creek Road.
8. Malad Gorge Falls, Hagerman
Malad Gorge is a scenic river canyon that cuts into the farmland and is clearly visible from I-84. But what many don't take the time to notice is the multiple immense waterfalls pouring out of the canyon walls as well! Once a volcanic eruption, this giant gash houses a portion of the Snake River, which feeds the falls, one of which plunges into the Devil's Washbowl. For direct access, follow I-84 east and take the Tuttle exit, simply following the signs. You can walk across a metal bridge directly over the falls, or navigate the interpretive loop for even more views.
9. Mesa Falls, Ashton
The Upper and Lower Mesa Falls are a set of pristine Idaho gems, just shy of the Idaho-Montana border. Just follow the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, where you can easily access the Grandview Campground Overlook. From here, you'll be able to see the lower falls with ease, and just make out the upper falls. Better access to both falls can be found at the Mesa Falls visitor center, where a paved boardwalk leads to one, and a nature trail leads to the other.
10. Fall Creek Falls, Swan Valley
The impressive multiple strands of Fall Creek Falls are easily admired just beyond the Falls Campground in Swan Valley with only a 1/4 mile stroll to access the viewing point. To get there, from Idaho Falls travel 45 miles east on Highway 26, turn off just before Snake River Bridge, then go an additional 3.5 miles on a gravel road that leads to the campground.
How many of these waterfalls can you check off of your bucket list? Are there any roadside falls that we’re missing? Stay tuned as we explore some of Idaho’s obscure, hidden falls — you won’t want to miss it!