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LadyVic Mar 20th, 2021 05:40 AM

Help with Waterfalls and 1st Time Sites in Idaho
Traveling to Idaho for the first time. Always prefer doing a LOOP (not backtracking) which I realize would be massive starting out in Spokane. We want to include the Palouse area and Hells Canyon tour. Wanting to know the most scenic areas of Idaho. Husband and I don't hike over a mile or so a day. As part of this, is it feasible traveling, in ONE day, from Boise, down toward waterfalls area (Thousand Springs, etc.), up to Craters of the Moon, and staying in Hailey, ID for the night. i.e. is that a long day, or would you recommend staying somewhere at the waterfalls area? How many waterfalls do you recommend seeing around the Thousand Springs/Idaho Falls area, and how much time is needed there? Knowing waterfalls close to the road would be helpful too in case we are limited getting from Boise to Craters. We will have 9 to 10 days. Thanks so much.

tomfuller Mar 20th, 2021 07:33 AM

When are you planning this trip? A large majority of the residents of Idaho consider masks and vaccines to be a suggestion at best. I do expect a big surge of Covid cases in Idaho before July1. I hope I'm wrong.
Doing a clockwise loop from Spokane, spend the first night in Coeur d' Alene. It has a beautiful lake nearby. Head south on US 95 to Weiser ID with a side trip or two over to see Hells Canyon from the Idaho side.
Connect to I-84 near the bridge over the Snake River and go through Boise. (Get gas and something to eat in Boise). Continue east on I-84 to exit 141 to get on US 26 east to Craters of the Moon. Take at least a 1 mile hike in Craters of the Moon. There is not much lodging nearby. Heading east on 26/20, you will come to the small town of Arco which was the place that the first nuclear power for civilian use was generated from a government owned nuclear power plant. At the split take US 20 into Idaho Falls. Spend a night in Idaho Falls. If you ever wanted to go see Yellowstone and Grand Teton, this would be the time if the weather is good.
A couple of towns to visit from Idaho Falls are Rigby and Driggs. In Rigby is a small museum documenting Philo Farnsworth's invention of television. Driggs is an interesting town on the way to Jackson WY.
Come south on US 89 from Jackson to connect to US 30. Take 30 west to Lava Hot Springs ID. There are several nice spa type hotels in Lava Hot Springs.
On the way back across Idaho, see American Falls and Twin Falls. Take 67 out of Mountain Home to try to get to the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation area. You may be able to get to see Swan Falls.
Take I-84 back into Oregon to Baker City. Near Baker City is the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Get off I-84 onto I-82 to go to Pasco WA. See Palouse Falls which I consider to be better than any of the falls in Idaho that I've seen. Palouse Falls is 104 miles from Spokane.

Patty Mar 20th, 2021 08:28 AM

I think you mean Twin Falls, not Idaho Falls, right? Idaho Falls would be really far out of the way. I would stop at Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls if you're going in the spring. It's an easy walk from the parking area. Other than that there isn't much to see in Twin Falls.

I haven't been to Thousand Springs but there's a recent post on TA breaking down the various units in post #7

From Hailey I assume you're planning to drive up through the Sawtooths to Stanley? After that you could consider heading up to McCall. You could also include Coeur d'Alene and/or Sandpoint. These are the scenic areas of Idaho with the most scenic being the Sawtooths IMO.

TravelinVic Mar 22nd, 2021 06:40 AM

Tom and Patty - I SO appreciate all your information!

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