Idaho Falls, Idaho | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Idaho Falls, Idaho | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Not only is Idaho Falls named after the city it lies within, it is also a beautiful series of rapids along the Snake River. This waterfall has been modified over the years, but some of the natural features still remain. It is estimated that the waterfall spans about 1200′ along the river.

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History of the Falls

In the late 19th century, Eagle Rock faced economic challenges when the railroad departed in the 1880s. A silver lining emerged with the construction of canals that transformed the arid desert into fertile land. Recognizing an opportunity, land promoters aimed to rebrand Eagle Rock as an agricultural hub. However, the town’s name, associated more with eagles and rocks than the newfound water abundance, prompted a change to Idaho Falls in 1891.

As Idaho Falls underwent revitalization, the significance of the Snake River grew. In 1909, Mayor E.P. Coltman envisioned a hydroelectric plant below the Broadway Bridge. The project received approval through voter-backed bonds in 1910, but unfortunately, Coltman passed away shortly thereafter. His successor, Bowen Curley, faced setbacks with contractors unable to construct a dam due to the river’s strength and spring flooding.

Turning to local expertise, Curley enlisted the help of W.W. Keefer, a builder with a history of contributing to the town’s infrastructure. In late 1911, Keefer and his team successfully erected a retaining wall across the river, redirecting the water flow toward a dam with a powerhouse. This innovative approach to harnessing renewable energy transformed Sportsmen’s Park into an island and created a distinctive urban landmark that captivates tourists to this day. Idaho Falls, once struggling, now stands as a testament to resilience and ingenuity in the face of challenges, inviting travelers to explore its rich history and picturesque landscapes.

What to See

The Riverwalk and Greenbelt Trail strolls several miles with fun sculptures and benches along the way! Throughout the seasons, this scenic route offers unique experiences, transitioning from a summer paradise to a winter wonderland. The frozen river and falls in winter create a mesmerizing landscape, albeit with slightly trickier walkways.

No matter the season, the walk along the river is a well-crafted experience, providing ample opportunities to sit back, relax, and soak in the surroundings. A captivating trail leads to the Idaho Brewing Company, then meanders back up to the iconic LDS Temple or over to the Japanese Friendship Garden. The journey reveals not only scenic and calming views but also showcases the impressive man-made “falls” extending for about a quarter mile. A vibrant downtown can also be uncovered, revitalized and adorned with artisanal bakeries, charming gift shops, and various retailers.

The Floating Bridge, a unique feature of the River Walk, gracefully closes its passage in the first week of November, reopening its doors to eager wanderers in the first week of June.

Designated distances along the River Walk:

  • Around Freeman Park: 1.0 Mile
  • From Broadway to John’s Hole and around: 2.3 Miles
  • From John’s Hole to Freeman Park: 0.4 Mile
  • Broadway to Pancheri and back: 1.4 Miles
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Idaho Falls, Idaho | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

How to Visit

Idaho Falls waterfall is located on River Parkway near downtown Idaho Falls. The waterfall is free to visit. Parking is located along the falls area for visitors to have convenient access.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited Idaho Falls before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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Ashley Gary
Greetings, fellow adventurers! I'm Ashley, and I'm delighted to share my journeys and knowledge with you. As a passionate travel writer and devoted adventurer, I'm constantly fueled by the excitement of discovering new destinations and uncharted territories. With a heart full of curiosity and a suitcase packed with dreams, I've wandered through bustling marketplaces, hiked mist-covered mountains, and wandered down cobblestone streets in search of stories waiting to be told. Through my travel chronicles, I hope to not only transport you to the farthest corners of the globe but also inspire you to embrace the thrill of stepping into the unknown. Adventure awaits, and I can't wait to share it with you to help you find your adventure!


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