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Travelers passing through the western US should consider taking a stop at a place known as the Niagara of the West. Its real name is Shoshone Falls, where its towering falls and the beauty of the surrounding area draw tourists to the state of Idaho every year.

Niagara Falls out east might get most of the hype with massive hotels on both the US and Canadian sides to support all travelers to the area. But, Shoshone Falls allows travelers the chance to experience Shoshone Falls and its unique beauty in the incredible tranquil setting in quiet Idaho.


Why Is Shoshone Falls Worth Visiting?

Shoshone Falls offers travelers the stunning beauty of the Niagara Falls experience with a fraction of the crowds and the hustle-n-bustle that surrounds the rightfully popular Niagara Falls. Shoshone Falls is an excellent destination for the outdoorsy and crowd-weary traveler. Travelers will not only have the opportunity to experience the stunning falls but also the land that surrounds them. This gives travelers with an outdoorsy preference the chance to really enjoy everything the park has to offer.

Shoshone Falls is absolutely worth visiting. Travelers can include it as part of a trip through Idaho, or they can make an adventure out of visiting Shoshone Falls and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.

Why Is Shoshone Falls Called The Niagara Of The West?

The nickname “Niagara of the West” isn’t one that is easily given. Shoshone Falls earns this nickname with its impressive horseshoe-shaped falls that plummet 212 feet across the almost 900-foot distance of the falls. This spectacle is one that brings travelers across the country every year to experience. When travelers see Shoshone Falls for the first time, they will understand how it got its nickname as the “Niagara of the West.”

  • Height - 212 Feet
  • Width - 900 Feet

Related: 10 Of The Best Hiking Trails Around Niagara Falls

How To See Shoshone Falls

Travelers trying to reach Shoshone Falls for the first time may be a little confused by the names of the waterfalls, and their corresponding cities can be a challenge to keep straight. Shoshone Falls is found just seven miles outside the city of Twin Falls. Its namesake is a completely different set of falls. However, the moderately sized city of 50,000 will be the traveler's destination before heading to the Falls.

What To Do There

Shoshone Falls is one of Idaho’s most visited tourist destinations bringing many travelers to the state each year. Visiting Shoshone isn’t just about taking in the sights of the stunning falls; it is also about exploring the beautiful landscape that surrounds the falls. Popular activities in the surrounding area are kayaking, hiking, enjoying a picnic, cycling, or boating. Travelers who enjoy outdoor activities will find a great deal to do at and around the falls.

The area and surrounding park are extremely well-connected with other nearby attractions. This means that travelers will have an easy time moving between locations for certain activities.

Unique Features Of The Shoshone Falls

Every great tourist destination has a collection of unique features that make it stand out. Some are well known, others may surprise, and Shoshone Falls is no different. Here is a look at some unique features of Shoshone Falls.

The Name Of The Falls

The name of the falls, Shoshone Falls, comes from the Native Americans who inhabited the region around the falls for hundreds of years, the Lemhi Shoshone. The falls mark the upstream limit to salmon migrations making it an incredible food source. It also served as a trading center for native peoples. The abundance of salmon in the area and in the diet of the people who lived here led to them acquiring the name, Agaika, which means Salmon eaters.

Related: 10 Of The Most Beautiful Spots To Visit In Idaho

Water Flow Regulation

The waters of Shoshone Falls don’t run wildly and occur according to the season as they once did. Milner Dam, located 20 miles upstream of the falls, makes sure that the falls now see regular water flow at controlled levels throughout the years. The reason for the construction of dams along the Snake River was to provide irrigation water to the farms of the Snake River Basin.

The Catastrophic Bonneville Flood

The Shoshone Falls can trace their origin back to the immense Bonneville Floor back during the Pleistocene ice age, 14,500–17,000 years ago. During this event, the enormous freshwater lake which covered the basin overflowed through Red Rock Pass into Snake River. The massive surge in the volume of water in the river caused it to carve out Snake River Canyon in just a matter of weeks, creating the stunning scenery of the area that travelers can still enjoy today.