Friday, May 11.
We headed out early this morning.We drove around the area to get a better feel for things. I think we were the only people in entire 2,000+ acre BLM Milner Historic Recreation Area. This area has joined our Top Ten list.
We took the scenic US 30 route into Twin Falls rather then hoping in I-84. Before noon time we had filled up with propane, done the laundry, eaten apple fritters, dumped the tanks, topped off the water and finished our shopping at Fred Meyers.
Twin Falls has a free city dump station and water fill. It's right here: 42.55919 -114.47990.
After that we went to the Shoshone Falls. The local PR people call it the “Niagara of the West”. The falls are 212' high making them 50' higher then Niagara Falls. There is a nice paved trail through the area so the three of us were able to take a walk together.
Then we went to the Centennial Park which is at the bottom of Snake River canyon. The road going down to the park is a narrow, two lane road with a 10% grade, per the sign.
There is a very nice visitor center (42.59816 -114.45524) that accesses the Canyon Rim Trail System. It's right next to the Perrine Bridge that is 486' above the river. This bridge is a popular destination for BASE (Buildings, Antenna, Span, Earth) jumpers because such use is legal here and requires no permits. At any given time, twenty, or so, guys were hanging around getting ready to jump. Gopher and I watched a few of them. They land on the bank of the river about ½ mile from the bridge.
There is a city RV park, Rock Creek Park, if you're so inclined. We're “camped”for the night in the Visitor Center parking lot watching the BASE jumpers and enjoying the Canyon Rim Trail.
The Snake River Canyon
About a million years ago, a gigantic ancient lake called Lake Bonneville covered a large part of Northern Utah and parts of Southern Idaho and eastern Nevada; an estimated 20,000 square miles. Some 13,000 to 15,000 years ago the lake broke through south of Pocatello, ID to create one of the greatest floods known in the history of the world. The flood lasted for six weeks before the majority of the water had drained from the lake. In the above picture appears a light band of rock near the bridge supports. That was the level of the Snake River before the flood. The flood waters eroded away over 250' of the original river bottom.
On September 8, 1974, Evel Knievel made an unsuccessful attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls. The site he used is on private property; not that we would have wasted the gas to see the memorial anyway.
Twin Falls also has all the big box and chain stores imaginable so most anything a person would need is here. Including a COSTCO.
Next time we're in the area, we'll come back.
Gopher and I were up early enough to see a group of BASE jumpers getting ready. We watched a handful of them jump.
About 8am we continued west along US 30 with no particular destination in mind. We came across the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area(WMA) and Idaho State Fish Hatchery which is just south of Hagerman. The hatchery raises trout and salmon to stock the rivers in Southern Idaho. In addition, they has a pubic viewing area with huge catfish, sturgeon, bass, and several other species. The WMA area has several lakes that are stocked and very popular with local families. Saturday morning especially.
An interesting Oregon Trail sign we came across.
At Barnes and Nobel in Twin Falls,I bought a Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas for ID. I have these detailed maps for every state we plan on traveling extensively in. Just a little west of the hatchery, the map showed the Bell Rapids Sportsman’s Access(42.79299 -114.93674) so we decided to take a look. When we were in Northern Idaho in 2008, we discovered these access sites. As a general rule, free camping is permitted. Here the sign says there is a ten day camping limit. There are two tents pitched in a wooded area. This is where we'll be camping tonight. We're parked by the boat ramp watching the guys launching their boats for a days fishing. Most of the boats are the water powered jet boats.
A perfect place to spend a bright and sunny day.
He came strolling through the area. Bet he knows it's not hunting season!!