The Falls Beyond the Falls

5 awesome waterfalls around the region

Published online: Jun 11, 2018 Articles, East Idaho Outdoors, Family Fun Guide Steve Smede
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True to its name, our city on the river has an amazing waterfall system that is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. The region around us actually has a number of waterfalls, ranging from secluded and quaint to famously majestic. Here are some of our favorites: 


Yellowstone River Falls (Lower)

At 308 feet high, this water feature in the heart of Yellowstone National Park has nearly twice the total drop as Niagara Falls. It's only 70 feet wide, which makes the violent out-pour all the more spectacular. You'll find vantage points aplenty, including Uncle Tom's Trail, a switchback series of stairs that drape the cliffs above the river. It's Yellowstone, after all, so be ready to battle the crowds.



Fall Creek Falls

One of the signature features of the majestic South Fork of the Snake River, Fall Creek Falls drops 60 feet from its source—Fall Creek—into a quiet eddy that's just a stone's throw upstream from the highway bridge at Swan Valley. It's a beautiful sight, especially in the fall. You can also access the eddy by boat, providing an even more interesting perspective. Mornings are best for photos from up top, while evenings provide great light from the waterline.



Cave Falls

Straddling the border between Idaho and Wyoming, Cave Falls occupies an obscure corner of Yellowstone National Park. Take Cave Falls Road east of Ashton to access. Crowds are light, and if you're willing to rock-hop, you can get right down to the base of the main cascade. Some folks even opt for a chilling swim. In 2008, the adjacent cave “caved in” but the 250-foot-wide falls are as eye-popping as ever. Be sure to check out the numerous wildflowers. This place is a botanist's dream. (Also pack more than a little mosquito spray.)


Mesa Falls

Here we have the crown jewel of eastern Idaho's waterfalls, consisting of an upper and lower drop. Both are visually stunning, to say the least. The upper falls is flanked by a series of viewing platforms for easy access, while the lower falls is far more removed from its scenic overlook area. Trails lead right to the top of the latter, providing a viewing experience similar to the Lower Yellowstone Falls, albeit with far fewer crowds. Just take the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway out of Ashton and watch for the signage. (Parking fees apply for the upper falls.)



Sheep Falls

Located off of U.S. Highway 20 just south of Island Park, this waterfall/cascade is probably the least spectacular in terms of height and volume, but the scenery is incredible. The trail itself is a delight, full of adjacent wildflower meadows and all kinds of wildlife viewing opportunities. Bring a fishing pole and you'll find some great spots further downstream where you can wet a line and cast for resident rainbow trout.

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