Around the Region

Published online: Apr 19, 2021 Articles, Road Trips
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Whether this is your first venturing or your millionth, you can always find something new to do around the Greater Idaho Falls region. Pick an adventure to treat your family to below, pack your supplies and be rest-assured that you can make it back home all in one day.

Yellowstone Country

Yellowstone National Park attracts visitors from all over the world. Established in 1872 and including parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, it is home to a variety of wildlife such as elk, bears, bison and wolves. Gorgeous views of mountains, rivers and waterfalls as well as geysers and “mud pots” filled with boiling mud are some of the natural attractions to look out for.

Yellowstone’s sister destination, Grand Teton National Park, is located in northwestern Wyoming, south of Yellowstone National Park and north of Jackson, Wyoming. There are over 1,000 available drive-in campsites and more than 200 miles worth of hiking trails lead to backcountry campsites. Trails are clearly marked and most climbing routes can be scaled in one day by fit and experienced climbers.

Watering Holes

Rivers, lakes, ponds and pools – eastern Idaho has it all. If water recreation is your thing, soak it up with these sure bets:

Blacktail at Ririe

Just a quick, winding drive from the east side of town, this little day trip is perfect for power boats and towing inflatables. Onboard fishing for perch and kokanee is also awesome around the cliffs. (Reminder: Life jackets and boater safety are a must!)

Rexburg Rapids

The floodgates open to this amazing water park in early June. Experience wild twisting slides, a winding river, climbing walls, amazing spray features and more. There are plenty of food options and amenities as well. It’s also great for parties.

Cable Factory

Another Rexburg hot-spot for cooling off and splashing it up, the Cable Factory at Wakeside Lake is a unique aquatic experience. In fact, it’s the only wakeboard cable park in the state. Riding setups cater to beginners as well as more advanced riders. Rails, ramps and lots of photo ops! It’s also a great way to introduce new riders to the sport of wakeboarding.

Heise Hot Springs 

While the natural hot pool might be Heise Hot Springs’  big draw in the winter months, the 350-foot water slide sure keeps things interesting in the summer. With several pools at varying temperatures, Heise can keep you hot, cool or simply warm. Sick of swimming? The famous Heise Pizza Parlor is just around the block.

Lava Hot Springs

Lava’s water park features speed slides with 60-foot drops, which can get slide-riders going up to 38 mph, and, for those non-thrill-seeking sliders, curly slides. The new Portneuf Kiddie Cove is sure to be a hit with your smallest swimmers as the watery playground features toys, sprays and slides. And of course, don’t forget to take a soak in Lava’s hot springs before heading back home.

Yellowstone Bear World

Looking for the perfect introductory experience to the famous residents of Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks? Visit Yellowstone Bear World—a spectacular drive-through wildlife attraction just north of Idaho Falls. Wildlife you will see includes Rocky Mountain Elk, Bison, White-tail Deer, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Goats, Moose and of course American Black Bear and Grizzly Bear.

The property is located just off of Exit 328 on Highway 20 south of Rexburg. 

208-359-9688 // www.yellowstonebearworld.com

Falling for State Parks

Harriman State Park 

Harriman is known for its hiking and horseback trails. It is part of a 16,000-acre wildlife refuge in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and is home to a variety of wildlife from moose to Trumpeter swans. Fly fishing on the eight-mile stretch of Henry’s Fork is also quite popular.

Henry’s Lake State Park

Are you a camping, boating, fishing or hiking family? If so, you might enjoy spending some time at Henry’s Lake on your next trip out to Yellowstone. The park is only 15 minutes away, but provides its own sense of adventure with plenty of wildlife, so always keep your camera at hand.

Camas National Wildlife Refuge

Camas National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to benefit waterfowl, providing a spot for nesting, resting and feeding. Drive along the refuge roads or hike for an excellent chance to photograph wildlife. Visitors are also welcome to snowshoe or cross-country ski during the winter months. 

Backcountry Adventures

Looking for new adventures in eastern Idaho’s backcountry?

Kelly Canyon Ski Resort 

Kelly Canyon Ski Resort offers terrain for skiers of all levels, so bring the whole family for a day of fun. Kelly Canyon also provides the only nighttime skiing in the area with over half of their 51 runs lit until 9:30 p.m. It has four double chair lifts and one surface lift and is located in Targhee National Forest.

Grand Targhee Resort 

Grand Targhee Resort is open all year round and showcases magnificent vistas, skiing, mountain biking and Western hospitality. Grand Targhee not only operates the main 1,500 acres, but also hosts 500 more acres for private events. Sure, it’s world-famous for its winter slopes, but you’ll be amazed at the summer splendors too. Don’t forget that camera! 

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort you can find plenty to keep your family engaged in both the summer and winter months. Explore the mountains with bike rentals during the warmer months or ride the gondola to the top for some waffles. In the winter, show off your skiing or snowboarding skills or take lessons so you can join in on the fun.

Our Powerful Past: EBR-I

Ever wonder where we got the first electricity from nuclear power? It was right here in 1951 between Arco and Idaho Falls off U.S. Highway 20. Experimental Breeder Reactor No.1 (EBR-I) Atomic Museum allows you to see a nuclear reactor, what the control room looks like and much more.

EBR-I was dedicated a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and is open to the public to view through the summer months. Visitors are welcome to take a guided tour, or to walk through it on their own.

Waterfalls of Southern Idaho

You don’t have to go far to enjoy these cascading scenes throughout the region.

Fall Creek Falls

If you are looking for a day to get away and some lovely falls to enjoy without a tiring hike then a visit to Fall Creek Falls is what you need. These falls are nestled in Swan Valley and feature a unique waterfall. It is conveniently only a 50 minute drive from Idaho Falls, which makes for a relaxing Sunday drive. 

Upper & Lower Mesa Falls

Just northeast of Ashton on Highway 47, Upper and Lower Mesa Falls showcase nature’s beauty as they flow over the remnants of an ancient volcanic super-eruption at 114 feet and 65 feet respectively. Take a drive down the 28-mile Mesa Falls Scenic Byway for more gorgeous scenery. Though it only takes an hour to drive it, you may find that picnicking, viewing the falls and visiting the Big Falls Inn interpretive center at Upper Falls could easily take half a day.

Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls, often called “Niagara of the West,” is nestled near Twin Falls. It is one of the United States largest waterfalls and even surpasses the height of Niagara Falls. There is a trail for visitors to use that guides down to overlook the falls. The Falls are two and half hours away from Idaho Falls, so if you are looking for a great day trip then Shoshone Falls is a great option. Be sure to bring $5 for the vehicle fee. 



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