Travel Tips

5 min read

Unlock the Secrets: Optimal Seasons to Explore Shoshone Falls

Imagine a cascade more majestic than Niagara, untamed by time. Shoshone Falls awaits—every season tells a new story. When will yours begin?

Tobi Miles
August 18, 2022

Shoshone Falls is just 7 miles outside of Twin Falls, the gateway to Snake River Canyon. The horseshoe-shaped falls span around 900 feet wide and 212 feet in height. Towering 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls, it has famously become known as the Niagara of the West.

April to June are the best months to visit Shoshone Falls to see the water rushing over the falls as other months can run dry. April is the last month to have snow with mild temperatures of 57°F/ 14°C. Hotel prices are reasonable starting at $81 per night. The spring hosts the Shoshone Falls After Dark Event.

From cascading waters, trickling streams into the canyon, carved-out dry rock formations, or frozen icicles and snow walls Shoshone Falls can be a year-round destination. Follow along to find out which season sounds just right for you.

When Should You Not Visit Shoshone Falls?

July to September are the worst months to visit Shoshone Falls when the water levels are affected by the hydro project. The river can reduce to a flow of less than 1,000 cubic feet per second.

From mid-summer into fall, Snake River is diverted for irrigation and the flow is dramatically diminished, even appearing to run bare. With a lack of rainfall and irrigation, you may find yourself disappointed in the power of Shoshone Falls.

However, it can also be quite beautiful to see what is underneath all the water. It allows you to see the dry rock formations that have been carved out from the falls of the Snake River.

Related Read: 19 Best Romantic Getaways in Idaho

When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Shoshone Falls?

The winter season is the cheapest time to visit Shoshone Falls with flights as low as $138 in December. Shoshone Falls is also free to visit in the winter with the vehicle admission fee waived.

Beginning October until the end of February there is no vehicle fee at Shoshone Falls. The cold temperatures of 24 F/ -4 C create beautiful icicle formations throughout and is spectacular to see nature's artwork.

Hotels in Twin Falls can start as low as $74 a night in December with free breakfast and wifi. A family getaway vacation apartment sleeping up to 5 prices as low as $115 for an evening during the Christmas season.

When is the Best Time to Visit Shoshone Falls to Avoid the Crowds?

The winter months see minimal crowds and visiting in January after the Christmas season is ideal for solitude and winter photography of the frozen Shoshone Falls.

At 37°F/ 6°C it is cold enough for the falls to be a winter wonderland and the viewing platforms have minimal visitors.

If visiting during the busy months of April through June then take the time to plan. Afternoons and weekends are the busiest at Shoshone Falls, getting there when they open can bring you a bit of peace. The viewing platforms will be less crowded, especially the ones right at the parking lot which fill up easily.

Related Read: 11 Best Ski Resorts in Idaho

Best Time to Visit Shoshone Falls: Seasonal Breakdown

Spring: Best Season to See Shoshone Falls Rushing Waters

Spring months are the wettest in Shoshone Falls experiencing rain 34% of the time. The rainfall combined with the snow melt creates a powerful water flow making the spring months of April to June the best time to visit.

April to June see comfortable highs of 60°F/16°C to 79°F/26°C, ideal for being outside at the falls. The best place to see the views of Shoshone Falls is on the short Observation Deck Trail. It is a kilometer roundtrip a little over 20 minutes taking you along the canyon edge for a better perspective.

When the water is flowing Shoshone Falls After Dark Event is the highlight of the year. An evening of dancing lights, music, and colorful illumination of the falls is the ultimate way to see the falls.

Look at the base of the falls during your visit and you may see a rainbow. Bringing binoculars is recommended to help you see across Snake River and all the interesting parts that make up the falls. Don’t forget a backpack with water, sunscreen, and snacks for a picnic to delight in the great view.

  • Twin Falls Spring Fling
  • Guided Tour of Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls
  • Shoshone Ice Caves

Summer: Best Season to See Geological Rock Formations

Summers are hot with dry temperatures averaging 80°F/ 27°C.  With minimal rain and diverted water flow, June and July are the perfect months to see the canyon and geological rock formations at Shoshone Falls.

Depending on the reservoirs upstream you may see some water cascading over the falls but in minimal fullness. It is a great combination to see both the rocky canyon and a bit of a waterfall.

You can’t swim in Shoshone Falls but you can above at Dierkes Lake to cool off.  To beat the heat, try out some of the water activities on Snake River, they have them for all ages and experiences.

Solo and tandem kayaks can be rented at Centennial Park in Twin Falls. SUP boards and canoes can also be taken out to paddle under the Perrine Bridge.

  • Twin Falls Art in The Park
  • Twin Falls Farmers Market
  • Zip Line Along the Snake River

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Fall: Best Season to Hike Near Shoshone Falls

September’s temperatures of 77°F/ 25°C and October’s 60°F/16°C moderately warm days make these fall months the best time to hike near Shoshone Falls.

With only 9 mm of rainfall in September and 14 mm in October, the relatively dry days are ideal to explore Shoshone Falls Park. Pets are permitted as long as they are leashed.

Canyon Rim Trail is a paved trail more than 8 miles long. It takes you from Shoshone Falls and along the views of the Snake River Canyon which is why so many choose to walk it.

A fan of Evil Knievel? Then the 1.8-mile Centennial Trail starting at Shoshone Falls is one you will want to see. Evil Knievel's Jump site of his dirt ramp can be seen out on the private property where his stunt left him with a broken nose.

  • Twin Falls County Fair in September
  • Twin Falls Oktoberfest
  • Photograph the fall colors along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway

Winter: Best Season to See Frozen Waterfalls

The winter months bring a daily average temperature of 30 F / -1 C through the season. December is the month with the lowest average temperature of 24°F / -4°C. Winter is the best season to see Shoshone Falls transform into a frozen waterfall.

The combination of snow and freezing temperatures transform the falls into a winter wonderland. The flow of water can fluctuate from a few thousand cubic feet per second to only a few hundred during the winter months.

The walls within the canyon are adorned with enormous icicles and you can still walk the paved path to see the frozen falls. Shoshone Falls is open throughout the winter, however, dependent on the snowfall roads can close.

Crowds are low during this off-season and the admission price for vehicles is waived beginning in October.

  • Soak in geothermal hot springs
  • Twin Falls Festival of Lights
  • Ice Skating in downtown Twin Falls

Related Read: National Millennium Trails

When is the Best Time to Visit Shoshone Falls with Family

May and June are the best months to visit Shoshone Falls with the family experiencing comfortable outdoor temperatures of 70°F/ 21°C to 79°F/ 26°C. The winter runoff should still be flowing over the falls and the outdoor activities will be in full swing.

While at Shoshone Falls bring a picnic for the family, they have areas set up in the shade with grass. There are also playgrounds and a scenic overlook.

In town at Twin Falls, Centennial Park is also a great place for a family BBQ with grills sheltered from the sun, rocks for the kids to climb as well as fishing.

Shoshone Ice Caves opens for the season in May. With climbing toys, a playground, and a rock and artifact museum, it’s a unique addition to your family trip to the falls.

Be sure to wear hiking shoes and a light jacket. However, there are stairs so it is not accessible for strollers.

When is the Best Weather to Visit Shoshone Falls?

With no sign of snow, average relative humidity at only 39%, and an average of at least 15 hours of sunshine a day, June has the best weather to visit Shoshone Falls.

Temperatures throughout the month range from highs of 79°F/ 26°C to lows of 50°F/ 10°C. All perfectly comfortable to be outside to enjoy the hiking, picnicking,

The water is still flowing over to catch glimpses of the waterfall wonder. Hotels nearby can start at $70 during this popular month and upwards of $197.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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