1. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
Why go: Formed by eight major volcanic eruptions from 15,000 to 2,000 years ago, this otherworldly landscape in Arco, Idaho, makes you feel as though you landed on another planet.
Tip: If you only have 30 minutes, drive the seven-mile scenic loop. For a two-hour hike, park at the Spatter Cones parking lot and walk to Big Craters.
2. Shoshone Falls
Why go: Pronounced “Show shone” (the latter rhymes with phone), these falls on the edge of Twin Falls, Idaho, are higher than Niagara Falls, stretching 212 feet high, and sit along the Snake River. Take a dip in one of the hidden lakes in the canyon or picnic in the park.
Tip: Before you go, fuel up on breakfast or lunch at the Twin Falls Sandwich Co. in town, which has been named “best fish sandwich” by USA Today.
3. Perrine Bridge
Why go: This 486-foot-high bridge in Twin Falls spans the Snake River Canyon and is a popular spot for BASE jumpers to leap off and parachute down. Watch them from the pedestrian walkways.
Tip: Twin Falls Visitor Center is on the south side of the bridge. To the east, you’ll find interpretive signs and the dirt ramp Evel Knievel used when he tried to jump over the canyon in his steam-powered skycycle in September 1974. He crashed because his parachute malfunctioned but walked away with only a broken nose.
4. Clear Springs Foods
Why go: See the world’s largest trout farm, which is in Buhl, Idaho, and raises more than 20 million pounds of rainbow trout per year.
Tip: Afterwards, head to Niagara Springs State Park where you can drive into a 350-foot-deep canyon (don’t try this narrow road with a motorhome) and fish (with an Idaho fishing license) in Crystal Springs Lake.
5. City of Rocks National Reserve
Why go: Drive or hike around this internationally known rock climber’s mecca in Almo, Idaho, and watch climbers ascend the area’s granite rocks. History buffs can dig into the history of the California Trail where more than 52,000 people passed through here en route to California in 1852.
Tip: After the reserve, head to the Rock City Grill, which has the area's largest selection of beers and locally famous pizza.
6. Durfee Hot Springs
Why go: In Almo, Idaho, soak in three pools, including a 15x30 hot tub, 50x50 swimming pool, and a 10x20 kiddie pool that are continuously flowing and free from chemicals (aside from the bleach used for cleaning them).
Tip: Spend the night at Almo Inn and dine at the Outpost Steakhouse. Open seasonally, the outpost is an old-school restaurant known for its certified black angus steaks. The inn is open year round, offering eight suites and three cabins.
7. City of Rocks Scenic Backcountry Byway
Why go: This 3-4 hour loop circles around the Albion Mountain range, taking you through City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park.
Tip: In Almo, stop at the Tracy General Store, constructed in 1894 and one of the oldest continually operating mercantiles in the country.
For more information:
Twin Falls Visitor Center
2015 Neilsen Point Place