Shoshone Falls have traditionally been called “The Niagara of the West”. They’re in the Twin Falls area and very important for tourism. People love waterfalls. Writer James Salter said in his book Burning the Days, “The greatest things to be seen, the ancients wrote, are sun, stars, water, and clouds.” I think Salter was correct.
The day after Ruth & I saw them on July 4th of this year and I took these pictures, the flow was going to drop to 400 cubic feet per second indefinitely according to Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman newspaper. This would be half of its usual flow. Cripe reported that the water was to be removed for agriculture.
The city of Twin Falls operates a park with information and overviews. It reportedly has a camera trained on Shoshone Falls at all times so that people can view the flow before going there, but you have to provide information that a lot of people don’t want to give anymore and sometimes the view is not functioning as well as it should. The current flow today was said to be 3,390 cubic feet per second (cfs). By contrast, the flow on April 27, 2018, which was in the spring so heightened, was 10,300 cfs. According to Wikipedia the folks who control this are committed to a “Scenic Flow” of 300 cfs. Is that enough to satisfy waterfall lovers?
Shoshone Falls are considered to be one of the more spectacular natural cascade systems in the United States. They’re said to be 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls and were quite magnificent when we and many others saw them. The plunging water of the Snake River falls more than 212 feet here. According to the AAA, anyone can call 208-733-3974 to check on the status of the current flow.
The signs for visitors at Shoshone Falls focus on the geology of this area, Lake Bonneville. a body of water the size of Lake Michigan that was here one-million years ago and was part of an epic flood about 11,000 years ago, the river’s importance for crop irrigation, a photographer named Clarence Bisbee, etc. If you like technical details after seeing waterfalls, this information will be appreciated.