Whether it’s your first adventure or your millionth, you can always find something new to do in the Greater Idaho Falls area. Pick an adventure to make your family happy below, pack your bags, and rest assured you can get home in a day.
Yellowstone National Park attracts visitors from all over the world. Founded in 1872 and comprising parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is home to a variety of wildlife such as elk, bears, bison, and wolves. Magnificent views of mountains, rivers and waterfalls as well as geysers and “mud pots” filled with boiling mud are some of the natural attractions to watch 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 car-accessible campsites and over 200 miles of hiking trails lead to backcountry campsites. The trails are clearly marked and most climbing routes can be climbed in a day by fit and experienced climbers.
Rivers, lakes, ponds and pools – eastern Idaho has it all. If water recreation is your thing, soak up these sure bets:
Blacktail at Ririe’s
Just a short drive from the east side of town, this short day trip is perfect for powerboats and towing inflatables. Perch and kokanee board fishing is also great around the cliffs. (Reminder: life jackets and boaters’ safety are essential!)
The floodgates open on this magnificent water park at the beginning of June. Discover wild slides, a meandering river, climbing walls, amazing spray features and more. There are also a lot of dining options and amenities. It’s also great for the holidays.
Another Rexburg hot spot to cool off and splash around, the Cable Factory at Wakeside Lake is a unique aquatic experience. In fact, it’s the only wakeboard cable park in the state. The riding configurations are aimed at both beginners and 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 during the winter months, the 350-foot waterslide certainly keeps things interesting in the summer. With multiple pools at varying temperatures, Heise can keep you warm, cool, or just warm. Tired of swimming? The famous Heise Pizza Parlor is just around the block.
Hot lava springs
Lava Waterpark features fast slides with 60-foot drops, which can take slides up to 38 mph, and, for those sliders who aren’t looking for a thrill, looped slides. The new Portneuf Kiddie Cove is sure to be a hit with your little swimmers as the water playground includes toys, sprays and slides. And of course, don’t forget to take a dip in the Lava Hot Springs before you return 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 wildlife attraction by car just north of Idaho Falls. Wildlife you will see include Rocky Mountain Elk, Bison, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Goat, Moose, and of course American Black Bear and Grizzly Bear.
The property is located just off of exit 328 on Hwy 20 south of Rexburg.
208-359-9688 // www.yellowstonebearworld.com
Fall for State Parks
Harriman State Park
Harriman is known for its hiking and horseback riding 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 very popular.
Henry’s Lake State Park
Are you a camping, boating, fishing or backpacking family? If so, you might like to spend some time at Henry’s Lake on your next trip to Yellowstone. The park is only 15 minutes away, but offers its own sense of adventure with lots of wildlife, so always keep your camera handy.
Camas National Wildlife Refuge
The Camas National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 for the benefit of waterfowl, providing a place for nesting, resting and feeding. Drive along the refuge roads or hike for a great opportunity to photograph wildlife. Visitors are also welcome to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing during the winter months.
Adventures in the backcountry
Looking for new adventures in the backcountry of eastern Idaho?
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort offers terrain for skiers of all skill levels, so bring the whole family for a day of fun. Kelly Canyon also provides the area’s only night skiing with over half of its 51 trails lit until 9:30 p.m. It has four double chairlifts and one chairlift and is located in the Targhee National Forest.
Grand Targhee Resort
The Grand Targhee Resort is open year round and features magnificent vistas, skiing, mountain biking and Western hospitality. Grand Targhee not only operates the main 1,500 acres, but also hosts an additional 500 acres for private events. Of course, it is world famous for its winter slopes, but you will also be amazed by the summer splendors. Don’t forget this camera!
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, you can find something to keep your family engaged during the summer and winter months. Explore the mountains with rental bikes during the warmer months or ride the gondola to the top for a few waffles. In winter, show off your skiing or snowboarding skills or take lessons for fun.
Our powerful past: EBR-I
Have you ever wondered where we got the first nuclear electricity? It was right here in 1951 between Arco and Idaho Falls off US Highway 20. Experimental Breeder Reactor No.1 (EBR-I) Atomic Museum lets you see a nuclear reactor, what the control room looks like and well Moreover.
EBR-I was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and is open to the public during the summer months. Visitors are welcome to take a guided tour or explore it on their own.
Southern Idaho Waterfalls
You don’t have to go far to enjoy these scenes cascading across the region.
Fall creek falls
If you are looking for a day to get away from it all and beautiful falls to enjoy without a strenuous hike, a visit to Fall Creek Falls is what you need. These falls are nestled in the Swan Valley and feature a unique waterfall. It’s conveniently located just a 50-minute drive from Idaho Falls, making it a relaxing Sunday commute.
Upper and Lower Mesa Falls
Just northeast of Ashton on Highway 47, Upper and Lower Mesa Falls showcase the beauty of nature as they flow over the remnants of an ancient volcanic super-eruption at 114 feet and 65 feet respectively. Take a drive on the 45 km Mesa Falls Scenic Drive for more stunning scenery. While it only takes an hour to drive it, you might find that picnicking, seeing the falls, and visiting the Big Falls Inn Interpretive Center in Upper Falls could easily take half a day.
Shoshone Falls, often referred to as “Niagara of the West”, is nestled near Twin Falls. It is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States and even exceeds the height of Niagara Falls. There is a trail visitors can use that guides down to view the falls. The falls are two and a half hours from Idaho Falls, so if you’re looking for a great day trip, Shoshone Falls is a great option. Make sure to bring $ 5 for vehicle costs.