Thousands of people travel to Shoshone Falls each year to marvel
at a sight many call "the Niagra of the West". In fact,
Shoshone Falls tumble 212 feet to the canyon floor -- more than
50 feet farther than the famous falls on the New York - Ontario
border. The waterfall's terraced thousand-foot span is truly one
of Idaho's most magnificent sites.
Springtime is the best season to visit Shoshone Falls. In years
of heavy precipitation, the Snake River swells with snowmelt, creating
an awesome display at the waterfall. Swirling mist, swooping birds,
and rainbows rise from the sheets of water. Overlooks give visitors
great vantage points for sightseeing and photography. Later in the
year, much of the river's flow is diverted to produce hydroelectric
power and irrigate Idaho's fertile farmlands, and Shoshone Falls'
cliffs may be nearly dry. But even when water levels are low, there's
always plenty to see and do at Shoshone Falls Park.
Attracted by the roar, mid-19th century pioneers on the Oregon
Trail would sometimes hike several miles out of their way to see
the falls, which were named after Indians who lived in the region.
A Mr. Wolgamoth obtained squatters rights to the land at Shoshone
Falls prior to 1883. In 1883, W.A. Clark of Butte Montana, John
A. Creighton, Charles H. Dewey, and E.L. Stone , all of Omaha Nebraska
bought the property from Mr. Wolgamoth and paid him in Valentine
They spent about $50,000 in building roads, a ferry, and a two
story hotel in order to accommodate visitors. These early visitor
amenitties are long gone.
After the death of all but Mr. Clark, Mr. Frederick J. Adams bought
out Mr. Clark's interest and acquired the balance from the different
In 1932, Frederick J. Adams and Martha Stone Adams donated the
Shoshone Falls park to the City of Twin Falls with the stipulation
that the land be maintained as a public park for park purposes only
and for the beneficial use and enjoyment of all people.
The year after the Adams donated the land, the State of Idaho donated
land on the West Side of the park to the City of Twin Falls.
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