This author is a paid content writer for Idaho Tourism.
Summer is here, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter activities, but sometimes the chilly weather forces us to develop patterns: wake up, coffee, work, gym, dinner, Netflix. Am I missing anything? While I enjoy a Breaking Bad binge as much as the next person, I also need to get out and challenge myself sometimes, and one way to do that during the summer in Idaho is to paddleboard Shoshone Falls. I know you thought you’d never hear “extreme” and “paddle board” in the same sentence, but this adventure lives up to the hype.
What to Pack
- Cheap sunglasses
- Life jacket
- Water sandals
Paddle Boarding to Shoshone Falls
Morning: First things first, you have to start your day off with a cup of coffee from Twin Beans Fresh Roasted Coffee Company. Treat yourself to some strawberry crepes while you’re at it – you will burn those calories off later in the day. Once you’ve finished breakfast, head out and get your paddleboard from one of the nearby rental options for your time out on the water.
Most vendors on the Snake River see higher volumes of activity towards the end of spring, as people come to rent canoes, kayaks, and of course, stand up paddle boards (otherwise known as SUPs). What’s nice about this adventure is that you won’t break the bank trying to have some recreational fun – all of the rental vendors are affordable with prices ranging anywhere from $20 to $50 (rental times range between 2 hours and full-days).
Afternoon: The journey to Shoshone Falls will likely take about six hours to go up and back, so be sure to pack plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks. The most accessible route to the falls is via the Snake River from Centennial Park to Pillar Falls, which is a two mile paddle that takes roughly three hours there and back. For paddlers continuing to Shoshone Falls, you will have to get out and carry your board for a bit to a point just above Pillar Falls. Paths are accessible, but use extreme caution when maneuvering to your next launch point. Pillar Falls makes for a great pit stop to refuel and stay hydrated – from Pillar Falls, you continue four miles upstream to Shoshone Falls.
If you’re traveling in a group, keep in mind that this journey is no small feat. While viewing Shoshone Falls from the rocks below is awe-inspiring, to say the least, reaching its thundering base is no easy task – this trip should only be attempted by people who have paddle boarded before and are comfortable navigating tricky waters.
Evening: The view of Shoshone Falls from the base is impressive. Water pours from the Snake River above and drops 212 feet right in front of you – if you have a waterproof camera I highly recommend bringing it. After you enjoy the beauty of this monster waterfall, start heading back before the sun begins to set, as paddling in the dark is not recommended.
Once you get back into town, cap your day off with a visit to Elevation 486. This restaurant boasts outstanding food and fantastic views of the Snake River canyon. You’ll likely be starving after being on the water all day long, so indulge and get the BBQ baby back ribs. Locals also praise the fire-grilled quail, and the rolls with huckleberry butter are a great finishing touch.
- The cost for admission at Shoshone Falls Park is $3.00 per car (subject to change) if you’d like to check out the falls without getting in the water.
- Parks and Recreation begins charging admission each year on March 30th and continues through September.
Published on July 12, 2016