Shoshone Falls is the Niagara of the West
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Shoshone Falls is the Niagara of the West

Shoshone Falls is a tall and wide waterfall located along the Snake River in Idaho that is often called the Niagara of the West.

Shoshone Falls is a 212 foot high waterfall spread out over 900 feet along the Snake River located in Shoshone Falls State Park just northeast of Twin Falls in south-central Idaho. Due to the height and breadth of Shoshone Falls it has often been called the Niagara of the West and people have been traveling to this tourist attraction and photographing it since the mid 1800's.

Image Source (1874 photograph of Shoshone Falls by Timothy O'Sullivan)

Niagara Falls drops about 176 feet at the Horseshoe and about 125 feet at the American Falls so Shoshone Falls is anywhere from 36 feet to 87 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Though the width of Niagara Falls totals well over 3,500 feet which is much wider than Shoshone Falls. Still Shoshone Falls is a very powerful and impressive waterfall in Idaho and the American West.

Image Source by Argyleist

For many centuries Shoshone Falls prevented salmon, sturgeon and steelhead trout from proceeding up the Snake River on spawning runs. Due to this fact the Native American Indian Tribes known as the Shoshone and the Bannock would gather at the base of the falls and harvest the fish. So thick were the salmon at the base of the falls during spawning season that spears could randomly be thrown into the water and rarely miss spearing a salmon.

Shoshone Falls marks the the spot where the Upper Snake River separates from the lower part of the river. Due to the falls only about 33% of the fish species living in the Snake River can be found both above and below Shoshone Falls. Above the falls fisherman can find yellow cutthroat trout while below the falls rainbow trout can be found.

Today some of the water flow at Shoshone Falls is diverted for hydroelectric power so visitors to the falls who want to see it flowing at peak flow should go after rain or in the spring during the snow melt. During dry spells especially in the late summer the water flow at Shoshone Falls can dry to a trickle but is still a beautiful sight to see.

Image Source by Dual Freq

The city of Twin Falls, Idaho owns and operates Twin Falls State Park and there are plenty of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts in the city. Overnight visitors and tourists to Shoshone Falls can choose from the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Red Lion Hotel, Best Western, Super 8, Motel 6 and many more hotels and motels in the city of 35,000. Compare the different photos below to see what the flow at Shoshone Falls used to be compared to today.

Image Source (Shoshone Falls in 1898)

To reach Shoshone Falls from Twin Falls take Highway 93 and go east on Falls Ave for about 3 miles and then at the marked sign turn north for about 2 miles to the park and waterfalls. That is to see the falls from the south side of the Snake River. To see the falls from the north side of the river take Highway 93 north over the Snake River and then turn right onto Shoshone Falls Road and follow signs.

Image Source by toddalert (Shoshone Falls today)

While Shoshone Falls is a great tourist attraction and called the Niagara of the West, Kakabeka Falls is the Niagara Falls of the North.

For more see Niagara Falls at Night With Lights

Observation Towers at Niagara Falls

Beautiful Waterfalls Along the Nile River

Dettifoss is the Largest Waterfall in Europe

Beautiful Waterfalls Along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania

Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshone_Falls

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Comments (2)

Beautiful falls but I like Niagara Fall the best. :-)

very exciting article!

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