Winter runoff brings amazing flows to Shoshone Falls
Shoshone Falls, which boasted some of the heaviest water flows in years this spring, came roaring back to life on the Snake River this week.
Higher flows of 5,000+ cubic feet per second over the 212-foot waterfall are being released from Milner Dam, upstream of Shoshone Falls this week. Next week, flows will increase to 7,000+ cfs flowing over Shoshone Falls for the rest of this month, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.
Generally, in the winter most of the water is held back and released in April for summer irrigation. But this year, the Upper Snake reservoirs are full, according to a Southern Idaho Tourism press release.
But the flows of this spring likely won’t return “for several years,” Brad Bowlin, communications specialist for Idaho Power, told the Idaho Statesman in May. At one point in mid-April, the flow reached 20,000 cfs. It settled around 11,000-13,000 for May.
There’s a small park maintained by the city of Twin Falls where people can park, view the falls from several platforms and vantage points, and take pictures and video.
With these chilly December temperatures, officials encourage visitors to be sure to dress warm and be careful. There are icy spots in the viewpoint areas and in the parking lot.
West of Twin Falls, residents can also drive through the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway toward Hagerman and visit one of three hot springs establishments open year-round. Miracle and Banbury Hot Springs are located across Highway 30 from each other, and 1000 Springs Resort is just a few miles to the west of there, with great views of the Snake River and the Ritter Island unit of Thousand Springs State Park.