Four Ways to Soak up the Water in Idaho Falls


Pay a visit to Heise Hot Springs. This place is every bit beautiful as it is historic. Built just before 1900, Richard Heise created a recreational compound, complete with a dance hall, pools, hotel, and post office. Heise beckoned travelers from all over to come and cure their aches and pains. Today, Heise still maintains a wonderful mixture of fun and relaxation for visitors near Idaho Falls.

Bask in the healing mineral waters at the springs, or play a round or two of golf on the scenic green. Kids will love the twisted 350 ft slide at the pool, or just running around the large open field just outside the pools. If you’re looking for more outdoor adventure, consider a zip-line tour at Heise Zip on the hills above the hot springs. Additionally, there is great hiking in Kelly Canyon nearby.


You certainly can’t miss a stroll along the Idaho Falls River Walk while visiting the city. The five mile trail meanders along the Snake River. There is ample signage along the way with information about the city’s hydroelectric dam and other interesting tidbits. There are multiple lovely cascades along the trail, soothing to the eyes and the ears. Rolling along the trail with your bicycle, skates, or skateboard is a great way to explore the area, too.


Definitely pay a visit to Upper Mesa Falls along the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway! The highway cuts through the lush landscape of Targhee National Forest, and it’s a beautiful drive. There is a short walk from the parking area to the upper waterfall overlook, and well worth it! The falls are large and extremely powerful, offering a buzz to all of your senses. I recommend visiting the falls in the evening when the sun is just behind the mist, created an ethereal effect. You can stretch your legs a bit more with a short 2.5 mile (round trip) hike down to Lower Mesa Falls. The Lower Mesa Falls can also be viewed from the highway, just a few miles from the turn to Upper Mesa Falls. All viewpoints are stunning!


There is so much great fishing to be had in the Idaho Falls area! Two legendary fly fishing rivers converge near Idaho Falls: the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork of the Snake. Both rivers can be waded or fished from shore. If you able, though, I’d recommend hiring a boat for the day as you’ll be able to reach a lot more fish on the rivers. In addition to these rivers, the Warm River is another excellent destination, as are many of the lakes and reservoirs in the area. When you get to Idaho Falls, stop by the Chamber of Commerce, and they can assist you on your fishing ventures. Oh, and the Eastern Idaho Visitor Center is right next door–perfect for gifts, souvenirs, and other travel info.

This story has been created in partnership with Visit USA Parks.