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Idaho's Best Waterfalls

1. Jump Creek Falls

Jump Creek Falls is an easy hike—the trail is only a quarter-mile long. This is a great trail to hike during most of the year. Even when the weather is too warm for waterfalls to be at their peak, the journey gets you in just the right mood to enjoy a cooling dip in the pool.

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2. Thousand Springs

Thousand Springs sits amidst a state park that was made by combining four existing parks, which means that there are a lot of striking features here, like the Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve and Malad Gorge. But the most stunning part of the park is the Thousand Springs itself, which sees water tumbling over cliffs as it flows in and out of lava formations—the culmination of an already beautiful scenic tour.

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3. Granite Falls

Granite Falls is located right on the border with Washington. Lower Granite Falls crashes down over a rock wall, over boulders and fallen trees. The tumultuous, careening flow of the water is striking enough to be a draw on its own, but nearby you'll also find LaSota falls and a grove of ancient cedars named for Teddy Roosevelt.

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4. Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls is located at Twin Falls. Much of the Snake River's water is diverted for irrigation, but if you show up right as the snow starts to melt, the sheer power of this massive fall is awe-inspiring. At 212 feet tall and a colossal 900 feet wide, this force of nature is something to behold. There are lookouts at many places nearby, and you can see it both from the top of the canyon rim it plummets over, and from the base of the falls.

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5. Big Fiddler Creek Falls

Big Fiddler Creek Falls is the one of the tallest in the state. Located in the Sawtooth National Forest, it stands well over 200 feet tall. The drive out here is a little treacherous, but the scenery is well worth it. Long Gulch Falls is also in the same vicinity, around South Fork Canyon.

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6. Perrine Coulee

"Twin Falls" is actually a bit of a misnomer. As you'll soon see, the town has quite a few worthwhile falls nearby. This 197-foot fall also flows over the Snake River Canyon, and it's not hard to reach at all. This waterfall flows year-round, and while other falls lose flow due to irrigation canals, some of those canals overflow into Perrine Coulee, giving it a nice assist right as the weather gets less friendly to other waterfalls.

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7. Mesa Falls

Mesa Falls consists of two waterfalls that are both part of Targhee National Forest. Upper Mesa Falls is 110 feet tall and a whopping 300 feet wide. Lower Mesa Falls is 85 feet tall. These two are the only falls that aren't used for hydroelectric power or irrigation, so you get the full-on, unadulterated beauty of the falls. Both are easily accessible via paths and platforms.

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8. Elk Creek Falls

Elk Creek Falls is actually a trio of waterfalls that, while hard to reach, are absolutely worth the effort. The lower is a 50-foot drop through exposed basalt columns, the middle is a pair of falls that drop 90 feet, and the upper falls is just a teensy drop a short distance upstream from the middle. Taken all together, they're gorgeous, and the area is teeming with local birds.

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9. Shadow Falls and Fern Falls

These two falls are among the most popular in Idaho's panhandle. Shadow Falls cascades dramatically over some striking rock formations for 25 feet before falling into a gorgeous, clear pool. Fern falls is smaller, but still beautiful. The falls look best in late spring or early summer. Whenever you visit, they're extremely accessible, which probably contributes to their popularity.

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10. Twin Falls

Twin Falls was a specific location with a pair of waterfalls flowing side by side. Today, there's only one waterfall here. The other fell victim to damming. But the one that remains is still a 200-foot plunge. It's worth seeing, but ironically, there are better falls to see

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