Southern Idaho's Summer Bucket List

Southern Idaho is full of great things to do and we're here to help you find them! Here are our favorite 45 things to do this summer in south-central Idaho! Decide to #OptOutside this summer and tag us in your photos at #IdahoBucketList and @IdahoBucketList

1. Walk the Snake River Canyon Trail - What better way to watch the sun set than over our beautiful Snake River. Get out and get a little exercise while enjoying a view unique to southern Idaho. The Canyon Rim Trail is an impressive 6 miles from the corner of Canyon Rim Road and Washington St North all the way to the Shoshone Falls scenic overlook. View a map of the trail with highlights here.

2. Free movie in the park - The Twin Falls Parks and Rec program offers free movies in the City Park throughout July. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, popcorn and snacks and you are ready for a great summer night! Here is the 2018 movie line up:
  • July 6th @ 9:30pm - The Princess and the Frog, rated G. 
  • July 13th @ 9:30pm - Jumanji, rated PG-13.
  • July 20th @ 9:30pm - COCO, rated PG.
  • July 27th @ 9:30pm - Peter Rabbit, rated PG
3. Raft the Hagerman Valley - This 4 hour trip along the Snake River in Hagerman is 1.3 hours of class 2 and 3 rapids. Rafting trips are $55/person for 16yo and up. $38/person for 15yo and under. Contact the Twin Falls Parks and Rec Department for more information. 

4. Play a round of Disc Golf  - Southern Idaho is full of great disc golf courses that can be played by those who are serious about their par or who just want to get some exercise. Among the many great courses a few of our favorites are the College of Southern Idaho course, O'Leary Junior High in Twin and Lake Walcott State Park course in Rupert.

5. Kayak Trial Days - Try flat-water kayaking or paddle boarding. Price includes a two hour rental with all equipment provided. Meet at Centennial Park 30 minutes prior to time. Must register 1 week in advance. Cost is $10/ day. Contact Justin Wolters  at the TF Parks and Rec Dept 736-2265.
Age 11 and up - July 11th and August 8th
Ages 50 and up - July 25th and August 22nd

6. Hike to Vineyard Lake - Vineyard Lake near Twin Falls is one of Southern Idaho's hidden gems. It's a bit of an adventure to find but it's well worth the effort. Remember to pack out what you pack in! Use this handy dandy little map to find Vineyard Lake

7. Find a fishing hole - The Magic Valley is spotted with great fishing locations. Some of the best places to take children fishing where recently highlighted in this Times News article. Among those highlighted were Riley Pond, Filer Ponds and Magic Reservoir.
Riley Pond is a great play to sit and watch the wildlife!

8. Splash and Flick at the TF City Pool - Enjoy an evening of swimming and a water themed movie! The Twin Falls City Pool offers a fun movie night with general admission.
 The 2018 water movie line up is:
  • July 7 @ 9:30pm - The Little Mermaid
  • July 14 @ 9:30pm - Moana
  • July 28 @ 9:30pm - Finding Nemo
  • August 4 @ 9:30pm - Finding Dory
9. Find Blue Heart Springs - Blue Hearts Springs is something out of a tropical travel magazine. The fresh water bubbles up from below the spring, producing the clearest water around. It is also the coldest water around. It is only accessible via the water and you can set in the water from Banbury Hot Springs or 1000 Springs Resort.
Photo: Brandon Corey

10. Take the 1000 Springs River Tour - Just right across the river from Ritter Island is the 1000 Springs River Tours. These tours run Fridays and Saturdays for lunch and dinner tours. Not only do they show you the beauty of the canyon, they give you history of the area and an amazing catered meal! Not into guided tours? You can rent kayaks and SUPs from 1000 Springs Tours and explore the area on your own.

 11. Kayaking the Snake River - The Snake River in southern Idaho boasts a ton of great kayaking and canoeing areas that are easily accessible and most with boat rentals on site. A few of our favorite set in points are from Centennial Park and Twin Falls (Idaho Power) Park in Twin and at Thousand Springs State Park in Hagerman.

12. Mountain bike the Auger Falls Bike Trail - For those who are coordinated on a mountain bike Auger Falls is a great place for good to extreme bikers to have some fun and see the beauty that the Snake River Canyon has the offer.
Photo: Charles Kaiser - Biking at Auger Falls

13. Take in a show at the Orpheum Theatre - 
 This beautifully restored historic theater in downtown Twin Falls offers exciting entertainment all summer long. Movies, plays, concerts, comedians, open-mic night and more! Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events.

14. Visit your local game store -  Black Dragon in Twin Falls has a great selection of board games! Not only can you buy your favorite table top game, you can try out a new one. They offer a huge selection of store owned copies to try out for free in store! It's a great way to beat the heat. A few of our personal favorite games: Ticket to Ride, Sushi Go, Splendor, Evolution, Codenames.
There are tons of great games to buy and rent at Black Dragon Games!
15. Pillar Falls Scenic Tours - Let Idaho Guide Service take your family on a scenic tour from Centennial Waterfront Park to Pillar Falls. This beautiful tour includes amazing views from below the Twin Falls Perrine Bridge. Tours start at $40 for adults.
The beautiful Pillar Falls
16. Visit Malad Gorge State Park -  If you've ever traveled up I-84 from Southern Idaho chances are you've driven right over the top of the breath-taking Malad Gorge State Parkand never even noticed it. Take a pit stop and see the stunning view you've been missing. Don't forget to use your Idaho State Parks Passport!
I-84 drives right over the top of this beautiful waterfall into the Devil's Washbowl
17. Visit a local farmers market - What could be better than locally grown produce, hand crafted breads, and locally made art? Not much! Here are some of our favorite farmers markets in the area:
  • Downtown Twin Falls Farmers Market on Main Street from 9am-1pm every Saturday
  • Twin Falls Farmers Market across from the CSI Expo Center from 9am-1pm every Saturday
  • Mountain View Barn Farmers Market on Hwy 93 in Jerome from 9am-1pm every Saturday
  • Sprouts Farmers Marketplace in Twin from 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday all summer 
Fresh produce all summer long at Sprouts in Twin Falls
18. Enjoy a free concert in the park - The Twin Falls Municipal Band has a free concert every Thursday night all summer long in the band shell at Twin Falls City Park. The band has been doing the concert series for 112 years! Grab your lawn chair and something cold to drink and enjoy a lovely Idaho summer night.
Photo: Camille Johnson
19. Pick locally grown produce - Many community gardens and greenhouses provide a U-pick option for fresh produce. The College of Southern Idaho has a U-pick garden. Apple Creek Farm in Jerome offers fresh apples, apricots and more. Tubb's Berry Farm in Twin Falls has U-pick berries and pumpkins.

20. Choose your favorite ice cream at Cloverleaf - Buhl is home to one of the best ice cream shops in the world (my opinion, of course). Cloverleaf Creamery offers hand scooped ice cream and other fresh dairy products like milk, chocolate milk and butter. If Buhl is just too far to travel, hit up their new Twin Falls location on Main Street called The Lucky Scoop. Which flavor of ice cream is your favorite?
Our favorite flavor is the Cowboy Crunch!
21. Have a picnic at Balanced Rock - Balanced Rock State Park is the home of the world-famous balancing rock. It is over 48 feet tall and 40 feet wide. This wind carved beauty sits above a beautiful, well kept park nearly 200 feet below. Grab your lunch box and have a picnic below one of Idaho's famous landmarks!

22. Spend the afternoon watching B.A.S.E. jumpers - The Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls is one of the few places in the U.S. where B.A.S.E. (buildings antennas, spans and Earth objects) jumpers can jump without a permit. The 486 foot drop to the Snake River below has attracted many adrenaline junkies like Idaho's famous Miles Daisher.
B.A.S.E. jumper who missed his target

23. Hike the trail around Dierkes Lakes - A great summer activity is hiking and climbing around Dierkes Lake in Twin Falls. The park has plenty of great spots to practice rock climbing, take a leisurely walk, swim, fish or just sun bathe.

24. Eat a "small" ice cream cone at Shoshone Snack Bar. - The Shoshone Snack Bar, located on South Greenwood has ice cream cones that are piled a mile high. Order a large cone...I dare you.
The large cone...don't forget to get a cup! 
25. Float the Snake River in Burley - Ready for a lazy summer afternoon? Grab some sun block, bottled water and an inner tube and head on over to the Snake River in Burley. Set your tube in the river at the Burley Golf Course Docks and float on down to Tom's Marina. The smooth sailing float takes about 40 minutes.

26. Push yourself to new limits  - Gemstone Climbing Gym in downtown Twin Falls is an indoor climbing and fitness gym with top rope, lead climbing, bouldering, yoga, Pilates, cardio and strength equipment. They offer classes and tournaments all summer long like climbing/nerf wars, kids summer camp, beer and yoga night, women's clinics and many more. Check out their Facebook page for more events!
Climber Kari Whitney reaching the top!
27. Create custom pottery - Get a little creative - Check out Hands On in Down Town Twin Falls. Pick the pottery piece you want and paint away! The crew at Hands On will do the rest of the work and you get to pick up your fired, ready to use pottery in as little as a week. Check their Facebook page for specials and event nights.
Our beautiful artwork at Hands On in Twin Falls
28. Take a tour at a local winery - Southern Idaho is home to some very successful wineries. Call ahead and make an appointment to take a tour of their facility and do a wine tasting. The best of the best: Snyders Winery and Holesinsky’s Vineyard and Winery in Buhl, Thousand Springs Winery in Hagerman.
Holesinsky's Winery in Buhl
29. Take a "stay-cation" at a bed and breakfast - Who says vacation has to happen far from home? One of our best memories is from an adorable bed and breakfast, the Blue Lakes Inn in Twin, less than a mile from our house. Sometimes a break from the normal routine is just what you need.
The Blue Lakes Inn double queen suite

30. Take a tour of the Stricker Ranch in Hansen
 - The Friends of Stricker is a diverse group of volunteers dedicated to local history concerning the Oregon Trail. Built in 1865, the Rock Creek Station & Stricker Ranch was the first stage post on the Oregon Trail west of Fort Hall. Learn a little about our Southern Idaho history!

31. Hit a quick 18 holes of Mini Golf - Putters Mini Golf in Twin Falls is one of our favorite things to do in the evening. It's the perfect place to take a friend, take a kid, or take a date! They've got 18 Idaho themed holes like putting under the Shoshone Falls and around Balanced Rock. If you sink your putt in the 19th hole you get a FREE round of golf! 
Teeing off at Hole #1 under Balanced Rock

32. Visit a greenhouse - Stop by your local greenhouse and find something special to take home. Most greenhouses like Moss Greenhouse in Jerome offer group tours, ladies night and exceptional deals on seasonal plants! Keep an eye on Moss Greenhouse's Facebook page for fun events.

33. Go glamping (glamorous camping) - Don't feel like completely roughing it? Try glamping! One of the coolest places to go glamping is Miracle Hot Springs. They offer RV sites with electricity and water as well as camping domes. How about staying in an adorable tiny cabin? Try out the KOA on Highway 93 near Jerome. These cabins are so stinkin' cute and the perfect size for a getaway!

34. Visit Lake Cleveland - Lake Cleveland is one of our favorite summer day trips. Even in the heat of summer, the Lake Cleveland area isn't terribly hot because of its super high elevation. Located near the top of Mount Harrison, the elevation is 8,270 feet which is why it is only open from July 4th to Labor Day. It is well worth the drive!
No motorized boats are allowed on Lake Cleveland so it's perfect for relaxing

35. Watch a race at Magic Valley Speedway - The Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls is Idaho's only NASCAR-sanctioned race track. Their schedule is impressive, offering races almost every weekend through the summer. You won't want to miss their famous "trailer race of destruction" night!

36. Walk the Mogensen Trail - This trail is a little under 2 miles and goes from halfway down the Centennial grade, along the Snake River, under the Perrine Bridge, and finally ends at the B.A.S.E. jumpers landing spot. It's a great trail to take children on and a lot of fun when the jumpers are landing right next to you.

37. Visit your favorite candy shop - Sometime searching for a perfect piece of candy can be a grand adventure. Visit your local candy shop and get a variety and do a taste test! We love Frederickson's Fine Candies and Daisys Old Fashioned Candy in Twin Falls.
Variety of candies from Daisys in Twin Falls
38. Find some fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds - The Hagerman Fossil Beds Visitor Center is open all summer long from 9am - 5pm and offer seasonal ranger programs that allow visitors to get up close to the fossils and learn more about their history.

39. Watch a meteor shower - The second Saturday of each month from sunset to midnight the Herrett Center Observatory offers a free Star Party. Idaho is in prime placement to see many night-time sky beauties. For more information check out this great article written by Chris Anderson. 

40. Visit some Sturgeon - The free visitor's center at Clear Springs Foods is home of the beautiful clear pond with an underwater viewing area where you can get a great view of sturgeon and other fish. The visitor's center also has a lovely picnic area and small stream. It's a great place to spend the afternoon!
The Clear Springs Visitors Center viewing pond is totally handicap accessible! 

41. Take a walk underground - The Shoshone Indian Ice Caves17 miles north of Shoshone, is the perfect place to get out of the summer sun. The constant below freezing temperatures make for a chilly site, even in the summer. Take a tour to learn more about the volcanic and historical background of this area.

42. Pull out the swimming trunks - If swimming in a lake or river isn't your thing check out some of southern Idaho's great swimming facilities. Banbury Hot Springs in Buhl has hot springs and a cool pool as well as Nat-Soo-Pah is Hollister. The Buhl City pool is one of the most affordable one around at just $2 for kids and $4 for adults!

43. Stand on top of Mount Harrison -  While you're up visiting Lake Cleveland, head on up to the top of Mount Harrison. With an elevation of 9,265 feet, Mount Harrison is like stepping into lake fall in the middle of summer. The views are spectacular and the air is crisp!
Still has snow piles in the middle of July

44. Walk behind a waterfall - The Perrine Coulee is Twin Falls is one of our most overlooked waterfall in the area. It's easily view-able from the Centennial grade and if you are lucky enough to catch a good parking spot, you can climb down under the water falls in just a few short minutes!
The Perrine Coulee mist feels great on a hot summer day!

45. Visit the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area
 - The Hagerman WMA is a great place to take the kids and spend the day. The Idaho State fish hatchery is on site, with a great viewing pond filled with monster sturgeon, rainbow trout, largemouth bass and more. There are a ton of great fishing spots along Riley Pond and Bickle Spring. 
Don't forget to bring your quarters for the fish food dispenser!


  1. If we could link Canyon Ridge, Shoshone and Twin falls, Auger Falls, and Rock Creek trail systems with a bike lane we'd have to a real riding destination on our hands. As it stands, all are great but a tour is risky.


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