To truly dive into the nature of Southern Idaho it is wise to take at least 5 days to explore. There are so many adventures you can fit in, and we don’t want you to miss any! Follow along on our 5 day travel itinerary for an epic vacation of site seeing, dining, and experiencing wonder in Southern Idaho.
- Visit Box Canyon State Park
- Visit Ritter Island
- Explore Downtown Hagerman
- Stay at Billingsley Creek
- Soak at Miracle Hot Springs
- Explore Downtown Buhl
- Visit the Snake River Canyon
- Kayak to Pillar Falls
- Dinner on the Canyon
- Stay at Filmore Inn
- Visit Shoshone Falls
- Hike Dierkes Lake
- Explore Downtown Twin Falls
- Stay at the Filmore Inn
- Kayak at Heyburn Riverside Park
- Dine on the shore of the Snake River
- Play Games at Arcadia
- Stay at the Burley Best Western Inn
- Visit Lake Cleveland
- Hike around City of Rocks
- Stay Burley Best Western Inn
5 Day Travel Itinerary
Start the vacation off right by seeing vibrant blue water pools! Visit Box Canyon State Park to see tropical views right here in Idaho. It costs $7 to visit. Park in the back lot to walk right up to the Box Canyon lookout. Take the 3 mile round trip hike down the canyon to find another blue water pool too!
Just down the road from Box Canyon is Ritter Island! Drive the grade down to the island surrounded by blue water and get to exploring! Find waterfalls and history all around Ritter Island. The island is open Labor Day to Memorial Day where you’ll find historic barns that were home to prized Guernsey Cattle years ago. When the island is closed the water is still accessible as well as the waterfalls. Please be responsible when recreating off season.
*How long does it take to drive from Box Canyon to Ritter Island? Less than 15 minutes.
Hagerman is a quaint town nearby where you’ll find the Thousand Springs Visitor Center and many local businesses. Some fun ones to stop into are Bullets N Brews, Bullzee BBQ, Wild Sweet Pea Boutique, and more! Explore Downtown Hagerman to see history, fossils, and meet the locals who live life to the fullest in the small riverside town.
Stay at Billingsley Creek to experience cabin life on the river. These gorgeous cabins are perfect for any family. You can fish and kayak right in the back yard because a blue stream flows through. It’s the same type of blue water you will see at Ritter Island and Box Canyon.
*How long is the drive from Hagerman to Box Canyon? 15 minutes.
Soak at Miracle Hot Springs for total relaxation. Miracle Hot Springs is located right off of the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway. Purchase general admission to swim in the large pools, or select the private rooms to have a quiet soak. The rooms vary in size, so depending on your group or family the VIP are the largest and fit up to 6 people.
After you’ve soaked and feel all relaxed and ready for adventure continue driving the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway all the way to Downtown Buhl. Explore Downtown Buhl to find tons of locally owned shops! Grab a bite to eat at numerous locations and shop for interesting souvenirs Downtown is very cute and perfect for those who love to shop for antiques and locally made products. Buhl is known for its plethora of antique and collectible shops. Many shops have a variety of things such as collectables, thrift finds, locally made goods, and more. For those who are hungry after the hot springs, find Cloverleaf Creamery, Magic Valley Brewery, and Kanaka Bistro to fill up on delicious food.
*How long is the drive from Miracle Hot Springs to Downtown Buhl? 15 minutes.
Drive out of Buhl on HWY 30 all the way into Twin Falls, Idaho. Drive to the north side of town to visit the Snake River Canyon. Park at the Twin Falls Visitor Center for easy access onto the Canyon Rim Trail. Right here, you’ll see the stunning Perrine Bridge tower over the Snake River. The bridge is almost 500 feet above the water! Walk east or west to discover more sections of the canyon.
*How long is the drive from Buhl to Twin Falls? About 25 minutes.
Drive into the Snake River Canyon via Canyon Springs Grade to Centennial Waterfront Park. At the park you can rent kayaks or paddle boards from AWOL Adventure Sports. Be sure to book your boat ahead of schedule! Check out all of the services they offer including boat rides to Pillar Falls. The kayak to Pillar Falls is 4 miles round trip. It is a 2 mile paddle to the Perrine Bridge. Bring lots of water and protection from the sun.
How to kayak to Shoshone Falls?
There isn’t a more picturesque place to dine than at Elevation 486. The restaurant is situated at the top of the canyon, and overlooks the Snake River. Amazing views can be seen inside of the restaurant, but we recommend dining on the patio for the ultimate “dinner with a view.” Elevation is a local restaurant that sources ingredients from Idaho farmers!
Stay at the Fillmore Inn if you’re looking for a cozy bed and breakfast. Each room has its own special touch, and depending who you’re traveling with, there is a romantic room with an exposed jacuzzi just steps from bed. It’s the perfect couples getaway hotel. The local owner keeps the historic building in tip top shape. Also, she bakes cookies sometimes as an added bonus for guests!
Visit Shoshone Falls City Park in the morning to see dazzling views. Shoshone Falls is most powerful between the months of April and May, but can have flows any time throughout the year. Even when there is only a small flow, the falls are worth a visit. You’ll see the ‘Niagara of the West’ as well as amazing views of Snake River Canyon. The Canyon Rim Trail leads up the canyon beginning at Shoshone Falls, and continues all the way to and past the Visitor Center. Find other hidden waterfalls in the canyon nearby Shoshone Falls, and around the park itself! There is a concessions stand as well as restrooms at Shoshone Falls. There is a vehicle admission fee to visit.
Hike Dierkes Lake located just above Shoshone Falls after you’ve explored the park. While driving back up from Shoshone Falls, turn left before the ticket booth to get to Dierkes Lake. The lake hike is a 2 mile loop that showcases jaw-dropping views. Kayaking and paddle boarding are available here, even take a swim on a hot summer day at Dierkes Lake.
After an adventurous morning, visit Downtown Twin Falls to fill up on food, coffee, and shopping! The Main Street of Downtown Twin Falls is loaded with local businesses. Do coffee, tea and crepes sound delicious? Dine at Twin Beans Coffee Co. Craving pizza? Slice Pizza, O’Dunkens, or Lucy’s in 2nd South Market. In need of a good hearty burger? Try Koto Brewing and get a locally crafted beer there while you’re at it. Find other shops all around Downtown Twin for souvenirs, home decor, new clothes, and loads of other special items.
Stay at the Filmore Inn again, located just minutes from Downtown Twin Falls.
*How long is the drive from Downtown Twin Falls to Shoshone Falls? About 20 minutes.
Start your day at Heyburn Riverside Park where you can walk a beautiful path along the Snake River. The Mini Cassia Visitors Center is located here. Discover tons of information about all the destinations around the area in the Visitors Center, and you’ll find Idaho goodies to purchase and take home with you. Kayak rentals are available at Heyburn Riverside Park, too!
Idaho Watersports rents out kayaks and paddle boards at Heyburn Riverside Park right on the river. The employees will help you get onto the river with their easy ‘push off’ dock. Even if it is your first time kayaking, you’ll have a stress-free experience. Kayak along the Snake River and see views of the mountains looking south.
*How long is the drive from Twin Falls to Burley? 30-45 minutes.
After you’ve had your fun exploring on the river, head to shore and get a bite to eat! Dine on the shore of the Snake River at Morey’s Steakhouse or at the Boathouse. Either restaurant gives you views of the Snake River and looks to the mountains. Morey’s Steakhouse is of course known for its delicious steaks. Enjoy their bar and lounge, the outdoor patio, or sit indoors and still enjoy a view! The Boathouse has a wide variety of food from tapas, pasta, tacos, seafood, and more. They have a patio to dine on, or indoor seating.
Play games at Arcadia after you’ve filled up on delicious cuisine! Arcadia is a one of a kind place. Find all the amazing retro games you played as kids, or challenge yourself on all the new ones! Find a frozen yogurt shop inside for desert.
Stay at the Burley Best Western for a great nights rest. The rooms are sparkling clean and there is an outdoor area where you can continue the fun. Enjoy yard games, a pool & hot tub, fire pits and a bar.
Those mountains you’ve been seeing while exploring Burley are calling! Drive south and drive up Howell Canyon to visit an alpine lake. Lake Cleveland sits above Southern Idaho and is about a 30 minute drive from Burley. Hike around the lake or take a dip in the cold water! Drive to the top of Southern Idaho by heading up the road, past Lake Cleveland, all the way to Mt. Harrison. See panoramic views of the region.
*How long is the drive from Burley to Lake Cleveland? Less than 30 minutes.
Drive back down from the mountain, but head south towards Almo to hike at the City of Rocks! The City of Rocks National Reserve is one of those indescribable places you just have to see for yourself. Stop at the Visitor Center in Almo for trail maps or advice. Drive through a majority of the park to see all of the stunning views. Then, hike around City of Rocks to see granite rock formations and stunning mountains as their backdrop.
*How long is the drive from Lake Cleveland to City of Rocks? About 45 minutes.
Stay at the Burley Best Western again for another great night of rest. Don’t forget to try out the hot tub, volleyball net, and outdoor bar while lounging. End the trip with a delicious meal from the hotel’s restaurant and drive safe as you embark on your journey back home.
*How long is the drive from Burley to the City of Rocks? Less than an hour drive.
We hope you enjoyed your 5 day travel itinerary in Southern Idaho!