Perrine Coulee Falls

Snake River Canyon / Magic Valley / Twin Falls County, Idaho, USA

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 1
Perrine Coulee Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Perrine Coulee Falls was probably the surprise waterfall of the Twin Falls area for us. While the neighboring Snake River Waterfalls (e.g. Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls) were tampered with, this one seemed to be left to flow naturally (maybe with some additional help, which I'll get to later). Perhaps the only tampering involved here had to do with all the developments around the falls itself. But the flip side to that was that we got to experience it in a variety of ways that probably wouldn't have been obvious to us otherwise.

The two main ways we experienced this waterfall was from its base and from the Canyon Crest walking path for a gorgeous top down view. Both ways yielded completely different perspectives, and I'll describe those separately on this page.

The falls itself was said to be nearly 200ft. Indeed, it was difficult to photograph the falls from close up without some form of a wide angle lens. Since the weather was unseasonably hot during the two times we visited the falls, we definitely appreciated feeling the waterfall's spray when we managed to go behind the falls.

I had read in the literature that the flow of this waterfall might actually increase in Summer due to the way irrigation canals release their water. If that would be the case, then it probably wouldn't be a good idea to go behind the falls under the increased flow. It had been speculated that this might be the only waterfall in Twin Falls County that would flow year-round. The photographs you see on this page show how well it was flowing during our April 2013 visit.

As for getting to the town of Twin Falls and getting directions from there, see the directions section further below on this page.


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Base of the Falls

Frontal view of Perrine Coulee Falls from the hairpin turn access on Canyon Springs Dr
I'd imagine that the base of Perrine Coulee Falls would be the most common way to experience the waterfall. A short distance south of the Perrine Bridge entering Twin Falls, we turned right onto Canyon Springs Rd (I recalled this right turn was before the main traffic light for Poleline Rd.

We then followed Canyon Springs Rd as it went past a few residential homes and descended into the Snake River Canyon. At the first hairpin turn (fringed by barricades), there were some informal pullout spaces that we used to park the car. Once we got out of the car, we could hear the falls so we knew we were in the right place.

We were able to see the falls from the barricades. However, we found some informal scrambling paths hugging the canyon wall that allowed us to get onto an informal foot trail that led directly behind the falls itself. It was from here that we could look past the falls and into the Blue Lakes Country Club at the base of the Snake River Canyon.

The scrambling path continued onto the other side of the falls where we managed to get a different angled view of the Perrine Coulee Falls once we got beyond the misty and slippery parts of the rocky scramble. This perspective especially was helpful in the late afternoon that we visited because we were looking directly against the sun when we tried to see it from the hairpin turn.

For all intents and purposes, this waterfall was pretty much a roadside waterfall, but with the additional scrambling we did to see the falls from other spots, we ended up spending about 35 minutes here.


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Top of the Falls

When we were at the base of Perrine Coulee Falls, I couldn't help but notice there were a couple of overlooks perched right at the canyon rim overlooking this cove. It turned out that those viewpoints were indeed accessible, but not from Canyon Springs Rd, which was the road that led us to the base of the falls (described above).

Julie checking out the Perrine Bridge from the first overlook at Canyon Crest From the Blue Lakes Rd and Poleline Rd intersection (it's a major intersection with a traffic light just south of the Perrine Bridge across the Snake River Canyon), head west on Poleline Dr for about a mile to Washington Street North. Turn right onto Washington St N, and take this road for about a quarter-mile to Canyon Crest Dr on the right. Then, turn left into the arched roadway for Pinnacle Pl, where there's a large car park area for the local businesses here (including the Elevation 486 restaurant).

This was where we started the walk, which was on a paved walkway that I think might be called the Canyon Crest Walkway. Facing the canyon, we headed to our right on the paved walkway and followed it for about 10 minutes or so until we reached the first of two overlooks of the Perrine Coulee Falls.

Since we happened to walk behind a handful of businesses, it seemed like we didn't park at the closest spot to minimize the walking to the overlooks. Nonetheless, we parked the car here because we had eaten at the restaurant before so we were at least familiar with the area.

The verticality of the Perrine Coulee Falls scene from the second overlook From the first overlook (which I believe was directly behind the Canyon Crest Dining and Events Center or something like that), we got regal views of the entirety of Perrine Coulee Falls as well as the Perrine Bridge further upstream along the Snake River. We were also able to see Canyon Springs Drive and the hairpin turn in between the bridge and the falls.

Looking down the Snake River Canyon from this overlook, we were also able to better appreciate the depth of the canyon itself as well as the entirety of the Blue Lakes Country Club at the base of the canyon.

I continued along the Canyon Crest Walkway, which went over a bridge spanning Perrine Coulee Creek, and then swung around to the second overlook. From that second overlook, I was only able to get a partial view of the Perrine Coulee Falls, but I could better appreciate the verticality of this vantage point as the canyon walls here were nearly completely vertical.

A bonus of this second viewpoint was that I could also see some upper cascades on Perrine Coulee Creek that ultimately would feed the main drop of the nearly 200ft falls.

Given the proximity of businesses and residences to the Canyon Crest Walkway, Julie and I shared this path with a lot of friendly locals who were either jogging or strolling about (many of them pushing strollers and/or walking their dogs).




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Regal view of Perrine Coulee Falls with Perrine Bridge and the Canyon Springs Road in betweenRegal view of Perrine Coulee Falls with Perrine Bridge and the Canyon Springs Road in between
The late afternoon sun peeking just above the canyon rim as we looked towards the Perrine Coulee FallsThe late afternoon sun peeking just above the canyon rim as we looked towards the Perrine Coulee Falls
Late afternoon view of the Snake River Canyon and the Blue Lakes Country Club from the Perrine Coulee Falls access on Canyon Springs RoadLate afternoon view of the Snake River Canyon and the Blue Lakes Country Club from the Perrine Coulee Falls access on Canyon Springs Road
About 2 hours northeast of the city of Twin Falls was the Craters of the Moon National Monument, which we think is a worthwhile diversion to witness the raw effects of volcanism leaving behind a moonscapeAbout 2 hours northeast of the city of Twin Falls was the Craters of the Moon National Monument, which is a worthwhile diversion to witness the raw effects of volcanism leaving behind a moonscape
The hairpin turn on Canyon Springs Road by the access to the base of Perrine Coulee FallsThe hairpin turn on Canyon Springs Road by the access to the base of the falls

The Perrine Bridge as seen from Perrine Coulee Falls accessThe Perrine Bridge as seen from the access to the falls

Some young folks approaching the backside of Perrine Coulee FallsSome young folks approaching the backside of the falls

Looking up at the Perrine Coulee Falls from its backsideLooking up at the Perrine Coulee Falls from its backside

Looking out from behind Perrine Coulee Falls towards the Snake River Canyon and the greens of the Blue Lakes Country ClubLooking out from behind Perrine Coulee Falls towards the Snake River Canyon and the greens of the country club down there

Looking out towards the Snake River Canyon from the other side of the backside of Perrine Coulee FallsLooking out towards the Snake River Canyon from the other side of the backside of the falls

The Canyon Crest Walkway from near the Pinnacle Place car parkThe Canyon Crest Walkway from near the Pinnacle Place car park

The Canyon Crest Walkway, which was sandwiched between the Snake River Canyon and some businessesThe Canyon Crest Walkway, which was sandwiched between the Snake River Canyon and some businesses

Looking towards the second overlook perched above the canyon rimLooking towards the second overlook perched above the canyon rim

A pair of smaller cascades on Perrine Coulee Creek just upstream of Perrine Coulee FallsA pair of smaller cascades on Perrine Coulee Creek just upstream of Perrine Coulee Falls


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Inverted U-shaped sweep from behind the falls


nearly 360 degree deliberate sweep starting with the hairpin road, then briefly zooming into the bridge leading to Twin Falls, then panning over to the Snake River Gorge before finally panning on Perrine Coulee Falls


Slow and deliberate left to right sweep from the first overlook before ending at Perrine Coulee Falls with a panning along its flow, then zooming out to show the falls and the arched bridge together


Right to left sweep from the second overlook starting with the bridge leading to Twin Falls, then panning across the gorge towards Perrine Coulee Falls. The movie ends with a slow zoomed in bottom up sweep of the falls, including its hidden upper cascades.


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

As for getting to at least the town of Twin Falls, we took the I-84 east from Boise for nearly 2 hours, then we took the Twin Falls exit onto Hwy 93. After a few miles driving south on Hwy 93, we crossed over the Perrine Bridge and entered the bustling town of Twin Falls.

If the objective is to access the base of Perrine Coulee Falls, then turn right at Canyon Springs Road (I believe that's the right turn immediately before the traffic light at Poleline Road). The rest of the directions can be continued above.

As for getting to the top of the falls, we continued on Hwy 93 as it eventually became Blue Lakes Road in the town itself. The rest of the directions for that objective is given above.

Finally, for some additional context, the town of Twin Falls was 159 miles (2.5-3.5 hours drive) west of Idaho Falls or 218 miles (over 3 hours drive) northwest of Salt Lake City, Utah.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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