Perrine Coulee Falls

Snake River Canyon / Magic Valley, Idaho, USA

About Perrine Coulee Falls


Hiking Distance: roadside (base); 1/2-mile round trip (top)
Suggested Time: 20-30 minutes (top)

Date first visited: 2013-04-24
Date last visited: 2021-06-19

Waterfall Latitude: 42.59674
Waterfall Longitude: -114.4723

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Perrine Coulee Falls was probably the surprise waterfall of the Twin Falls area for us.

It’s said to be nearly 200ft tall (most of which is in freefall).

Canyon_Crest_017_20130425 - Perrine Coulee Falls and the Snake River
Perrine Coulee Falls and the Snake River

Corroborating this height figure, when viewed from the bottom, we found it difficult to photograph the falls from close up without some form of a wide angle lens.

Perrine Coulee Falls Developments and Flow

Since the weather was unseasonably hot during the two times we visited the falls in April 2013 and again in June 2021, we definitely appreciated feeling the waterfall’s spray due to its high flow.

However, contrasting our warm weather visits, we also came back in early April 2021 where we happened to see that there was still patches of snow and ice.

Meanwhile the waterfall had less flow as I suspected that Southern Idaho might have still been in the start of its Spring thaw.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_012_04032021 - Perrine Coulee Falls with very light flow as seen during our early April 2021 visit
Perrine Coulee Falls with very light flow as seen during our early April 2021 visit

Nevertheless, based on our limited sample size of visits, Perrine Coulee Falls actually seemed to have better flow in the Summer than in the Spring!

Whether this flow behavior was due to the timing of the Spring thaw or how Perrine Coulee Creek was managed differently than other neighboring waterfalls like Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls, or a combination of both remains to be seen.

Speaking of water management, Perrine Coulee Falls may have actually benefitted from its watercourse’s water management practices.

That’s due to how more irrigation water further upstream tended to be released into its coulee in the Summer.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_004_06192021 - Perrine Coulee Falls with a healthy flow as seen during our mid-June 2021 visit
Perrine Coulee Falls with a healthy flow as seen during our mid-June 2021 visit

As a result, this waterfall would have otherwise been seasonal as opposed to the only year-round waterfall in Twin Falls not on the Snake River (and even most of those on the Snake River like Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls can’t have that claim!).

Experiencing Perrine Coulee Falls

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_008_04032021 - Looking into the Snake River Valley from the start of the short jaunt to the base of Perrine Coulee Falls
Looking into the Snake River Valley from the start of the short jaunt to the base of Perrine Coulee Falls

The were two main ways we experienced the Perrine Coulee Falls.

One way was from its base, where we got to go behind the free-falling waterfall and feel its refreshing spray.

The other way was from the Canyon Crest walking path, which yielded a gorgeous panoramic top down view that included the waterfall and the Snake River Canyon.

The following goes into each experience in more detail.

Experiencing Perrine Coulee Falls from the Bottom

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_003_20130424 - Context of people checking out the backside of the Perrine Coulee Falls providing a sense of scale of its size
Context of people checking out the backside of the Perrine Coulee Falls providing a sense of scale of its size

I’d imagine that the base of Perrine Coulee Falls would be the most common way to experience the waterfall.

We were able to drive to a pullout around a hairpin turn very close to the waterfall (see directions below).

Once we got out of the car, we could hear the falls so we knew we were in the right place.

Indeed, we were able to see the Perrine Coulee Falls from the barricades.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_042_20130424 - Looking out from behind the bottom of the Perrine Coulee Falls towards the Blue Lakes Country Club down in the Snake River Canyon
Looking out from behind the bottom of the Perrine Coulee Falls towards the Blue Lakes Country Club down in the Snake River Canyon

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 out from behind 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.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_024_20130424 - Looking back towards the entire drop of Perrine Coulee Falls from its other side
Looking back towards the entire drop of Perrine Coulee Falls from its other side

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.

Experiencing Perrine Coulee Falls from the Top

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 only from the rim of the canyon, which had a separate parking lot mostly for Canyon Crest businesses (see directions below).

This was where we started the walk, which was on a paved walkway that I think might be called the Canyon Crest Walkway.

Canyon_Crest_013_20130425 - Focused on the entire drop of the Perrine Coulee Falls as seen from the Canyon Crest Walkway
Focused on the entire drop of the Perrine Coulee Falls as seen from 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 popular Elevation 486 Restaurant beforehand so we were at least familiar with the area.

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.

Canyon_Crest_026_20130425 - Julie checking out the Perrine Bridge from the first overlook at Canyon Crest
Julie checking out the Perrine Bridge from the first overlook at Canyon Crest

We were also able to see the context of Canyon Springs Drive and the hairpin turn in between the bridge and the falls (i.e. the place we reached the bottom of the Perrine Coulee 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.

We continued along the Canyon Crest Walkway, which went over a bridge spanning Perrine Coulee Creek, and then we swung around to the second overlook.

From that second overlook, we were only able to get a partial view of the Perrine Coulee Falls.

Canyon_Crest_028_20130425 - The verticality of the Perrine Coulee Falls as seen from the second overlook
The verticality of the Perrine Coulee Falls as seen from the second overlook

However, we 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 a hidden upper waterfall on Perrine Coulee Creek that ultimately would feed the main drop of the nearly 200ft main drop further downstream.

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, biking, or strolling about.

Many of the pedestrians we encountered were pushing strollers and/or walking their dogs.

Canyon_Crest_005_20130425 - Context of the suburban Canyon Crest Walkway between some local businesses and the top of the Perrine Coulee Falls
Context of the suburban Canyon Crest Walkway between some local businesses and the top of the Perrine Coulee Falls

Given that experiencing Perrine Coulee Falls from the canyon rim was essentially like a suburban waterfall, we took advantage of its position by going for an after-dinner walk or even making a walking loop of about 1.5 miles from our accommodation.

Authorities

Perrine Coulee Falls resides in Twin Falls in Twin Falls County, Idaho. It is administered by the City of Twin Falls. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_001_06182021 - Enjoying the views of the Snake River Canyon as we were waiting to get seated outdoors at the Elevation 486 Restaurant in Twin Falls in mid-June 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_003_06182021 - Looking in the other direction along the Snake River Canyon from overlooks fronting the Elevation 486 Restaurant in mid-June 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_019_06182021 - After our family dinner in mid-June 2021, Mom and I went for a walk along the Canyon Crest Walkway
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_022_06182021 - Mom approaching the first overlook, which was behind what I suspect to be the Canyon Crest Conference Center during our mid-June 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_023_06182021 - This was the area at the first overlook of Perrine Coulee Falls as seen during our mid-June 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_033_06182021 - Looking down at Perrine Coulee Falls from the first overlook during our mid-June 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_038_06182021 - I hadn't noticed this waterfall closer to the Perrine Coulee Bridge in any of our past visits, and I wondered if it was possible to hike to its bottom.  I suspect that this waterfall was suburban runoff, which seemed to be quite common beneath the city of Twin Falls
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_039_06182021 - I've noticed more bicyclists using the Canyon Crest Walkway over the years that we've been visiting Twin Falls
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_044_06182021 - Mom approaching the second overlook of Perrine Coulee Falls during our mid-June 2021 post-dinner walk
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_048_06182021 - Overlooking part of the Perrine Coulee Falls from that second viewing spot in pretty high flow in mid-June 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_059_06182021 - When we were done visiting the Perrine Coulee Falls from the top, we actually walked back to the Towneplace Suites (letting the rest of the family drive back after dinner)
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_060_06182021 - Walking alongside an undeveloped plot of land adjacent to a side street (not the much busier main street further to the south) on our way back from our post-dinner visit to Perrine Coulee Falls in mid-June 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_007_06192021 - The kids and my Mom going into the spray zone behind the bottom of Perrine Coulee Falls in mid-June 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_013_06192021 - Looking back at the profile of Perrine Coulee Falls from its other side on our mid-June 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_017_06192021 - This is sad, but I didn't recall seeing graffiti like this when we first came here in April 2013. I suspect urban blight only gets worse as more people come without respecting the land as the internet makes it easier for such people to show up given how easy anyone can access the information (yes, the irony isn't lost on me that I am keeping a waterfalls website)
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_020_06192021 - Last look back at the context of Perrine Coulee Falls in mid-June 2021 as we return to our parked cars on Scenic Drive
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_001_04022021 - Returning to the Elevation 486 Restaurant in Twin Falls in early April 2021, where it seemed to operate as if the pandemic never existed
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_003_04022021 - The paved walkway passing before the Elevation 486 Restaurant while providing nice views over the Snake River Valley in early April 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_005_04022021 - Following the paved walkway towards the overlooks of the Perrine Coulee Falls in early April 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_010_04022021 - The familiar overlook providing views of both the Perrine Coulee Falls (in lower flow than when we first saw it in late April 2013) as well as the Perrine Coulee Bridge in the background
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_014_04022021 - Looking down at the Perrine Coulee Falls from the first lookout along the paved Canyon Crest Walkway as seen in early April 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_030_04022021 - Looking towards the upper pair of drops above the Perrine Coulee Falls as seen from the second lookout along the Canyon Crest Walkway in early April 2021
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_031_04022021 - Looking towards the vertical cliffs around the Perrine Coulee Falls (unseen in this photo)
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_034_04022021 - Making my way back along the Canyon Crest Walkway after having had my fill of the overlooks around the top of Perrine Coulee Falls
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_038_04022021 - I didn't recall seeing this fountain along the Canyon Crest Walkway before on our first visit in late April 2013, but it was definitely there during my early April 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_003_04032021 - Looking along some springs or melting snow or ice besides the pullouts closest to the base of the Perrine Coulee Falls during our early April 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_012_04032021 - Full view of the front side of the Perrine Coulee Falls during our early April 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_016_04032021 - Looking back at the Perrine Coulee Falls in low flow during our early April 2021 visit after having gone behind it during a chilly morning
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_018_04032021 - Context of the Perrine Coulee Falls in low flow during our early April 2021 visit with Tahia way in the distance on the lower left corner of this photo
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_023_04032021 - It was a chilly enough morning in early April 2021 that there was still some residual snow around the Perrine Coulee Falls
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_032_04032021 - Looking out from behind the Perrine Coulee Falls during our early April 2021 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_054_04032021 - Last look at the springs being sidelit by the morning sun during our early April 2021 visit to the base of the Perrine Coulee Falls
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_058_20130424 - The Perrine Bridge as seen from Perrine Coulee Falls access to its base
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_007_20130424 - Looking up against the late afternoon sun at the Perrine Coulee Falls in high flow from its bottom during our late April 2013 visit. This photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery were taken from that trip
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_013_20130424 - Looking up at the brink of the Perrine Coulee Falls from its backside during our late April 2013 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_029_20130424 - Looking back at the Perrine Coulee Falls in high flow from the other side of its drop in late April 2013
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_032_20130424 - Looking across the bottom of the Perrine Coulee Falls towards the Blue Lakes Country Club in the Snake River Canyon in the distance
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_043_20130424 - Full view of the freefall of the Perrine Coulee Falls after the afternoon sun sunk behind the cliffs during our late April 2013 visit
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_055_20130424 - View of the Blue Lakes Country Club in the Snake River Canyon from the hairpin where we left the car to explore the bottom of Perrine Coulee Falls in late April 2013
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_056_20130424 - Last look back at the Perrine Coulee Falls from the hairpin turn during our late April 2013 visit
Canyon_Crest_002_20130425 - At the Canyon Crest looking out towards the Perrine Bridge
Canyon_Crest_003_20130425 - Looking downstream from Canyon Crest towards the Snake River Canyon during our late April 2013 visit
Canyon_Crest_006_20130425 - Looking down towards the greens of the Blue Lakes Country Club from Canyon Crest
Canyon_Crest_007_20130425 - The Canyon Crest Walkway from near the Pinnacle Place parking lot
Canyon_Crest_009_20130425 - The Canyon Crest Walkway, which was sandwiched between the Snake River Canyon and some businesses
Canyon_Crest_010_20130425 - View of the Perrine Coulee Falls as seen from its first overlook along the Canyon Crest Walkway in late April 2013
Canyon_Crest_027_20130425 - Looking towards the second overlook perched above the canyon rim from the first overlook for the Perrine Coulee Falls in late April 2013
Canyon_Crest_031_20130425 - A pair of smaller cascades on Perrine Coulee Creek just upstream of Perrine Coulee Falls
Canyon_Crest_034_20130425 - Looking back towards the businesses along Canyon Crest Walkway from the Perrine Coulee Falls overlooks
Canyon_Crest_038_20130425 - Last look back across the Perrine Coulee Falls and the Snake River Canyon with the Perrine Bridge in the background in late April 2013


In order to drive to the Perrine Coulee Falls, we first had to get to the town of Twin Falls.

We got there by taking the I-84 east from Boise for nearly 2 hours, then we took the Twin Falls exit onto Hwy 93.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_057_20130424 - Looking back at the hairpin turn that was nearest to the bottom of the Perrine Coulee Falls
Looking back at the hairpin turn that was nearest to the bottom of the Perrine Coulee Falls

After a few miles driving south on Hwy 93, we crossed over the Perrine Bridge and entered the bustling town of Twin Falls.

Driving from the Perrine Bridge to the Perrine Coulee Falls Bottom

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.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_Base_052_04032021 - When we returned to Perrine Coulee Falls in early April 2021, it appeared that they limited the pullout spaces by the hairpin turn so I'd imagine it can get pretty crowded here later in the afternoon
When we returned to Perrine Coulee Falls in early April 2021, it appeared that they limited the pullout spaces by the hairpin turn so I’d imagine it can get pretty crowded here later in the afternoon

Right before the first hairpin turn (fringed by barricades), there were some informal pullout spaces that we used to park the car.

Driving from the Perrine Bridge to the Perrine Coulee Falls Top Access

Backtracking from Canyon Springs Rd back to the main road just south of the Perrine Bridge, we then continued to head south to the intersection of the Blue Lakes Rd and Poleline Rd.

This was a major intersection with a traffic light just south of the Perrine Bridge across the Snake River Canyon.

We then headed west on Poleline Dr for about a mile to Washington Street North.

Canyon_Crest_039_20130425 - Looking back at the commercial buildings along the Canyon Crest Walkway
Looking back at the commercial buildings along the Canyon Crest Walkway

Turning right onto Washington St N, we took this road for about a quarter-mile to Canyon Crest Dr on the right.

Then, we turned left into the arched roadway for Pinnacle Pl, where there’s a large parking lot for the local businesses of Pinnacle Place (including the Elevation 486 restaurant).

This parking lot was where we started the walk along the Canyon Crest Rim towards the top of Perrine Coulee Falls.

Finally, for some additional context, the town of Twin Falls was 128 miles (2 hours drive) east of Boise, 159 miles (2.5-3.5 hours drive) west of Idaho Falls, 218 miles (over 3 hours drive) northwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, and 251 miles (under 4 hours drive) north of Ely, Nevada.

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Left to right sweep of the Snake River Canyon before ending at the Perrine Coulee Falls in Summer 2021 flow late in the afternoon


Back and forth sweep from the second overlook down at Perrine Coulee Falls and the Snake River Canyon as seen in mid June 2021


Nearly 360 degree sweep from the familiar elevated spot leading down behind the falls itself with some bantar in the background. This was shot in mid-June 2021


Long video showing the entire behind-the-waterfall experience while making multiple columnar sweeps along the way


Left to right sweep of the Snake River Canyon before focusing more on the Perrine Coulee Falls from the overlook along the Centennial Trail


Video starting with the upper drops of the Perrine Coulee Falls before going back and forth across the Snake River Canyon from the 2nd falls overlook along the Centennial Trail


Long video showing the entire experience of going behind the Perrine Coulee Falls


360 degree sweep showing the Snake River Canyon and the alcove containing the Perrine Coulee Falls from the far side of the alcove itself


Deliberate top down L-shaped sweep of the falls in the afternoon with some folks already behind the waterfall.


Slow right to left top down S-shaped sweep from the opposite side 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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Tagged with: snake river, twin falls, idaho, magic valley, bridge, waterfall, behind, canyon, canyon crest



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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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