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: 2013-04-25

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 (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, we found it difficult to photograph the falls from close up without some form of a wide angle lens.

Nevertheless, since the weather was unseasonably hot during the two times we visited the falls in April 2013, we definitely appreciated feeling the waterfall’s spray.

Perrine Coulee Falls Developments and Flow

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.

That said, it might have gotten some additional help, which I’ll get to later in this write-up.

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

Indeed, perhaps the only tampering involved with the Perrine Coulee Falls 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.

As for Perrine Coulee Falls’ flow, I had read in the literature that its flow 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.

Perrine_Coulee_Falls_053_20130424 - Perrine Coulee Falls with a healthy flow as seen during our mid-Spring 2013 visit
Perrine Coulee Falls with a healthy flow as seen during our mid-Spring 2013 visit

The photographs you see on this page show how well it was flowing during our mid-Spring visit.

Experiencing 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 (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_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

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 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_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

We were also able to see 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, 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.

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

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 these pedestrians were pushing strollers and/or walking their dogs.

Authorities

Perrine Coulee Falls resides in Twin Falls, Idaho. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

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 from its bottom
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_013_20130424 - Looking up at the brink of the Perrine Coulee Falls from its backside
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_029_20130424 - Looking back at the Perrine Coulee Falls from the other side of its drop
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
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
Perrine_Coulee_Falls_056_20130424 - Last look back at the Perrine Coulee Falls from the hairpin turn
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
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
Canyon_Crest_027_20130425 - Looking towards the second overlook perched above the canyon rim from the first overlook for the Perrine Coulee Falls
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

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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.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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, boise, magic valley, bridge, waterfall, behind, canyon, canyon crest



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