Snake River Canyon (Idaho)

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For other canyons with similar names, see Snake River Canyon (Wyoming) and Hells Canyon (Idaho).
Coordinates: 42°36′N 114°25′W / 42.600°N 114.417°W / 42.600; -114.417
Snake River Canyon
View east up the Snake River Canyon from the Perinne Bridge on July 7 2013.JPG
View east up the Snake River Canyon from the Perrine Bridge
Country United States
State Idaho
County Twin Falls, Jerome
Source Snake River
 - coordinates 42°36′N 114°25′W / 42.600°N 114.417°W / 42.600; -114.417
Mouth Snake River
 - coordinates 42°36′N 114°25′W / 42.600°N 114.417°W / 42.600; -114.417
Snake River Canyon lies in the Magic Valley region of southern Idaho.
Location of Snake River Canyon in Idaho

Snake River Canyon is a large canyon formed by the Snake River in the Magic Valley region of southern Idaho, forming part of the boundary between Twin Falls County to the south and Jerome County to the north.

The canyon ranges up to 500 feet (150 meters) deep and 0.25 miles (0.4 kilometers) wide, and runs for just over 50 miles.[1] Perrine Bridge crosses the canyon immediately north of the city of Twin Falls. Shoshone Falls is located approximately 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of Perrine Bridge along the canyon.

History[edit]

Looking west down the Snake River Canyon from the Perrine Bridge

In the late 19th century I. B. Perrine and others founded the Magic Valley's first successful agricultural operations on Snake River Canyon floor. The canyon's value as a farming area diminished after irrigation projects made agriculture practical in the surrounding areas in the early 20th Century. Today the canyon floor is a tourist attraction and features several parks and golf courses.

In the past it was generally believed the Snake River Canyon was created by a cataclysmic flood caused by water released from Lake Bonneville approximately 14,000 years ago. However, as of 2000, geologists believe that while the canyon was shaped by the flood, its basic structure predated it.[2]

Local fame[edit]

View west down the Snake River Canyon from Shoshone Falls

The canyon is well known as the site of an unsuccessful 1974 attempt by Evel Knievel to jump across it in the Skycycle X-2 rocket. The dirt ramp built for that jump is still there and remains a tourist attraction.

Other stuntmen are planning to recreate the jump to commemorate its 40th anniversary in 2014.[3]


References[edit]

View up the Snake River Gorge above Shoshone Falls
  1. ^ Magic Valley website, "River of Stone". Retrieved June, 2014.
  2. ^ Topinka, Lyn. Lake Bonneville and the Bonneville Flood, Cascades Volcano Observatory, January 22, 2003. Accessed August 18, 2008.
  3. ^ "Fox Agrees to Broadcast Canyon Jumps in Live Competition", Magic Valley Times-News, May 14, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2014.