Snake River Canyon (Idaho)

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For other canyons with similar names, see Snake River Canyon (Wyoming) and Hells Canyon (Idaho).
Snake River Canyon
Snake River Canyon Idaho 2007.jpg
Snake River Canyon, Idaho
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; -114.417Coordinates: 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.


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 the 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 15,000 years ago.[2] However, as of 2000, geologists believe that while the canyon was shaped by the flood, its basic structure predated it.[3]

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.

On September 16, 2016, stuntman Eddie Braun successfully jumped the canyon using technology similar to that used by Evel Knievel 42 years previously.[4]


View up the Snake River Gorge above Shoshone Falls
  1. ^ Magic Valley website, "River of Stone". Retrieved June, 2014.
  2. ^ Dunlap, Tetona. "Anatomy of a Canyon: Dissecting the Panorama". Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Topinka, Lyn. Lake Bonneville and the Bonneville Flood, Cascades Volcano Observatory, January 22, 2003. Accessed August 18, 2008.
  4. ^ "Stuntman Eddie Braun makes the jump across the Snake River Canyon". Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Retrieved 16 September 2016.