Visiting Shoshone Falls, Idaho and Cauldron Linn

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MTNgoat

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Jul 16, 2018
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About a month ago I decided I wanted to visit Shoshone Falls, Idaho, I heard they were the Niagaras of the West.

I knew I didn’t want to go and stay in a hotel or Airbnb, so I got on google maps and surveyed the nearby areas to see if there were nice camp options OUTSIDE of a KOA or populated place.

After a little digging around, I saw a place called Cauldron Linn listed on the map. After a bit of studying, I learned it was situated along the Snake River and while nearby the city, it was just enough off the beaten path to offer some alone time. So I mapped out my destination, I checked to see how far I would be from Shoshone Falls and marked it on my calendar.

So that Friday I loaded up my 4Runner with enough gear for the family and off we went. I intended to leave in the evening but time got the best of me and we didn’t hit the road til almost 10pm. The drive was uneventful, everything was pretty straight forward. I made a stop at Jack In the Box since we don’t have that in northern Utah, refueled my stomach and continued on. We arrived into Cauldron Linn right about 1:30am and it was pouring hard!

Google’s directions actually led us to a closed off section but fortunately the locals have the area well marked so I followed their posted signs and after a 10 mile detour we had arrived. Driving into the Cauldron at night with nothing but headlights made for an interesting descent, it was pretty cool.

We picked a spot to camp that had a table and fire pit and I deployed my awning so the family could stay dry while we set up the rest of the camp. It was late so we called it a night right away. When morning came it was a very nice view of the area. We were situated about 30 feet from the river but there was a rock bed that had slowed the water flow to a trickle. About 50 feet downstream the water levels picked back up.

I didn’t grab hardly any photos from this area sadly, I was more focused on looking at the surroundings and wandering around. But it’s certainly an area worth checking out if you find yourself out there!

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We packed up and were back on the road towards Shoshone Falls around 9:30, it didn’t take very long to arrive. We were one of the earlier guests so we had most of the park to ourselves, unfortunately there was only one active waterfall due to arriving later in the year after the snowmelt and it being a mild winter. While it was a bummer that we didn’t get to see both Falls active, I was glad we made it out to appreciate the country.

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We went for a small hike to look around the area and after that we left the park to go into town, grabbed a few supplies and some lunch. Afterwards we headed back into the park and stopped in at Dierkes Lake directly above. The kids splashed around for a few hours and I just relaxed in the shade. We considered staying another night but opted to head back home.

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And a departing photo of the mountain goat.

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blueeyes

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Go back when the falls are roaring! It is worth seeing I promise. A good place to camp is near Balanced Rock there is a little state park with camping next to a river. It is a little oasis and Balanced Rock is pretty cool. You drive along what seems like flat farm land and then it drops into a canyon the river carved through.

I heard of Cauldron Lin but last time were down there didn't have time to stop and see it.

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MTNgoat

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Go back when the falls are roaring! It is worth seeing I promise. A good place to camp is near Balanced Rock there is a little state park with camping next to a river. It is a little oasis and Balanced Rock is pretty cool. You drive along what seems like flat farm land and then it drops into a canyon the river carved through.

I heard of Cauldron Lin but last time were down there didn't have time to stop and see it.

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The way you described it sounds a lot like Cauldron, because we have to travel through farmland then drop down through a small canyon into the Cauldron and then we are about 20 feet off the river. But I’ll check out the balanced rock area for sure! And I do plan on going when both are active!
 

swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
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Go back when the falls are roaring! It is worth seeing I promise. A good place to camp is near Balanced Rock there is a little state park with camping next to a river. It is a little oasis and Balanced Rock is pretty cool. You drive along what seems like flat farm land and then it drops into a canyon the river carved through.

I heard of Cauldron Lin but last time were down there didn't have time to stop and see it.

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I was going to recommend checking out balanced rock the next time they head up as well. There is also Malad Gorge a little NW right off the freeway, it is typically just a quick stop. Thousands Springs Scenic By-Way also makes for a great drive.
 

blueeyes

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The way you described it sounds a lot like Cauldron, because we have to travel through farmland then drop down through a small canyon into the Cauldron and then we are about 20 feet off the river. But I’ll check out the balanced rock area for sure! And I do plan on going when both are active!
Start watching the flow and camera they have on the falls in March. Seems early April is the best.

Yes I imagine any water feature out there is drop into a canyon from the farmland. Crazy deceiving but I felt that way the first time I drove over to Boise! Flat flat flat... sign says Boise is 10 miles out. I see nnnnooothing!!! BOISE IS HUGE did someone blow it off the map? Then you round a corner and drop into Boise.


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blueeyes

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I was going to recommend checking out balanced rock the next time they head up as well. There is also Malad Gorge a little NW right off the freeway, it is typically just a quick stop. Thousands Springs Scenic By-Way also makes for a great drive.
I wasn't as impressed with Thousand Springs... In my head I imagined high canyon walls on both sides with green hanging gardens and water sprouting out everywhere. It is pretty just not as magnificent as it was hyped up to me to be. We were supposed to kayak Thousand Springs but there was a freak wind storm that blew in and none of us wanted to battle the wind. Kayaking would have gotten me closer the springs and then maybe I would have been impressed. I am impressed that the water that flows from those springs is collected in the aquifer under the Snake River Plain. Vast area with the Big Lost River "not" running through. Well it did last year for a bit.

The Malad Gorge is on my list! As well as some hoodooish formations called Shoefly near Mountain Home. Oh and the Old Man of the Owyhees...seriously my lists are never ending.

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swmalone

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I wasn't as impressed with Thousand Springs... In my head I imagined high canyon walls on both sides with green hanging gardens and water sprouting out everywhere. It is pretty just not as magnificent as it was hyped up to me to be. We were supposed to kayak Thousand Springs but there was a freak wind storm that blew in and none of us wanted to battle the wind. Kayaking would have gotten me closer the springs and then maybe I would have been impressed. I am impressed that the water that flows from those springs is collected in the aquifer under the Snake River Plain. Vast area with the Big Lost River "not" running through. Well it did last year for a bit.

The Malad Gorge is on my list! As well as some hoodooish formations called Shoefly near Mountain Home. Oh and the Old Man of the Owyhees...seriously my lists are never ending.

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There are a lot of hoodooish things outside of Mountain Home, you should check out the Gooding City of Rocks, also known as the little City of Rocks. The Owyhees are always fun to explore. I grew up spending a lot of time out there at Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch. If you end up over near the Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers there are some hot springs worth checking out.

As far as Thousand Springs I think that area depends a lot on how much water is coming out of the springs. I have been there when it is little more than a few trickles here and there and other times it actually does appear like there are thousands of springs gushing out of the slope.
 

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