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Thousand Springs Scenic Byway

The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway is less than 70 miles long but provides a glimpse into the remarkable geology of southern Idaho, its history and a nostalgic rural lifestyle. You'll quickly come to understand why this area is called the "Magic Valley." Beginning at Bliss, the byway drops into the Snake River Canyon and offers an astonishing array of fascinating places, wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities. The Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the best places in the world to study prehistoric life. It's home to over two hundred different species of fossil plants and animals, including Idaho's state fossil, the Hagerman Horse. More than a few youngsters who've visited here have been inspired to become paleontologists.

South of Hagerman, you'll see where the name Thousand Springs comes from, as the springs are clearly visible from the byway. The springs represent the end of a journey of water that begins in the Craters of the Moon area nearly 100 miles away. The pure, clean water maintains a constant temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for growing trout. Not bad for taking photographs either. Hatcheries located along this stretch of the Snake River raise seventy percent of the trout produced in the United States.

You'll want to make a short side trip — just out of Twin Falls — to see the spectacular Perrine Bridge. It's 1500 feet long and almost 500 feet above the Snake River. There are convenient pedestrian walkways for enjoying the scenery, and the Buzz Langdon Visitor Center is right next to the bridge. It also provides easy access to the developed canyon rim trail system. A short distance away is the Niagra of the West — Shoshone Falls. The falls are 212 feet high and about 900 feet wide. The view is spectacular year-round. The Shoshone Falls/Dierkes Lake Complex offers a unique blend of recreational facilities, including playgrounds and hiking trails.