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5 Adventurous Things To Do In Southern Idaho & The Sawtooth Mountains This Summer

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

In this post, I'm listing 5 adventurous things to do in Southern Idaho and the Sawtooth Mountains in the summer.

I confess I've only been to Idaho once, and for a short time-8 days to be exact, which is not nearly enough time to explore such an expansive and scenic state. I visited this past June as part of a two-and-a-half-week road trip that included Twin Falls, the Sawtooth Mountains, and Glacier National Park.

During my visit, I was blown away by Idaho's jaw-dropping landscape. And at times overwhelmed, specifically while hiking in the incredibly vast and remote Sawtooth Mountains. But more on that later in the post.

Here are a few of my favorite summer adventures from my visit to Idaho, otherwise known as the "Gem State."

Please enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Always practice the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.


Perrine Coulee Falls

walking behind Perrine Coulee Falls in twin falls idaho
Perrine Coulee Falls Canyon Trail

Located in Twin Falls, Idaho, Perrine Coulee Falls is a stunning 200 ft waterfall that flows year-round. The trail that takes you behind the waterfall is accessible via Canyon Springs Road. You just park your car on the side of the road and walk right up to it! Being able to walk behind the waterfall and get close enough to get wet from the mist is what makes this visiting Perrine Coulee Falls an exhilarating experience.


Kayak Shoshone Falls

Kayaking to the base of Shoshone Falls in twin falls idaho
Kayaking to the base of Shoshone Falls
Kayaking to shoshone falls in twin falls idaho

Located on the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, Shoshone Falls is known as "The Niagara of the West." At 212 feet tall and 900 feet wide, Shoshone Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States.

One of the best ways to experience Shoshone Falls is by kayaking or paddleboarding the base of the falls. I recently did a guided kayak tour to Shoshone Falls with AWOL Adventure Sports. You can read about it here or watch the video! If being part of a tour isn't your thing, they also offer kayak and paddleboard rentals.

Watch the video on Kayaking Shoshone Falls here:


Shoshone Falls Park

Shoshone Falls in twin falls idaho
Shoshone Falls in late June 2021
Shoshone Falls in twin falls idaho

Another way to enjoy Shoshone Falls is from Shoshone Falls Park. Springtime is when Shoshone Falls is raging, but summer is still a great time to visit, as there is still plenty of flow. When I visited Shoshone Falls Park in June, it was quite hot outside, and there weren't too many places to grab shade. So don't forget the sunscreen and a hat!

To view the current conditions of Shoshone Falls, click here.


Redfish Lake

Redfish lake in sawtooth mountains idaho

Located in Central Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains, Redfish Lake features crystal clear water and a dramatic mountain backdrop. It's one of the more accessible lakes in the Sawtooth region as there is no hike required. You can just drive right up to it! The main beach area offers a restaurant as well as boat, paddleboard, and kayak rentals. If you want more privacy and less of a commercialized feel, there are more remote beaches around Redfish Lake, some of which require a day-use fee.


Goat Lake

Goat Lake Trail in the Sawtooth Mountains in Central Idaho
Goat Lake Trail in the Sawtooth Mountains
Goat Lake Trail in the Sawtooth Mountains in Central Idaho
Goat Lake in June

In contrast to the easily accessible Redfish Lake, Goat Lake requires an 8-mile hike to reach it and is rated as difficult by AllTrails.

I am not going to sugar-coat it. Goat Lake was one of the most challenging hikes I've done. Mainly because parts of the trail are not well-marked (like at all!), so it's easy to get lost. There is also climbing, rock scrambling, and a river crossing involved on the last section (a.k.a the most difficult section) of the hike. So, while making it to Goat Lake is incredibly rewarding as the scenery is breathtaking, this hike is not for everyone.

Here are some tips for doing this hike:

  • Download the offline trail map from beforehand. I'm not sure I would have been able to make it to the end of the hike without this map.

  • It doesn't hurt to read the reviews on or watch a video of this hike on YouTube.

  • Bring plenty of water, more than you think you need.

  • I highly recommend doing this with another person/hiking buddy, especially if it's your first time.

  • Sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes are a must!

  • I don't recommend bringing dogs or small children on this hike.

  • If you're an inexperienced hiker or don't feel comfortable hiking on a trail that is not well marked, this trail might not be for you.

Goat Lake is accessible via the Iron Creek Trail near Stanley, Idaho.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what some of your favorite things to do in Idaho are in the comments!

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Hi, I'm Gabriella, an outdoor photographer living in Lake Tahoe, California. 
I'm originally from New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to try out living somewhere new and different.  I found myself loving the adventurous lifestyle and dramatic scenery on the west side of the country.  Eventually, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 after falling in love with its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle. 
On this site, I share adventure tips and destination guides to help you explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, Northern California, and beyond...

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