The Greenbelt in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Idaho Falls, the hub of Eastern Idaho, is most well-known for its’ close proximity to Yellowstone. The city is located just 2 hours from the entrance, and thus, sees an upsurge in tourists during the summer months. As the region’s cultural hub, the small city is home to a number of attractions including the Tautphaus Park Zoo, several museums, art galleries, a historic theater, as well as a popular riverfront recreational path. As there are plenty of things to do within the city, it’s a great base for your national park adventures.

Take a stroll around the river

Riverfront path in Idaho Falls, Idaho

The beautiful Idaho Falls Riverwalk is the place to go to engage in any type of outdoor recreation. Jogging, walking, and biking along the beautiful Snake River is popular with both locals and tourists. With a 5 mile long paved trail on both sides of the river, the distance is perfect for a long relaxing weekend workout. Enjoy great views of the LDS Temple and the man made waterfall along the way. It’s well maintained, clean, and overall the most beautiful place in the city for exercise. A number of restaurants are located within close proximity.

Explore Snake River Landing

Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Snake River Landing is a mixed use development area on the Snake River. Along with a number of restaurants and shops, there are several miles of scenic trails to enjoy. This is a popular place to run due to the flat terrain and beautiful scenery.

Browse the local collection at the The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

Art Museum of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls

This small, but impressive museum is worth at least a quick visit while you are in town. The showcase includes 5 galleries mostly spotlighting the works of local artists through various media including paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Admission is just 4 bucks and free on the first Saturday of each month. As an extra bonus, the museum is located on the Snake River and the views are lovely. Check the website for a list of upcoming special exhibits.

Drive the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

Upper Mesa Falls in Idaho

Located about 40 min outside of the city is a gorgeous 28 mile long drive called the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Not only are the views gorgeous, secluded, and rustic for the entirety of the drive, but you will also get to see 2 stunning waterfalls along the route. The 65 foot tall Lower Falls is viewable via the roadside, while Upper Falls is easily accessible via a short walk on an observation deck. Upper Falls, at 114 foot tall and 200 foot wide, truly is an impressive sight to behold, and easily one of the top natural wonders in the state. Also plan for a stop at beautiful Harriman State Park, home to 20+ miles of hiking/biking trails.

Plan a daytrip to Yellowstone

Bison at Yellowstone National Park

As the gateway to Yellowstone, many tourists choose to make Idaho Falls their base for exploring America’s first national park. While there are a few smaller towns located closer to the entrance, Idaho Falls offers many amenities which make it a great base including affordable hotels, the beautiful greenbelt path mentioned above, along with plenty of local dining options as well as popular chains. It’s a great little city to come back to enjoy and modern amenities after a long day exploring the wilderness. The city is also located within easy day trip of Lava Hot Springs and Craters of the Moon.

Check out my full Yellowstone Vacation guide