Family Fun in Montana and Idaho: Sacramento to Twin Falls (Part 1)

With the three of us fully vaccinated, Steve, Trevor, and I took our first trip out of California in 19 months. We had two goals: visit family (Idaho) and check another state (Montana) off our need-to-visit list. We just returned and had a fantastic time!


Sacramento to Twin Falls, ID

On Saturday, July 24, we put on Scout uniforms, packed up the car with everything we'd need for a 10-day trip, and drove to Sacramento for Evan's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. We'd originally planned to start our vacation on Sunday the 25th, but when we found out that the Court of Honor was on the 24th, we realized it made more sense to drive to the event (about an hour from home) and continue north from there, rather than coming home that afternoon and driving past literally the exact spot the following day. 

While this saved us some driving, it did have a downside: we weren't able to get an early start like we normally would for a full day of travel. The Court of Honor started at 10:00, but we had no idea how long it would last. Assuming we left by noon, how far could we get before needing to stop for the day? Ideally, we'd make it all the way to Twin Falls, Idaho (580 miles), but that was very ambitious. Best case scenario, we wouldn't make it there until after 9:00 pm. I looked up hotels in Elko, Nevada (409 miles) and Wells, Nevada (459 miles) and put the info in my travel binder. Not knowing when we'd want to stop and seeing that hotel rooms typically needed 24-hour notice for cancelations, we didn't book a room for Saturday night. (Can you see where this is heading?)

We made good time, but it had been a long day. We decided we'd stop for the night in Elko. No vacancy. Wells? No vacancy. With no choice but to press on, we set our sights on Jackpot. The town, situated on the Nevada side of the border with Idaho, has several large casino hotels. Guess what? No vacancy. With few options, we pressed on to Twin Falls, all of us tired, hungry, and increasingly concerned that we'd be sleeping in a packed-full Honda Civic in a Walmart parking lot. 

And then... 

... success! The Best Western Plus in Twin Falls had just had a cancelation. To say we were thrilled woud be an understatement. The room was clean, cool, and comfy - exactly what we needed. I'd definitely recommend staying there, but make a reservation!

We hadn't eaten since lunch near Reno, so dinner was a priority (even though it was approaching my bedtime). The friendly staff at the front desk recommended La Fiesta for its "fantastic margaritas, great food, and huge portions."

As promised, the margaritas were indeed fantastic, the food great, and the portions large. The three of us shared one entree (chicken fajitas), one appetizer (Mexican pizza), and the basket of chips and we couldn't finish everything. I highly recommend La Fiesta if you're ever in Twin Falls. 

We had a great night's sleep, enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and then headed out for the main attraction in town: Shoshone Falls, nicknamed the Niagara of the West. 

At 212 feet tall, Shoshone Falls is actually taller than Niagara Falls (167 feet). And speaking of taller, check out who is now taller than his mom. 

While Shoshone Falls is taller than Niagara Falls, Niagara is much wider. (Sadly, I am currently much wider than Trevor. Sigh.) 

When we visited Niagara Falls, we took the boat ride close enough to get thoroughly drenched in mist. At Shoshone, we watched from above as kayakers approached the base of the falls. 

The various overlooks gave us a great view of the falls and the canyon. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Shoshone and am so glad I was able to work it into our packed itinerary. After leaving the falls, we headed east toward the town of Blackfoot. On Monday, I'll tell you about our adventures there and where we traveled next.


  1. I loved that trip with Collin this past spring. Although, we both could have done without the incredibly long distance in Nevada of nothing but wind and heat on our way home from MT.

  2. Glad you could have get out of state and have a little fun!


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