Updated: Feb 24, 2021
Nestled southeast from Island park or northeast from Rexburg, Mesa Falls is right around the corner! A defining feature of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River, the falls is actually two separate falls, one upper and one lower. Upper Mesa Falls is easily accessible by a boardwalk connected to the parking lot, while the lower falls are about a 2 mile hike down through the forest. Both are incredible spots; however, if you prefer the hiking experience, the lower falls are for you. Whereas if you're on a nice Sunday drive and would like a nice stroll, the upper falls is perfect!
Mesa Falls is accessible during the warmer months of the year as the roads close during the snowy months. You can still snowshoe or cross country ski the 10-mile round-trip roadway to the falls from the lower parking lot, of which I'll mention in later posts; however that is a long way and I'll be honest, I have yet to try that. Several of my friends have and told me its a great winter activity! So, if you have a lot of cabin fever one day, that may just be for you.
There are animals in this dense Idaho forest, including moose, so keep that in mind as you visit. Mind their space! Bask in the incredible beauty of the cascading falls, find time to sit at the benches along the upper falls, or rest on the rocky overlooks and natural benches along the lower falls trail. Take deep breaths of that crisp mountain air and recharge after a long week. Mesa Falls is truly a great spot that ought to be visited more than once to take it all in!
As a heads up, it does cost to park in the upper falls parking lot, honor system required as you fill out an envelope and place it in the outdoor box. I don't remember the exact amount, but I believe it is around $5. Park rangers do maintain the trails and boardwalk, so the money isn't wasted. Enjoy a few pictures of the area!