Evel Knievel Jumped Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, ID

April 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm EST
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It is largely known for an unsuccessful motorcycle jump attempt by Evel Knievel, but the Snake River Canyon is much more.

The canyon was formed by the Snake River coursing through the Magic Valley region of Southern Idaho, and the Perrine Bridge crosses the canyon immediately north of Twin Falls. Today, the canyon floor is a popular tourist attraction and features a variety of parks and golf courses.

But it was Knievel's daredevil jump in 1974 aboard his steam thrust-powered Skycycle X-2 that made the canyon as famous as it still remains today.

"I've always said that when the canyon jump comes, if I miss it I'll get somewhere quicker where you're all going someday,” the famed daredevil said a few months prior to the attempt.

So on land he had purchased, Knievel's plan was to launch off a highly inclined ramp, travel one mile across the canyon, deploy a parachute and safely drop to the ground. The Skycycle cost $150,000 and despite several unsuccessful test runs, he decided to proceed with the jump Sept. 8, 1974.

The jump was a disaster except from a public relations standpoint. The parachute accidentally deployed as Knievel was ascending the steep ramp, and strong headwinds blew him and the motorcycle back into the canyon where he crashed, 600 feet below.

Knievel landed within a few feet from the swirling waters of the river, and miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.

Read more on Evel Knievel in Twin Falls, ID.

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