Southern Idaho's Scenic Drives and Byways

Cruise around the region for truly one-of-a-kind experiences, sights flavors and attractions.

By
Lisa Battles
On Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 14:37
Almo Outpost Inn in Southern Idaho.

Roadside Attractions

Many unique experiences await along the region’s scenic drives and byways. Try the corn salad and check out the original ornate cash register at the circa 1894 Tracy General Store in Almo, the state’s oldest continuously operating mercantile store. In Twin Falls or Jerome, take in the spectacular views of the I.B. Perrine Bridge from the Snake River Canyon. Descend into a chilly1,000-foot-long subterranean lava tube on a tour of the Shoshone Ice Cave. In Gooding, sample the ice cream and fresh, squeaky cheese curds at Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese. See the Owsley Bridge in Hagerman, which was built in 1921 and is the only bridge of its kind on the state highway system. And if you’re doing it all by RV: Heyburn’s Riverside Park gets high marks.

See the Sights

The region’s two byways are excellent ways to explore and allow flexibility based on where and how long you choose to linger. The 67-mile Thousand Springs Scenic Byway begins near Bliss and winds along some of the state’s most beautiful geology, offering views of waterfalls, Oregon Trail wagon ruts, surreal turquoise waters of Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve and the daring feats of BASE jumpers o the I.B. Perrine Bridge not far from Evel Knievel’s famous jump site. The 49-mile City of Rocks Backcountry Byway begins in Albion and circles the Albion Mountain Range, where stops can include a step back in time at the historic Albion Normal School campus or the City of Oakley, exploring the City of Rocks, and hiking, fishing and camping at Lake Cleveland and Independence Lakes.

Byways Dining

Need fuel for the road? Our byways are packed with local flavor. On the City of Rocks Scenic Byway, stop in Almo for one of Idaho’s best steaks and “trail blazin’ fixin’s” at the Almo Inn & Outpost Steakhouse. If timing better suits a stop in Oakley, people rave about the burgers and chicken fried steak at Smith’s Cafe. On the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway, start the day with breakfast at The Oxbow Diner or Ziggy’s Express. In Hagerman, Quail Ridge Cafe and Papa Kelsey’s Pizza & Subs are solid choices, but Snake River Grille is the best place for the area’s famous rainbow trout at the source. A chocolate-milk stop at Cloverleaf Creamery in Buhl is a must, and the town also has five picks for Mexican food (El Cazador, Vaquero, Tacos El Korita, Juanita’s and La Plaza) plus Pizza Planet, Magic Valley Brewing and Old Home Cooking & Crafts.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Battles, vice president/community editor for Livability Media at Journal Communications, works with community leaders nationwide to tell their cities' most interesting stories.