Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, Idaho



I headed out this morning on a trip to Rexburg, Idaho, the nearest location (about 60 miles away) for a Wal-Mart.  As I headed down US 20, this is what I saw through the mountain pass on the way.  What’s up with this?  Snow??  Isn’t it the middle of June?  Uff-dah!  I don’t think I signed up for this.  :)

While I was in Rexburg, I took care of several phone calls that I needed to do.  I have absolutely no cell reception at Red Rocks RV Park.  I needed to pay my yearly vehicle insurance, have my mail sent, and make sure my financial planner was setting up payments for the new rig.  I also called the RV dealer to see what was up with my SD plates for the motorhome.  I was able to resolve everything except the license plate issue.  I returned a fan I bought last week to Wal-Mart, found a new one, bought birdfeed and dog food, and went to the local Sprint store to see why I couldn’t use roaming at my present location.  Sprint really didn’t have an answer for me.  So, what else is new?

On the way back to camp, I decided to take the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.  Pam and I had wanted to do this byway while she was here, but we ran out of time.  I’m glad I took it today.  I started out at the lower end and headed north.


The first pull-off was for the Warm River with the Teton Mountain Range visible in the background.
IMG_1530There was also a pull-off for the lower falls of the Henry Fork of the Snake River, but the pictures from that look out weren’t very inspiring.  :(

Click to enlarge any photos.

The Upper Falls cascades 114’ down to the river.  Because of the constant mist from the falls, the opposite wall of the canyon is covered with vibrant green moss and colorful lichens.
IMG_1558The Upper Falls is where the Visitor’s Center is located.  This building has a long history, and was originally built between 1912-1914 by the Mesa Power Company.  A dam and power generation plant was originally planned, but was never built.  It then became the Big Falls Inn; a stage stop and hotel for travelers going to Yellowstone National Park.  The Forest Service acquired the property in 1986 through a land exchange.  The building is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
IMG_1557You’ve probably guessed by now that I know there are 60 steps down and 60 steps back up to get to the overlook to the Upper Falls.  :)  That inner calculator just keeps keeping on!  I’m sure glad I took the scenic route back to the RV!

As I drove home, I once again traveled through the Targhee National Forest.  There are many places throughout this national forest to boon dock if you are so inclined.  There are also many established campgrounds (with no hook-ups) that will run you about $6 if you have a senior pass.  I’m tempted to camp at some of these places, but I’d have to scout a site out first to be sure I could fit in and not sink in.  :)
IMG_1566As I drove the national forest road, I notice the fields just covered in blooms.


IMG_1565Despite the snow and cold and windy temps, I guess spring is marching on!  It better hurry up, since summer is supposed to be right around the corner.  :)

Since this post is long enough, I guess I’ll wait until tomorrow to do a mini-rant on the new fan I bought.  :(  If it’s not raining tomorrow morning, Emma and I are headed back to Yellowstone.  I’ve decided to take her along since my plan is to look for wildlife and not do any hikes where dogs are not allowed.

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Judy,
    I'm so glad you found that drive! And just to brag a bit ~ the hubster; a combat wounded Vietnam Vet amputee of both lower limbs climbed up and down those stairs too! (this is me being proud...)

    I think the little blue flowers are lupine.

    Our first time at RRP, it snowed in August and we went that day to Idaho Falls to buy a satellite dish!

    Good Luck with the wildlife hunt tomorrow!!!

  2. Your pics are wonderful. That is an especially beautiful state and you captured some great views with your camera. You and Emma enjoy your trip to Yellowstone.

  3. Isn't it sad that you can't take dogs on the trails in YNP?? But some irresponsible dog owner always spoils it for everyone else! Don't you just love spring in Montana, Judy??

  4. Great pictures love the one on top of the page.

    What a great trip you and Emma are on. Enjoy and keep sending pictures.

  5. What is the large soaring bird in the Falls photo?

  6. We just love Montana and you have captured it so well with your camera. What a talent you have!!
    Glad you took us on this drive!!
    You and Emma have fun at Yellowstone...can't wait to see more pics!

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  7. If you do find a place your rig will fit, and decide to camp there for awhile, will you have internet? Be sue to let us know if you go into unconnected wilderness! :~}

  8. Hi Judy,
    We've been in outer space. After we left you we took Rt. 20 to 33 and up 22 over the mountains at a 10% grade. I don't recommend this route even tho we survived. The view is breathtaking but I needed to down a qt of scotch to calm my nerves. (just kidding). We met another couple from McHenry, IL., at the top. A thunder storm chased us down the mt. By the way, after we left you Wed. a.m. 40 min later we were in sunny warmer weather. Pam & Stan

  9. Your photos are absolutely amazing!!! Just looking at the top waterfall photo makes my stomach go queasy from fear of heights! That is how real it looks!!! Your blog is always so full of pretty pictures, thank you so much for taking the time to post them.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard