Stroll on the edge of a basalt canyon with streaming waterfalls, with just a short side trip from the interstate.


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In a short detour from Interstate 84, you can see a dramatic canyon that tumbles with waterfalls.

In this small unit of Thousand Springs State Park (entrance fee required) the Malad River tumbles through a tight gorge and meets a gushing spring on its way to the Snake River, which awaits out of sight downstream. From the parking lot beside the freeway, take an easy but sun and wind-exposed stroll along the rim of the gorge.

You'll first cross a footbridge that parallels the interstate, overlooking a stair-step waterfall within a corridor of vertical basalt.

Continue along a paved path to find interpretive signs at another viewpoint, and go beyond that for a dirt trail with unprotected access to the edge. You can continue along the rim, then cross a narrowing peninsula of rock to find a view over the voluminous natural spring––a pool of clear blue amid an amphitheater of stone.

Just a little farther on, you'll see a hydroelectric dam at the confluence of canyons.

From that point you can go no further, so you'll turn around and enjoy a different angle on the views heading back to the start.