|Address:||Upper Mesa Falls Rd, Ashton, ID 83420, USA|
Maps | Directions
|Trail Length:||0.20 miles|
|Elevation Gain:||100 feet|
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Upper Mesa Falls, aka Big Falls, is an absolutely awesome waterfall on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River. The falls drop 114 ft. and measure 300 ft. across. To get to the falls from the parking lot is 0.2 miles of paved walkway and several sturdy stairs with plenty of gaurdrails and handrails. There are several platforms along the route for viewing and taking photos. Catch it in the morning to see the rainbows in the lingering mist that often rises well above the platforms. There's a wheelchair accessible path that can get a pretty good view of the falls but does not go right down to it.
Lower Mesa Falls is about a mile down river from the Upper Falls. There's two great viewing options. One is from a cliff hovering 200 feet above the falls and the other is from the the Observation Site sitting 0.25 miles away and almost 500 feet above the falls. To get to the cliff above the falls, there's a trailhead on the South East end of the main parking lot. The trail is 1 mile each way (2 mile out and back) with about a 100 ft. difference in elevation (about the same as the stairs the the Upper Falls platforms). The trail goes through the woods well away from the river itself but there are no guardrails at the end when you're peering over the edge of the cliffs to see the waterfall. To see the falls from the observation site is free and the walk from your car to the lookout is only about 500 ft.
This is an Idaho State Park and there are day use fees. Passes have reciprocity with Harriman State Park which is only about 20 minutes away. Get there before 5pm to check out the old inn which has been transformed into a fun and informative visitor's center.
Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don't feed the wildlife.Read More
From Ashton, Idaho
- Head east on ID-47 N/Main St toward S 6th StContinue to follow ID-47 N(12.4 mi)
- Continue onto Mesa Falls Scenic Byway (2.5 mi)
- Turn left onto Upper Mesa Falls Rd (0.7 mi)
- Slight left (0.1 mi)
- Turn rightDestination will be on the right(381 ft)
From Ashton, drive north on Hwy 47 for about 15 miles to the signed turnoff for Upper Mesa Falls (0.7 miles past Lower Mesa Falls lookout).
From West Yellowstone, drive south for 35 miles on Hwy 20 to Hwy 47 (signed for Mesa Falls). Drive about 13 miles on Hwy 47 to the signed turnoff for Upper Mesa Falls.