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Upper Mesa Falls

Caribou-Targhee National Forest

Targhee/Teton Area, Idaho

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Upper Mesa Falls

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  • The visitor center.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Interpretive signs give you a great idea of the local flora and fauna.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • The trail leading toward the viewing decks.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Looking down toward the Henrys Fork River.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Fireweed is abundant during Idaho summers.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls is over 10 stories tall.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls is a great place to contemplate and relax.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Downstream from the falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • A detail of the gorge.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • The viewing decks can get a bit crowded, but everyone moves through soon enough.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Tourists love this place!- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Waterfall rainbows at Upper Mesa Falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Upper Mesa Falls.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • A nature trail heading off from the parking lot.- Upper Mesa Falls
  • Day use areas are provided.- Upper Mesa Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Breathtaking scenery. Affordable. Has a visitor center. Has a nature trail.
Cons: 
A bit remote. Doesn't take long to see everything.
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Region:
Targhee/Teton Area, ID
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Upper Mesa Falls is a large and beautiful waterfall located on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River in Eastern Idaho. Not too far from the world-class angler town of Island Park, this waterfall is a must-see for anyone in the area. There are several large viewing decks that get you quite close to the action. The decks hug the east bank of the waterfall and really allow you to get a close up view from the drop-off. While it would be great to have a viewing area from across the river, the rugged terrain simply does not allow it.

The 10-story tall waterfall is the only major waterfall on the Snake river to resist human control, along with its smaller sister Lower Mesa Falls downstream. Apparently the eruption of a super volcano, most likely located under Yellowstone National Park, created the sudden ledge.

A good-sized visitor center greets the tourists, and a nature trail allows them to get off of the pavement. There are several interpretive signs that highlight the local wildflowers and the types of animals you will find in Idaho. Rangers even have an information booth set up to provide Bear Aware tips; there are 20,000 black bears in the state along with other species. Day use picnic areas are provided as well. Some other nearby attractions include Henry's Lake, Island Park Reservoir, and Harriman State Park.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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