Idaho Falls River Walk – A Glorious Garden Stroll by the Snake River!

June 2022 – After venturing down a road that was very much less traveled and winding up in some very remote (and beautiful) farm fields, we arrived in the middle of a bustling and vibrant city: Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The first thing we saw was a fantastic waterfall sculpture of flying eagles right in the center of a roundabout. How cool is that?!

RV trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho - Eagle Rock Fountain

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This sculpture is a dramatic work of art from all sides, and we walked all around it to admire it from every perspective.

Eagle Rock Fountain Idaho Falls ID

Eagle Rock Fountain in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Just beyond Eagle Rock Fountain we came across a collection of handsome brick buildings. It felt like a college campus. But these turned out to be office buildings for various professionals. Lucky them to work in such an elegant environment!

Old style office building Idaho Falls, Idaho

What a stately building — and it’s very new!

Beautiful building near the riverwalk in Idaho Falls Idaho

These buildings seemed like they were part of a college campus.

Fancy office building Idaho Falls, Idaho

But the buildings actually house professional offices!

There were lilac bushes in bloom to boot. Ahh…the sweet smell of lilacs. We just love these flowers!

Lilacs

Heavenly lilacs!

On the other side of a large grassy lawn we came upon the Idaho Falls River Walk. This is an absolutely fabulous series of walking paths, trails and manicured terraced gardens that line the banks of the Snake River as it runs through downtown Idaho Falls.

Huge rectangular boulders have been cleverly placed to create walls and benches along the way, and you can stroll on dirt paths and grassy trails.

Grassy terraces on the River Walk in Idaho Falls, Idaho

The River Walk on the Snake River in Idaho Falls is a sheer delight.

River walk path between boulders Idaho Falls, Idaho

Terraced gardens and paths line the banks of the Snake River.

What a stunning haven this whole area is for locals and visitors alike where they can get a breath of fresh air and a taste of nature alongside the river, right downtown.

A train bridge in the distance caught Buddy’s eye.

Train Bridge Idaho Falls, Idaho

A train bridge!

There’s a paved bike path that runs for a long ways on both sides of the river too. We followed it through a short tunnel. Fun!

Bike path on the River Walk in Idaho Falls, Idaho

A paved bike path welcomes walkers, joggers, cyclists and scooter riders!

Tunnel on the River Walk bike path in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Peeking out the end of the turnnel…

This entire area has been lovingly landscaped. I can’t imagine what it cost the city to transform their river banks into a glorious waterfront, but the end result was worth every penny. Apparently, generous donations keep the greenbelt beautifully maintained and there are plans to expand it as well.

Colorful flowers have been planted all over the place and they were all in bloom.

Flowers on the River Walk Idaho Falls, Idaho

Flower of all shapes and sizes were in bloom

River Walk flowers Idaho Falls, Idaho

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Irises on the River Walk Idaho Falls, Idaho

Irises!

Blooming flowers on the River Walk in Idaho Falls, Idaho

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While we wandered around, jaws agape, trying to capture the beauty with our cameras, Buddy was transfixed by all the little critters who have taken up residence between the rocks.

Chipmunk chasing on the Idaho River Walk Idaho Falls, Idaho

While we admired the flowers, Buddy had eyes only for the ground squirrels and chipmunks.

There were ground squirrels and chipmunks galore, and his jaw was agape and panting after his gallant efforts to capture those tasty morsels with his fast sprints. They were onto him, though, and they just scampered from burrow to burrow, and then taunted him with chirps from deep among the rocks.

Puppy in the rocks

The little critters in the rocks kept him busy!

Out on the water there was a ferry boat that offers rides up and down the river and some other speed boats too.

Speedboat on the Snake River Idaho Falls, Idaho

Boats went up and down the river.

We were puzzled that his amazing area was almost completely devoid of people on this gorgeous springtime Saturday morning. Where was everyone?

We decided to cross the river to see what was on the other side. There’s a bridge for pedestrians just beyond the train bridge.

Train bridge and park bench on the River Walk bike path in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Behind the train bridge there’s a pedestrian bridge.

From the middle of the bridge we got a dramatic view of the Mormon Temple steeple in the distance. This was the 10th Mormon Temple ever built (the first one built in Idaho) and it was the 8th temple to begin operations. Mormon temples are really impressive and massive buildings.

Mormon Temple steeple Idaho Falls, Idaho

The steeple of the Mormon Temple caught the afternoon sunlight. The figure holding the trumpet on top is the angel Moroni who revealed to Joseph Smith (founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints) in the 1820s where to find the golden tablets that ultimately became the Book of Mormon.

Back in 2014, we did a tour of the newly constructed Mormon Temple in Gilbert, Arizona. Guided tours were offered to the public free of charge for a month prior to the temple beginning operations (no cameras allowed). The line to get in every day was immense!

Gilbert Arizona Mormon Temple Church of Latter-Day Saints

The Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) Temple in Gilbert, Arizona in 2014


Much of the inside was conference rooms, but the massive baptismal font with its theater seating viewing area blew us away.

The temple baptismal font was an enormous tub, much like a small swimming pool, and it was supported underneath by twelve life size oxen arranged in groups of three, each group facing in one of the four compass directions. You could see the oxen statues up close by going to the floor below the font.

As we understood it, the temple baptismal font is used for “proxy baptisms” where a living member of the LDS church undergoes a baptism on behalf of a deceased person (usually a relative) who didn’t have the opportunity to be baptized while they were alive. After this ceremony, the spirit of the deceased person can then decide whether to accept or reject the baptism and the salvation it represents. The twelve oxen beneath the temple baptismal font represent the twelve tribes of Israel.

The temple changing rooms were another surprise. When entering a temple, church members change out of their street clothes and put on white garments that represent purity, thus leaving the dirty outside world behind as they enter these sacred surroundings.

It was a neat tour, but we weren’t headed to the Idaho Falls Mormon temple right now. We wanted to continue savoring this unusual River Walk!

On the far side of the bridge, we saw a wonderful waterfall — the namesake of this town.

Idaho Falls Waterfall on the River Walk in Idaho

Idaho Falls!

Nearby there was a platform area for viewing the river, and a wedding party was gathered on it! Hurray! I love bumping into weddings and wedding photo shoots! There were several adorable flower girls running around in frilly dresses posing for photos.

Flower girls

Flower girls

We discovered we were in the middle of the Japanese Friendship Garden. This is a lovely, lush spot nestled under towering trees and infused with a unique oriental flavor.

Japanese Friendship Garden Idaho Falls, Idaho

There’s a Japanese Friendship Garden on a little rock island in the middle of the Snake River!

Japanese Friendship Garden on the River Walk in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Kids love playing in this special garden, whether in play clothes or dress-up wedding attire!

Japanese Friendship Garden Idaho Falls Idaho

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While we meandered through this sweet spot, we noticed an older fellow sitting on a park bench holding a bag overflowing with vegetables.

“Is there a farmer’s market somewhere?” Mark asked

“Right over there!” The man answered, pointing. “It goes on for blocks and blocks. It’s ending in a few minutes, though.”

We rushed over to the place where he was pointing and found an endless row of tent booths on each side of the street. Wow! So THIS was where everyone was hanging out on this beautiful springtime Saturday morning!!

Idaho Falls Farmer's Market Hero's Kitchen

We caught the tail end of the huge farmer’s market that spans several blocks of the riverfront

Many vendors were closing up shop, but a few were still selling their wares. I noticed a booth selling sprouted wheat bread and just had to try a taste. The rosemary bread was delicious, but the honey wheat was a better match for the homemade almond butter I’d brought along for our trip. Apparently, sprouted wheat flour has about half the gluten in it as regular wheat flour.

We started chatting with the vendor, Bryun (“spelled correctly!” he joked), and we discovered he has a very humorous blog called OneCrazyDad.com. His hilarious tales, one of which was about inaccurate measuring spoons and home grown recipes, were the perfect thing to read the next morning at our rig as I enjoyed a slice of his homemade bread.

Sprouted Wheat booth at Idaho Falls Farmer's Market

I couldn’t resist trying a loaf of homemead sprouted wheat bread!

We reached the end of the farmer’s market (it happens every Saturday, by the way, from May to October), and the River Walk kept going. Wide grassy lawns dotted with towering shade trees invited us to explore further. According to Google Maps, there are over 7 miles of trails!

People were relaxing under the huge trees.

Lush lawns Idaho Falls, Idaho, River Walk

The shade of the tall trees was ideal for relaxing in the cool grass.

This is a bike-friendly town, and elsewhere on the River Walk we’d seen a sculpture of a racer on a bike. Here, we watched a few people roll past on bicycles.

Idaho Falls loves bikes!

Bicycle on the bike path Idaho Falls, Idaho, River Walk

The paved bike path goes a long ways on both sides of the river.

And then we came across a penny-farthing bicycle bench!

Penny-Farthing bicycle bench Idaho Falls Idaho

An old pashioned penny-farthing bike bench — how fun!

There’s also a fleet of motorized scooters that you can grab and ride from here to there. They are operated by the Bird App, and you log in to rent the scooter right as you’re standing next to it. Very convenient!

We saw a few dads zooming around with little kids standing on the scooter in front of them. You do have to be careful, though, because these things are silent and the drivers sometimes get them going very fast, weaving between pedestrians on the paths.

Bird App scooters Idaho Falls, Idaho, River Walk

You can grab a scooter anywhere and use the Bird App to rent it for a while.

Idaho Falls is also a very dog friendly town. Buddy had been warmly welcomed throughout the farmer’s market and he’d already met quite a few new dogs on our walk. Here we found a fun set of four dog paw stools marching along.

Dog Paw stools on the River Walk n Idaho Falls, Idaho

Idaho Falls loves dogs!!

Mark and Buddy took a breather on a music park bench in the grass nearby.

Music bench Idaho Falls, Idaho, River Walk

A music bench and soft grass make a perfect spot to take a break.

The whole River Walk is beautiful, whimsical and inviting. We stopped at a war memorial overlooking the Snake RIver to pay our respects to fallen soldiers in all the wars since WWI. It has a wonderful view of the river.

Enjoying the view of the Snake River Idaho Falls, Idaho, River Walk

We just loved the whole waterfront scene along the Snake River in Idaho Falls.

We had arrived in Idaho Falls with no idea what to expect. Within a few hours of strolling along the waterfront, we were smitten, and so far we’d only seen only a portion of the unusual River Walk.

What a special and fun-loving place!

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8 thoughts on “Idaho Falls River Walk – A Glorious Garden Stroll by the Snake River!

  1. Idaho is proving to be a gold-mine of unexpected adventures – all of them very photogenic. Nice discovery, Emily, Mark and… Buddy !

    Love, Mom

      • It’s great you were able to visit our town, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
        I hope you were able to work in Hwy 12 this summer, it too is a hidden treasure.
        We enjoyed our brief visit with you earlier this summer down near Marysvale Ut.

        • We thought of you when we were in Idaho Falls, Curt! And we returned again last week because we realized we hadn’t seen “The Falls” on the other side of the river — Wow, so beautiful! We did do Hwy 12 — thank you for your inspiring recommendation — and we’ll be writing about it soon. We ended up staying in Powell Campground for several days before continuing down the road. What a beautiful area that is! We saw your exciting video about the trail we met you on…yikes, lots of thrills! Keep loving life as you roll across our beautiful back country!

  2. When I saw your blog pop up this morning in my email, I started unconsciously humming “On the Road again” in my best Willie Nelson twang. I smiled when I realized it and couldn’t wait to dive in to the next ride-a-long. Another great story with pictures to match. Makes me wanna go to Idaho! (Sounds like a catchy slogan!!) 😉 J.J111

    • Love that song, Jeff, and we love Idaho too but we’ve spent most of our time in the Ketchum/Sun Valley area in the past (and it’s gorgeous!). So, it was a blast to arrive in Idaho Falls and discover this beautiful oasis along the river. It’s fairly new, too, as friends of ours who have been to Idaho Falls in the past saw the city before the River Walk was created. Maybe Idaho will pick up your slogan, lol! Thanks for coming along!

  3. Good to see the three of you back on the road finding those less traveled roads. Is it not possible that you might have visited the Green Mountain State and driven some of those “roads less traveled” described by Robert Frost who was a state poet laureate ? Our favorite road less traveled in Idaho leads from Ketchum over Galena Pass to Salmon and points north. Stewart

    • We did visit the Green Mountain State, Stewart, but I suspect we didn’t travel any of Robert Frost’s beloved roads there as our stay was brief. However, on the trip I took to see my family back east we visited my alma mater in western Massachusetts where Robert Frost was an English professor from 1917 to 1938 and a part-time lecturer from 1949 to 1963! As for Idaho, we love that road over Galena Pass too…the Sawtooths (Sawteeth?) are spectacular! Truly, you can’t go wrong in either Vermont or Idaho!!!

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