As the campers steadily rolled into the Campground on Thursday and Friday, we decided to take the advice of some other ‘full-timers’ and find something else to do. People who camp for the weekend behave quite differently than those of us who are living full-time in an RV. This is where we live, not necessarily where we come to play for a few hours.
But, not wanting to be those stuffy neighbors, we made plans to be weekend tourists also. We consulted our treasured book, National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways, a gift from our son and daughter-in-law last Christmas. If you like getting over the well-traveled roads to see what America really looks like, we recommend this book!
Idaho State Highway 47 winds for 28 miles through the Targhee National Forest, with stops at the Lower Mesa Falls and the Upper Mesa Falls.
At Lower Mesa Falls, the observation deck is across the canyon, so the views are great but the Falls are far away. It’s just a few miles further to the turnoff to the Upper Mesa Falls, which has a beautiful Visitors Center. The Mesa Falls Historic Lodge was at one time an actual lodge. The history behind the building was quite interesting, and helped set the stage for seeing the Falls.
The boardwalks and observation decks were completely rebuilt in the early 2000’s, so there are several points to stop and see the Falls, take the obligatory ‘tourist’ photos, and take in the sounds of water cascading over 100 feet down. It did make my knees a bit weak when we ventured out onto the observation deck that hangs almost out on the edge of the Falls.
It was a great off-the-beaten-path day trip!
Photo Gallery: click to view slideshow