Our plans for this gorgeous day were to stock up at the "neighborhood" Walmart, which is a mere 67 miles away in Rexburg. When Gordon and Juanita asked us if we wanted to join them for a trip to Mesa Falls, we decided that was the diversion we needed to break up our shopping trip. We headed south to the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, a 27-mile loop off of Highway 20. With the Grand Tetons as a backdrop, it was a beautiful drive along Henry's Fork of the Salmon River. (Quick Quiz: Where does this river get its start? We were just there!)
The highlight of the trip was, of course, the falls. The Upper and Lower Mesa Falls are the only major falls in Idaho not used for irrigation or hydroelectric power, so visitors can view them in their natural, undisturbed beauty. Our short trek into the forest to see the Upper Falls was well worth the trip. And, today's abundant sunshine offered us another treat.
The Visitor Center at Mesa Falls is a beautifully restored log building that has been home to, among other things, a stage stop, an inn and a Boy Scout camp. With the sound of the falls in the background, the front porch is a great spot to sit and relax.
We've yet to see a moose (besides our own) on this trip. This mount is on display inside the visitor center.
With our visit to falls complete, we made our way to the southern end of the byway and on to Walmart. If you find yourself traveling along US-20 south of Island Park on your way north to Yellowstone, or south to Rexburg, we recommend you take this lovely little diversion. You'll be glad you did!