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Mesa Falls is a short drive from Island Park Idaho. The falls are as tall as a 10 story building and totally worth the trip!

The Mesa Falls Visitor Center occupies the historic Big Falls Inn, built around 1915 by the Snake River Electric Light and Power Company. With its spectacular setting, the Inn was a popular spot for social gatherings in its past lives. It had its day as a hotel, a cafe, and a dance hall. Later it became a way station on the Yellowstone Highway for ranchers, sportsmen, and tourists. After acquiring the inn from Montana Power in 1986, the Forest Service partnered with Harriman State Park and other generous groups to renovate the facilities and keep the site open. Big Falls Inn is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area can be enjoyed inside the visitor center.

From the Visitor Center, an accessible trail and boardwalk provide spectacular views of Mesa Falls.  A rainbow often decorates the canyon on summer mornings when sunlight passes through the mist, and interpretive panels share the natural and cultural history of the area. As you take in the power and beauty of the falls, keep your eyes open for the osprey and eagles that frequent the area.

Also in the area, the Mesa Falls Nature Trail meanders for about one mile through a quiet forest, ending at an overlook of the Lower Mesa Falls - an equally spectacular and powerful waterfall.

There are lots of stairs, but the kids loved running up and down them along the path.

This is a perfect little day trip or pit stop on your way to Yellowstone or Island Park.

The views were amazing!

Poor Wells fell on the trail. The forest ranger took great care of him.

This is a great little trail if you are in Island Park or on your way to Yellowstone. Check out our post for the best way to spend one day in Yellowstone with kids.

Entrance Fee(s)
Helpful Tips

It's a short walk, but lots of stairs.

Bring water & sunscreen.

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