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  • Patrick Stoll

Water Diversions and Balanced Rocks

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

Though I have lived in Idaho for the better part of my life, and have visited Shoshone Falls on the Snake River (near Twin Falls) more times than I can recall, I have never seen the falls during peak runoff. By all accounts, it is quite a show. On May 8, 2019 I decided to make up for all the missed opportunities.

I left Boise mid afternoon on the 8th and arrived at Shoshone Falls a little after 4:00 PM. To my disappointment, I discovered that I had missed the peak flows by a couple of days. The local irrigation season had begun and Milner Dam, located upstream from the falls, had just begun diverting water from the river into the irrigation canals.

Despite the fact that I would have to wait at least one more year to see the falls at peak flow, they were still very impressive. I paid the fee to enter the park and made a number of photographs. One major change I have observed over the years involves the addition of expensive homes located on the north bank of the Snake River, immediately above the falls. It is sad to see the creep of development into areas like this.

Though I was disappointed to learn that I had missed the peak flows, I did have a contingency plan in my back pocket. One of the other features that Twin Falls County is known for is the famous Balanced Rock located southwest of Buhl, Idaho. Before leaving Boise, I had checked the weather and learned that cloudy skies and a chance of rain were in the forecast but the clouds were expected to start breaking up after 7:00 PM. I was hoping that this might lead to a great sunset. If I couldn't take advantage of the clouds at the falls, I figured that I could turn them to my advantage at Balanced Rock Park.

It had been years since I had been to the park and it took a little longer to get there than I had expected. It was almost 8:00 PM when I arrived but I was delighted to see that the sky had partially cleared but there were still plenty of clouds to make for a good sunset.

The first picture I made was your basic travel guide photograph. I was hoping to take advantage of the clouds and make something a little more dramatic.

Twin Falls County maintains a very nice little park along the nearby Salmon Falls Creek. After making my photographs, I camped down at the park



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