by Steven Monson

Mesa Falls

One of the most beautiful as well as accessible waterfalls around, Mesa Falls is about an hour’s drive from Rexburg (45 miles).  Mesa Falls is actually two waterfalls: The Upper Falls is more famous, and has a walkway that provides a close up view, while the Lower Falls can be seen from a scenic overlook from about a mile away.

Upper Falls also has a small gift shop nearby and includes information signs along the trail.  However, there is a small parking fee at the Upper Falls, though you can park at the Lower Falls for free and hike up to the Upper Falls.

Admission: Free (possible small fee for parking)

The Upper falls at Mesa Falls (North of Rexburg)

The Greenbelt in Idaho Falls

The Idaho Falls Greenbelt is a beautiful stretch of parkway along the snake river.  It’s a nice place to take a walk or watch for wildlife.  The park itself has many restaurants nearby, and makes for a pleasant evening out.

Cress Creek Nature Trail

Cress Creek is a pretty hike 30 minutes south of Rexburg.  It’s an easy trail and makes for a very enjoyable hike.

This hike is a great way to connect with nature when you don’t have the time or energy for an all-day hike. You can drive down, do the hike, and drive back in as little as 2 hours.

The bottom section of the hike is paved and wheel-chair accessible.  The top section has a dirt trail goes around the mountain in a loop.

View from the bridge across the road from Cress Creek

Darby Canyon 

The hike up to the Wind Caves is beautiful. There are multiple waterfalls and gorgeous scenery to take in.  At the end of the hike are the Wind Caves.  The cave is deep and usually has a steady breeze coming out of it because the cave is actually a natural tunnel.  It goes through the mountain and out the other side.  You can go quite a ways without any professional equipment or experience, but don’t expect to go all the way through unless you have professional climbing gear and expertise.

The Wind Cave is a good half-day hike.  Be sure to bring some food and water.  If you plan on going in the cave, make sure to bring a flashlight and a light jacket, as the cave can be cold inside.
The best time to go is between mid-summer to early fall.  In wetter, cooler years the upper trail may still be covered in snow as late as June.  The Darby Canyon is beautiful and the hike makes for a great weekend excursion.

Foot bridge near the trail head to Darby Canyon
A creek runs along much of the trail.
Lots of outlooks to take in the scenery.
Wind Cave at the top of Darby Canyon
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