Weekend in Swan Valley, Idaho
Steve was raised in in Idaho Falls, Idaho which is about an hour drive from Swan Valley which allowed him to visit frequently while growing up. When Steve and I first met some of our best dates included taking long scenic drives to explore more of Idaho. In fact, after Steve proposed we took a long drive up to Swan Valley just to get away from it all and to really soak up the moment. I was blown away by the raw beauty of the area. We were both thrilled to be able to visit again this past weekend and do a little more exploring!
Where to stay:
We highly recommend staying at Sleepy J Cabins while visiting Swan Valley! There are ten different cabin choices all uniquely named by local rivers. Complete with fire places, big screen TV’s, massage lazy boys and comfortable beds make Sleepy J Cabins an obvious choice. The cabins are open year round and provide a great place for romantic getaways, family reunions, and even have hosted snowmobiling clubs in the past. In addition to the amazing one or two bedroom cabins you also have access to the lodge! The lodge features a kitchen, big screen TV, and plenty of seating and tables for group gatherings.
Book your stay here.
What to do:
Don’t listen to TLC and go chase waterfalls while visiting Swan Valley! The best waterfall in the area is Fall Creek Falls. Depending on what time of year you visit you can either take in the beautiful view or actually take a swim! Be warned though, it can be quite slippery if you plan on climbing down the waterfall to the base so go with a group and be careful. We forgot our swimsuits the day that we were visiting which left us to admire the falls from the edge.
If you love snowmobiling Swan Valley is the place to visit during the winter! There are so many different trails that range from beginner to advanced. All have amazing views and promise a great day full of adventure. If you want more information on the specific trails to ride you can learn more here.
Swan Valley sits right along the scenic snake river. The south fork of the snake river is known for premier fly fishing! People from all around the world book trips to be able to fish this river. There are several different tour and rental companies based in Swan Valley which are terrific to work with. Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide wrote an in-depth article about fishing in the area that you can check out here. Steve is a great fisherman and has tried to teach me multiple times but I still can’t seem to learn. I still remember as a child trying to fish at a family reunion and ending up catching the largest one (beginners luck)! However, ever since then I have never been able to catch a fish! So Steve enjoyed fishing the river while I sat along the banks and stuck my feet in to cool off.
If you’re into hiking you’ve come to the right place. Dozens of hiking trails wind through the mountains and along the rivers providing hours of adventure. Our favorite trail is the Palisades Creek Trail. Upper Palisades trail is a little over 13 miles long and leads to a beautiful alpine lake. This trail takes a few hours to do and it rated as moderate on All Trails. In our opinion, the 13 miles is totally worth it! If you are looking for an incredible lake with a shorter trail just stop at the Lower Palisades lake along that same trail. We packed a picnic with us and enjoyed it while sitting alongside the lake.
Where to eat:
If you don’t stop at Rainey Creek to pick up some of the ‘World Famous Square Ice Cream’ you are missing out! We recommend the huckleberry and cherry chocolate chip ice cream. As you can tell from the picture it was warm out the weekend that we were visiting and we were rushing to try and get a quick picture before it all melted. Pro tip- Get the double scoop like Steve did, you won’t regret it!
You can find the store here.
Some restaurants to check out are Angus Restaurant, Snake River Roadhouse, and the South Fork Grille. However, by staying at Sleepy J cabins you have a kitchenette at your place to store food in the fridge just in the case you don’t want to eat out for every meal. Plus, they also have microwaves in the cabins so bring up your bag of popcorn and a good movie for the evening time.
We really enjoyed our stay in Swan Valley and are already planning our trip back in the winter! Swan Valley was a perfect place to getaway from it all and really enjoy nature and the ones that you are with.