Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

Upper Mesa Falls - by Becky Franklin
Wildflower blooms
Lower Mesa
Indian Paintbrush
Moon over Tetons

Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway begins at the junction of U.S. 20 and Idaho 47, the northern termination of the Teton Scenic Byway in Ashton, Idaho. From Ashton, the route travels through the Warm River area towards its main attractions, Upper and Lower Mesa Falls.

At 114 feet and 65 feet respectively, the Upper and Lower Falls offer equally spectacular views in a beautiful forest setting. Both falls can be viewed in full, Lower Falls from a quarter mile distance, Upper Falls is enhanced with pathways, with pathways, stairs  and viewing platforms. These improvements lead visitors to the brink of the falls, close enough to feel the power of the cascading water. Some of the pathways and viewing platforms are universally accessible. The historic Big Falls Inn at Upper Falls has been restored to its original splendor and it is now open seasonally (approximately May 15th thru October 1st) as an interpretive center.

Though the byway is less than an hours diving time, viewing the falls, touring the interpretive center, enjoying a picnic lunch and making stops to view wildflowers can easily fill half a day.

Location: The southern end is at Idaho 47 in Ashton, northeast 12.4 miles to the old Bear Gulch Ski Area site, then northwest along Forest Service Route 294 to the northern end at U.S. 20.

Length: 28.7 miles. Allow 1 hour.

Roadway: Idaho 47 is a two-lane road. Forest Service Route 294 is closed in winter and becomes a Forest Service snowmobile route.

When to see it: In the winter the Forest Service road becomes one of many snowmobile trails in the area. If you have a snowmobile or cross-country skies, winter is the time to go; if you don't, there is no access. Spring through fall is great by car.

Camping: The Warm River Forest Service Campground is approximately 9 miles east of Ashton on the Warm River. The Grand View Forest Service Campground is located at the Lower Mesa Falls turnout.

Services: Full services in Ashton.