It is not very far from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone. We couldn’t imagine living so close to Yellowstone, the Tetons, and even Glacier National Parks – but here we were, boondocking along the Mesa Falls Byway in Idaho in our home-on-wheels.
To have these iconic parks practically in your backyard would just be so awesome. But not only do you have the designated National Parks, but you have all the non-National-Park beauty as well. And believe me, there is a LOT of it. Mesa Falls is one of these beauties.
Mesa Falls Byway
The Mesa Falls Byway winds northeast form Idaho Falls towards West Yellowstone.
We had a leisurely drive to a boondocking area near Mesa Falls our friends had told us about. The byway that took us there took us through mountains, forests, and meadows without hardly another car seen. We didn’t have far to go, so we took our sweet time, enjoying the scenery.
It wasn’t very busy there for being so beautiful. We couldn’t help but think about the fact that Mesa Falls was just a few miles to the east and within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park that it would be a huge attraction. But here, in the great park’s shadow, it seemed like a hidden treasure.
We also couldn’t help but think about how there are places like Mesa Falls all over the country that are so beautiful but are missed by the average traveler because they aren’t in a renowned site like Yellowstone National Park.
Mesa Falls Stats
Mesa Falls is the last prominent waterfall on the Snake River to resist human control. The Upper Mesa Falls is 114 feet tall, as high as a 10-story building.
At its peak, over 2.5 billion gallons of water pour over Mesa Falls each day. That’s enough water to supply every person in the state of Idaho for over two weeks!
A few more miles down the road we found our Mesa Falls Byway boondocking spot. This was free camping on BLM land, not too far from Yellowstone National Park. We had the most AMAZING sunset that evening:
It was about this time that we really knew that we were falling in love with the West. The diversity and the beauty we had found so far was so incredible. From the sunsets, to the wildlife, to the land, and the crazy geological features that just blow your mind, we were just in awe! The dogs also seemed to be enjoying the wide open spaces and new smells.
And there was still so much more that we hadn’t seen! We had just barely scratched the surface.
Have you ever been “Out West?” What was your favorite thing about it? Leave your comments below! We love hearing from you 🙂
Travel Stage: After Idaho Falls on way to West Yellowstone
Date Range: August 9 – 10, 2016
Summary: A short overnight boondocking near Mesa Falls in Idaho makes us realize we really like it out West.
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