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ABOUT SOUTHERN IDAHO

In this most unique area of Idaho, the cities of Twin Falls, Jerome, Kimberly, Filer, Gooding, Wendell, Glenns Ferry, Castleford, Burley, Rupert, and Heyburn sit in an area formed by fire, wind and water. The mighty Snake River and its magnificent canyon etches the boundaries of each city where many falls, including 212 foot Shoshone Falls, can be seen.

The magnificent Snake River Canyon cuts into hundreds of feet of volcanic rock as a result of the ancient Bonneville Flood that occurred over 15,000 years ago. This colossal flood began at ancient Lake Bonneville, a vast prehistoric body of water who's only remains are the great Salt Lake and North Marsh Creek in Southern Idaho. The Bonneville flood was the second worst flood in the history of the world. The first was in Montana which was far more violent and dealt it's wrath on Northern Idaho.

Lake Bonneville, with no outlet to the sea, covered over 20,000 square miles including most of Utah and eastern Nevada and reached into southern Idaho. Eventually, rainfall and glacier melt around the end of the Ice Age caused the interior basins of Idaho, Utah and Nevada to fill with water creating two huge lakes and many smaller ones. In addition, Bear River that once flowed into the Snake River was dammed due to a volcanic eruption and now flowed into Lake Bonneville, filling it even more. Finally, an incredible and vast event occurred that released an unimaginable 380 cubic miles of water from Lake Bonneville that lasted for six weeks.

Violent water flowed into the Snake River at about 48 miles per hour enlarging the Snake River Gorge 6 - 7 times its original size. Today at the Twin Falls Perrine Bridge, the canyon is about 480 feet deep. During the flood, the water level would have been 20 feet above the bridge. This catastrophic flood left Idaho with the Snake River Canyon as we see it today.

Bonneville Lake dried up some 14,000 years ago after another major climatic change. Should it fill again, it would be as large as Lake Michigan and Salt Lake City would be 1,000 feet under water.

TWIN FALLS - located in Southern Idaho midway between Boise to the east and Pocatello to the west and 70 miles south of Sun Valley. Twin Falls is a vibrant city of over 44,000 people, home to over half of the county's 74,230. The city sits at a high-desert elevation of 3,745 with the Snake River Canyon at our north edge, northern Nevada to our south and the distant Sawtooth Mountains riming the northern horizon. Twin Falls Community Profile  

JEROME - Positioned at the intersection of Interstate 84 East/West and State Highway 93 North/South, Jerome is the gateway to Southern Idaho and the center of the intermountain region. The area is steeped in natural history and is regarded as one of the most unique geological sites in the United States. A sagebrush covered desert until an innovative irrigation system was built in the early 1900's, the area is a major producer of agricultural commodities with a 140-day growing season. The City of Jerome, county seat of Jerome County, is home to 10,890 of the county's 22,374 population. Jerome Chamber of Commerce  

MINI-CASSIA - This area includes the cities in Minidoka County and Cassia County. Cassia County's population (Burley, Albion, Declo and Oakley) is 21,348 and Minidoka's population (Rupert, Paul and Heyburn) is 22,952. The area offers an array of natural resources and recreational opportunities, including water and jet skiing, boating, windsurfing, sailing, swimming and a riverside eighteen-hole golf course. South of the River is Oregon Train crossings and the majestic City of Rocks. A National Reserve and part of the Sawtooth National Forest, the 14,500 acres of rock formations offers world-class rock climbing drawing climbers from around the globe. Pomerelle Ski Resort provides runs for beginners and advanced skiers and bikers enjoy rides to beautiful Lake Cleveland. A variety of cultural activities are also available through King Fine Area Center - Idaho's second largest full service theater - and the Howell Opera House.
Minidoka Community Profile
Cassia Community Profile
 

GOODING - Gooding County has experienced modest growth over the last 10 years with a population of 14,430 in 2009. Gooding County is the state’s dairy leader. But the explosive growth over the last 15 years has ebbed recently with moratoria on dairies and feedlots. The industry has converted typically migrant, seasonal workers into permanent residents. The county seat and largest town is Gooding at 3,200 residents in 2008. Wendell, coined the Hub City due to its central location, is the second largest town at 2,418. Over half the county lives outside the cities. Despite the predominance of dairy, the county’s agriculture is diverse from specialty onions to trout to beef cattle. Dairy products have been stable but milk prices were below the break even point for an 18-month period, overlapping high feed costs in 2008. North Canyon Medical Center opened its new facility in the spring of 2010.
City of Gooding Website
 

GLENNS FERRY - Glenns Ferry was one of the most famous river crossings on the Oregon Trail. Pioneers forded the Snake River at the Three Island Crossing until 1869, when Gustavus "Gus" Glenn constructed a ferry about two miles upstream, primarily to expedite freight but also for emigrants. His boat, which could hold two wagons, cut nearly twenty miles from the former route.

Three Island Crossing State Park, opened in 1971, is home to The Oregon Trail History and Education Center, where visitors can learn about pioneer emigrants and Native American history.

Sitting at an elevation of 2,569 feet above sea level, Glenns Ferry has a population of approximately 1,600 and part of the 28,820 in Elmore County. It is located in south central Idaho along the Snake River on Interstate 84. The city can be accessed by two exits and has both rail and trucking services available. To the west it is a short 20-minute drive to Mountain Home with its population of 14,000, and Boise lies 60 minutes away. With the Snake River immediately available, water recreation opportunities are endless. In less than an hour, one can snowmobile, hunt, fish, camp or raft ast, in 30 minutes one reaches Gooding and less than an hour away is Twin Falls.
City of Glenns Ferry Website
  

KIMBERLY - The city of Kimberly is primarily supported by an agriculture economy. Most of the 2,477 residents work in Twin Falls and return to the city afterward. Several historical sites are unique to Kimberly and surrounding areas, including: Big (Shoshone) and Little (Twin) Falls; China mining sites; Oregon Trail Historical Site; Stricker Store; and Savage/Johnson and Larson/Hodge House.     

FILER - Filer, located just west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 93 and U.S Highway 30, has a population of about 1,620. Filer is home to the Twin Falls County Fair and Rodeo every September. Filer Community Profile   

WENDELL - The City of Wendell is a typical rural Idaho community. The 2,782 people in the city are a group of close knit community members, fiercely independent, and faithful to the principals that helped settle the west. The City of Wendell prides itself on Magic Valley Dairy Days, an annual event sponsored by the Wendell Chamber of Commerce. This event happens the third weekend of June. The City of Wendell and the Wendell Chamber of Commerce are active in community events that help to keep the city’s community pride alive. Wendell Chamber of Commerce   

CASTLEFORD - The City of Castleford and its 228 residents are closely connected, powerfully independent, and faithful to the principals of comradery. The City of Castleford prides itself on its schools, it’s tourism, with the nearby Balanced Rock, and the Annual Car Show each summer. The City of Castleford and the Castleford Men’s Club are active in events that help to keep the city’s community pride alive. The Castleford Men’s Club, was founded in 1946 to provide funding for the needs of the City and it schools. Castelford Website  

South Central Idaho boasts a four-season climate. Daytime highs in July average 91 degrees with evening lows of 54, while January temperatures range from 37 in the day to 19 at night. The area receives little precipitation, about 17 inches of snow and 9 inches of rain annually and the air is dry and clear.

Many southern Idaho cities are in an area known as “the Magic Valley.” Canals were built to carry water from the Snake River to Milner Dam in 1905. Shortly thereafter, productive farmland and the town of Twin Falls seemed to spring up out of nowhere on the sagebrush-covered southern Idaho desert. Thus, the term “Magic Valley” was born. Southern Idaho cities have long been agricultural centers with several of the largest employers involved in growing and processing food.

Idaho is the number one trout producing area in the United States mostly from hatcheries located in the Thousand Springs of the Snake River Canyon on the Snake River Acquifer.