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Mesa Falls Nature Trail is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near St. Anthony, Idaho that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 2.2 mi Elevation gain 219 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

The Mesa Falls Nature Trail begins in the Upper Mesa Falls parking lot, ending just above the Lower Mesa Falls, and is primarily used for hiking. The trailhead can be found on the south end of the parking lot. The Mesa Falls Nature Trail is the best way to see the Lower Mesa Falls. It's an easy hike ending on the plateau just above the Lower Falls. If you're really adventurous, there is a trail from the plateau that leads down to the Lower Falls. You can stand on the very edge of the Lower Falls themselves. Important note: This is not the Upper Mesa Falls boardwalk trail.

The USFS charges $5/car to park in the Upper Falls parking lot.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ctnf/recreation/recarea/?recid=80613&actid=50

From highway 20 take the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Park in the Upper Mesa Falls parking lot.

Weather
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Reviews (110)
Photos (51)
Recordings (54)
Completed (310)
Amanda Penrod
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 23 2020
Hiking

Highly suggest climbing to the lower falls to if you have time!

Mikalynn Amos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 23 2020
Bugs

We definitely didn't get what we expected with this one. Our first impression was the massive amount of mosquitos. We did go in the evening so I sure hope they aren't so bad during the day. This trail is pretty and easy but it doesn't give you a full view of the falls. The photos of the full waterfall is actually the short trail on the other side of the parking lot. There's 2 spots on the trail that give you a view of the valley, rocks, and flowing river. There's one last view but you have to go down a steep section. You can see the top where the falls go over the edge but not the actual falls (go to the overlook for that). So make sure to enjoy this as a pretty stroll and know that it is not the epic waterfall views shown in some of these photos.

Stacy Reading
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 25 2020
Hiking

Beautiful nature walk. The road to drive down to the trailhead was closed so we had to walk the mile to the trailhead. Don’t let that scare you, it’s a really nice walk and the falls are a really great sight. Easy for all abilities.

Jessica Ashton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous, easy hike. I did this one with my parents.

Scott Beaver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 18 2019
Hiking

Nice trail. We went when it was raining. The last part is dang near straight down. One slip and you might end up go over the falls yourself. Definitely a great view of the falls from the bottom. You can get a great view without going down the last part.

Dan Knorpp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 01 2019
Hiking

We loved this hike that was easy down to the lookout. Then we hiked down the primitive trail to the top of the falls. This was fine for my teenagers and I to do but it was strenuous. The view directly over the falls was amazing and the cool mist was refreshing. I highly recommend this hike. Be sure to take water to drink.

John Lindvig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 06 2019
Hiking

Great little walk through the woods that leads to Lower Mesa Falls. If you are surefooted, make the descent down below for a more beautiful and closer look!

View John's Recording
Rupp B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 02 2019
HikingOver grown
View Rupp's Recording
Jacqueline Richard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 01 2019
Hiking

Great hike! Both my 13 & 4 year old loved it! Lots of wildflowers to identify and different lava structures to see as well! The falls are beautiful too! The 4 year old loved reading the informative signs along the way as well!

Andrew Ogwang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 22 2019
Hiking

Beautiful Falls, we had a good view of two rainbows at the upper falls.

Don Lines
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 19 2019
Hiking

Absolutely a must if you are anywhere near the area. We came for Yellowstone, but had a down day and decided to go. Super glad I did, as this is the top 5 best waterfalls I've ever seen and hiked. Things to know - 1. there is a parking area with paved access to the UPPER Mesa falls. This is walking distance from your car, and is not a hike. But very pretty and most of the pictures you see posted are of it. I spent time there. 2. the actual 2.2 mile there and back trail is the "nature walk". This takes you to the LOWER Mesa falls, which are stunning. 3. the trail takes you to an overlook to see the falls from above. It's worth doing. 4. if you are adventurous, you can climb down a small rocky area near the end of the trail. Then follow some lightly traveled non-park paths. This takes you to the actual waterfall and you can get right up to it and touch it if you want! It is spectacular and I recommend it. 5. definitely not for kids or an older person or someone not sure if their footing. Very very steep in parts, or you can jump along the loose lava rocks.

Mitchell Barnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 12 2019
HikingRocky

Pretty steep at some points with some minor rock climbing, but amazing views. Definitely worth the walk.

View Mitchell's Recording
Ryan Beckstrom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 09 2019
Hiking

Nice, easy, beautiful little trail. At about two miles round trip, we walked the whole thing in about half-an-hour, and we only crossed paths with one other small group of people. The path was a bit muddy in some places (as of June 9th), but nothing unbearable. The view at the end is absolutely phenomenal, well worth the hike! Overall, I’d rate the trail itself four stars, with the view at the end five stars.

Rick Herman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 08 2019
Hiking

View of the lower falls, thought you could take it down to the base of the falls.

Ericka Arellano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 29 2019
Hiking

Great small walk! Doesn’t quite feel like 2 miles. Well kept and not as busy as I thought it would be. You get the feels as you walk closer and hear the falls roaring!

Angie Rasmussen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 05 2019
Hiking

The Mesa Falls Nature Trail is a lovely, serene trail through the forest that leads you to a great overlook view of the Falls. But the REAL reason I try to hike this trail every summer is for the “off-the-beaten-path” trail just off to the right when you come out of the forest clearing that takes you down as close to the Falls as you can get without going for a swim (you can literally hang your feet over the ledge of the rock and watch/hear/feel the roaring water beneath them). Getting down there, although somewhat steep, doesn’t take long but it does require a bit of careful scrambling over a large field of lava rock. I’d be nervous about taking small children as the ledge over the Falls can be rather precarious and crowded if there’s other people. But on your own or with the company of a couple of others, it’s an absolutely breathtaking place to spend some time and really get a full sensory experience of the power and majesty of these beautiful Falls.

Danielle Smith NP-C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 24 2019
Hiking

Well Groomed even on New Year’s Day.

Trent Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 26 2018
Hiking

The Lower Mesa Falls are impressive! But this nature trail is a bit deceiving. From the Lower Falls lookout up by the road it appears that the trail ends right above the falls, but the view is obstructed by trees. There IS an unconventional trail created that brings you right down to the falls, but it's hard to find that trail down off the cliff. HINT: go to the lookout by the road. You can see the trail that drops down off the ledge. Take a photo if it would help. Then go down to this nature trail and then you'll know where to look for this added trail that leads down to the falls.

Carmen Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 14 2018

I really enjoyed this, beautiful view of the lower mesa falls. Most rewarding if you take the steep hike down through the rocks to be right next to the river and water falls.

Hobbit Hideout
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 22 2018
Hiking

Great 2 mile trail starting at the upper Mesa falls and going to the lower. Both Falls are amazing, but the upper is breath-taking as you can stand right beside it. The nature trail leaves from the upper Falls parking lot and is an easy hike on dirt with a bit of gravel in the beginning. Ends at a great view looking down on lower falls.

Carly Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 20 2018
Walking

Normally I hate these kinds of "trails" however, the forest service did a great job to make you still feel like you're in nature and not just walking on a boardwalk. Plus, the wonderful waterfall is a bonus.

Robine Singleton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 01 2018

beautifull!! the falls is breath taking..

Jessica Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 01 2018
Hiking

Very beautiful! Easy hike and a lot of areas to take photos of.

mac dutton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 17 2018

This is a great spot to take little and not so little kids on a little walk down to beautiful waterfall views. This is a favorite spot we take family from out of state when they come to visit.

Shane Hawkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 19 2018
Hiking

Wonderfully beautiful waterfall. Easy walk down. Lucked out and we were one of the only groups there.

Trent Mizuski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu May 17 2018

The trail itself is very easy, flat, and wide. It offers two great, wide open views towards the middle and at the end. You don't get a very good view of the lower falls from the main trail, so if you can, I would recommend taking the side trail down. To get to the edge of the lower falls, you need to do quite a bit of moderate scrambling on an open-faced talus field. It gets pretty steep, but if you are able, the view of the lower falls is fantastic right from the edge!

Karen Duvall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 14 2018
Nature trips

One of my favorite places while living in Idaho -- haven't been on this trail since 2016, but the views never disappoint! Be aware there is a per car fee, $5 a day (unless recently gone up), but don't let that deter you!

Katie J Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 02 2017
Walking

Beautiful.

Jen Heese
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Aug 30 2017
Bird Watching

Great lot of small birds in this area. The end is impressive with the wide open area and the falls and river below. Very little change in elevation and lots of shade.

Natalie Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 20 2017
Walking

Nice, easy trail. Very relaxing. Perfect for a walk with the dogs.

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