Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon Jump Site Pilgrimage – UPDATED

Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon Jump Site Pilgrimage – UPDATED

Everything felt wrong exiting Interstate 84 and heading south on State Highway 93. Passing familiar suburban landmarks like Costco, Chick-fil-a, Home Depot and, of course, Starbucks, it just didn’t feel right. This is where Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon? It felt more like a witness protection program town. You can’t get more nondescript than Twin Falls, Idaho. 

A few turns later (after passing churches and a few McMansions) we were entering the Shoshone Falls Park. Is this the right place to see the Evel jump site? The young man in the park’s entrance booth smiled. I was not the first seeker who had asked that question. Yep, this was the place (unless you know the “back way” through private property). Fans simply have to follow the paved trail from the end of the park for a one-mile hike to what’s left of the launch ramp.

Finding the sacred site was well worth the effort. Check that one off my must-do list. And any legitimate Evel Knievel fan or historian needs to do the same. You won’t be disappointed.

Following the paved bike path up and out of the Shoshone Falls Park gives seekers their first glimpse of the launch ramp.
The launch structure is long gone. All that remains is the massive earth mound and cement base for the old metal launch structure. It is impressive.
Looking up the launch ramp today, it is hard to imagine what was going through Evel’s mind when he was strapped into his X-2 Skycycle. It is possible that he was thinking it would be his final jump and the final minutes of his life.
Look how far it is to the canyon’s distant landing area above the cliff on the other side of the Snake River. The Vicious Cycles need to perform a concert here (even if they have to sneak in).
Yes, this is what Evel was planning to jump.

A small sign commemorates the jump site. “Being Evel” is an excellent documentary that shows the good and not-so-good side of Evel if you want more understanding of the man.
Shoshone Falls Park is a bonus for visiting the launch site. It is a beautiful location and a great place for a socially-distanced picnic. That’s cowboy Jimmy and Gail.

Eddie Braun jumped the Snake River Canyon in 2016, pulling off what Evel set out to do in 1974. Eddie is a stuntman, not a daredevil. There is a big difference. Eddie and his crew choreographed the jump scientifically and I was told he actually had permission to land on the other side of the canyon. That is something Evel neglected to arrange for his attempt. New Atlas has a great story on the jump.

The Skycycle is on display at the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas.