Evel Knievel Jump Site – Twin Falls, Idaho

Evel Knievel.jpgEvel Knievel Jump Site – Twin Falls, Idaho

Some people thought he was crazy, others thought he didn’t do anything that wouldn’t cause a stir but Evel Knievel certainly did capture the imagination and curiously of the American people, and some worldwide.  Others thought that he was one of the most spectacular athletes of all times.  He certainly captured the imagination of many with his stunts of all kinds with his motorcycle.

Just a short distance from Twin Falls Evel Knievel bought some land to abut the canyon over the Snake River after the government forbid him from doing his “jump” over the Grand Canyon.  He said he would keep his word about jumping a canyon and if the government wouldn’t allow him to do it over the canyon then he would buy the land (which he did) and do it on private property where the government couldn’t stop him.

On September 8, 1974 he attempted the jump of the 500 foot deep quarter-mile-wide Snake River Canyon on a steam-powered “skycycle”.  This was an incredible feat, and whether you get your thrills when you play online poker or take your bike over a few jumps on a dirt track, this was something else entirely.

Doug Malewicki was the designer and engineer of Evel Knievel’s steam rocket powered SkyCycle X-1 canyon jumping motorcycle.  Theoretically – a two wheeled, streamlined, fin stabilized rocket that is capable of rolling along on those wheels could be deemed a “Motorcycle”. Similarly, launching and flying across the Snake River Canyon could also be deemed a “jump”.  Mr. Melewicki was a private aerospace engineer and inventor hired for this project by Evel Knievel.

Though Knievel crashed on the jump because of a parachute malfunction, it opened right after his take off had had him plunge 600 feet down ending up right next to the river. He survived with only a broken nose – barely a scrape for a man who broke nearly 40 bones during his daredevil career. The ramp where Knievel made the leap sits on private property about two miles east of the Buzz Langdon Visitor Center. It is visible from the center and vantage points along the Snake River Canyon Trail. For the most “up-close” look, hike up the Centennial Trail from Shoshone Falls Park. The 1.5 mile developed trail provides beautiful views of the canyon and Shoshone Falls and terminates just short of the ramp.

Evel Knievel’s hometown of Butte, MT plays host to the world’s greatest celebration for the Worlds Greatest Daredevil in the finest fashion.

Started in 2002, the three-day event draws thousands of visitors from all over the world to the Mining City during the last weekend in July each year.  If you enjoy the excitement of this daredevil then you may very well want to attend this event.

Seasons: All Year

Mailing Address
858 Blue Lakes Blvd. N.
Twin Falls ID 83301

Phone: 208-733-3974

Fax: 208-733-9216

Hours: Daylight

Fees: Free

2 Responses

  1. I worked for Evel when he had tested a prototype Skycycle to shoot across the canyon. It ran out of steam about halfway across, and sank into the river. Myself and two divers from Twin Falls searched the river for the remains. It was almost a month before a man downriver from the jump site found the remains of the skycycle and turned it in. I remember going down some steep stairs by the Shoshone falls to gain access to the canyon, but do not see them in any of the pictures by the falls.

  2. Shoshone Falls is amazing this time of the year. Take the time to hike from the parking lots on down. Also check out the pond at the down the hill from the entrance.

    We do the thousand springs loop an hit one of the hot springs at least twice a year.