Behind the Lens: Taking the Twin Falls Plunge

Photos and musings from our photographer David Kidd.
by | December 26, 2017
(David Kidd)

Strapped into his “Skycycle,” legendary daredevil Evel Knievel made an unsuccessful attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon outside Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1974. He ended up with a broken nose and a lot of disappointed onlookers after an inglorious trip to the bottom hanging from a parachute that had deployed too early.

The ramp where he took off is still there, in sight of the I. B. Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls.

Today, people routinely parachute into the canyon, but they do it from the middle of the bridge, inches away from speeding cars and semis.

Daredevils climb atop the railing and launch themselves into a free fall before pulling a chute and steering to a spot beside the river 500 feet below.

The Perrine Bridge is a favorite of BASE jumpers, as they are known, because it is one of the few places where their sport is legal.

The world record for jumps off the bridge was broken this summer when a Twin Falls man jumped -- and made the climb back up -- 63 times in 24 hours.

In this photo, which we snapped earlier this year during a reporting trip to Twin Falls for a story about refugees who have settled there, Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar, who has himself taken the plunge, watches as a jumper takes off.

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David Kidd | Design Director | dkidd@governing.com