Evel Knievel's Famous Idaho Adventure

Beautiful Snake RiverEvel Knievel was famous through the 1960s and 1970s as a daredevil. Remnants of his famous attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon can still be seen around Twin Falls, Idaho. Part of the ramp is a place to see while you're shopping around for your next Idaho home.

Preparation For The Jump
Evel Knievel ran into problems from the very beginning of preparing for this jump. ABC Sports, one of his usual investors, refused to pay for the Snake River Canyon jump. However, Evel was not so easily thwarted and hired Top Rank Productions to film the stunt for closed circuit television and movie theaters.

A New Machine For The Jump
His next difficulty was what he would use to jump the Snake River Canyon Idaho property. No motorcycle could remain in the air long enough to cross the chasm regardless of the ramp used. So, Evel Knievel had to commission a new motorcycle. The first creation was called the X-1 Skycycle. Unfortunately, it failed its first unmanned test run and the engineer had to go back to the drawing board.

The second vehicle, the Skycycle X-2, was more of a rocket than a motorcycle but it, too, failed its first unmanned flight.

Undaunted, Evel Knievel scheduled his jump for September 8, 1974. He had promised that he would attempt the jump and refused to let anything stop him.

Snake River in idahoThe Day Of The Jump
It is believed that he would have succeeded except for mechanical malfunctions. The parachute that was supposed to slow the rocket safely after the jump opened just as the jump began. The Skycycle 2 managed to reach the opposite canyon rim in spite of this. Unfortunately, winds caught the cycle and parachute, pushing it back. The Skycycle and Evel Knievel crashed to the bottom of the Idaho canyon property just feet from the river that runs through the canyon and on the same side he began from.

Evel Knievel, luckily, walked away from this crash with minimal injuries.

The Jump's Legacy
Twin Falls, Idaho is home to a monument commemorating the jump located at 858 Blue Lakes Blvd N., a two hour drive from nearby Boise.

Evel's son, Robbie Knievel following in his father's footsteps said in May, 2010 that he would like to try the Snake Canyon jump. Arrangements have not, yet, been finalized.

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