State Of Idaho
The Gem State is diverse in terrain and in climate. With forested mountains, ski resorts, deep river canyons and over 100 soakable hot springs, Idaho is a popular destination for outdoor adventurers and adventurous families alike.
Sandwiched between Washington and Oregon to the West, Montana and Wyoming to the East, Canada to the North, and Nevada and Utah to the South, the Gem State is known for its diversity in terrain and climate. From forested mountains like Sawtooth to deep river canyons, Idaho is an outdoor adventurer’s playground. Visitors can enjoy golf, fly fishing, river rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, 18 ski resorts, and 130 soakable hot springs—more than any other state.
Explore Idaho’s arts and culture with a trip to the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which reflects Boise having the largest Basque population in the U.S. Enjoy an outdoor performance at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival or take a drive through the Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway to take in the beauty of Bear Lake’s turquoise waters and see historic markers from the Oregon-California Trail. In the summer, enjoy a sunset cruise on Payette Lake in the resort town of McCall. In the winter, ski the slopes at Schweitzer Mountain and enjoy the historic downtown in Sandpoint. And of course, taste the famous Idaho potato in Boise’s burgeoning culinary scene.
Whatever your outdoor sport or favorite recreational activity, Idaho has got you covered year-round.
Best Places to Visit in Idaho
The state’s capital has a vibrant, walkable downtown, easy access to the Boise River for outdoor recreation, and plenty of cultural and culinary experiences to explore.
Julia Davis Park: This downtown greenspace set on the Boise River features a rose garden, museums, and a zoo.
Boise River Greenbelt: Set along the banks of the Boise River, this 25-mile greenway connects parks and neighborhoods with tree-lined pedestrian walkways and bike paths.
Idaho Botanical Gardens: Located on 50 acres, the 35-year old botanical garden features an Idaho Native Plant Garden, Rose Garden, and Meditation Garden.
Old Idaho State Penitentiary: Tour cell blocks and gallows of the late 19th century prison that housed criminals of the Wild West.
Cities in Idaho
Sun Valley: The resort town is best known for its ski areas at Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. In the summer, visitors can enjoy horseback riding through wildflower meadows and mountain biking through the 20-mile Wood River Trail.
Idaho Falls: The state’s second largest city features the Museum of Idaho, which has local history exhibits including artifacts connected to the Lewis and Clark expedition and a re-created 1800s town.
Pocatello: This popular mountain town is full of family-friendly activities like the Zoo Idaho and The Fort Hall Replica and Museum, a recreation of the 19-century world of pioneers, Native Amercans and fur traders.
Idaho State and National Parks
Yellowstone National Park: Located mostly in Wyoming, Idaho houses 1% of America’s First National Park.
Craters of the Moon National Monument: Located in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho, this otherworldly landscape was created from lava flows over time.
City of Rocks National Reserve: Also known as the Silent City of Rocks, this reserve and park is known for its rock climbing and rock formations of tall spires and steeples.
Coeur d’Alene Parkway State Park: This 5.7 mile paved trail is located along the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Bruneau Dunes State Park: Standing 470 feet high above small lakes, Bruneau Dunes State Park is home to the tallest freestanding sand dune in the United States.
Popular Tourist Attractions
Rafting in Idaho
The Gem State is known for its whitewater rafting, kayaking and scenic floats.
Salmon River: The 425-mile river, which flows through central Idaho, is a popular destination for whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing.
Snake River: Adventure enthusiasts will love rafting through Hells Canyon, one of the largest wilderness areas in North America.
Idaho Hot Springs
The state has 340 hot springs, and approximately 130 of them are soakable.
Kirkham Hot Springs: Soak in gravel lined natural hot pools while overlooking the Payette River.
Gold Fork Hot Springs: Located in the small town of Donnelly, enjoy these mineral-rich waters in a number of enclosed pools.
Burgdorf Hot Springs: This rustic resort features cabins and hot pools open to the public year-round.