Fall mountain biking excursion in Pocatello
Kayaking in Blue Heart Springs near the Snake River
One of the many starry nights at Craters of the Moon National Monument
A bear spotted in Hells Canyon from a jet boat tour
Horseback riding in the wilderness at Redfish Lake Lodge in Stanley
A relaxing soak in Pine Flat Hot Springs with a view of the Payette River
Fun on the water at Lake Coeur d'Alene
Patio dining on 8th Street in downtown Boise
Pedaling over a sky-high trestle bridge on the Route of the Hiawatha trail
Whitewater rafting tour on the Lower Salmon River
A thrill-seeker’s paradise throughout the year
Idaho’s odd shape allows for diversity in not only temperature and terrain, but also activities and experiences. Travelling from top to bottom, start with a visit to Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene for water recreation, including canoeing, kayaking, boating and lake cruises. Continuing south through the Palouse agricultural region, plan a stop to learn about the Nez Perce American Indians. Then, embark on a thrilling jet boat tour through Hells Canyon on the Snake River – North America’s deepest river-carved gorge – to see striking scenery, historic sites and wildlife. The small town of Riggins in the Salmon River Canyon is well known for river rafting and fishing, while the lakeside community of McCall is a basecamp for more water sports, hiking, hot springs and winter recreation. Boise, in the southwest corner of the state, is packed with locally owned restaurants, craft breweries and wine tasting rooms, as well as arts, culture and entertainment. Turning east, the communities of Ketchum, Sun Valley and Stanley offer skiing, hot springs and fly-fishing, accented by stunning views. Explore ancient lava fields at Craters of the Moon National Monument as your journey continues eastward. Eastern Idaho also has a number of hot springs, trout streams and waterfalls, and is a popular location for snowmobiling in the winter.
Four Seasons of Adrenaline
Idaho also has more whitewater than any other state in the continental USA. In the spring and summer, book a half- or full-day adventure on the Payette River just north of Boise, or half-to multi-day trips on the Salmon River in central Idaho. Fall is the ideal season for mountain biking and hiking. Local Idahoans relish the lower temperatures, clear skies and fall colors that signal the coming winter. Idaho’s 18 ski areas offer skiing the way it ought to be – on fresh powder, with short lines and under bluebird skies. Destination resorts such as Schweitzer Mountain, Sun Valley and Grand Targhee, as well as local ski areas, including Lookout Pass, Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area and Tamarack Resort, welcome winter travelers. Activities include alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoe trails, tubing hills, fat-tire biking, cat- and heli-skiing, and snowmobile tours. State parks also open their trails in the winter for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing.
Bright Stars and Dark Skies
Idaho’s beauty doesn’t end when the sun goes down. The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, which includes the communities of Ketchum, Sun Valley and Stanley, and the Sawtooth Mountains, was designated in December 2017 and is one of only 13 Dark Sky Reserves in the world, and the only one in the United States. Idaho’s low population base coupled with its rural landscape and wilderness lands makes it easy to find dark skies. Set up camp in the Dark Sky Reserve, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Bruneau Dunes State Park, or just about anywhere in Idaho’s rural or wilderness areas, and marvel at the unbelievably brilliant, starry sky. Treat yourself to an out-of-this-world experience you won’t soon forget.
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The city of Wallace proclaimed their community the Center of the Universe in 2004. Today, a manhole cover represents the spot said to be the exact Center of the Universe; it is celebrated yearly by residents of the city.
Photo: Visit Idaho
Bruneau Dunes State Park contains North America's tallest single-structured sand dune – at 143 meters high.
Photo: Visit Idaho
Shoshone Falls on the Snake River is known as The Niagara of the West. Spilling over a 65-meter drop near Twin Falls, the falls are actually higher than Niagara Falls.
Photo: Visit Idaho