Often overlooked compared to other American Rockies states like Wyoming and Montana, Idaho offers an even more quaint experience of the Rockies with its charming, picturesque towns and access to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. A spectacular and impressive state, Idaho offers Hells Canyon-deeper than the Grand Canyon; Shoshone Falls-higher than Niagara Falls; and the Bruneau Sand Dunes-larger than the dunes of Death Valley. Idaho has the most designated wilderness area outside of Alaska, and with more than 3,100 whitewater river miles, no other state can claim as many diverse recreational rivers.
Idaho is half-way between the Equator and the North Pole on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, with an abundance of sunshine and deep blue skies, even in the midst of winter. On your Idaho Holidays enjoy wildflower and wildlife viewing in the spring, ideal water sports and outdoor pursuits in the summer and stunning Fall colours in Autumn.
Travel west to discover Craters of the Moon National Monument, where you can camp and hike in old lava fields. For a change of scenery, drive a little farther to Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park and Public Observatory to explore the dunes and lakes.
In all this wilderness, luxury can be found in resort settings of Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley and McCall, at a dude ranch, or on a river rafting trip complete with fine wine and gourmet food!
Must See Places in Idaho
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area consists of 756,000 wildland acres within the Sawtooth National Forest of central Idaho. The National Recreation Area provides more than 700 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, 40 peaks rising over 10,000 feet, and enough alpine lakes to visit a new one nearly every day of the year.
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
South of Arco, in southeastern Idaho, is a lunar-like landscape created by volcanic eruptions between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago. This region of lava flows can be explored on signposted circular routes. Although it has not erupted in the last two millennia, this area is still geologically active. This unique National Monument also contains five caves to explore, which serve as a stark contrast to the sometimes searing temperatures above ground. Free permits are required to explore the caves and can be obtained at the Monument entrance station.
The Snake River forms much of Idaho’s western border. Go hiking at Snake River Canyon Rim Trails, cast a fly-fishing line at Henry’s Fork, visit Shoshone Falls or go jet boating at Hells Canyon.
Lake Coeur d’Alene
Steamboat traffic began on Lake Coeur d’Alene in 1889 when local lakes and rivers were used to move supplies to mining and lumber camps. The lake itself was created well before then, and its creation can be geologically traced back to glacial deposits from the last Ice Age. The overall aesthetics of this mountain-ringed lakein Northern Idaho is readily apparent with just one visit. The lake is 25 miles long and is surrounded by a forest filled with hiking trails. Boating, sailing, and fishingare popular during the summer months.
Silverwood Theme Park
The Northwest’s largest outdoor amusement park, Silverwood has 70-plus rides, shows, attractions and a water park. Open from May through September, this park in Athol is a great place for family fun.
Also known as the “Niagara of the West,” the 212-foot-tall Shoshone Falls can be found on the northeast edge of the city of Twin Falls. Created by the turbulent force of the Snake River, this massive block waterfall spans more than 900 feet and flows year-round with a surge season between April and July. The area surrounding the falls, including the adjacent Dierks Lake, is full of hiking trails, swimming spots, and scenic overlooks.
Route of the Hiawatha
Along this 24 kilometre rail trail near the Idaho-Montana border, find 10 train tunnels and seven trestles spanning canyons and forests in the Bitterroot Mountains. Bike rentals are available at Lookout Pass Ski Area.
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
Located within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest of northern Idaho, Hell’s Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America. It has been carved out by the Wild and Scenic Snake River for a distance of 95 miles along the border with Washington and Oregon. Drive the scenic byway, go on a contemplative hike or take a thrilling tour of the Snake River aboard a jet boat.
Video Credit: Visit Idaho