When people think of Idaho, its beautiful rivers often come to mind. After potatoes, of course. Idaho has 3,500 river miles which is more than any other state in the Lower 48. Idaho’s rivers bring in an abundance of outdoor fun like canoeing, tubing, stand-up paddle boarding, and rafting. Explorers can find big water and rapids to raft or a lazy meandering float on a paddle board. The Snake River and its many tributaries offer endless fun for visitors and locals.
Rich in natural wonders, Idaho is home to many national parks and monuments. Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, has a 212 foot drop which is 52 feet further than Niagara Falls. Visit the plaque that’s placed where Evel Knievel attempted a jump over the Snake River. And failed. Idaho is also known as the Side Door to Yellowstone, the entry to the park being 20 miles from Island Park, Idaho. For the rock climbers out there, the City of Rocks National Reserve, or “The Silent City” is a great place for rock climbing providing almost 700 climbing routes. Another must-see is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve where you can experience no-light pollution and clear skies for optimal star gazing.
A huge draw of Idaho is the wild places that it offers. A whopping 63% of Idaho is public land and its home to the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48, The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, comprised of 2.3 million acres of backcountry. With over 4.7 million acres of combine wilderness areas in the state (larger than the land area of Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut combined), Idaho draws in hikers, campers, and backpackers from all over. Idaho also borders Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Canada giving outdoor lovers access to some of the best mountains in the country.
The state fish of Idaho is the Cutthroat Trout which comes as no surprise as Idaho is beloved for its trout fishing. Often referred to as Fisherman’s Paradise, Idaho provides incredible fishing on the Snake River and its tributaries, and also unique fishing opportunities on lakes, such as Idaho’s “Great Lakes”. Idaho is great for fishing as it has diverse opportunities from fly fishing to trophy fishing. The different waters of Idaho also provide a wide variety of species to fish. There are many locally-owned guided fishing trips for those venturing out to fish for the first time.
Many don’t know that Idaho has more natural hot mineral springs than any other state in the U.S. Most of these hot springs are found in Southern Idaho and while some can only be accessed by hiking in a few miles, many others are just a short walking distance from the road. The hot springs are fueled by ancient, dormant volcanoes which heat millions of gallons of water that bubble up to the surface creating the hot springs we love today. Idaho’s hot springs are surrounded by the idyllic beauty of its natural landscape and most are available to visit year-round.