Must Visit Places in Idaho
No matter where you are from or what you like to do, you are going to want to check out these 18 must-see places in Idaho. The Great Potato State isn't all farms and football. You see, Idaho is an eclectic state with hundreds if not thousands of great places to see and explore. Here we have listed 18 of these places and we hope to see you all get as excited about them as we are.
If you like bright blue water, stunning mountain landscapes, and green forests that stretch on for miles, then the Palisades are the place for you. This reservoir is held back by the Palisades Dam which provides irrigation and hydroelectric power for the region around Bonneville County, however, the reservoir is also a fantastic place for summer fun whether it is camping, boating, fishing or wading in that gorgeous water.
A natural lake of the same beauty and majesty as the Palisades, the Redfish Lake is a getaway retreat for many people from Idaho and the surrounding area. It is located in Custer County in the midst of the Sawtooth Mountains. According to Wikipedia, its max length is 4.5 miles and its max width is .72 miles with a depth of 387 feet. There are lodges and marinas all along the shoreline so you can stay near the lake and even take the boat if you want.
Lake Pend Oreille
Pronounced Lake Pond-o-ray, this lake is one of Idaho's most gorgeous. There are few out there like it and it is hard to make a list of Idaho's must see places without mentioning it. You see, Pend Oreille is a large lake surrounded by beautiful scenery, luxurious cabins (some privately owned, some for rent) and the beautiful city of Sandpoint. It's a great place to enjoy some time on the water no matter what you fancy doing.
Bruneau Sand Dunes
From great water features to landmarks that can take your breath away, Idaho never runs short of ways to impress you. One of Idaho's most impressive landmarks would have to be the ever popular Bruneau Sand Dunes. The sand dunes at Bruneau are so much fun to play on and around as well as to explore. It is a beautiful place. Not to mention it is home to a great astronomy observation area and the tallest sand dune in North America.
Some of the most picturesque scenes can be observed at Alturas Lake. It is located in the midst of the Sawtooth National Forest just south of Redfish Lake off of Highway 75. It is one of the most gorgeous places in Idaho and is the camping destination for many people (both in and around Idaho) you can enjoy fishing, swimming, wading, picnicking, photography and so much more around this lake.
McCall's Winter Carnival
The Winter Carnival in McCall is one of Idaho's most beloved festivals. It combines the beauty of the snow with the fun of a street fair. You can buy some great food, great gifts, and so much more all while wondering the streets of scenic McCall and the gorgeous frozen shore of Payette Lake. The main event of the carnival, however, would have to be the snow sculptures. Artists from all over gather every year to try their hand at sculpting eccentric and downright amazing figures out of snow and ice. These sculptures run up and down Main Street as well as other places in historic McCall.
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
The name may sound intimidating, but honestly, this places is incredible. If you like the open country, being far away from civilization, and so on, then this is the place for you. There are some awesome camping spots, river rafting areas, and so much more. It is best to go with other people though if you are going to venture out into the Frank Church Wilderness, it is pretty big and it isn't hard to get lost there. Not to mention there are lots of wild animals that are not very friendly to humans. (Always be prepared for the worst in an outdoor situation!)
Located near the City of Twin Falls Idaho, Shoshone Falls is one of the most majestic entries we have on this list. Shoshone Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is reportedly around 200 feet taller than Niagara Falls. It costs $3 a car to get in to see the falls, but it sure is worth it. There are plenty of places to explore, to picnic, and to enjoy the refreshing water. There are even boat ramps below the falls for easy enjoyment by boat.
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
This amazing place is located in eastern Idaho and is a great place to go if you want to see a different perspective on geology. The Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a massive area of land that is covered in black volcanic rock. This is due to the ancient volcanic activity that was once under Idaho and now resides underneath Yellowstone. There is an educational area, trails and hikes, and so much more. It is so incredible that in some parts of the preserve it honestly looks like you wandered into Mordor from the Lord of the Rings.
This is a pretty well-known destination for those who love the water from both Idaho and Utah as the lake straddles the state border. However, if you haven't seen it already, you need to visit it as soon as you can. This lake is not only large and fun, but it is also the home of a certain kind of fish that doesn't live anywhere else.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest
Much like many of the other natural getaways here on this list, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is great for those who want to enjoy the beauties of nature. There are plenty of camping spots, photo ops, wildlife and much more. Not to mention it is just filled with breathtaking scenery.
Hells Canyon is the deepest river canyon in the United States with its highest walls over a mile high. It is an astonishing view that rivals that of the Grand Canyon. It is about 4 hours or so out of Boise and is a great place to spend a few days in the spring. The river that flows through the canyon is the Snake River which is the same river that flows down through the southern half of Idaho.
Lake Coeur d'Alene
As far as lakes in Idaho go, Coeur d'Alene is one of the best. Not only does it provide great opportunity for recreation, but it is also nestled next to the city Coeur d'Alene. This area is rich with outdoor opportunities and is brimming with picturesque photo opportunities. It is a great place for a vacation, especially if you want to get into triathlons since it is the location of and Iron Man Triathlon.
You remember that prehistoric volcanic activity we mentioned earlier? Well, even after the volcanoes themselves have moved on there is quite a lot of warm geothermal energy coursing beneath the surface of Idaho's crust. This makes for amazing hot springs. There are dozens of hot springs in every direction in Idaho making it great for getting out and enjoying the beauties of nature even if it is cold outside.
Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort
In the northern part of Idaho there is also the Silver Rapids Resort. This is an indoor waterpark that is sure to be the highlight of your next vacation.
Boise National Forest
Just outside of Boise is the Boise National Forest. This wooded wonder is home to many great camping spots, rivers, geological features, and so much more. It is really worth a look if you are in Boise.
If you like whitewater rafting then the Payette River is the place to be. This river has class 5 rapids as well as placid stretches making it perfect for people of all experience levels.
Ski resorts are always a good choice if you are looking for a place to vacation. Whether you like to head down the slopes or just sip hot cocoa by the fire, then you will love all the great stuff to do in Sun Valley.
So, there you have it, 18 must see places in Idaho. You're booking your plane ticket as we speak I imagine. But in all seriousness. Idaho is a wonderful place and its doors are always open for those who want to enjoy its wonder and majesty. If you want to learn more about Idaho and the wonderful places you can visit and explore here, as well as information on living here in Idaho, call or email the Hughes Group today. Just call the number at the top of the screen or click the contact button under the "about us" menu; that will put you in touch with our awesome staff who are ready and willing to answer any and all questions you may have about Idaho.