Drive three scenic highways, they converge at one location near Stanley Idaho. The only place in America where 3 scenic highways converge. You can go west from Boise on Hwy 21 to Stanley and continue northeast to Salmon, or travel North from Twin Falls on Hwy 75 through Sun Valley (a great skier's paradise) to Stanley.
If you start in Twin Falls, don't miss Shoshone Falls, the Shoshone Ice Caves and nearby the Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Fondest memory: White water rafting on the Salmon River with my 10 year old.
In the Stanley area (central part of the state in the Sawtooth Mountains) I can recommend 'The River Company' at http://www.therivercompany.com/links.htm
Favorite thing: Visit Craters of the Moon National Monument. Although I must admit it wasn't that exhilirating. If you are interested in volcanic rock, then this is the place for you, but not worth the detour that we did.
TWIN FALLS, nice setting along the river, small town.
BOISE...I went there only to see the Capitol...so I can't say much about the town.
Somewehere on the road between Utah and Boise, there's a 'funny' potato museum with a big potato (don't you know that Idaho is nicknamed the Potato State..?)...it's worth to stop just for the fun.
Craters of the Moon National Park, in central Idaho is great if you like 'desolated' sceneries, very dry and unusual...be careful it can be very sunny and hot around here.
In Northern Idaho, the Lake Coeur d'Alene and the whole area is a must go. Splendid vistas if you drive around the lake. Coeur d'Alene city is pleasant with lots of private beautiful houses.
Not so far from the Montana border is the town of Kellogg where you can catch the longest gondola in the world (single stage) as per the ad...goes us to Silver Mountain, a famous ski resort. Unfortunately in Summer, it's mostly closed...check out opening times.
For kind of fun, north of Kellogg you can go in the back-country up in the mountains to find ghost towns (gold rush period) such as Murray. Road is narrow and very winding...so take care.
Fondest memory: A very very small part of Yellowstone Natl Park is in ID, and since this park is a pure wonder....I mentionned it here...but the main gateways are in Montana or Wyoming.
FUNNY BUT REAL on this PICTURE : The official Potato Museum of Blackfoot !!!!
See the Boise River Festival. There are over 70 hot air balloons flying, concerts, family events and one of the largest fireworks displays in the world. (Larger than New York City Fireworks show!!)
Fondest memory: The people are friendly, the weather is marvelous, the mountains are spectacular and the local Wine, Fishing and Golf seem to get better everyday.
Go to City Of Rocks! If you are a rock climber, this place is paradise! I went on a trip with My Mom and a bunch of other people. It was so fun.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of City of Rocks was climbing the 'Lost Arrow Spire.' With myself only being 5'1' tall, there were some easy reaches for tall people that were literally long leaps of terror for me! What a Rush!!!!! But I made it, and the top was glorious!!!
Favorite thing: This is me climbing 'Sunrise Spire' This was about a 150 foot climb. It was a really fun climb! The top of this spire, though, was so tiny and skinny, you had to stay clipped in in order to avoid falling!!
Fondest memory: We camped behind the 'Breadloaves' (name of a series of rocks). One of the guys that came on our trip with us brought a bunch of drums he made. We had an all-night drum circle. It was so amazing and fulfulling! There is nothing like drum beats around a fire under the stars in the wilderness!!!!!!!!
Favorite thing: Here is a far away picture of us on top of the 'Lost Arrow Spire'. Here you can see really how big it is, and how much it looks like a giant thumb! Someone is repelling off the right side too, but I can't tell who it was! :)
Idaho's geography is very diverse and offers incredible mountian and high desert scenery. This is one of those states where outdoor entertainment is at its highest. I have hiking and fished some of the most remote wildernesses like the Selway and Sawtooth and long to return. The downhill skiing is excellent but if you want to spend more time skiing then in line you might consider Silver Mountian, near Kellog or Grand Targee, near Idaho Falls. White water rafting/kayaking is hard to beat with rivers like the Salmon and its various forks. Shoshone Falls are the west's Niagara Falls shown to the left although these falls are about 50 feet higher than Niagara.
Fondest memory: We (my family of 5 young kids)made a road trip through Idaho taking Highway 20 across most of the state from Mountain Home. This route takes you along the foothills of the Sawtooth National Forest. It is not heavily traveled and offers beautiful scenery. We camped many of the nights we traveled. Camping and visiting Craters of the Moon was quite a memorable stay. We were able to bring our young children, 2 in backpacks, into several lava tubes (caves). During the Spring, April and May, you will be given one of the most beautiful arrangements of flowers that nature can put together. Seeing such color against the lava bed backdrop is stunning. Arco happened to be celebrating the 4th of July as we passed through. They had a cute hometown parade and carnival with lots of homemade yummies. Arco is near the location of the world's first nuclear power plant. Arco is the first town in the world to be powered by nuclear energy.
Take your time. The country is stunning. You don't need an expensive camera to bring home such beauty. If you like to ski, check into Silver Mountain and Grand Targee. While visiting Grand Targee stay in Driggs or Victor. These towns are a great place to use as a home base from where to take day drives. Like for example West Yellowstone. This is one of the best ways to visit Yellowstone because most of the traffic enters from the south (more on that in my Wyoming page).
Fondest memory: I just am in awe of all the beauty. Craters of the Moon was sure unusually stark but beautiful in is own way. I 'picknicked' with the family at Three Island Crossing near Glenn's Ferry. This is where most settlers crossed the Salmon River along the Oregon Trail. It was also the most feared crossing on the entire trip. Ruts in the dirt across the river can still be seen from the wagon wheels. It was very sobering to fantasize seeing these weary pioneers coming down the opposite bank of the great Snake River. Watching the dust kick up behind the wagons as they cautiously approach the river's edge...the sound of the horses neighing and the occasional wistle and yell of men on horse back keeping their small herd of cattle together. What an incredible trip. What took them 6 months we can do in a couple hours, not including layovers. I thought of flight delays and lost luggage in a different light after this comparison. Take a look at this link of Three Island Crossing they have some great information here.
Favorite thing: Of course, Idaho has skiing. And the powder is ever bit as good as Utah's. Idaho just wants to keep it more of a secret. There are several options to ski the mountains of Idaho but my favorites are on near opposite sides of the state. My first choice in the north is a little know ski area called Silver Mountian (see the picture for the map). This place has undergone several remodling and building phases in the last few years but the skiing has always been outstanding. They have the longest ski gondola in the US. No lie. So why haven't you heard of it. Because, the locals don't want to stand in lines. My next favorite is Grand Targee in South East Idaho just west of the famous Jackson Hole. This is another well kept secret of the locals for the same reason as Silver Mountain. Idon't have a good picture of the ski area so here's a ski area map to view. During the summer you can still ride to gondola for some beautiful sight seeing. They love to have Jackson Hole get all the attention. The fact of the matter is that Grand Targee, although it doesn't have all the cliffs and steep chutes as Jackson, has 10 times the number of deep powder days. The views of the Tetons are even more extraordinary. Lodging is much cheaper and you don't have a bunch of traffic to fight going in and out of town like Jackson Hole. My other favorite is Schweitzer, near Spokane but if you go during a holiday or Saturday be prepared to spend a little time standing in lines. I don't know about you but I don't like paying to stand in line. So hit it on a clear week day for the best bang for your buck. If it is overcast/foggy on the mountain, find something else to do. Sun Valley has some great ski terrain but the clientelle can be a bit pretentious, you might say. I am trying to be nice here. Here's a great link for information on all Idaho Ski Resorts.
Favorite thing: In the northern part of the state, often refered to as the 'pan handle' you will find great recreation. Coeur d'Alene is a beautiful town situated at the north end of a lake of the same name. This site has detailed information about Coeur d'Alene. and surrounding area. A great 1/2 day drive awaits those who travel around the lake to St. Maries and back out the Interstate Hwy 90 at scenic Mission Cataldo. This old mission is built on a low bluff over looking the Couer d'Alene River. It is the oldest building in the state. Sandpoint is north of Coeur d'Alene about 30 minutes and is located on the northwest shores of Lake Pend Oreille. This near the location of Schweitzer Ski Area which on a sunny day offers incredible views of the lake and surrounding valley and mountainous area. If you were headed toward Glacier National Park continuing to Hwy 2 in to Montana is a most excellent drive. The picture is of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced Ponderay-those French words always confuse me) from the north east side of the lake.
Favorite thing: Coure'de'laine Idaho. ---- Beautiful spot on the map. Gorgeous lake with helicopter rides, Para-sailing, waterskiing, jetskiing...just about anything you could want! They have Cruises (2h-dinner cruise) which take you around the lake, dispalying the gorgeous homes along the banks.
Favorite thing: Idaho's nickname is The Gem State because of its abundance of natural resources and scenic areas. The mountains of Idaho contain veins of gold, silver, lead, zinc, cobalt, copper, and many other rare minerals. Among these rare minerals are gems - star garnets (the state gem), jasper, opal, jade, topaz, zircon, and tourmaline.
Favorite thing: Adopted in 1907. The woman represents liberty, justice and equality. The man is a miner. The pictures on the shield represent the main industries of forestry, farming and mining. The cornucopias, or horn of plenty are symbols of abundance. The elks head represents wildlife. Esto perpetua (Let it be perpetual). The words "State of Idaho" are embroidered in with block letters.
We were in Boise to cover a mountain bike race/demo that got rained out and we subsequently spent...more
539 Pole Line Rd, Twin Falls, Idaho, 83301, United States
Good for: Couples
1500 Riverstone Drive, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 83814, United States
Good for: Couples