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10 Reasons to Visit Idaho

Best Under-the-Radar Destinations: 10 Reasons to Visit Idaho

People are talking about Idaho. Some pretty authoritative people, in fact — late last year, the U.S. Census Bureau named Idaho the fastest-growing state in the nation. This gem of a state in the Intermountain Northwest is making top 10 vacation lists for 2018 and has become a staple in annual surveys of best places to live.

People are talking about Idaho. Some pretty authoritative people, in fact — late last year, the U.S. Census Bureau named Idaho the fastest-growing state in the nation. This gem of a state in the Intermountain Northwest is making top 10 vacation lists for 2018 and has become a staple in annual surveys of best places to live.

So what makes Idaho so special? Here are 10 ideas.

Our waterfalls are higher than Niagara. Shoshone Falls, located just outside of the city of Twin Falls, plunges an astonishing 212 feet to the Snake River below. That’s higher than our most famous waterfall to the east. Shoshone Falls is at its most spectacular in the spring and early summer, when snowmelt sends water rushing down at up to 12,000 cubic feet per second. Later in the summer, when the water over the falls has slowed, stand-up paddleboarders can get an up-close look at this natural wonder.

You can rock climb in a silent city. The emigrants traveling the California Trail called City of Rocks National Reserve “the silent city.” There aren’t any buildings here, but there are towering, wind-carved hoodoos, granite spires, and monoliths that beg to be admired. And with nearly 700 climbing routes, the adventurous can admire up close.

It’s easy to get close to the stars here. Idaho is one of the best places in the world to watch the heavens, and we have the credentials to prove it: The International Dark-Sky Association recently granted silver-tier International Dark Sky Park status to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Huge stretches of the state have little-to-no light pollution and clear skies, which attracted eclipse watchers in droves in 2017. At Craters, staff members have installed lighting that faces down rather than up for peak star gazing and host Star Parties that feature an “astronomy ranger” and high-powered telescopes.

We know how to melt stress away. Why own hot tubs when nature provides them for you? In Idaho, visiting hot springs is a part of life. The state — especially the volcanic southern half — is home to hundreds of hot springs. Many of these, such as Banbury, Miracle, Thousand Springs, Durfee, and Nat-Soo-Pah, have been enjoyed by generations of enthusiasts. They’re the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring, or a destination unto themselves.

We live on our rivers. Canoeing, tubing, kayaking, rafting, stand-up paddleboarding — if there’s a way to get on the river, Idahoans will use it. The Snake River and its tributaries flow through the southern half of the state, creating endless opportunities for exploration, recreation, and relaxation. Try rafting on the big water of the Murtaugh stretch of the Snake River or spend a lazy afternoon meandering around Ritter Island on a stand-up paddleboard. However you choose to explore, you’ll soon realize why Idahoans revere the Snake.

We get off the beaten track. Why stick to the freeway when you can take a scenic byway? In Southern Idaho, the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway winds through the Snake River Canyon past thousands of waterfalls that spring forth from the canyon’s walls. It’s also home to incredible hot springs, charming small towns, and excellent trout fishing. To the east, the City of Rocks Scenic Byway — a 49-mile necklace of rural, unspoiled landscape — encircles the Albion Mountain Range. Here, you’ll find the Cleveland Recreation Area and City of Rocks National Reserve.

We’re rich in national parks and monuments. Idaho is home to some of the most interesting national parks and monuments in the country. There’s the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, where you can see the fossilized remains of the ancestor of the modern-day horse; City of Rocks National Reserve, home to outstanding rock spires and outcroppings; Minidoka National Historic Site, where hundreds of Japanese and Japanese-Americans were interned during WWII; and Craters of the Moon National Monument, a see-it-to-believe-it massive, ancient volcanic field.

Turn-of-the-century Western charm survives here. Idaho features some of the best-preserved late 19th– and early 20th-century architecture in the West. Step back into the early 1900s in Rupert, where a classic town square — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — is flanked by charming buildings. The 1920 flatiron gem Wilson Building and Theatre was recently renovated and is home once again to music and theatre performances. Oakley, a 45-minute drive from Rupert, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its outstanding collection of old stone and brick buildings that date back to 1883. Much of the town’s building materials were quarried nearby. In fact, you can still outfit your own home with shimmery, silvery Oakley stone.

You’ve probably feasted on our trout. Did you know that 70 percent of the trout enjoyed in the United States comes from Buhl, Idaho? This beautiful location on the Snake River is host to the perfect conditions for raising fat, healthy trout: Pure stream water bubbles and flows out of the Snake River Plain Aquifer at a cool 58 degrees, creating an ideal home for these fish. You can try your hand at fishing for your own Hagerman trout at the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area.

We make life easy. With so much to see in Idaho, it can be hard to know where to start! We make it easy: Our top-notch visitor centers are great resources for travelers. Friendly staff can help you find a place to see, give you tips on the best areas to explore, and help you create itineraries. Plus, our visitor centers have some of the best views in the country.

Come discover for yourself why people are talking about Idaho! Use our easy guide to start planning your trip today.

Nature Is Ready to Put On a Show

This spring, get outside and watch Mother Nature show off thousands of sparkling, rushing, tumbling waterfalls. We’ve put together a guide that includes out-of-the-way gems and crowd-pleasing stunners.

Pin it for Later!

Happy Sunday! 

Be sure to add Southern Idaho to your Fall adventure itinerary! 

📸 Photo Credit: @nishatandmusa 

#visitidaho #visitsouthernidaho #twinfalls #twinfallsidaho #waterfall #coulee #travel #adventure #journey
Fall travels to the @cityofrocksnps look a little bit like this! 

The City of Rocks is a perfect park to visit to enjoy fall colors and beautiful views. The granite boulders tower in the valley while the peaks shine above. This park has no cost to enter and is a national reserve. This means you must pick up after yourself, only camp in designated areas, and be respectful of wildlife. There are amazing accommodations nearby too like the @almoinnandoutpoststeakhouse ! 

#visitidaho #cityofrocks #nationalparks #rockformation #fallfoliage #autumncolors #fallcollection #fallvibes #travelinggram #getoutandexplore #leavenotrace
Autumn colors: yellow, orange….and aqua blue! 

Thousand Springs State Park is made up of multiple units, and the easiest way to find them is to visit their brand new Visitor Center in Hagerman. 

The water remains this stunning blue color year round. It is fed from an underground aquifer, and from those waterfalls you see on the side of the canyon! 

#southernidaho #visitidaho #fallfoliage #fallcolor #bluewater #idaho #visitusa #usaroadtrip #travelinggram #travelingplanet #kayakingfun #kayakingadventures #autumntrends
Ready for an epic fall road trip?

Start in Twin Falls and drive South to Magic Mountain, then visit the Albion Mountains & find that stunning alpine lake. Drove north of Twin Falls towards Gooding (or Shoshone) to find those epic caves! 

Expect to see fall colors beginning to change in the next month or so! Peak anticipated in October. Follow @visitsouthernidaho to see fall foliage current conditions as they progress! 

Leave no trace everywhere you visit this fall! 

#visitidaho #southernidaho #travelusa #falltravel #falltrends #idaho #pnwadventures #hikingadventures #natureisbeautiful #getoutside #autumnleaves #fallfoliage
Lake Walcott State Park is a hidden treasure, north of Rupert. Enjoy a peaceful day along the lake, play disc golf, rent kayaks, and bird watch! 

Visitors can find multiple lodging types for their trip. There are cabins available for rent as well as a combination of full hook up and regular campsites. The fee to get in is $7, or an ID State Parks pass. 

#southernidaho #lakewalcott #statepark #idaho #visitidaho #usatravel #familytravel #travelingram #idahodaily
A peaceful day at southern Idaho’s most popular alpine lake. 

Remember to leave no trace when visiting! This summer’s traffic has been heavy, and it’s important to remember to respect one another while sharing nature. 

The 7 principles are:
Plan ahead and prepare.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
Dispose of waste properly.
Leave what you find.
Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
Respect wildlife.
Be considerate of other visitors.

Save to visit: 
📍 30 minutes South of Burley, Idaho. Burley is the entrance to these mountains, and also has a beautiful stretch of the Snake River. Drive to @pomerellemountain and continue up to the alpine lake. Drive further up the mountain to reach Mt Harrison! Find more information on our website. 

#visitidaho #southernidaho #lakecleveland #burleyidaho #leavenotrace #idaho #alpinelake #usatravel #cityofrocks #cassiacounty #idahohiking #idahoexplored #mtharrison #mountainlovers
Miracle Hot Springs is the perfect place to stay late summer and fall. 

Photo by: @themandagies

Book yourself a stunning, glamping dome on the property then soak in the hot springs. 

#visitidaho #southernidaho #idahohotsprings
The wildflowers have bloomed all over Southern Idaho!

Save this post to visit!
🪻Stay in Burley, ID to be only 30 min from here
🪻Drive south to the Cassia Mountains
🪻 Proceed all the way up to the top of the drive to Mt. Harrison, the fire lookout featured
🪻Leave no trace and enjoy seeing the flowers all around!
🪻Support local businesses in Albion, Declo, Burley & Heyburn 

#wildflowerseason #visitidaho #idahome #idahoexplored #idahoflowers #usatravel #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #idahogram #getoutside #leavenotrace
Caution: you may get sprinkled on! 

Leave no trace and be kind to others while exploring! It’s chasing waterfall season and you deserve to walk under this waterfall to cool off on a hot day! Now that Shoshone Falls is done running, visit these other waterfalls instead! Located in Twin Falls, Idaho. 

#magicvalley #chasingwaterfalls #idaho #idahome #twinfallsidaho #visitidaho #idahodaily #waterfallsofinstagram #idahofalls #idahoexplored