Every summer, it’s the same: You swear you’re going to get out more. Camp more. Hike more. Fish more. But then — boom! — it’s Labor Day, and summer is gone. Don’t make the same mistake this year! We’ve rounded up 10 bucket-list worthy summer activities. Each one will help you make memories that will last long beyond the heat of the summer.
Go Stand-Up Paddleboarding or Canoeing On the Snake
Check out Centennial Waterfront Park and the Snake River near Heyburn. Both offer riverside rental services provided by AWOL and Idaho Water Sports, respectively. Each location offers its own charms: Access to areas like Shoshone Falls and Pillar Falls in Twin, or the big, open water of the Snake near Heyburn.
Catch a Rainbow
The crystal clear spring waters in Buhl and Hagerman are the ideal condition for raising an Idaho favorite – Rainbow trout. Known as the trout capital of the world, anglers of all ages can get in on the action. The stocked Riley Pond and Oster Lake are situated next to the Hagerman National Hatchery and feature an ADA-accessible pier, fishing bridge, and shoreline. Don’t forget to visit the show ponds at both the state and national hatcheries.
Zip Through the Canyon
Zip the Snake is a fast paced, high flying adventure located in the Snake River Canyon at Centennial Park. During a zip tour, you’ll ride four lines through the canyon while learning about the history, geology, and wildlife in the Snake River Plain. It’s a great option for kids, family reunions, team-building exercises, and other groups — and a great adventure to cross off your bucket list.
Southern Idaho’s rocky, dark canyons are the backdrop for plunging, sparkling waterfalls — thousands of them, from towering showstoppers that demand attention to out-of-the-way treasures. Shoshone Falls is typically at off-peak levels during the summer but is still a pretty stop. For full-flowing action, check out Perrine Coulee Falls, Pillar Falls, Auger Falls, Minnie Miller Springs, Caldron Linn, Niagara Springs, and many more — you can read all about them in our waterfalls guide.
Have a Party Under the Stars
Did you know that Southern Idaho is internationally recognized for its dark skies? Reconnect with the heavens at three star parties this summer and get a guided view of the heavens. Check out the Hagerman Fossil Beds Star Party on June 16, the Pomerelle Mountain Star Party on July 7, and the City of Rocks Star Party on August 10.
Fulfill Your Need For Speed
The Idaho Regatta is three days of the fastest inboard circle boat racing in the United States. Watch competitors from throughout the country converge on the Snake River for intense, thrilling races under the sun. Great for the whole family!
Jump Off a Bridge
Did you know the I.B Perrine Bridge is one of the only places in the United States (maybe the only one!) where anyone can BASE jump? Every year, hundreds of adventurers travel from around the world to fling themselves into the Snake River Canyon in search of the ultimate rush. You can, too, with an experienced professional at Tandem BASE. No experience necessary – strap in and take the plunge. It’s a 486 foot adrenaline fueled drop to the bottom!
See a Rock That Defies Gravity
World-famous Balanced Rock near Castleford is a true Southern Idaho icon. This mushroom-shaped rock measures 48 feet wide at the top and only 3 feet, 17 inches at the base. Thousands of people have climbed up to the rock over the years to take a unique photo or visited the county park for a picnic or overnight camping. This year, up your selfie game with a trip to this uniquely weird Southern Idaho landmark.
Giddy Up and Hit the Rodeo
Southern Idaho is a must-stop destination for pro cowboys. Check out this Western tradition at the Gooding Pro Rodeo, the Cassia County Fair and Rodeo, the Jerome County Fair and Rodeo, the Lincoln County Fair and Rodeo, the Camas County Rodeo, and the Twin Falls County Fair and Magic Valley Stampede.
Camp on a High Mountain
Lake Cleveland and Baumgartner Hot Springs are high — so high that they are only accessible for part of the year. Take advantage of the brief camping window to experience these true gems of the Gem State. Great for hiking, kayaking, fishing and don’t forget your swim suits. Campsites are limited so make sure you snag yours early!