When you think of Idaho, what do you think of? Most people say potatoes, but we know what it truly is; a gem. There are hidden gems all over Idaho that only few know of! So…why is Idaho the Gem State?

1. The Nature is Crazy

Phantom Falls, South Hills, Hike, Waterfall

There is almost every form of nature you could imagine in Idaho. Mountains, volcanos, hot springs, aquifers, waterfalls, canyons, sand dunes, and more. In Southern Idaho alone, you can drive 30 minutes in every direction and see a 500 foot canyon, multiple blue water oasis’s, mountains, lava tunnels and ice caves.  Not only is there this diverse nature but also the area is well known for its agriculture. Most of these stunning places are only accessed by driving through fields of farmland. 

2. Every Season brings a New Activity 


Due to the high desert climate the winters are pretty mild in Southern Idaho. Although the valley doesn’t get much snow, the mountains do within an hour of driving. This means there are 3 ski resorts within a short driving distance from Twin Falls! Twin Falls, Burley, Hagerman and Rupert allow you to hike all winter long, generally in little to no snow. Kayak for Christmas, ring in the new year soaking in hot springs and celebrate Valentine’s Day hiking around a lake. 


Summer is warm, but truly lasts from May until September. You can get those adventures in early, and extend your summer to make the most of it. In the middle of summer be prepared for high temps, but none that can’t be fixed by a river adventure! There are tons of kayaking and paddle boarding options to stay cool, plus some hikes that lead to natural swimming pools. 

Fall & Spring

Fall and Spring are the perfect times to visit. Spring brings waterfalls and wildflowers, fall brings vibrant orange and yellow landscapes. Every spring the waterfalls, like Shoshone Falls, come to life! The 212 foot waterfall rushes over the edge of the Snake River Canyon, during high water it’s so much so that you’ll probably get a little wet standing on the platform! In the fall we recommend driving the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway, taking a cruise through the South Hills, and driving up to hot springs through Fairfield and the Soldier Mountains. 

3. Blue Water

Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve, Swimming, Blue Water, Hagerman, IDaho

Southern Idaho is infamous for its crystal clear, aqua blue water. These springs are scattered around the region and can be accessed usually by foot or boat. One of our favorites is Box Canyon. The State Park is located in the Hagerman Valley where many other blue water pools are located. The parking lot is right next to the overlook of Box Canyon, and there is a 2 mile hike that leads past a waterfall and another blue water pool. Drive the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway to see clear waterfalls falling from the canyon’s edges and other blue water spots. 

4. Volcanos 

Black Magic Slot Canyon, Shoshone Idaho, Lincoln County

Fun Fact: Southern Idaho used to be where Yellowstone was located! This means there were dozens of active volcanoes all around the region. One of the most famous lava fields is Craters of the Moon. The landscape is bizarre and truly makes you feel as though you’re not on earth anymore. The park has a lot of hiking and cave viewing available. There are more caves in Shoshone called Shoshone Ice Cave and Mammoth Cave. Both of these lava tunnels have boardwalks to explore the cave. Shoshone Ice Caves is a guided tour. Also near Shoshone is Black Magic Canyon. This is a very unique black slot canyon – generally only accessible in the fall and winter. 

5. Amazing Local Businesses

Downtown Twin Falls Shopping and Dining, Brass Monkey, Twin Falls Sandwich Company, Slice, Yellow Brick Cafe

There are tons of local business spread throughout the Magic Valley, and a lot of those are located in a community’s downtown. Downtown Twin Falls alone has multiple breweries, tons of shopping, and delicious restaurants. The restaurants vary with American, Mexican, Indian, and others. A couple we recommend are Koto Brewing and Saffron Indian Cuisine. Local shops that have wonderful souvenirs are Perrine Man Press and Rudy’s A Cook’s Paradise. New businesses are popping up here and there including a new distillery and more retail shops! Also, be sure to check out Rupert’s downtown. Its historic square shape boasts a community park at the center and the west’s largest quilting shop, The Gathering Place. Or head to Buhl for an array of antique shops and cute bistros.