If you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip adventure, Idaho is where it’s at. This beautiful state boasts a plethora of tourist attractions that are sure to make your trip one to remember.
From stunning natural wonders to unique museums, there’s something for everyone in Idaho. Here are 26 of the best things to do in Idaho that you just can’t miss!
FARRAGUT STATE PARK
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that the whole family can enjoy, head out to Farragut State Park. This beautiful park is perfect for anyone who loves to explore and hike, no matter their ability level.
The Squirrel Cache is a family-friendly loop trail, tapping out as a 1.5-mile hike that begins at Bernard Peak and ends at Shoreline Loop Trail. Along the way, you’ll find a series of checkpoints, where you’ll need to find a metal disc with a number on it. Once you’ve found all of the discs, take your final checkpoint picture and head back to the beginning!
The Bernard Peak/Scout Trail is a moderate hike with a few steep sections. At 16 miles, it is designed for experienced hikers and cyclists. However, the views from the top of Bernard Peak are definitely worth the climb!
The Shoreline Loop Trail is an easy hike that is perfect for families with young children. It’s a 1.5-mile trail that winds along the edge of the park, providing beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. This is a great trail to explore if you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a short nature hike.
Details: 13550 ID-54, Athol, ID 83801 | Website
MASSACRE ROCKS STATE PARK
This state park is named for an event in 1862, when a group of Native Americans, and a wagon train headed west on the Oregon Trail, engaged in a violent conflict. Many of the settlers were killed, but some managed to take refuge on a large rock outcropping. The area became known as Massacre Rocks and was marked by a plaque in 1934.
The park offers opportunities to learn about the Oregon Trail and the history of the United States’ westward expansion. There are interpretive signs along a trail that leads to the top of the rock outcropping. From there, visitors can get a good view of the surrounding area and imagine what it must have been like for the settlers during the attack.
In addition to its historical significance, Massacre Rocks State Park is also a beautiful place to visit. Several trails wind through the park, and visitors can enjoy views of the Snake River and the surrounding mountains.
Details: 3592 W Park St, American Falls, ID 83211 | Website
BRUNEAU DUNES STATE PARK
If you’re looking for a unique hiking experience, Bruneau Dunes State Park is a must-visit. The park is home to unique sand dunes and a 6-mile hiking loop that takes you through some of the most scenic parts of the park. If visiting in the summer months, be aware that the sand dunes can be exceptionally hot!
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, Bruneau Dunes State Park is sure to give you an unforgettable experience.
Details: 27608 Bruneau Sand Dunes Rd, Bruneau, ID 83604 | Website
CRATERS OF THE MOON NATIONAL MONUMENT
Craters of the Moon National Monument was designated on August 24, 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge. The monument covers 1,100 square miles and includes three lava fields. The monument was named for its many craters, which were formed by successive eruptions of basaltic lava flows.
The area has a long history of human use. Paleo-Americans’ occupation dates back more than 10,000 years, and archaeological evidence indicates that people have used the area for hunting, fishing, and gathering for at least 2,000 years. The Northern Paiute people called the area “Mahoguya,” which means “the land of moonlight.”
The Craters of the Moon lava fields are some of the best-preserved in the world and provide an excellent opportunity to study volcanic processes. The monument is also home to a variety of plants and animals, including several rare and endangered species.
Over half a million people visit Craters of the Moon National Monument each year. Popular activities include hiking, picnicking, camping, and observing wildlife. The monument also offers a variety of ranger-led programs, including hikes, talks, and Junior Ranger activities.
Details: 1266 Craters Loop Road, Arco, ID 83213 | Website
Shoshone Falls is located on the Snake River in southern Idaho. The falls are 212 feet high—significantly higher than Niagara Falls—and flow over a rim nearly 1,000 feet wide.
The falls were formed by catastrophic drainage of Glacial Lake Bonneville some 14,500 years ago. The volume of water rushing over the falls was far greater than it is today. The flows initially carved Shoshone Canyon as much as 1,000 feet deep and about 4,500 feet wide. The falls have been receding ever since, as the Snake River gradually cuts back its channel through the canyon.
Shoshone Falls is a major tourist attraction in southern Idaho, drawing as many as 250,000 visitors annually. The falls are also popular for fishing and swimming.
Read More: 20 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN TWIN FALLS, IDAHO
HELLS GATE STATE PARK
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Hells Gate State Park is the perfect place to go. This park is known for its stunning views and Hells Canyon, which is the deepest river gorge in NA (North America).
The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife watching.
MINIDOKA NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Minidoka National Historic Site is a United States National Historic Site located in the Magic Valley region of southern Idaho. The site preserves the Minidoka concentration camp, one of ten internment camps built in the United States during World War II to house Japanese Americans forcibly removed from their homes on the West Coast. The camp was named after the nearby Minidoka River.
Minidoka is one of nine sites preserved by the National Park Service’s World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which was established in 2008 to commemorate the events, people, and places associated with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent war in the Pacific.
Details: 1428 Hunt Rd, Jerome, ID 83338 | Website
CASTLE ROCKS STATE PARK
Castle Rocks State Park is a beautiful park located in Idaho that offers 700 rock climbing routes. The park is also home to some of the most stunning scenery in the state, with tall peaks and rugged cliffs that make for a perfect backdrop to a day of climbing.
Visitors can enjoy camping, fishing, and hiking in addition to rock climbing. There are also several miles of trails that wind through the park, making it the perfect place for a nature hike or trail run.
Details: 748 E Castle Rock Rd, Almo, ID 83312 | Website
The Salmon River is one of the great fly fishing destinations in the United States. The river is home to a large population of wild trout, including cutthroat, rainbow, and bull trout.
The scenery along the river is beautiful, and the fishing is world-class. If you’re looking for a place to fish for trout, the Salmon River should be high on your list.
Details: State Hwy 75, Stanley, ID 83278 | Website
OLD IDAHO STATE PENITENTIARY
The Old Idaho State Penitentiary, located in Boise, is a former prison that was in operation from 1872 to 1973. The prison was notorious for its harsh conditions and treatment of prisoners, and it was closed down after numerous reports of abuse and misconduct by prison staff.
Today, the Old Idaho State Penitentiary is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can tour the cells and prison grounds to learn more about the history of the facility.
Read More: 17 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN BOISE, IDAHO
SAWTOOTH SCENIC BYWAY
The Sawtooth Scenic Byway is a must-see for anyone visiting the state. The byway takes you through some of Idaho’s most stunning scenery, including the Sawtooth National Forest, the Salmon River Mountains, and the Stanley Basin. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
The byway is also a great place to see wildlife, including elk, bighorn sheep, and eagles. Whether you’re looking for a scenic drive or an adventure-filled vacation, the Sawtooth Scenic Byway is sure to please.
SNAKE RIVER CANYON RIM TRAIL
The Snake River Canyon Rim Trail is a beautiful hiking trail that offers stunning views of the Snake River Canyon. The trail is known for its rugged terrain and amazing scenery. The trail winds along the rim of the canyon, and hikers can enjoy incredible views of the river below.
The Snake River Canyon Rim Trail is a fairly challenging hike, and it is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. The trail is 12 miles long, and it features a number of steep climbs and descents. However, the effort is well worth it, as hikers will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the canyon.
Read More: 20 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN TWIN FALLS, IDAHO
BAYHORSE GHOST TOWN
Bayhorse Ghost Town was once a thriving mining community, but now it’s a quiet and desolate place that’s home to nothing but tumbleweeds and ghosts.
The town was founded in the late 1800s when gold was discovered in the area. At its peak, Bayhorse had a population of over 1,000 people. But when the gold ran out, the town quickly emptied out. These days, there’s not much left except for some abandoned buildings and a few scattered pieces of machinery.
Despite its desolate appearance, Bayhorse Ghost Town is a popular tourist destination. Visitors come to explore the old mines and wander through the deserted streets. And if you’re lucky, you might just see a ghost!
Details: Challis, ID 83226 | Website
PERRINE- COULEE FALLS
Perrine-Coulee Falls are part of the Perrine Coulee Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The district includes the falls, the surrounding area, and a number of historic buildings.
The nearly 200-foot falls were created when the Perrine Coulee was dammed in the early 1900s. The resulting reservoir became a popular fishing and swimming spot. The falls were also used to generate electricity for local businesses.
The district includes a number of historic buildings, including the Perrine Bridge, which spans the falls. The bridge was completed in 1954 and is the longest single-span arch bridge in the United States.
MUSEUM OF IDAHO
Visit the Museum of Idaho to learn about the area’s rich history and culture. The Museum of Idaho houses a collection of more than 200,000 objects, including artifacts from the region’s Native American tribes, early settlers, and pioneer families.
You can also view rotating exhibitions of art, science, and history. Additionally, the museum offers a library and archives that are open to the public.
HOT SPRING HEAVEN
There are many hot springs located in Idaho, the most popular of which are Boat Box Hot Springs, Rocky Canyon Hot Springs, and Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs.
Boat Box Hot Springs is a small, but picturesque hot spring that is located near the town of Cascade. The spring is set in a rocky canyon and is accessible by a short hike.
Rocky Canyon Hot Springs is another popular hot spring in Idaho. The spring is located in a canyon and is accessible by a short hike.
Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs is a large hot spring that is located near the city of Boise. The spring is situated on the banks of the Boise River and is a popular spot for swimming and relaxing.
Idaho also has many other lesser-known hot springs, such as Kirkham Hot Springs, Trail Creek Hot Springs and Burgdorf Hot Springs. These hot springs are all located in remote areas and can be difficult to reach. However, they offer a unique and secluded experience for those who are willing to make an effort to find them.
HARRIMAN STATE PARK
Harriman State Park is within the 16,000 acres in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The park is known for its mountain biking trails, Snake River, and Silver Lake Loop. The park is also home to black bears, elk, moose, and deer.
Visitors can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing in the park.
Details: 3489 Green Canyon Rd, Island Park, ID 83429 | Website
IDAHO POTATO MUSEUM
The Idaho Potato Museum celebrates the history and culture of the potato. The museum has exhibits that tell the story of the potato, from its origins in South America to its cultivation in Idaho.
There is also a display of the many different varieties of potatoes, along with information about how potatoes are grown and processed. The museum also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase potato-themed souvenirs!
Details: 130 NW Main St, Blackfoot, ID 83221 | Website
IDAHO STATE MUSEUM
The Idaho State Museum is a state-owned and operated museum located in Boise. The museum houses a variety of exhibits on the history and culture of Idaho, as well as temporary exhibits on various topics. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults.
The Idaho State Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1966. Since then, the museum has undergone several expansions and renovations. Today, the museum occupies a total of four floors of space in the historic Julia Davis Park.
The Idaho State Museum is home to a number of permanent exhibits, including “Idaho: The Land & Its People” and “Pioneer Village”. The museum also features a variety of temporary exhibits, which have included topics such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, the early days of Idaho’s statehood, and the history of the Idaho National Laboratory.
The Idaho State Museum offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults. These programs include guided tours, hands-on activities, lectures, and more. The museum also offers a research library, which is open to the public by appointment.
Read More: 17 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN BOISE, IDAHO
HAGERMAN FOSSIL BEDS
The Hagerman Fossil Beds are a paleontological site known for its abundant fossils, including those of numerous prehistoric animals such as horses, camels, and snakes.
The Hagerman Fossil Beds were first discovered in 1928 by cattle rancher and amateur paleontologist Elmer Cook. Cook unearthed many well-preserved fossils at the site, which led to its designation as a National Monument in 1988. Excavations at the monument have yielded a wealth of information about the animals that once inhabited the region.
The Hagerman Fossil Beds are an important scientific resource and offer visitors a rare glimpse into the past. The monument is open to the public year-round and features a visitor center, museum, and nature trail.
Details: 221 N State St, Hagerman, ID 83332 | Website
BOISE RIVER GREENBELT
The Boise River Greenbelt is a 25-mile long urban greenway that follows the Boise River through the heart of Idaho’s capital city. The greenbelt offers a variety of recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, running, fishing, and birding. It also provides a scenic and peaceful setting for walking and relaxing in nature.
The greenbelt is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and it’s easy to see why!
Read More: 17 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN BOISE, IDAHO
SACAJAWEA HISTORIC BYWAY
Idaho’s Sacajawea Historic Byway tells the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from the perspective of Sacajawea, a Native American woman who served as their guide.
The byway includes the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Education Center, which is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the culture and history of Native Americans in Idaho. The center features exhibits on the life of Sacajawea, as well as on the history and culture of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The byway also offers opportunities to explore the natural beauty of Idaho, with scenic views of mountains, rivers, and forests.
The Sawtooth Mountains are noted for their sawtooth-like peaks, and it is the largest and most rugged part of Idaho. The range extends for approximately 43 miles from north to south, and most of the mountains lie within the lush Boise National Forest.
The range includes more than 40 peaks higher than 10,000 feet above sea level, including several popular targets for climbers and backcountry skiers. Among the highest summits in the Sawtooths are Castle Peak, Mt. Regan, and Mt. Cramer.
The Sawtooth Wilderness Area is the largest wilderness area in Idaho, and one of the largest in the contiguous United States.
Details: 250 Niece Ave, Stanley, ID 83278 | Website
SKI SUN VALLEY RESORT
Sun Valley Resort is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Idaho. It’s one of the most popular ski resorts in North America, and it’s easy to see why. With over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, including beginner, intermediate, and expert trails, there’s something for everyone at Sun Valley Resort.
Be sure to check out other beloved ski spots like Schweitzer Mountain Resort or Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. They offer plenty of stunning scenery and plenty of challenging trails.
For a truly unique ski experience, head to McCall Winter Carnival Ski Resort. This resort is located in the town of McCall, which is known for its annual winter carnival celebration. At McCall Winter Carnival Ski Resort, you’ll find slopes for all levels of skiers and an abundance of family-friendly activities.
No matter where you choose to ski in Idaho, you’re guaranteed an amazing experience. Grab your skis and hit the slopes!
CITY OF ROCKS
City of Rocks is an area in Idaho that is known for its impressive collection of granite boulders. The rocks have been sculpted by wind and water over time, and today they provide a stunning backdrop for hikers, climbers, and photographers.
The City of Rocks National Reserve was established in 1988 to protect the area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Visitors can enjoy over 35 miles of hiking trails, as well as camping, fishing, and birding.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or just a place to relax and take in the views, City of Rocks is definitely worth a visit!
Details: Almo Rd, Almo, ID 83312 | Website
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is home to a variety of landscapes, including geysers, hot springs, and wildlife.
The west entrance to Yellowstone is located in Idaho, near the town of West Yellowstone. This entrance is popular with visitors who are interested in camping and RV-ing, as there are many great campsites and RV parks in the area.
Additionally, the Teton Valley, located on the west slope of the Teton Mountain Range, edges the border of Idaho and Wyoming as well.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO IDAHO
- BOISE: 17 Fantastic Things To Boise, Idaho
- IDAHO FALLS: 18 Things To Do In Idaho Falls Families Will Love
- TWIN FALLS: 20 Amazing Things To Do In Twin Falls, Idaho
- COEUR D’ALENE: 14 Things To Do In Coeur d’Alene Outdoor Enthusiasts Will Love
- HOT SPRINGS IDAHO: 19 Springs You’ve Got To Visit
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