Idaho Travel Guide

Idaho. Where's that? Most people, even if they've heard of us, don't quite know where we are. Idaho is located in the mountain west, bordered by Washington and Oregon on the west; Nevada and Utah to the south; Wyoming and Montana to the east, and Canada to the north. Idaho is the 13th largest state in land mass, with almost 84,000 square miles. We are proud that a large percentage of that land is designated and protected wilderness, and that our state population is pretty low for such a large place: only slightly over a million inhabitants. Human ones, that is.

Idaho was originally settled by the Shoshoni and Nez Perce tribes. Lewis and Clark's famous expedition in 1805 brought the first European descendants to this area. Fur traders came to hunt the abundant animals for their fur. Then miners came in hopes of making it rich by extracting some of the state's 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones, plus gold and silver. (That's how we got the nickname, the Gem State.) When pioneers pushed west, Idaho was part of the Oregon Trail, and of course, some folks just stayed here instead of going all the way to Oregon. The ruts from the many hundreds of covered wagons are still visible on the sage covered landscape, and you can still follow parts of the Oregon Trail today.

Prior to visiting, many people imagine Idaho as a wild west place where cowboys and Indians are still fighting. Or they imagine a state covered in potatoes. Or perhaps the wacky place where they have that blue football turf. To some extent, these stereotypes are true: Idaho has more wilderness than any other state except Alaska, but it is hardly the wild west, and never really was. While we're known for those "famous Idaho potatoes," Idaho is a large agricultural state, with a huge variety of  crops and livestock. And yes, the blue turf of the Boise State Bronco football team is iconic.

Idaho is known for its white water, wild rivers, with more river mileage than any other state: 3,100 miles. We are also known for some of the highest, most rugged mountains in the country. The highest peak is Mt. Borah, at 12,662 feet. Lewiston is the lowest point in the state at 738 feet, and operates as an inland sea port. A little odd, but it works.

Idaho's history also includes the logging industry, as well as the related paper mill industry. Today, the state also is headquarters to Micron Technology, a major branch of HP, Simplot Companies, and Washington Group International, once known as Morrison Knudsen, the engineering firm that designed the Hoover Dam.

Boise is the largest city in Idaho, set in the valley between the Owyhee range and the the foothills of the Boise National Forest. It is also the capital of Idaho.

More than anything, Idahoans love the outdoors, whether it's white water river rafting, hunting, camping, skiing, hiking, running, or zip lining through the treetops, Idaho residents and visitors gorge on the fresh air and abundant space to commune with nature. Environmentalists exist side by side with hunters and snowmobilers, all aiming to use natural resources sustainably and wisely.

Where to Go in Idaho



expert pick

500 North Main Street

Luxury in the mountains of Idaho

Nexstage Theatre

expert pick

120 Main Street South

Shakespeare and More

a tavola

expert pick

1515 W Grove St

Deli, bakery, and take out all in one

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

expert pick

520 South 9th Street

Great Summer Outdoor Theater

© 2020   ·   Facebook   ·   Contact Us   ·   Privacy Policy   ·   Terms & Conditions