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Top 10 Places to Visit in Idaho

Sun Valley
Photograph by Greg L. Wright, via Wikimedia Commons

#1 Sun Valley

Sun Valley is a popular resort city located at 5,920 feet. It is known for alpine ski area and slopes on Bald and Dollar mountains. Bald Mountain is the primary ski mountain of the Sun Valley ski resort with runs ranging from beginner to expert. Dollar Mountain is for beginner and lower intermediate skiers with beginner-friendly slopes, chairlifts, and treeless rails. Things to do at the resort includes skiing, ice skating, sleigh rides, hiking, biking, golf, and fly fishing.

Photograph by Lordchadwick79, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 Boise

Located on the Boise River, Boise is the capital city of Idaho state. It is one of the city known as Treasure Valley along with Nampa and Meridian. Boise is home to the largest Basque community in the United States. Basque Block in downtown is known as Boise's Basque heritage. Downtown Boise is home to many attractions including Idaho State Capitol, Egyptian Theatre, Boise Art Museum, and Zoo Boise. The city is popular tourist attraction for winter activities at Bogus Basin ski area. Places to visit and things to do include Old Idaho Penitentiary Site, Boise River Greenbelt, State Capitol, Idaho Botanical Garden, Julia Davis Park, and Bogus Basin.

Idaho Falls
Photograph by Natecation, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls is a Eastern Idaho popular city known for its proximity to Craters of the Moon, Harriman State Park, and Yellowstone National Park. The city offers many attractions and family things to do. The scenic River Walk featuring art installations and trails along the Snake River is one of the top attraction. Historic downtown is home to many top places to visit including Museum of Idaho, Colonial Theatre, Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, and Japanese Friendship Garden. Craters of the Moon National Monument located west of Idaho Falls is known for its lava fields and giant craters. Outdoor things to do include water skiing, white water rafting, and fly fishing along the Snake River.

Shoshone Falls
Photograph by Frank Schulenburg, via Wikimedia Commons

#4 Shoshone Falls

Known as the "Niagara of the West", Shoshone Falls is a popular attraction of Twin Falls. The waterfall on the Snake River is 212 feet high and flows 1,000 feet wide. It the largest waterfalls surpassing the height of the Niagara Falls. Shoshone Falls Park at the south bank of the Snake River offers overlook and trails along the south rim of the Snake River Canyon. The vehicle fee to access the park is $5 per car.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Photograph by Fredlyfish4, via Wikimedia Commons

#5 Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Located in central Idaho, Sawtooth National Recreation Area is known for its mountainous scenery. The recreation area is part of Sawtooth National Forest and it includes the Sawtooth Wilderness. The area is popular for spectacular scenery and vistas with over 700 miles of trails, 40 peaks rising over 10,000 feet and 300-plus high-elevation alpine lakes. Castle Peak at 11,815 ft is the highest point in the park. Recreation activities include hiking, backpacking, White water rafting, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, and hunting.

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Photograph by National Park Service, via Wikimedia Commons

#6 Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is located in south-central Idaho between Boise and Yellowstone National Park. The monument and preserve covers lava fields and miles of sagebrush steppe grasslands. Though it can be access by paved road, the large area of rugged landscape of the monument is remote and undeveloped. The area includes more than 25 volcanic cone and 60 distinct solidified lava flows. 7-mile Loop Road from Robert Limbert Visitor Center offers sightseeing along the road including Caves Trail, Devil's Orchard Nature Trail, Spatter Cones, Tree Molds & Broken Top Loop, and Inferno Cone.

Coeur d'Alene
Photograph by Antony-22, via Wikimedia Commons

#7 Coeur d'Alene

Coeur d'Alene is a popular scenic city in northwest Idaho. The city offers many recreational activities on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Coeur d'Alene Resort located in downtown is a 216 feet luxury resort hotel and prime attraction of the city. Nearby ski resorts Silver Mountain Resort, Lookout Pass Ski, and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort offers winter recreation. Other places to visit and things to do include McEuen Park, Museum of North Idaho, Tubbs Hill Drive, and North Idaho Centennial Trail.

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
Photograph by X-Weinzar, via Wikimedia Commons

#8 Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area located on the borders of Oregon and Idaho is part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The larger part of the area lies in northeastern Oregon while smaller portions lie in western Idaho. Hells Canyon is popular for scenic vistas, spectacular mountain peaks, and whitewater boating. The recreation area includes miles of hiking trails and campgrounds. Idaho side includes recreation sites and trails that are away from the Wild and Scenic Snake River in the Idaho uplands. Recreation activities include hiking, camping, fishing, horse riding, and nature viewing.

Bruneau Dunes State Park
Photograph by Steve Spring, via Wikimedia Commons

#9 Bruneau Dunes State Park

Bruneau Dunes State Park is known for the tallest sand dune in North America with a peak rising 470 feet. Located northeast of Bruneau, the park features sand dunes and lakes. Sandboarding is the most popular activity of the state park. Sand boards are available for rent at the Visitors Center. The park also includes Bruneau Dunes Observatory for stargazing. Other recreation activities include hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, and bird watching.

Photograph Flickr by Alvin Feng, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Sandpoint

Sandpoint is popular tourist destination known for surrounding mountain ranges and Lake Pend Oreille. Sandpoint lies on the shores of 43 mile long Lake Pend Oreille. Known as "Most Beautiful Small Town", Sandpoint is surrounded by three major mountain ranges, the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges. The city is home to Idaho's largest ski resort Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It is favorite place to visit for outdoor recreation activities including water sports, skiing, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.

Best State Parks to Visit in Idaho