From a quick day trip driving a scenic byway to spending six days on a guided river adventure followed by a night out in the city, an Idaho itinerary can be quite different. Taking the road less traveled is a wonderful way to explore the state. Some of Idaho’s 31 scenic byways have historic significance, and others provide access to natural attractions and outdoor recreation. Experience the fresh air of the wilderness as you sweep through the mountains and valleys of Idaho’s vast landscapes.
Be sure to check out Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene for boating and lake adventures, Riggins for whitewater and jet boat fun, and then drive to McCall and Boise for rest, relaxation and fine dining. Indulge in a tour of historic downtown Boise to explore its beer, wine and food scene while learning about the local culture.
Once you’re ready to hit the road, it’s off to Stanley, Sun Valley and Ketchum for some of the best mountain biking, skiing and fly-fishing in the world. Travel to Island Park, Idaho Falls and Lava Hot Springs for camping, hot springs and snowmobiling in the winter.
Into the Wilderness
A gateway to the USA's first national park, Yellowstone, eastern Idaho is also home to the Grand Tetons, more fly-fishing and amazing waterfalls. The communities of Victor and Driggs provide easy access to famed ski resort Jackson Hole and are great locations for geotourism. The Teton Geotourism Center in Driggs helps travelers learn how to experience local culture in the majestic Teton Range.
Travel west to discover Craters of the Moon National Monument, where you can camp and hike in old lava fields. For a change of scenery, drive a little farther to Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park and Public Observatory to explore the dunes and lakes.
Four Seasons of Adrenaline
Idaho claims the most whitewater in the lower 48 states, and it’s easy to book trips on the Main Payette River in Boise or on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Embark on a jet boat tour of the Snake and Salmon rivers and Hells Canyon; you’ll see natural wonders, learn about historic sites and explore the shoreline.
Idaho offers skiing the way it ought to be – on fresh powder, with short lines and under blue skies. Enjoy everything from destination resorts such as Schweitzer, Sun Valley and Brundage to local ski areas, including Lookout Pass, Bogus Basin and Tamarack.
In the Northern Region
North of Coeur d’Alene, Silverwood Theme Park is the largest theme park in the northwest USA. The area also is home to the world’s only floating golf green at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, where a hand-crafted lake shuttle whisks you from the resort to the links.
Consider an outing to Route of the Hiawatha, where you can hike or bike a 24-kilometer rail-to-trail (a shuttle is available for less-adventurous explorers). Nearby, head to the former silver mining town of Wallace and find the manhole cover that proclaims you’re in the “Center of the Universe.”