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Places Welcoming You

A map indicating a route through Idaho

Visitors to Idaho will discover towering waterfalls, fish-rich rivers and lakes, and out-of-this-world landscapes that dazzle the eye. Outdoor enthusiasts can tackle inspiring terrain, whether hiking and biking during the warm months or skiing in the winter. Naturalists are drawn to volcanic fields, rolling hills and unusual geologic formations that cement Idaho’s reputation as a truly spectacular vacation destination.

1) Boise

Starting Point

The Boise Foothills that rise above the state capital are the perfect playgrounds for hikers, with 190 miles of paths in the Ridge to River System.  Explore the natural environments of the public lands that the trails connect along the banks of the Boise River, perfect for hikers, bikers or horseback riders.  And after working up a sweat, head into town for a cold one.  With more than 20 breweries from which to choose, the city welcomes outdoor enthusiasts who are happy to celebrate their endeavors of endurance with a toast.

A man casts a fishing line into the water with two rafts moored on the shore nearby.

Karl Weatherly/Getty Images

2) Twin Falls

Drive 128 miles • 2 hours, 1 minute

Renowned as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is a dramatic, 200-foot drop of the Snake River.  Best viewed in Spring with runoff from winter snows, the falls may almost dry up in late summer, as crops are irrigated and upstream reservoirs are recharged. But just a mile upstream lies Dierkes Lake, where consistent water levels present the perfect year-round environment for fishing, swimming and hiking.

A couple strolls on a trail leading to a rock outcropping.

Melissa Kopka/Getty Images

3) Craters of the Moon National Monument

Drive 109 miles, 1 hour, 56 minutes

Venture into an otherworldly land of lava beds, cinder cones and caves that seem transplanted from a science fiction film. To early explorers, these features resembled the face of the moon, and Craters of the Moon lives up to its namesake, as most of its acreage is barren and dry, highlighted by three different lava flows.  Visitors will marvel at the tree molds, created when lava engulfed forests. Hike in a lava tube and await the next eruption, possibly within the next 100 years. And just down the road near Arco lies the world’s first nuclear breeder reactor, decommissioned and ready for its closeup for tour groups.