Plenty of Outdoor Fun on One Tank in Idaho

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August 26, 2009

One thing’s for sure: there’s a lot more to Idaho than just potatoes. The Gem State’s land mass stretches from Canada to the Nevada border and within those boundaries exists virtually every type of terrain. You’ll find rolling green hills, tree-covered mountains, and clear, unspoiled lakes in the north. The central section holds vast ranges of jagged peaks to be conquered by adventurous climbers. The southern part of the state offers unobstructed views of open vistas and developed farmland. If you’re in the market for a down-to-earth vacation escape, Idaho may be just what you’re looking for. Try this One Tank RV Trip from Woodall’s to get a sampling of the state’s diverse scenery and outdoor fun.

Start your trip in Boise, a metropolitan capital city that manages to retain a hometown charm. Browse through the antique shops, enjoy the green parks, catch a play at the local community theater, or tour the art galleries and museums. Several highly-rated golf courses are available in and around Boise, and there are ample opportunities to go rock climbing in the nearby mountains. Check out the view of the area during a hot air balloon ride! This popular and unusual sightseeing experience is offered by several outfitters in town.

Heading north on Highway 55, you’ll enjoy a journey through Idaho’s beautiful countryside on the Payette River Scenic Byway. This leg of the trip runs a little less than a hundred miles, and you can pull over to stretch your legs in the town of McCall. Originally a logging town, McCall is now the featured destination for skiers and snowboarders from all around. There are plenty of places to pull over and hook up the RV, which makes McCall a cool place to spend a couple of days.

If you plan your trip in late January or early February, you can enjoy the 10-day Winter Carnival, which draws artists and winter sports fans with its trademark wacky showmanship exhibitions. The spring and summer are fine seasons to enjoy water activities on nearby Payette Lake; boating and water-skiing are among the most popular pursuits, but the local wilderness trails also beckon those who enjoy a good day hike.

golf-course-and-boise-idaho-skyline-backed-by-mountainsThe Payette River is a must-stop spot for those with a taste for whitewater rafting. The rivers in the area have been rated class III and IV, which are for the experienced adrenaline seeker, but calmer runs for beginners are available as well. You may want to go with an experienced rafting outfitter, such as Idaho Whitewater Unlimited.

Leaving McCall via Highway 55 north, you soon merge with the northbound Highway 95, traveling for 160 miles until you arrive at the final stop of Lewiston. The city rests at the union of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, and was named after explorer Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark fame. There are several places in town devoted to the legendary expedition; be sure to stop by the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts and History and retrace the expedition’s route on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

In case you didn’t get enough, there’s more whitewater adventuring down the Snake River in Lewiston. Spend an afternoon on the river at Hells Gate State Park, where you can take a jet boat tour down to Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. The Hells Canyon Dam is a massive feat of engineering that straddles the Idaho-Oregon border and provides spectacular panoramic views.

Loon_Lake-mccall-idahoFrom Lewiston you can head east on Highway 12 to explore the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, retracing the route used by Lewis & Clark during their expedition in 1805. The Nez Perce National Historic Park, one of the stops along the way, is also worth a look to learn about the native peoples that have lived in this region for thousands of years. In fact, this Scenic Byway passes through the Nez Perce Indian Reservation for 60 miles. You can even camp for the nigth on the reservation at Clearwater Crossing RV Park in the town of Orofino.

For those of you who enjoy the rugged outdoors, Idaho is a perfect destination. Many visitors return year after year, but in a different season, just to enjoy the many varied experiences this undiscovered vacation paradise has to offer. Once you’ve visited, you may be tempted to do the same!

Where to Stay: McCall RV Resort in McCall is a great place to stay for the night (or two) while you explore the area. In Lewiston you can camp at Hells Gate State Park. Boise boasts several quality RV parks to choose from: Hi Valley RV Park, Mountain View RV Park and Boise Meridian RV Resort are just a few to get you started planning your trip!

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