Traveling in Idaho
Idaho is a large state in the American northwest, mostly dominated by the rocky mountains and high altitude deserts. Since a third of all potato products in the United States come from Idaho, it is often nicknamed the Potato State. Most people outside of Idaho don’t seem to know too much else about it, but I can tell you there is a lot more than just potatoes! As most of the state is made of up rural wilderness, including the largest wilderness in the continental United States, Idaho is one of the best places in the country for true adventures. Lots of unique and endangered animals that have gone extinct in other parts of the country have a safe refuge within Idaho. Large predatory animals such as grizzly and black bears, wolves, mountain lions and even wolverines are still found in abundant numbers. Most of Idaho is populated by farms and small charming towns with Idaho’s capital of Boise taking the honor of being the only true city.
Idaho’s capital of Boise is also the state’s only large city with a population of about 150,000 people. Boise’s economy was once heavily based on potatoes, but today Boise is recognized as a city growing in the high tech industry. Even though Boise is a relatively small city in terms of population, there is a lot do here. The city has several districts for great restaurants and bars, excellent museums and art galleries, and is even known for its horse races. Idaho has one of the densest populations of raptors in the world, so one of the most unique places to visit in Boise is the World Center Birds of Prey.
With countless mountain ranges within its borders, Idaho has plenty of interesting hiking and climbing terrain. The highest mountain is known as Borah peak within the Lost River range and tops out at 12,662 feet (3,859 meters). For those interested in reaching the summit, you can expect a challenging and steep trail, which switches to some very exposed scrambling just short of the summit.
The Sawtooth Wilderness is a hidden gem in central Idaho. It’s known for having some of the cleanest air within the lower 48 states, multiple hot springs, an abundance of wildlife, and of course with more than 50 peaks that top 10,000 feet (3,000 meters),some incredible mountain scenery.
The south eastern part of the state is home to the city of Twin Falls. Once a dry landscape other than the Snake River passing through, the original town of Eagle Rock was mostly a rest stop for settlers heading further west. During the 1800’s the town changed its name to Idaho Falls, and converted the dry land into rich green farmland after building the largest irrigation canal in the world. Today Idaho Falls is the largest city in the eastern part of the state, and is a great place to go four-wheeling or dirt bike riding.