With a variety of seasons with deep winters and warm summers, Idaho also offers a variety of picturesque landscapes that are worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. The fact that “The Gem State” is home to so many stunning and distinctive locations makes it a really exceptional place.
Visit Showshone Falls if you want to see a waterfall that is higher than Niagara Falls. Have a unique rock climbing experience at the City of Rocks National Reserve, the silent city. Or if you’d rather see the stars up close, go to the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.
Given so many options, it might be confusing to narrow down the places to visit, so here is a list of the most beautiful places in Idaho for your The most stunning locations in Idaho are listed below for your convenience..
1. Sawtooth Scenic Byway
The Sawtooth Mountains are commonly the first mountains that come to mind when discussing Idaho’s mountain ranges. It is not easy to forget the way that these towering mountains in south-central Idaho carve out space in the vast sky.
When there is snow covering the peaks of the mountains, the scenery is even more breathtaking. The Sawtooth Scenic Byway, which spans 115 miles, is the most suitable starting point for an excursion into these remarkable mountains.
2. Snake River Canyon
The imposing presence of the powerful Snake River may be felt in the region of Twin Falls, which is located in the southern section of the state. The breathtaking scenery of the Snake River Canyon can be seen on each side of the Perrine Bridge, that stands at a height of around 500 feet.
In 1974, Evil Knievel made an attempt to jump over this canyon, and now, visitors will find the most breathtaking vistas from the south wall of the canyon.
3. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
This national monument in the southern part of Idaho lives up to its ominous moniker. Lava fields, lava tubes, and cinder cones are all remnants of the extensive and active volcanic history that took place at Craters of the Moon.
The hobbies of caving, hiking, taking photographs, and gazing up into the star-studded night sky are some of the most common things to do at this national monument. A campground that has an otherworldly atmosphere can be found within the national monument as well.
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4. Middle Fork of the Salmon River
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is one of the few rivers in the United States that is considered as highly for its visual beauty as does this particular river.
Located within the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Middle Fork attracts tourists from all over the world who come to raft, swim, and experience the natural beauty of the area. Rafters need permits to navigate the treacherous river, and hiring a professional guide is frequently the most convenient method to secure a trip.
5. Bruneau Dunes State Park
This one-of-a-kind state park is located an hour’s drive southeast of Boise and features some of the largest sand dunes in the state. These moving sand mounds are not only fun to explore, but they also make for some amazing photo opportunities. Sandboards are available for hire at the state park, but guests are also free to walk through the enormous sand dunes if they choose.
6. Lake Coeur d’Alene
Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of the largest lakes in northern Idaho, and it has a shoreline that stretches for more than 130 miles. The city of Coeur d’Alene, located on the northern side of this glacially carved lake, is the ideal location from where one can take in the natural splendor of the surrounding landscape. Hiking routes along the waterfront may be found on Tubbs Hill, which visitors can utilize in addition to the well-kept Coeur d’Alene City Park.
Learn more about the best lakes in Idaho you must visit.
7. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
This national recreation area is located in western Idaho, close to the border with Oregon, and it features the United States’ deepest river gorge. The Snake River may be seen cutting its way through the bottom of the canyon when viewed from either of the canyon’s edges.
Hiking and taking photographs are two of the most common things to do in Hells Canyon. However, whitewater rafting across the canyon’s treacherous terrain is the only way to get a true sense of everything Hells Canyon has to offer.
8. Redfish Lake
Redfish Lake, which can be found in the middle of Idaho and is surrounded by some of the state’s most breathtaking scenery, is the largest lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Activities like boating and water sports receive a boost in terms of their aesthetic value from the presence of mountains.
Redfish Lake is also a popular destination for anglers. A number of campgrounds are located along the shore of Redfish Lake for those who wish to stay the night after taking in one of the lake’s breathtaking sunsets.
9. Thousand Springs State Park
The Thousand Springs State Park stretches along the Snake River in the southwestern section of the state and comprises a number of different picturesque locations.
If you wish to take pictures within the park of Malad Gorge, Ritter Island, or the Niagara Springs unit, there is a good probability that you will capture images of water that is moving quickly. Moreover, Billingsley Creek unit is an outstanding location for photographing wild animals.
10. Sun Valley Resort
The skiing at Sun Valley Resort is recognized to be among the best in the world, while the resort itself is open all year long for outdoor recreation. Sun Valley is a popular destination for skiers from all over the world due to its extensive terrain, which includes more than 2,000 acres of skiable land and 18 lifts.
By no means does the enjoyable activity end with the arrival of summer, as the resort is at a convenient location for mountain activities such as horseback riding and hiking in the surrounding mountains.
11. City of Rocks National Reserve
The City of Rocks National Reserve is located in the southeastern section of the state, close to Utah, and it features a massive collection of granite boulders.
In addition to being a popular destination for rock climbers, hikers, and anybody else who appreciates wide-open spaces, City of Rocks is an excellent location for taking photographs. The Flaming Rock Trail and a number of other well-established paths wind their way through the entirety of the region.
12. The Palouse
The Palouse region can be found in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, and it is characterized by its unique beauty in comparison to the rest of the state. A dream come true for photographers, the landscape of the area features undulating hills and beautiful sunsets.
The Palouse region, which is known for its agriculture and, in particular, its production of soft, white winter wheat, features a changing palette of colors with each passing season.
13. Shoshone Falls
Shoshone Falls is regarded as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Idaho and is located on the Snake River, which passes through the city of Twin Falls.
This waterfall, which is 900 feet wide and has a flow that is greatest in the spring, is sometimes referred to as the “Niagara of the West.” At Shoshone Falls, there are numerous observation platforms, allowing visitors to experience the waterfall from a variety of perspectives.
14. Payette Lake
Payette Lake is a glacier-filled body of water that is located about two hours north of Boise, close to McCall. The lake covers about 5,000 acres. Boating, fishing, and taking quick dips in Payette Lake’s chilly water are among the most popular things to do at the lake. The eastern shore is encircled by Ponderosa State Park, which offers a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and viewing stunning sunsets.
15. Idaho Falls River Walk
With cascading water features and decorative landscaping, this public space stands out as the most beautiful spot in the city. A great place to bring a camera, or perhaps a date, as each season brings new colors to the Idaho Falls River Walk.
16. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
The Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument preserves fossils that date back over 3.5 million years and were formed throughout that time. You can visit this location, which is one of the amazing ancient monuments Idaho has to offer.
It is particularly well-known for the fossils of Hagerman horses that may be found in the Hagerman Horse Quarry. Many people believe that a zebra and a horse from our present day were responsible for the offspring of the Hagerman horse. The fossils discovered here constitute the most extensive collection of Hagerman horse fossils to be found anywhere else in North America.
17. Perrine Memorial Bridge
If Ira Burton Perrine had not conceived of the idea to construct a dam on the Snake River, Twin Falls would have remained a desert outpost rather than the thriving city that it has become in recent decades.
During your time in the city, you absolutely must make it a point to pay respect to his work by walking across the Perrine Memorial Bridge. In addition to its historical significance, the fact that this arch bridge is the fourth highest in the United States is a remarkable achievement in engineering.
All of these beautiful places with the best views are really what makes Idaho a beautiful state. So no matter which place you decide to visit, you’ll be able to have a special experience.