Although it is often overlooked and underrated, Idaho really does live up to its nickname the Gem State. Home to some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the nation, it is remarkably criss-crossed by 114 mountain ranges with striking landscapes, scenery and nature and small towns and cities tucked here and there.
Part of the Pacific Northwest region, it is wedged between Washington and Oregon to the west and Montana and Wyoming to the east. To the south are Nevada and Utah with the state also sharing a short border with Canada. Impressively enough, more than a third of its territory is protected as part of national and state parks that preserve both its pristine wilderness and the many moose, grizzly bears and wolves that inhabit them.
As the north of Idaho is mostly home to the Rocky Mountains, ravines and rapids, the vast majority of the population live down south in the Snake River Plain. Here you’ll find the largest city and state capital Boise with the attractive Idaho Falls and lively college town of Pocatello also attracting lots of visitors.
While they are well worth checking out for a day or two, most people visit Idaho for its astounding scenery and excellent outdoor activities. As well as the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, it boasts the otherworldly landscapes of Craters of the Moon National Monument and the remarkable formations of the City of Rocks National Reserve.
Aside from hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing about its magnificent mountains and forests, visitors can go skiing at Sandpoint and Sun Valley, explore the atmospheric Custer Ghost Town or venture along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.