From the summits of our scenic mountains to the plunging, crystal-clear waters of our lakes here in Idaho, it’s no secret that our state has some of the most diverse and tantalizing scenery in the country. In addition to our most recognizable landscapes like the Sawtooths and the Boise skyline, here are 11 mind-blowing places that truly define and capture the true beauty of our state:
Distinctly vibrant with its rolling hills and colorful deciduous trees, Idaho's Palouse region extends into Washington but boasts a personality all of its own. Here, you'll find towering cedar groves, expansive wheat fields, and all the scenic backdrops you could possibly hope for.
2. Sun Valley
Idaho's renowned ski resort area, the towering face of Bald Mountain overlooking the Wood River Valley is the classic view of this Idaho getaway.
3. The Snake River
The lifeblood of Southern Idaho, the Snake River meanders over 1,078 miles as a main river, and thousands more through its tributaries, feeding the economies and ecosystems of Idaho's high desert while also preserving the soaring canyons of its ancient waters. Here, you'll find dozens of waterfalls -- including the vast Shoshone Falls -- as well as a unexpectedly lush desert oases.
Idaho's one and only metropolitan area and beautiful state capital, Boise's scenic setting nestled inside the foothills is what continuously draws visitors -- that and its namesake 'City of Trees' landscape.
5. Camas Prairie
Surprisingly marshy, the high water table of Idaho's midwest blesses the region with thousands of acres of vibrant wildflowers and colorful mountain views in the distance.
6. Grand Tetons
While shared with Wyoming, the majestic Teton Mountains stretch stunningly across Eastern Idaho's horizon, creating a distinct view from that of Jackson Hole on the other side.
7. Priest Lake
Renowned for its pristine lakes, Idaho's Panhandle is a cool, woodsy escape from the mundane grind of urban life with no shortage of places to escape into the forested mountains.
8. Sawtooth Mountains
Tucked away near the untouched Frank Church Wilderness, the wild and rugged Sawtooth Mountains are Idaho's pride and joy. This young mountain range is beloved for its rocky crags and untamed peaks.
9. Salmon River
Wild and scenic and running through much of Central Idaho's most pristine forest wilderness, the Salmon River is the untamed symbol of Idaho recreation and adventure.
10. Tubbs Hill
The favorite viewing point for Coeur d'Alene as a hub of Northern Idaho, Tubbs Hill showcases the beauty of Idaho's upper half as a blissful waterfront retreat, as well as a woodsy valley region.
11. Stanley Lake
Cathy Nash Wilson
Perhaps the most quintessential view of Central Idaho alongside Redfish Lake, Stanley Lake is a beautiful, unchanged oasis that highlights the soaring Sawtooths with its perfect, mirrorlike surface.
Wonderfully diverse, these places capture the heart of Idaho — although no list could ever fully manage that! To truly see Idaho’s beauty firsthand in all of its various forms, exploration is key, starting with a drive down
these scenic country roads for a memorable, rural adventure.