If you think Idaho is predictable and all about potatoes, think again. There’s so much more to learn! From important steps in state history and strange laws to unique milestones and crazy characters, Idaho has a few unique notable events and quirks up its sleeve that will keep you on your toes… just when you thought you had our state figured out!
1. Boise was Idaho's capital before Idaho was even a state.
Boise was officially declared the capital in 1864, but Idaho itself was not granted statehood until 1890.
2. In 1863, Idaho City's population was greater than that of Portland, making it the largest city in the Northwest.
3. With over 107,000 miles of rivers, Idaho has the most waterway miles of any state in the lower 48.
4. The original Idaho territory was a giant rectangle that encompassed a large portion of Montana and Wyoming.
This 1864 map shows the western portion of Idaho before it was whittled down into the unique panhandled shape that we know and love today.
5. The Idaho Capitol building is the only one heated geothermally in the US.
The vast majority of downtown Boise is, actually. Quite the geologic wonder!
6. Coeur d'Alene's floating boardwalk at the CDA Resort is the longest in the world.
This floating dock in downtown is a 3/4 mile jaunt, including a night-lit bridge, seating areas, and even a convenience store over the lake.
7. The first potato was brought to Idaho in 1836 to help the native Nez Perce grow their own food.
While Idaho isn't the birthplace of the potato, missionary Henry Spalding and his wife brought our state's renowned spud over to what is now known as Spalding, Idaho as part of their Northwest travels.
8. Island Park is home to the longest Main Street in the world - 36.8 miles to be exact!
9. Silver Mountain Resort in Silver Valley is home to North America's longest single-stage gondola track.
This 3.1 mile journey from Kellogg to the base of the mountain cost .25 per ride back in 1936.
10. Idaho's state seal is the only one in the country designed by a woman.
Emma Edwards Green submitted her design for the State Seal competition sponsored by the First Legislature of the newly-established State of Idaho. The words, "Esto Perpetua" mean "Let it be perpetual," or, "It is forever," referring to Idaho itself, and the equality symbolized.
11. If you rolled out all of Idaho's mountains, the Gem State would be the largest state in the continental US.
But why would you ever want to flatten these beauties?
12. Idaho's first Ada County sheriff was a wily thief, chased down and hung by locals and authorities.
13. Idaho boasts the second-largest expanse of protected wilderness in the country.
The Frank Church Wilderness covers over 2.3 million acres and includes the renowned "River of No Return," the Salmon River. Only Death Valley in California has more acreage.
14. Not only is Idaho home to the two deepest canyons in the country, it also tops the country in sheer numbers of scenic river canyons.
15. Idaho was the last state in the lower 48 to be explored by European-Americans.
Believe it or not, even Hawaii had trade-interest visitors before the Gem State. Idaho's mountainous landscape rendered exploration a daunting task until well after the formation of the country.
What other uncommon knowledge do you have about Idaho? Be sure to share your trivia tidbits with us! For more interesting facts about the Gem State, check out some of
Idaho’s craziest laws.