As the year winds down, but winter continues to toss out frigid temps and gray skies, it can seem like the colors and vibrant beauty of the year’s seasons are long gone. But while the bright, festive magic of the holidays may be winding down as well, now might be the perfect time to remember all of the natural wonders and spectacular sights that make Idaho such a picturesque slice of heaven, even amidst the monochromatic hues of winter.
Here are some of our favorite photos that showcase Idaho at its best, boldest, and most colorful throughout the year– just a little
somethin’ somethin‘ to remind you that Mother Nature is a spectacular artist, and that the magic of color can be found at any time of year and in the most unexpected places.
Every spring, Idaho's foothills and meadows are awash with vibrant wildflowers that rise and fall like a colorful patchwork quilt. Fairfield is especially known for its high desert Lupine blossoms, which flower just before summer hits and transform the valley into a stunning sea of color.
2. Bear Lake
Bear Lake is well known for its bold aquamarine hue, created by its unique mineral content.
Fall in Boise is a magical treat for those who take a walk downtown, by the river, or through any one of the capital's dozens of city parks to enjoy it. The thick landscaping that earned Boise its title, "The City of Trees" puts on a vibrant, fiery robe of oranges, reds that is more lovely than anything you'll find on the red carpet.
4. Island Park
This unique tiny town near West Yellowstone is quite the geologic marvel, no matter the season. But this particular shot of Henry's Fork really captures the crisp vitality of the river, and the rocky, tree-lined beauty that this region has come to be known for. But believe me, this view looks just as spectacular come winter.
5. The Owyhee Canyonlands
The vivid reds of the Owyhee Mountains and Canyonlands are spectacular in their own right. But toss in a perfect sunset--completely unobstructed by light pollution--and you have Mother Nature in her most natural state.
6. Pettit Lake
Truth be told, every alpine lake tucked within the rocky folds of the Sawtooths is as pristine and colorful as they come. But this capture of Pettit Lake really shows off the jewel tones that are often associated with this glacial beauties, in addition to their renowned clarity.
7. Teton Valley
The "Quiet Side of the Tetons" may not be the face of these border mountains that Yellowstone visitors are familiar with, but we're pretty proud of them. And catching a sunrise here is never a bad idea.
8. Payette Lake
The crowning jewel of McCall and its surrounding communities is the delightful expanse of Payette Lake, which boasts some rather spectacular colors in winter especially as it transforms into an icy wonderland. Combine that with the vibrant hues of a winter sunset and you have a magical getaway that will easily become your new favorite.
9. Lochsa River
The Lochsa River is an overlooked Idaho gem that boasts refreshing color that is unique to this north-central region. The colorful wildflowers combine with the dense, woodsy greens of the trees and rippling crystalline waters to make an idyllic place to spend a summers day.
10. Sawtooth Lake
Another, more treasured escape in the Sawtooths is captured in all of its spring glory. Fresh out of winter and with the greenery at its peak, Sawtooth Lake is a perfect place to take a day trip!
11. Arrowrock Reservoir
This urban reservoir may not seem like a winning place to find some of Idaho's best colors, but the top of this historic dam is definitely an ideal place to catch a sunset.
12. Tubbs Hill
Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene tops a number of our lists for seemingly endless reasons. As you hike this urban trail, you'll find the path marked with stunning displays of wildflowers, towering evergreens, and contrasted by the sparkling beauty of the titular lake that has made this city such a fantastic getaway.
13. Priest Lake State Park
The wonders of Idaho's northernmost lake never fail to amaze. Catch a sunrise, catch a sunset, or simply gaze out over the crystal-clear water and enjoy the picturesque beauty. This far north, everything is in its purest, most colorful form year-round.
14. St. Joe River
The St. Joe may have earned its "shadowy" nickname, but take a closer look and you'll see just how lush the dense greenery around the water is--how seemingly impenetrable by sunlight. Yet, as the light reflects off of the water, it lights up the foliage in the best way.
15. Beauty Bay
For all of the beauty found in Idaho year-round, winter isn't as grey and dull here as others may think. Bright blues, crisp lavenders, gentle whites... And what better place to showcase it than Beauty Bay?
But of course, we can’t forget Idaho’s colorful sunsets and sunrises too! What colorful scene or natural spectacle in Idaho is your personal favorite?