There’s so much to do in Idaho that an “Ultimate Idaho Bucket List” could fill an entire book! There’s always new things to see and new places to be explored. With so many unique adventures, it’s pretty hard for any Idahoan to get bored. The amount of things to do in the Gem State can keep you busy for a lifetime, but these 20 items are a pretty good place to start.
1. Watch as many films as you can at the Sun Valley Film Festival.
The annual Sun Valley Film Festival takes place in Ketchum, Idaho and attracts film lovers from all over the globe. You might be sore at the end of the festival from so much sitting, but it will be worth it!
2. Soak in a natural hot spring!
Idaho has one of the highest concentration of natural hot springs in the country. Wherever you live in the Gem State, a soak in one of these amazing pools is just a short drive away.
3. Brave the depths of one of Idaho's ice caves.
4. Go on an adventure in the Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness.
The largest wilderness area in the country is right here in Idaho and of course it is home to some of the finest hiking trails you can come across. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the Gem State and you're not a true Idahoan until you experience it firsthand!
5. Explore an old silver mine.
Idaho is chock full of old mining towns and therefore old mines, a lot of which are actually open to the general public for tours. Mining is a huge part of our state's history and walking through these historic landmarks is quite remarkable.
6. Climb to the peak of Mt. Borah (or simply look at it).
At 12, 662 feet, Mt. Borah is famously the highest peak in Idaho. A lot of people brave the hike up the mountain for the absolutely breathtaking view at the top. However, if that sounds a little too extreme for you, just looking up at it is pretty cool, too!
7. Photograph the Palouse.
is hands down some of the most stunning scenery in the entire country. Miles and miles (4,000 square miles, in fact) of gorgeous rolling hills stretch for as long as the eye can see. The Palouse is a must-see for anyone.
8. Visit the stunning Shoshone Falls.
is one of the most popular destinations in Idaho, and for good reason. These majestic falls are incredibly impressive...some would say even more impressive than the East's Niagara Falls. They're even 45 feet taller!
9. Eat some Huckleberry ice cream (or huckleberry flavored anything).
Huckleberries...We love them in pies, ice cream, jam, and straight from the bush! Idahoan's love for huckleberries is very real.
10. Take a bike ride on the Route of the Hiawatha.
The Route of the Hiawatha
is one of the most scenic hiking and biking trails in the country! The trail takes you through old train tunnels, over towering trestles, and through the most incredible forest landscape you've ever seen.
11. Chow down on some Idaho style finger steaks.
Finger steaks are famously an "Only Idaho" thing. Just try to explain to an out-of-stater just how delicious these little fried pieces of beauty are.
12. See the geyser at Soda Springs.
The largest man-tamed geyser is located in Soda Springs, Idaho and reaches up to 100 feet in the air. The geyser is one of the most unusual roadside attractions in Idaho and is regulated to erupt every hour on the hour.
13. Get locked up at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary.
If you grew up in Boise, you most likely visited the Old Pen on a school field trip. However, trips to one of the spookiest spots in Idaho never get old and you haven't experienced "Haunted Idaho" until you've visited it!
14. Watch BASE jumpers off of the Perrine Bridge (or participate yourself).
The Perrine Bridge towers over the incredible Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho. This 1,500 foot long bridge is a popular spot for BASE jumpers to parachute down to the canyon floor.
15. Visit the City of Rocks.
The absolutely incredible City of Rocks is one of Idaho's most unique geologic wonders. This National Reserve is full of thousands of humongous boulders, making it a perfect spot for rock climbers. However, a simple hike through the area is just as stunning!
16. Go to Bear Lake State Park and see some of the bluest water in the world!
Bear Lake, also called "The Caribbean of the Rockies", is a little slice of the tropical life in southeastern Idaho. The unbelievably blue waters are mesmerizing and unlike any other lake in the state.
17. Visit one of Idaho's many ghost towns.
Idaho's ghost towns are numerous. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these towns are eerie reminders of what Idaho used to look like. These towns are the perfect (and cheap) activity that anybody can enjoy!
18. Float a river, any river!
As all Idahoans know, the only thing that can cool you down on a scorching arid day is to float down one of Idaho's many rivers. It doesn't matter which one, there's a lot of them....107,651 miles worth of rivers to be exact!
19. Visit the deepest gorge in North America.
The deepest river gorge in the entire country isn't the Grand Canyon, but Idaho's Hells Canyon. The canyon is easily one of our state's most glorious wonders, and should be viewed in person by everyone.
20. Go horseback riding.
Idaho has a plethora of
horseback riding tours
, and it's one of the most unique ways of experiencing all of our state's beauty up close and personal.