Fall is an amazing time to explore Idaho’s natural beauty. It’s during this time of year that something pretty magical happens to the Gem State’s landscape—the leaves begin to change, the air becomes crisp, and everything becomes a little more vivid. We compiled a list of ten destinations that make up some of the most beautiful fall destinations in Idaho. Don’t miss out on what the season has to offer and start thinking of which ones you’d like to visit in the upcoming weeks!
A hot spot of summer activities and tourism, visiting Stanley in the autumn allows for a quieter adventure among the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains. Hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing are all made a little more exciting with the arrival of stunning fall colors across the paradise that is the Sawtooth Valley.
2. City of Rocks National Reserve
Almo, Idaho is immersed in vivid shades of autumn as the temperatures start to cool from summer. A great way to experience this fall beauty for yourself is by taking on the City of Rocks Backcountry Byway. Taking you past the neighboring parks of City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park, you'll be treated to amazing fall scenery combined with the towering monoliths of these unique parks.
Autumn is a spectacular time to visit the beautiful North Idaho city of Sandpoint. Located along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, visitors can enjoy all of the same activities of summer with a brilliant backdrop of fall scenery. With campgrounds and trails less crowded, you can enjoy this lakeside oasis all to yourself.
Considering Boise's most popular nickname is "The City of Trees", you can bet the fall scenery is simply magical in Idaho's capital city. Summer may be over, but this city is livelier than ever with an abundance of fall festivities, outdoor recreation, football games, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and so much more.
5. The Palouse
One of Idaho's most stunning natural wonders, The Palouse region consists of gorgeous rolling farmland that seems to go on forever. In the spring and summer, the landscape is lush and green. In fall, The Palouse transforms into endless fields of gold. It's not the type of fall scenery that first comes to mind when you think of autumn, but it's absolutely breathtaking.
6. The Boise River
We know Boise is already featured on the list, but the Boise River deserves an entry all of its own. After all, there's no better time to take advantage of this prime fly-fishing destination. Lined with deciduous trees, fall at the Boise River is a spectacular sight as the leaves change colors. Flowing right through Idaho's largest metropolitan area, this river is like an autumnal oasis in our own backyard.
7. Sun Valley
There's something extraordinary about fall in the Sun Valley area. Whether it's the vibrant scenery or the feeling of the crisp mountain air, this beautiful mountain town somehow becomes even more incredible in the fall season. Plan a visit to enjoy the town's fall festivities, fly fishing, and dining and nightlife.
8. Palisades Reservoir
Straddling the Idaho-Wyoming border, Palisades Reservoir is a scenic body of water that is best-known for its fishing opportunities. During autumn, you can experience some of the state's most majestic fall foliage with a drive around the reservoir. With colorful mountains on one side and the reservoir on the other, you'll be completely immersed in the area's fall beauty.
9. Shoshone Falls
Autumn is typically a low-time for the brilliant Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho. If you want to see a healthy flow, we recommend visiting in spring or early summer. However, this waterfall still has plenty to offer as the cascade slows to a trickle. Fall's beauty transforms the Snake River Canyon, and the cooler temperatures are ideal for exploring this eye-popping landscape!
10. Swan Valley
Located near the East Idaho community of Swan Valley, the South Fork of the Snake River becomes totally surrounded by vibrant fall foliage during this time of year. We recommend seeking out the incredible
Fall Creek Falls
, a waterfall on the banks of the river that offers visitors an extraordinary sight in autumn.
What other beautiful fall destinations would you add to this list? Please let us know in the comments below what you would add! Fall in Idaho just can’t be beaten.
Fill out a nomination form for the fall attractions you love most, and you may see them featured here soon!