Idaho February 01, 2018
8 Inexpensive Road Trip Destinations In Idaho That Won’t Break The Bank
Here in Idaho, you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to have a good time. In fact, most of our state’s most wonderful attractions are either extremely cheap or completely free. All they cost is the gas money it takes to get there. If you’ve been thinking about taking a weekend trip sometime soon, consider these 8 inexpensive road trip destinations.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Thousand Springs State Park
Thousands Springs is one of Idaho's most enchanting state parks. Located in the southern region of the state, the park contains six different units to explore. The park is like a massive playground with abundant recreational opportunities. Kayaking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and wildlife viewing areas can be found in the park. The view of the springs pumping out thousands of gallons of water is well worth the drive to this amazing park. There is a $5 entrance fee per vehicle.
2. Bruneau Sand Dunes
Idaho is home to all sorts of bizarre landscapes, including the desolate but stunning Bruneau Sand Dunes. Spend the afternoon sliding down the massive dunes or simply explore them by foot. Book one of the nearby campsites for an epic camping experience that can't be paralleled. The park also contains an observatory which is the perfect way to take advantage of the area's incredibly dark skies. There is a $5 entrance fee per vehicle.
3. Shoshone Ice Caves
Located off the highway in Shoshone is one of Idaho's most unique roadside attractions. Take a tour of the underground Shoshone Ice Caves which are downright awe-inspiring in their size. Underneath the bizarre lava landscape is a 1,000-foot long lava tube which maintains a chilly temperature even during the hottest days of summer. Considered the largest cave in the world that's open to the public, this is a sight that every Idahoan should see. Admission is only $10 for adults and $6 for children.
4. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
There's a reason the Idaho state fossil is the Hagerman Horse and you can learn all about it at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. This area actually contains the largest concentration of Hagerman Horse fossils in North America. The area itself is absolutely stunning. Stroll through the park where you can actually observe wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail days. There is no entrance fee to the Visitor Center or monument.
5. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
Located on the border between Oregon and Idaho, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is one of the most dramatic landscapes in the state. Featuring the deepest gorge in North America (the canyon is even deeper than the Grand Canyon), the area encompasses 652,488 acres of pristine beauty. Whether you're here for just a few hours or an entire weekend, you'll definitely be glad you saw this incredible region in person.
6. Old Mission State Park
Located near Coeur d'Alene, this state park is one of Idaho's most unknown hidden gems. The park itself features the beautiful Cataldo Mission which is the oldest building in the state. There is a small fee of $5 per person or $10 per family to tour the mission, but it's worth it. Despite being built in 1850, the building is still one of the most beautiful you've ever seen. Afterwards you can take a leisurely stroll through the family-friendly park to observe wildlife and the area's natural beauty.
Located in the state's panhandle region, Wallace is one of Idaho's most historic towns. Despite being a small town, there are plenty of things to do and places to explore. Hike the famous
Pulaski Tunnel trail
, tour the
Sierra Silver Mine
, or stand at
the Center of the Universe
. This historic town is full of unique activities that are all relatively cheap.
8. Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
Tucked behind the Selkirk Mountains, the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge provides 2,774 acres of utter beauty. The refuge is home to dozens of wildlife species including bears, elk, otters, bald eagles, and more. Located just outside of Bonners Ferry, there's something almost spiritual about this serene landscape. The refuge is a paradise for photographers, bird watchers, fishermen, and hunters. Take advantage of one of their scenic hiking trails or the 4.5 mile auto tour route.
Have you been to any of these awesome destinations? Be sure to check out this list of
20 Things Everyone In Idaho Does At Least Once for more great trip ideas.