Idaho May 10, 2020
9 Idaho Natural Wonders You Need To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List For 2020
With summer quickly approaching, you’ve probably been thinking about what Idaho adventures you should take on next. With so many great natural attractions to choose from, it can be a tough decision! That’s why we gathered this list of nine Idaho natural wonders that should definitely be on your outdoor bucket list. From turquoise lakes to bizarre geologic formations, there’s bound to be a few destinations that pique your interest. Take a look and be sure to add them to your bucket list.
1. Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars, Nordman
Witness the stunning grandeur of ancient cedar trees that are believed to be up to 2,000-years-old when you visit Roosevelt Grove in North Idaho. Hiding approximately 13 miles north of Nordman, the trees in this grove can be up to 12-feet in diameter and 150-feet tall. Seeing these beauties with your own eyes is definitely something to experience!
2. City of Rocks National Reserve, Almo
Boasting 14,407 acres of beautiful rock formations in all shapes and sizes, the City of Rocks National Reserve offers up endless backcountry adventure. From camping and hiking to mountain biking and rock climbing, there's something for all explorers at this outstanding park. Comprised of granite pinnacles, fins, and domes, the landscape at the City of Rocks is unlike anything you've seen before.
3. Bruneau Dunes State Park, Bruneau
Home to the tallest freestanding sand dunes in North America, Bruneau Dunes State Park is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. Park visitors can explore the surrounding trails, climb the dunes, or even slide down them on a sandboard—available to rent at the visitor center. The park also boasts Idaho's only public observatory, which regularly offers group stargazing opportunities.
4. Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
Did you know that the largest federally managed wilderness area in the United States outside of Alaska is right here in the Gem State? The Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness is composed of a vast 2.367 million acres, and seeing some of it should be on every Idahoan's bucket list. Make it your goal to discover some of the area's rugged mountains, canyons, and whitewater rivers.
5. Balanced Rock Park, Buhl
Located just south of Buhl is one of the strangest sights in all of Idaho: Balanced Rock. Standing at 48-feet-tall and weighing 40 tons, this behemoth of a rock formation is famously perched on a pedestal only 3-feet by 17-inches. If you have yet to capture a picture of this iconic Idaho wonder, make sure this is the year that you do!
6. Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint
Idaho's largest lake is truly a sight to see. At 43-miles long and boasting 111-miles of shorelines, this big blue body of water in Bonner and Kootenai counties will take your breath away. The majority of this lake's shoreline is non-populated, so plan your next wild adventure at this stunning lake in the Idaho Panhandle.
7. Upper Mesa Falls, Ashton
Shoshone Falls may be known as the "Niagara of the West", but there's something to be said for the lesser-known Upper Mesa Falls in eastern Idaho. This stunning waterfall resembles a 10-story-tall curtain of cascading water and it's a view you won't be able to take your eyes off of. And don't forget to check out Lower Mesa Falls a mile down the river.
8. Bear Lake, St. Charles
We may share half of Bear Lake with Utah but it's still one of the finest sights in the Gem State. The natural freshwater lake boasts the most spectacular turquoise-blue water, earning it the nickname of "the Caribbean of the Rockies." There's no better spot for a beach day in Idaho, so plan an adventure to this lake in the state's southeastern corner soon.
9. Craters of the Moon National Monument, Arco
Last but not least is the fantastic Craters of the Moon National Monument. The park's bizarre volcanic landscape can be explored by numerous hiking trails, a scenic loop drive, and by snowshoe or skis in the winter. Take the Caves Trail to see four of the park's five impressive lava tubes. It's the type of landscape you simply have to see to believe, so make 2020 the year you finally see it.
How many of these outdoor bucket list destinations have you already seen? Is there anything you would add? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.