It seems nearly impossible to make a list of the most beautiful places in all of Idaho. If we were to really include every unimaginably beautiful landscape that Idaho has to offer, this list would be simply too long. There’s so many amazing places to see here in the Gem State, and the ten on this list are places you absolutely must visit. Here are the then most picturesque spots in Idaho. How many have you been to?
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. Bear Lake
With its incredibly turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Bear Lake doesn't resemble any other lake in Idaho. The "Caribbean of the Rockies" resembles a little piece of tropic paradise right here in Idaho. Located on the Idaho and Utah border, this lake is 109 square miles of idyllic waters perfect for boating, fishing, swimming, and more!
Stanley, Idaho may have just a miniature population of only 63 people but it's long been recognized as one of the most scenic places in the state (if not the country). This little town is a recreational paradise. Located on the banks of the Salmon River, this place is surrounded by pristine, unspoiled Idaho backcountry. The town's western-like atmosphere is part of the charm of this quaint community. The best part of Stanley, though? That fresh mountain air!
3. Thousand Springs
Thousand Springs is a massive state park near Hagerman, Idaho with several units to explore including Malad Gorge, Box Canyon Springs, Ritter Island, Crystal Springs, and Niagara Springs. The majestic view of massive amounts of water cascading down the face of the cliff will surely leave you in awe.
4. Sawtooth Wilderness
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is one of the most epic wilderness areas in Idaho. It's 217,000 acres of pure, all nature backcountry wilderness. It includes approximately 300 lakes and 40 wilderness trails tucked away in an expansive forest of fir, spruce, and pine trees. It's one of the most incredible landscapes in the state, and is the perfect place for your next adventure.
5. Snake River
At 1,078 miles, the Snake River is one of the largest North American rivers to empty into the Pacific Ocean (and the Columbia River's largest tributary). Idaho is home to hundreds of impressive rivers, but the Snake is by far one of the most scenic. The sight of it flowing through the deepest gorge in country, the intimidating Hells Canyon, is something to be marveled at.
6. Redfish Lake
Located just five miles south of the aforementioned Stanley, Idaho is one of the most popular lakes in Idaho. Redfish Lake is simply stunning, making it the perfect vacation spot for many all year long. Completely surrounded by dense forest with the sight of Mount Heyburn and Grand Mogul in the background...it doesn't get much better than this!
7. Table Rock
You don't have to be in the middle of nowhere to witness an incredible view. Table Rock, located right outside of downtown Boise, is a popular hike among locals. The short but intense foothills hike leads you to a flat top area which offers up an iconic view of the city below. This is the perfect spot to watch one of Idaho's famous, breathtaking sunsets!
8. The Palouse
The Palouse region in northern Idaho isn't just one of the most spectacular landscapes in the state but one of the most unique, as well. The Palouse is a 4,000 square mile region that is covered in beautiful rolling hills. These hills were not created in the traditional way via rivers and streams, but were actually formed by wind-blown silt. The sight of these enchanting green hills going on for as long as the eye can see is a sight that must be witnessed.
9. City Of Rocks
In Malta, Idaho is an incredible region of Idaho that looks like it came from another world. The City of Rocks is a majestic region comprised of unique geologic formations. Here you can enjoy 22 miles of meandering hiking trails among enormous granite formations. You can't help but feel humbled as you find yourself surrounded by these immense geologic structures.
10. Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Just east of Mountain Home in southern Idaho is a unique landscape that erupts into beauty just once a year.The incredibly fertile soil makes this region a hot spot for agricultural activity. But the true magic of the prairie comes to life every May and June, when the area is totally blanketed by deep purple Camas flowers. The sight of thousands of these gorgeous flowers is sure to leave you breathless and is something that must be experienced.
How many of these gorgeous Idaho landscapes have you personally witnessed? Is there anywhere that you would add to this list?