Bordering six states and one country, Idaho is a large and diverse state in the Pacific Northwest that offers visitors and locals plenty of indoor activities and epic outdoor adventures.
With tons of natural hot springs, hundreds (if not thousands!) of popular hikes, unique geological formations, and easy access to numerous national parks and forests, Idaho is the place to visit this year!
Living in Eastern Washington, Berty and I have been frequently visiting Idaho for over a decade. It’s a place where our family goes camping annually, road trips seasonally, and even plans day trips!
Whether you’re a PNW native or are just visiting, we’ve got you covered with all the best things to do in Idaho, organized by region.
The 50 Best Things To Do In Idaho
Quick Facts About Idaho State
- The capital city is Boise, Idaho.
- The population of Idaho is 1.75 million people.
- Over 60% of Idaho is public land! That’s 32,635,835 acres for the public to enjoy and explore.
- The Idaho state bird is a mountain bluebird.
- The deepest river gorge is in Idaho – Hells Canyon. It’s 7,993 feet deep, and that’s deeper than the Grand Canyon! (6,000 ft)
Want more cool information? See more fun facts about Idaho here!
When Is The Best Time To Visit Idaho?
It is always a good time to visit Idaho!
Each season brings its own unique spin on activities, outdoor adventures, and epic Idaho road trips.
We definitely recommend visiting Idaho in different seasons to experience the best of these unique of the year.
Here’s what you can expect in each season:
Idaho’s springs are lovely and warm. You can expect to see lots of wildflowers, blue skies, and the beginnings of spring outdoor activities (especially golfing, fishing, hiking, and biking). The average spring temperature in Idaho is 48ºF.
In the summer, Idaho is usually hot and dry, with an average temperature of 85ºF. Typical summer activities in Idaho are swimming at the lake, hiking, boating, and fishing.
Fall in Idaho is stunning, with the changing of the western larches in the mountain regions and cooler (but still warm) weather that’s perfect for a picnic, hike, or adventure. The average temperature in Idaho’s fall months is 60ºF.
In the winter, Idaho is cold (average temperature of 33ºF) and snowy (average of 47 inches per year!). Depending on where you visit, you probably will encounter snow–especially in Northern Idaho or in the mountains. What makes Idaho so wonderful, however, is that the state is known for its skiing and you can usually reach epic hot springs during the winter!
How Do I Get To Idaho State? And How Do I Get Around?
The easiest and most convenient way to travel to Idaho is by flying into Boise, Idaho. The main airport is Boise Airport (BOI), which serves over 1.5 million passengers per year.
If you’d like to explore the north part of the state (commonly referred to as the “Panhandle”), we recommend flying into the Spokane International Airport in Washington. (GEG). From there, you can rent a car and take a quick drive east (30 minutes) to the Washington/Idaho border. The closest Idaho city to this airport is Coeur d’Alene Idaho.
For getting around the state, we recommend renting a car and driving to your Idaho destinations. Our personal favorite is RentalCars.com. It allows you to compare rental prices from tons of different sites, so you know you’re getting the best deal!
Things to do in NORTHERN Idaho
There is so much to love about North Idaho! Commonly referred to as the “Panhandle”, this part of Idaho is known for its dense forest, gorgeous lakes, and tons of opportunities for adventure!
Things we love about north Idaho: smaller towns, hiking adventures, horseback riding, boating, and camping by the lake!
1. Stay At A Fire Lookout in Fernwood, Idaho
One of the most unique Airbnbs in Idaho isn’t a cabin…or a house…it’s a fire lookout! This bright red escape is open year-round and available for rent by adventurous couples.
This fire lookout has one bed, provides plenty of firewood, local coffee, fun Idaho-inspired reads, and 360-degree views of the surrounding forest.
We’ve written an in-depth guide to Crystal Peak Lookout with more photos of the interior, and well as covering a complete winter experience if you want to know more about this magical place.
Each season brings a unique experience, so come back again to see it covered in snow or even blooming with wildflowers!
Read More: A Snowy Weekend At Crystal Peak Lookout
2. Go Glamping In A Yurt
Why go regular camping when you can stay in your very own yurt? There are so many amazing places to go glamping in Idaho, and yurts are just the beginning.
Yurts are easily rented through the Idaho State Department of Recreation site. There are many to choose from, all the way from backcountry yurts, to easily accessible ones in campgrounds.
If you are just beginning to try camping, we definitely recommend staying in a yurt! It’s a great way to ease into the camping lifestyle.
3. Soak In The Views at Hells Canyon
Did you know Hells Canyon is actually the deepest canyon in North America – deeper than the Grand Canyon? At 7,993 feet from the highest point of the Seven Devil’s Mountain, Hells Canyon is full of adventure!
Spend some time driving the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, which crosses the border into Eastern Oregon. For some history about the area, visit the Hells Canyon Dam in Council, Idaho.
4. Explore Scenic Hiking Trails at Tubbs Hill
Hiking Tubbs Hill is one of the best things to do in Coeur d’Alene, pretty much all year long!
Come in the summertime to find private coves for swimming, or search for some iconic cliff jumping spots. No matter what your reason for coming, stay to watch the sunset and have a picnic!
5. Enjoy the Downtown Scene at Coeur d’Alene
For the perfect combination of outdoor adventure, great coffee, and ample lakefront to enjoy, don’t skip out on Coeur d’Alene!
This beautiful getaway town is the perfect place to spend a few days enjoying the water. Kayaking, boating, fishing, and parasailing are just the icing on the cake – you can even golf on a private island on the lake!
During your Idaho road trip, Coeur d’Alene is the perfect place to stay for a few days to enjoy the surrounding area. Don’t forget to check out the downtown boardwalk by the Coeur d’Alene Resort!
6. Kayak, Canoe or Paddleboard on Priest Lake
Priest Lake is one of the most popular lake destinations in North Idaho. The lake is huge – nearly 20 miles long with tons of boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities.
For a unique adventure, paddle down the thoroughfare to upper Priest Lake. Upper Priest Lake doesn’t have any lakeside real estate, which makes it a wilderness haven that is quiet and serene. There are several boat-in campsites to reserve, and plenty of beachfront to enjoy a beach picnic.
7. Take A Scenic Drive Through Lewiston, Idaho
Lewiston, Idaho is often referred to as the LC Valley, which combines Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA in the same region.
It’s known for its dry, arid climate, with rolling hills of wheat, wine, and plenty of sunshine. It is also close to the Palouse Scenic Byway, a 200+ mile route that winds through photogenic viewpoints and charming small towns.
Lewiston is famous for its boating activities on the Snake River, especially in the summertime. Lewiston is also a great growing region for grapes, which makes wineries and vineyards in abundance here!
8. Discover A Piece Of Idaho’s History In Wallace, Idaho
Wallace, Idaho is a historic mountain town located in the Panhandle of Idaho. It’s located in the Silver Valley mining district, which at one time in history produced more silver than anywhere else in the United States!
Wallace is also a nearby access point to the extremely popular biking trail, The Route To The Hiawatha (more on that a little later). With a population of less than 1,000, this tiny town boasts a lot of friendly locals, historic charm, and access to tons of North Idaho adventure.
Things To Do In Wallace Idaho:
- Spots The Center of The Universe Plaque, located in the middle of Bank Street and 6th in downtown Wallace.
- Hike The Pulaski Tunnel Trail: A 3.5-mile out and back trail with interpretive signs sharing the story of a mining rescue and giant area wildfire.
- Take a tour of The Wallace District Mining Museum.
Read More: The Ultimate North Idaho Road Trip Itinerary (7-Days In The Idaho Panhandle!)
9. Relax By The Lake in Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint, Idaho is the largest city in Bonners County, Idaho. It’s known for its recreational opportunities, downtown shopping district, and gorgeous lake access.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in North Idaho, Sandpoint has lots of options. From luxury lakefront hotels to gorgeous and secluded cabins, look no further than for your next relaxing getaway!
In the wintertime, Sandpoint acts as a great home base for mountain adventures at Schweitzer Mountain and Silver Mountain Ski Area.
Other Things To Do In Sandpoint, Idaho:
- Go boating on the Lake Pend Oreille
- Bring a picnic To Sandpoint City Beach Park
- Spend a week finding your inner cowboy/cowgirl at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
- Meet friends for coffee at Evans Brothers
10. Silverwood Theme Park
Location: 27843 North Highway 95, Athol, Idaho 83801
Silverwood Theme Park is the state’s major theme park – and the largest in the Northwest!
Located 50 miles north of Coeur d’Alene, this park boasts 0ver 400 acres of rides, including a train that takes visitors around the entire perimeter of the park. Other popular rides in Silverwood are the Corkscrew, Timber Terror, Aftershock, and the Panic Plunge.
Silverwood and Boulder Beach are included in one ticket, which means you get a theme park AND a water park all in one! Don’t forget to bring your suit and come with your friends on a hot summer day!
Autumn Bonus: Love getting scared? Then you must make a visit to Silverwood Theme Park during the month of October. They convert the entire park into a haunted spook-fest, all-inclusive with zombie employees who stalk you around the park. Oh, and did we mention they switch the roller coasters to all run backward during Scarywood?
11. The Route To The Hiawatha Bike Trail
Ticket and Bike Pickup Location: I-90 Exit 0, Mullan, ID 83846
The Hiawatha bike trail is one of the best things to do in Idaho during the summertime! Riding your bike up in the mountains is the perfect way to cool off, get immersed in nature, and enjoy time with friends and family. My family tries to get out here at least once every summer to enjoy the trail!
This historic Hiawatha Route is 15 miles long at a gradual decline. Along the route, you’ll cross under 10 train tunnels and ride over 7 train trestles. At the end of the trail, hop on the shuttle that will take you back to the starting point!
One of the highlights of the trip is passing through Saint Paul Pass Tunnel. Not only does it cross the border from Montana back into Idaho, but it’s also 1.66 miles long! Headlamps are absolutely required!
Make sure to grab your tickets at the Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area, located on Interstate 90 on Exit 0 for Montana. Tickets as of August 2019 are $12 per adult with your own bike. Bike rentals are available starting at $33.00.
Make It A Road Trip! Read the Ultimate 1-Week North Idaho Road Trip Itinerary
12. Zip Lining + Tree Adventures
With dense forest covering much of the Idaho Panhandle, what better way to experience it than zipping through the trees? There are several ways to get your adrenaline pumping, but no better way to do it than several feet off the ground!
Here are some of our favorite zipline courses in Idaho:
Timberline Adventures is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. With 7 world-class zip lines, sky bridges, and auto-belays, this tour brings you zipping through some of the most exciting adventures near Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Zip Timberline has a lot of customizable tours, from half-day adventures to lunch tours, and even s’mores roasting one too! With a convenient location in downtown CDA, they pick you up, drop you off, and set up everything for a seamless tour.
Tree To Tree Idaho
Tree To Tree Adventure Park in Athol, Idaho is a fun and interactive way to experience the Farragut State Park area of North Idaho. They have several color-coded courses to fit your skill (and adrenaline!) levels, with some courses being up to 40 feet off the ground!
Tree To Tree Idaho uses advanced technology for adventure courses – magnetic harness secures that are virtually impossible to release mid-course, so you always know you’re safe and sound in the air.
12. Hike To Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in the Clearwater National Forest is one of the coolest natural hot springs in Idaho, as it has numerous riverside pools to soak in, has a beautiful hike to the pools, and can be accessed year-round!
You can access the day use area of Jerry Johnson Hot Springs from 6AM to 8PM, and hike to the springs from the parking lot for 1.3 miles on the Warm Springs Trail.
Be sure to follow natural hot springs etiquette while visiting this popular site to keep the space safe and clean for future visitors!
Things to do in SOUTHWEST Idaho
Southwest Idaho is home to deep canyons, EPIC hot springs, backcountry camping, and even sand dunes! Boise, Idaho is a perfect launching pad for outdoor adventure, but the city is also an excellent place to explore as well!
Things We Love About Southwest Idaho: The city of Boise, Idaho wineries, white water rafting, relaxing hot springs, sand dunes, and canyons!
14. Take a Food Tour Of Boise, Idaho
Boise Idaho is home to some EXCELLENT food options! From handmade donuts at Guru Donuts to Wild West-themed restaurants like Diablo & Sons Saloon, there’s something for everyone in the city.
The food in Boise, Idaho is known for its locally sourced ingredients, including local meats, grains, and even wine! If you’re looking for things to do in Boise, Idaho, make sure eating at epic restaurants is at the top of your priority list!
Here are some of our favorite restaurants and bars in Boise, Idaho:
- Diablo & Sons Saloon
- Java Downtown
- The District Coffeehouse
- Westside Drive-In
- Basque Market For Lunch
- Big City Coffee & Cafe
15. Ride Your Bike On The Greenbelt in Downtown Boise
The Boise River Greenbelt is a 25 mile stretch of city park along the Boise River. It’s extremely popular for bike riders (many commuters use it as an alternate route to the main streets!) and a great place for wildlife viewing, views of the river, and good ol’ park fun.
Don’t have a bike? No problem! Many of the hotels in downtown Boise come with complimentary bike rentals and many city bikes for rent scattered across the city. We got our free use bikes from our hotel, the Inn at 500 Capitol. We were so happy to take an afternoon and ride around the park!
16. Go Rafting On The Payette River
One of the most thrilling activities to do in Idaho is going whitewater rafting on their many rivers!
The most popular rivers to take an Idaho rafting trip would be on the Payette River and the Salmon River. We’ve personally taken an awesome tour with Cascade Raft & Kayak, and we’ve heard really great things about Western River Expeditions.
River rafting is a fun way to get out on the water and have a fun Idaho adventure! And a warning: you will get wet.
17. Escape To McCall, Idaho
Nestled up next to Payette Lake is the resort town of McCall, Idaho. In the summertime, this place is bustling with boaters, hikers, and people escaping for a weekend trip from Boise.
This town is great to visit all year long, but our favorite time of year to visit McCall is in the winter season. Come in January/February to enjoy the McCall Winter Carnival!
During this time, you can see professional ice sculptures all around town, including ones at the top of Brundage Mountain! Spend all day skiing, and come back to town and enjoy dinner with friends and their several cozy restaurants on the main strip.
18. Soak In Kirkham Hot Springs
Kirkham Hot Springs is a popular soak for adventure seekers because it is very close to Boise, Idaho! Just a two-hour drive from the city will bring you to this geothermal pool located on the Payette River. With 10 pools of varying sizes and temperatures, it’s a great place to spread out and relax.
Hot Springs Tip: Make sure to bring an extra garbage bag to pick up trash on your way out. This will help keep these beautiful areas clean and set a higher standard for the next visitors!
Read More: What To Expect at Kirkham Hot Springs
19. Relax At The Springs in Idaho City
The Springs in Idaho City is a luxury hot springs resort and spa tucked away near the Boise National Forest. It’s highly recommended to reserve your spot online, as they limit the number of guests per day to foster a sense of serenity and quiet in the pools.
The best feature of this resort (in our opinion!) is the private pools available for reservation. And when we say private, we really mean private!
If you order drinks poolside, the service people deliver your items via a revolving door so you don’t see anyone during your time in the pools. The Springs Mountain Resort in Idaho City also offers massages, a steam room, meal service, and even an Inn nearby if you want to stay longer!
If you are planning to do some Nordic skiing, backcountry camping, snowshoeing, or other amazing winter activities in Idaho, we highly suggest booking a day at this spa after your adventures!
20. Experience Gold Fork Hot Springs
Gold Fork Hot Springs is another beautiful Idaho hot spring to explore in Southwest Idaho.
Here, there are a series of cascading pools, a large communal one, and even a piping hot mini tub called “The Lobster Pot”! This place is a great backcountry escape – the closest town is 30 minutes away in Cascade, Idaho.
Trip Tip: This place is cash only, so come with extra bills!
21. Play At Bruneau Sand Dunes
Bruneau Dunes State Park is a unique part of Southwest Idaho. It’s home to the largest single structured sand dune in North America, reaching just below 500 feet high. You can even sandboard down the slopes!
This park is famous for its many stargazing and telescope viewing opportunities. It’s currently meeting the requirements to become an official Dark Sky Park, which means updating outdoor lighting to facilitate proper night viewing, as well as educating the local community.
Come and bring your telescope, tripod and camera for an amazing night under the stars in Idaho.
Read More: 11 Incredible Places To See In The Inland Northwest
22. Soak At Trail Creek Hot Springs
Trail Creek Hot Springs (Also called Samuel’s Hot Springs) is located about a 30-minute drive east of Cascade, Idaho in the Boise National Forest.
A small forest road turnout and a quick trail down to the creek will lead you to this gorgeous set of pools along the creek’s edge.
The pools are continually fed with fresh hot spring water, and a small PVC pipe was installed to feed the pools with cool river water. This allows you to adjust the pool’s temperature to your liking!
Idaho hot springs are a rare treasure, so make sure to pack out your trash, and consider picking up any extra left behind on your way out too.
23. Stay Overnight At Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf Hot Springs is a backcountry oasis, perfect to escape the busyness of modern life.
With no electricity, no running water, and rustic cabins for overnight stays, this is one of the more unique Idaho hot springs you can enjoy here in Southwest Idaho!
For day soaking, guests must reserve a 2-hour slot here. Walk-ins used to be common, but not anymore! Now reservations are required!
Overnight cabin guests get 24-hour access to the pools!
Located just an hour north of McCall, Idaho this is a fun and easy way to spend a day in the Payette National Forest.
Note: Burgdorf requires access via snowmobile in the winter months. Click here to learn more about how to reach Burgdorf in the winter!
Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Burgdorf Hot Springs In Idaho
24. The Snake River Valley AVA
The Snake River Valley AVA is an incredibly unique section of Idaho’s wine-growing region.
It’s known for its high desert elevation, which produces drastic temperature changes during the year. This brings a unique take on Pacific Northwest wines and makes Idaho a popular destination for viticulturists and sommeliers alike.
We recommend checking out Bitner Vineyards for their beautiful orchards, and Koenig Vineyards for their gorgeous tasting room!
Read More: How To Spend An Incredible Day In Boise’s Wine Country
25. Book One Of The Epic Idaho City Yurts For A Winter Backpacking Trip
One of the most fun things to do in Idaho in winter requires an adventurous drive from Boise into the Boise National Forest.
Just 1.5 hours away from the city brings you to groomed snow trails that lead to 6 backcountry yurts. They are available for rent year-round (read all about how to snag one here!) and you can spend a gorgeous night under the stars while keeping warm around a wood-burning stove.
This is truly a one-of-a-kind Idaho winter experience. Make sure to book your stay a few months in advance – reservations fill up very fast!
Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Backcountry Yurt Camping In Idaho
26. Explore The Boise National Forest
With over 115 named mountain ranges in Idaho, including the Bitterroot, Sawtooth, Selkirk, Smoky, and Teton Mountain Ranges (Teton Valley), Idaho is known for its outdoor mountain adventures.
In the summer, hiking/backpacking, biking, camping, and climbing are some of the most popular activities across the long state of Idaho.
In the winter, Nordic, backcountry, and downhill skiing are particularly popular, especially in Sun Valley!
Be sure to check out the Idaho snowshoeing trails as well–they’re terrific!
Some of our Favorite Sno-Park Areas in Idaho:
- Priest Lake State Park (North Idaho)
- Farragut State Park (North Idaho)
- Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s (North Idaho)
- Winchester State Park (North Idaho)
- Lake Cascade State Park (Southwest Idaho)
- Round Lake State Park (North Idaho)
- City of Rocks State Park (South Idaho)
- Castle Rocks State Park (South Idaho)
- Ashton to Tetonia Trail (Southeast Idaho)
- Ponderosa State Park (Southwest Idaho)
- Harriman State Park (Southeastern Idaho)
Read More: 22 Incredible Things To Do During Winter In Idaho
27. Pine Flats Hot Springs
Pine Flats Hot Springs is located near the towns of Garden Valley and Lowman, just south of the McCall area and an hour’s drive north of Boise.
This is an exciting Idaho hot spring to visit because it’s located on the edge of a cliffside! Day soakers can park in the Pine Flats campground lot ($5 cash day-use fee) and make the short 10-minute walk to the cliff’s edge.
From here, you can explore the several rock-walled pools, varying in sizes and temperatures. Venture to the farthest pool (accessible only when river levels are low) to experience the largest one with a tall, majestic waterfall feeding the pool below.
Things To Do In CENTRAL Idaho
28. Craters Of The Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a completely different planet!
This totally weird and cool park is a geologist’s and photographer’s playground. With several exciting things to see on the lava field like cinder cones, caves, and twisted tree forests, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
This park is best visited in the late spring and fall, when harsh temperatures are at bay. Come enjoy this park’s 7-mile driving loop to access all the trailheads and main attractions!
29. Stanley, Idaho
If you are seeking a true Idaho adventure, consider escaping to Stanley, Idaho for the week! The town may be small, but the adventure is endless! Spend time taking a river raft trip down the Salmon River, soak in natural hot springs, or go hiking at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains.
For a bit of luxury, book a few nights at the Redfish Lake Lodge for easy access to trails and the lakeside. Stay in town at the Mountain Village Resort for a private soak in their riverside hot springs (the view is to die for!) or skip the hotels altogether and go backpacking in the Sawtooth Mountains!
Read More: A Winter Escape In Stanley, Idaho
30. Boat Box Hot Springs
Boat Box Hot Springs is one of the most popular and well-known hot springs in Idaho – it’s ironic because it’s also the smallest! Fitting just 1-2 people, this little riverside cauldron is fed from a natural spring with incredible views of the Salmon River literally right next to the tub.
Come early in the day, during weekdays, and in the spring + fall to have the best chance of getting Boat Box Hot Springs all to yourself!
31. Goldbug Hot Springs
You’ve probably seen this iconic view of Idaho – the sunsets and sunrises here are hard to beat!
Goldbug Hot Spring is located near Elk Bend, Idaho, and is one of the most beautiful places in the state.
To reach Goldbug Hot Springs, you have to hike 4 miles with 1,350 feet of elevation gain through BLM land. You’ll want to make sure you have some comfortable hiking boots, know good hiking etiquette, bring snacks, and bring the right gear for the trek!
32. Backpack & Hikes In the Sawtooth Mountains
Known for its pristine glacial lakes and gorgeous views, the Sawtooth Mountains have some of the best hiking in the PNW! Whether you’re planning a backpacking trip or a day hike, the possibilities are brimming with adventure!
Here are some of the best day hikes in the Sawtooth Mountains:
- Worswick Hot Springs Trail (easy, 0.5 miles with 98’ elevation gain)
- Fishhook Creek Trail (easy, 4.5 miles with 288’ elevation gain)
- Alpine Creek Trail (moderate, 8.3 miles with 1,666’ elevation gain)
- Titus Lake (moderate, 3.6 miles with 649’ elevation gain)
Here are some of the best overnight hikes in the Sawtooth Mountains:
- Goat Lake and Goat Falls via Iron Creek Trail (challenging, 8.1 miles with 1,768’ elevation gain)
- Sawtooth Lake via Iron Creek Stanley Lake Trail (moderate, 10 miles with 1,873’ elevation gain)
- Hell Roaring Creek Trail to Hell Roaring Lake (moderate, 11.1 miles with 780’ elevation gain)
- Imogene Lake (moderate, 13.4 miles with 1,459’ elevation gain)
- Thompson Peak via Alpine Way Trail – the tallest peak in the Sawtooth Mountains! (challenging, 12.3 miles with 4,035’ elevation gain)
33. Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley, Idaho is one of the best places to visit in Idaho, because of its epic skiing, backpacking, lodging, and nearby attractions.
Some of the most popular activities in Sun Valley include visiting the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, going fly fishing at the Silver Creek Preserve, and visiting Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs!
After exploring Sun Valley, you can take a day trip to the Craters of the Moon National Monument, which is just under a two-hour drive from downtown.
Things to do in SOUTHERN Idaho
34. Shoshone Falls
For a quick day trip from Twin Falls, Idaho, check out Shoshone Falls–a jaw-dropping waterfall located at the edge of the city in Shoshone Falls Park.
Nicknamed the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls will stun you with its beauty and grandeur.
To complete your day trip from Twin Falls, you can also visit the Shoshone Ice Caves for a walking tour where you’ll experience the wonders of these ancient geological structures!
Read More: 12 Incredible Things To See In The Inland Northwest
35. Get Lost In The City Of Rocks
One of the most beautiful places in Idaho is the City of Rocks National Reserve, just outside of Almo, Idaho.
While exploring the City of Rocks, you’ll see cool rock formations unique to this area, catch sight of tons of fun wildlife, and learn all about the area’s history and culture.
At the City of Rocks National Reserve, you can go horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, hiking, auto-touring, birding, fishing…and more!
Because of its proximity to the city, visiting the City of Rocks is a perfect day trip from Twin Falls, Idaho!
36. Explore The Little City Of Rocks
This geological area is an active study site, filled with natural rock arches, hoodoos, spires, and mushroom caps all in one place!
The Little City of Rocks near Gooding, Idaho is quite a marvelous sight–especially in the springtime when the blooming flowers mix with the orange/red rock landscape.
The most popular activity to do nclude mountain biking, hiking the loop trail, and sightseeing. Follow the clear paths around the area to lead you to the most iconic spots in the park.
37. Tea Kettle Cave
One of the most iconic caves to see in Idaho is called Tea Kettle Cave right outside of Gooding, Idaho, an hour north of Twin Falls.
Getting there requires a high-clearance vehicle, ideally with 4-wheel or all-wheel drive. From Gooding, you’ll spend 20-30 minutes driving on a backcountry road, around rocks, rough terrain, and high desert brush.
Once at the cave, you can enter through “the spout” and crawl to the base of the “tea kettle.” We recommend coming during mid-day to get the strongest sun rays shining through the cave’s opening! (Although bring sun protection – it gets HOT.)
38. Watch The Sunset At Balanced Rock
One of the coolest things to do in Twin Falls, Idaho is taking a trip to Balanced Rock. Just a 30-minute drive southwest in Buhl, Idaho brings you to a unique area with rock formations, deep canyons, and interesting geography to explore.
Wind, weather, and time all carved out Balanced Rock from the rhyolite lava on the canyon cliffside.
You can find more examples of this same type of rock in Bruneau Canyon, and all over Jarbridge Canyon. If you are interested in camping nearby (say, to catch the sunrise), there is Balanced Rock Campground nearby. It is a primitive site though, so come prepared with everything you might need, and pack out everything you brought in.
39. Ritter Island State Park
Did you know Twin Falls is famous for its waterfalls? The deep canyons and nearby mountains make Twin Falls a unique and beautiful destination for any great west coast adventurer who loves the water. There are plenty of opportunities to see waterfalls in Twin Falls!
Ritter Island State Park is one of those destinations, with several protected falls cascading into the Snake River below.
40. Box Canyon State Park
Exploring Box Canyon State Park is one of the coolest things to do in Idaho if you’re searching for great hiking, water activities, and beautiful views all in one place.
The most common way to explore this canyon is by hiking down into the bottom. At the bottom, you can hike to a few waterfalls and swim in crystal-clear blue water. This is a great destination for families because you can easily set up a spot by the water and spend time splashing in the pools.
41. Soak at Miracle & Banbury Hot Springs
You all know we love our Idaho hot springs, and the ones near Twin Falls were incredible! Closest to Twin Falls is Miracle Hot Springs and Banbury Hot Springs, both with their historic pools and resort-like ambiance.
Miracle Hot Springs provided a spa-like serenity, with tons of private pools to use, massages on-site, and beautiful public pools for general soaking. Banbury had a much larger public pool with a vintage vibe, and you can hear the sound of the river as you soak.
42. Perrine Coulee Falls
Perrine Coulee Falls is conveniently located near town, just below the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail. Launching itself off the canyon walls, you can actually walk under it on a narrow trail, making it feel like you’ve transported yourself somewhere in Iceland!
The “trailhead” is actually just a pull-off on the side of the road, with the waterfall practically around the corner from the road. Any time of day is a great time to visit Perrine Coulee Falls, but you might have the easiest time visiting during the morning hours, before the crowds start coming out to explore the Snake River Canyon for the day.
43. Walk The Snake River Canyon Rim Trail
This rim trail is biker and pedestrian-friendly and sits right above Perrine Coulee Falls. Along this 6-mile (one-way) paved route, you can find overlooks (including the top of Perrine Coulee Falls!), restaurants, and even nearby hotels if you want convenient access to the rim trail.
Start at the Twin Falls Visitor Center and decide which direction to go – west towards Perrine Coulee or east towards Shoshone Falls. If you want to hike the entire route, prepare for an all-day adventure and begin and end at Shoshone Falls State Park.
44. Perrine Memorial Bridge
Towering 486 feet above the canyon stands Perrine Memorial Bridge, a surprising and popular place for base jumpers all over the world!
Test your bravery at Tandem BASE Jumping, Twin Falls BASE, and the Snake River BASE Academy. These companies have been running base jumping trips for years and can provide a fun and safe experience for all.
Not ready to try it out for yourself? There are plenty of places to watch jumpers from the safety of the side of the canyon! You can view jumpers from either side of the bridge, but the most commonplace to see them is on the east (sunny) side, on a clear day, generally in the morning.
45. Hike To Skillern Hot Springs
For a more secluded natural hot springs experience, check out Skillern Hot Springs in the Sawtooth National Forest during the summer or fall!
To get there, hike the moderately challenging Skillern Hot Springs Trail for 6.0 miles (out-and-back) with 567 feet of elevation gain.
Whether you’re backpacking, taking a day trip from Twin Falls, or touring all of the best Idaho natural hot springs, Skillern Hot Springs should be on the top of your list.
46. Relax at Worswick Hot Springs
Idaho has some of the best natural hot springs in the Pacific Northwest, and Worswick Hot Springs is no exception!
For a relaxing soak, hike through Sawtooth National Forest on the Worswick Hot Springs Trail for a super easy 0.5 miles with 98 feet of elevation gain. It’s a series of pools along the hillside, so pick your favorite one!
Once you get to Worswick Hot Springs, you’ll find pit toilets, numerous pools, the nearby Five Points Campground, and lush forests surrounding the natural springs.
Read more: 11 Unique Facts About Natural Hot Springs
Things To Do In EASTERN Idaho
47. Bloomington Lake Trail
The Bloomington Lake Trail is an easy 1.6-mile trek with 187 feet of elevation gain. It offers visitors lovely views of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Because this is a popular trail, you might see others during your hike. If you’re looking for more solitude, consider hiking earlier in the day to beat the crowd!
Once at Bloomington Lake (the second of two lakes you’ll see on the hike) you can jump into the freezing water from a rope swing (jump at your own risk!) or simply enjoy the scenery,
The best time to hike the Bloomington Lake Trail is July through October, when the leaves are changing and the weather is warm.
48. Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls is a stunning Idaho waterfall, created from a small creek that cascades over the cliffs overlooking the Snake River. Located just off of Highway 26 near Swan Valley, Idaho, Fall Creek Falls is a little gem of this Pacific Northwest state!
There are two ways to reach Fall Creek Falls: you can either boat up the Snake River to the falls and begin climbing or hike to the falls from the top. Just know that if you choose to hike to Fall Creek Falls, you’ll climb down a steep embankment using a rope. Hiking with a group is encouraged!
Living up to its name, Fall Creek Falls is particularly beautiful in the late summer and fall seasons when the leaves start to change.
49. Lava Hot Springs
Idaho’s Lava Hot Springs is the perfect adventure for families and kids.
At Lava Hot Springs, you can have some fun on their water slides, splash in the Portneuf Kiddie Cove, try your hand at diving, go disk golfing, or just sit back and relax in their warm waters that range from 102ºF to 112ºF.
Day passes into all pools at Lava Hot Springs start at $6!
50. Darby Canyon Caves
On the border of Idaho and Wyoming, the Darby Formation is a thick layer of 350-million-year-old dolomite that you can see for yourself in the Darby Canyon Caves.
The Darby Canyon Wind Cave Trail is a 6.3-mile hike with 1,811’ elevation gain that starts easy and meanders through breathtaking scenery. The trail gets steeper near the end of the hike, but don’t give up–a waterfall is close by! Once you reach the cave, you can go in and explore or turn back around.
The Darby Canyon Wind Cave Trail is a very popular PNW hike, so you should expect to see others on the trail, unless you beat the crowd. Get there early, because the parking lot is often full by 10AM on the weekends!
NOTE: Do not attempt climbing through the Darby Canyon Ice Cave (another mile up the trail), unless you have technical ice climbing training.
Are These All The Things To Do In Idaho?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. This list is not even close to covering all the amazing things to do in Idaho!
We have just barely scratched the surface of experiencing the most beautiful places in Idaho. Now that we live in Eastern Washington, we’re hoping to spend a lot more time in this amazing state, and we’ll be updating this post as we explore more!
Want these 50 activities in an easy-to-check-off list? Find them below!