Idaho is a state with a lot to offer visitors, from its stunning natural beauty to its rich history and culture. But beyond the well-known tourist destinations, there are also a number of hidden gems that are well worth exploring.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a tour of some of the most underrated and off-the-beaten-path destinations in Idaho. We’ll explore everything from charming small towns to hidden hiking trails to unique museums and attractions.
So if you’re looking for an authentic Idaho experience, be sure to check out these hidden gems.
Wallace is a small town located in the Silver Valley, about an hour and a half north of Boise. The town was once a major center for the mining industry, and it still retains much of its historic charm.
Wallace is home to a number of museums and historical sites, including the Idaho State Historical Museum, the Wallace Mining Museum, and the Silver Valley Railroad Depot Museum. The town also has a number of shops, restaurants, and bars, making it a great place to spend a day or two exploring.
One of the best things to do in Wallace is to take a hike in the nearby Sawtooth National Forest. The forest is home to a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. For a challenging hike, try the hike to the top of Mount Idaho, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
2. Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon is a deep gorge carved by the Snake River on the border of Idaho and Oregon. The canyon is the deepest in the United States, and it is home to a variety of wildlife, including bears, wolves, and eagles.
There are a number of ways to experience Hells Canyon, including hiking, camping, fishing, and whitewater rafting. For a truly unforgettable experience, take a rafting trip down the Snake River. The rafting trip will take you through some of the most stunning scenery in the state, and you’ll have the chance to see up close some of the wildlife that calls Hells Canyon home.
Hells Canyon is also home to a number of historic sites, including the remnants of the old Oregon Trail. The trail was used by pioneers who were traveling west in the 1800s.
3. Craters of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument is located about an hour and a half south of Idaho Falls. The monument is home to a large field of volcanic craters, which were formed by a series of eruptions that occurred over 2 million years ago.
The craters are a popular destination for hiking, camping, and stargazing. The monument is also home to a number of interpretive trails, which provide visitors with information about the history and geology of the area.
One of the best ways to experience Craters of the Moon is to take a guided hike. The hikes are led by rangers who can provide you with information about the different types of volcanic activity that occurred in the area.
4. The Sawtooth Mountains
The Sawtooth Mountains are a mountain range located in central Idaho. The range is home to a number of peaks, including Mount Elmore, which is the highest point in Idaho at 11,874 feet.
The Sawtooth Mountains are a popular destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. The mountains are also home to a number of lakes, including Redfish Lake, which is one of the most popular destinations in the state.
One of the best ways to experience the Sawtooth Mountains is to take a hike in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The recreation area is home to a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. For a challenging hike, try the hike to the top of Mount Heyburn, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
5. Sun Valley
Sun Valley is a small town located in the Wood River Valley, about an hour and a half north of Boise. The town is known for its skiing and snowboarding, but it is also a great place to visit for hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.