Known for vast swaths of protected wilderness and mountainous landscapes, Idaho is a great place to find outdoor recreation areas. Over 690,000 visitors flock to the 7 national parks, 10 national historic landmarks, and 11 natural landmarks. Farmlands, rivers, and mountains dominate the landscape. The list of parks in Idaho may not appear as long as other states, but the number of acres they cover is expansive. Known as the Gem state, Idaho produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones. This pacific northwest state is divided into distinct geographic regions with parks to match.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
California National Historic Trail
The National Oregon/California Trail Center, 320 N 4th St, Montpelier, ID 83254
Various States CA, CO, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY
Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.
City Of Rocks National Reserve
City of Rocks National Reserve, Malta, ID 83342
Emigrants of the California Trail describe the rocks here in vivid detail as “a city of tall spires,” “steeple rocks,” and “the silent city.” Today, this backcountry byway attracts rock climbers, campers, hikers, hunters, and those with the spirit of adventure. There’s inspirational scenery, exceptional opportunities for geologic study, and remnants of the Old West awaiting your discovery.
Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve
1266 Craters Loop Road, Arco, ID 83213; Arco, Carey and Rupert , ID
Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We invite you to explore this “weird and scenic landscape” where yesterday’s volcanic events are likely to continue tomorrow…
Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
221 N State St, Hagerman, ID 83332
Do you know horses evolved in North America? The Hagerman Horse, Equus simplicidens, is the first true one toed horse. It’s the park’s most famous fossil but we have fossil evidence of over two hundred different species. From saber-toothed cat, mastodon, bear, camel, and ground sloth, to much smaller animals like rodents and frogs, the scientific study of Pliocene fossils is the key to Hagerman.
Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
WA, OR, ID, MT; one place is Farragut State Park, 13550 ID-54, Athol, ID 83801
“At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.” Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Eleven States: ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA; one includes Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center, 2700 Main St, Salmon, ID 83467
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!
Minidoka National Historic Site
Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome, ID 83338
The Pearl Harbor attack intensified existing hostility towards Japanese Americans. As wartime hysteria mounted, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 forcing over 120,000 West Coast persons of Japanese ancestry (Nikkei) to leave their homes, jobs, and lives behind and move to one of ten prison camps spread across the nation all because of their ethnicity. This is Minidoka’s story.
Nez Perce National Historical Park
four states ID, MT, OR, WA; one place is Pierce Courthouse, 1st Ave S & Court St, Pierce, ID 83546
For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.
Oregon National Historic Trail
Various States ID, KS, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY; The National Oregon/California Trail Center, 320 N 4th St, Montpelier, ID 83254
Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, ID, MT, WY
Visit Yellowstone and experience the world’s first national park. Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. Discover the history that led to the conservation of our national treasures “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
For an additional list of attractions, go to Visit Idaho.
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