Idaho destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Idaho, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Idaho and tips about visiting them
National parks and monuments in Idaho
- California National Historic Trail,
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.
- National Reserve
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.
- National Monumnet and Preserve
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,
Did you know that 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 fossils from over two hundred other species too! From the saber-toothed cat, mastodon, bear, camel, and ground sloth, to smaller animals like rodents and frogs, the scientific study of Pliocene fossils is the key to Hagerman.
- National Geologic Trail
At the end of the last Ice Age, about 18,000 to 15,000 years ago, an ice dam in northern Idaho created Glacial Lake Missoula in Montana. The ice dam burst and released flood waters across Washington and down the Columbia River back flooding into Oregon before eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. Happening perhaps a 100 times. Forever changing the lives and landscape of the Pacific Northwest.
- Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail,
Sixteen States: IA,ID,IL,IN,KS,KY,MO,MT,NE,ND,OH,OR,PA,SD,WA,WV.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long, extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois.
- Minidoka National Historical Site:,
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, forcing them into one of ten prison camps spread across the nation because of their ethnicity. This is Minidoka's story.
- Nez Perce National Historical Park:,
four states ID,MT,OR,WA.
Since time immemorial, the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they survived the settling of the United States and adapted to a changed world. Nez Perce National Historical Park consists of 38 places important to the history and culture of the Nimiipuu. Explore these places. Learn their stories.
- Oregon National Historic Trail,
Various States ID,KS,MO,NE,OR,WA,WY.
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.
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park for all to enjoy the unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders. People from around the world have been drawn to Yellowstone to witness these wonders for themselves. Now, millions of people come to Yellowstone each year.
Idaho State parks and historic sites
- Ashton to Tetonia Trail
- Bear Lake State Park3rd North 10th EastSt. Charles
- Bruneau Dunes State Park27608 Sand Dunes RdBruneau
- Castle Rocks State Park3035 S Elba-Almo Road (Hwy 77 Spur)Almo
- City of Rocks National Reserve3035 S Elba-Almo RdAlmo
- Coeur d'Alene ParkwayE. Coeur D'Alene Lake DrCoeur d'Alene
- Coeur d'Alene's Old Mission State Park31732 S Mission RdCataldo
- Dworshak State Park9934 Freeman CreekLenore
- Eagle Island State Park165 S Eagle Island PkwyEagle
- Farragut State Park13550 E. Hwy 54Athol
- Harriman State Park3489 Green Canyon RdIsland Park
- Hells Gate State Park5100 Hells Gate RdLewiston
- Henrys Lake State Park3917 E. 5100 N.Island Park
- Heyburn State Park57 Chatcolet RdPlummer
- Lake Cascade State Park100 Kelly's Parkway (P.O. BOX 709)Cascade
- Lake Walcott State Park959 E Minidoka DamRupert
- Land of the Yankee Fork State Park24424 Highway 75Challis
- Lucky Peak State Park74 Arrowrock RdBoise
- Massacre Rocks State Park3592 N. Park LnAmerican Falls
- McCroskey State Park
- Ponderosa State Park1920 N Davis AveMcCall
- Priest Lake State Park314 Indian Creek Park RoadCoolin
- Round Lake State Park1880 Dufort RoadSagle
- Thousand Springs State Park2314 S Ritchie Rd.Hagerman
- Three Island Crossing State Park1083 S.Three Island Park Dr.Glenns Ferry
- Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
- Winchester Lake State Park1786 Forest RdWinchester
Idaho Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Located in the Rockies, with mountains, plateaus and desserts, Idaho has extreme weather. In the summer, it tends to be semi-arid, hot during day and cool at night. Winters can be brutally cold. Many roads are closed or impassible in the winter.
Bugs are thankfully few!
Idaho Camping tips
- Fireworks are prohibited
- Dogs must be confined or on a leash
- Dogs are not allowed at Harriman State Park
- Camping is permitted only in designated areas
- Quiet time starts at 10 pm
- Sites cannot be “saved” for someone else
- All equipment and vehicles must be within the designated camp site
- Generally stays are limited to 15 days in a 30-day period
- Day-use only areas within parks or campgrounds are open from sunrise to sunset.
- Check-in time is 2 p.m. for campsites and 3 p.m. for facilities (local park time).
- Checkout time is 1 p.m. for campsites and 12 p.m. for facilities (local park time).
- Late checkouts may incur additional fees unless prior arrangements have been made.
- All Idaho State Parks are ADA friendly and support service animals.
To review all the rules and fees associated with administering and governing the Idaho Department of Parks please visit the Idaho Department of Administration website.
Reservations for stays within Idaho’s State Parks can be made online and toll-free by phone at: 1-888-922-6743. Agents will be available seven days a week, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mountain Standard Time (MST), and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., MST. From Monday through Friday, another option is to call the Reservations Program at 1-855-514-2429, open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Idaho state parks for camping: