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Sawtooth National Recreation Area
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Top 7 Tourist Sites in the Gem State – Idaho

Idaho is home to captivating lush and mountainous landscapes. Set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Gem State is spread nicely with protected wilderness and perfect natural recreational places. Furthermore, the Boise River is well known for local fishing and rafting adventures.

Besides being the chief producer of potatoes, trout and lentils, Idaho also produces over 72 different kinds of precious stones. Another mind-blowing fact about the Gem State: 63% of land is Public land. A majority of the popular attractions are mountains. This, alongside turquoise lakes and historic sites, makes the Gem State an ideal destination up north.

From Shoshone Indian Ice Caves to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, here are 7 places in the Spud State that will lure you to book that ticket to the north.

  1. Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site

Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site
Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site

Formerly a state prison of the Western US, Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site now features 30 historic buildings. Constructed way back in 1870, the 5-acre site played host to up to 600 criminals at a time. You could now swing by to witness the former home to the inmates as well as some historical buildings erected by the prisoners themselves.  Superstitious locals even believe the facility – now turned museum – is these days haunted.

  1. Shoshone Indian Ice Caves

Shoshone Indian Ice Caves
Shoshone Indian Ice Caves

The largest ice cave in the whole of Idaho, Shoshone comprises underground volcanic lava caves that stay cold all year long. Nevertheless, it makes for the perfect hiking location over the three-quarter mile daily walking tours. This tour involves several stairs headed into and back out of the cave. Remember to have your hike shoes and a winter jacket on as the temperatures down there are always maintained at below freezing. You however don’t need any flashlights as the cave is well enough illuminated. Carry the camera though!

  1. Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area

Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area
Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area

A Snake-River-carved gorge and the deepest in North America, Hell’s Canyon winds over a 153-kilometer stretch near Washington. The natural recreational area of the Gem State supports  rare wildlife. Key among them are bears, bobcats, bighorn sheep, cougars, elks and many more. This vast recreational area also showcases perfect wild beauty of the unpredictable mountains. Also available at Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area are thrilling adventure sites. Such adventures including world-class whitewater boat rides, spectacular summits to climb and wildernesses to explore.

  1. Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d’Alene

Located in Northern Idaho, Lake Coeur d’Alene spans up to a 25-mile length. The lakeside sunset view while playing your favorite pastime game of golf is a sight you will absolutely love. Someone had places like Lake Coeur d’Alene in mind when naming Idaho “the Gem State.” The Lake is a classic and perfect scene of old-meets-new. Lush nature, combined with history — the result can’t just be put in words.

  1. Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Right in the heart of the Gem State is the gem of a forest reserve. The extensive swamplands against the backdrop of a sight-full mountain provide for the perfect countryside walk. It is – even better – lined with hiking and biking trail roads together with a skiing center. Some of the most notable trails include Wood River Adventure Trail and the Fishhook Creek Nature Trail. There are over 300 lakes alongside adventurous mountains and lush forests available to explore.

  1. Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument

Also part of the Snake River Plain, this National Monument is characterized by the volcanic lava flows. Craters of the Moon is  charming region believed to have experienced tectonic shifts for thousands of millennia now. The huge extents of the seismic and volcanic events further suggest more volcanic releases in the future. This is despite not erupting for well over 2000 years now. You could tread carefully in the unearthly lunar landscape caused by the eruptions.

  1. Sun Valley Resort – Gem State

Gem State's Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley Resort

Equipped with the most up-to-date resort equipment, the Sun Valley Resort is another absolute gem of the Gem State.  Ski enthusiasts should head up the Bald and Dollar Mountains for the perfect thrill of the downward snowboarding. The Nordic Center hosts skiing and snowshoeing sports for the pros. Bikers and hikers need not worry as you are similarly catered to during the summers when the snow clears. The resort also includes the best 5-star hotels and accommodation centers for only the best services during your stay.

 

 

Images via Planetware

Originally posted 2017-05-15 11:43:03.

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