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10 Photos That Will Convince You to Explore Idaho ASAP

Your summer bucket list is about to get longer.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Idaho is a pinnacle for outdoor recreation. With incredible mountain biking trails, paddle-friendly alpine lakes and rivers, and lava tubes, Idaho is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.

Photo: Dusty Klein

Idaho’s Salmon River provides a variety of rapids for first-time and experienced rafters alike to enjoy. Plus, petroglyphs and hot springs are tucked along the banks of the river just waiting to be discovered.

Photo: Sara Sheehy

Corral Creek offers the quintessential mountain biking experience for which Idaho is famous: smooth single track, incredible mountainous, forest and meadow scenery, and fresh air. After you work up an appetite biking, be sure to stop at Sawtooth Brewery for a meal!

Photo: Sara Sheehy

Idaho is home to Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park and the tallest single structure sand dune in the United States. Hike to the top and sandboard down, and don’t forget to stop by the solar observatory.

Photo: Fudo Jahic

Saddleback Lakes is a hidden gem offering visitors a swimming hole, cliff jumping, rock climbing, and a tranquil overnight location. Bring a camera for the alpenglow and prepare to be amazed by the stars at night.  

Photo: Dusty Klein

Sawtooth Lake is a wonderful alpine lake destination. Popular in the summer months for fishing, hiking, swimming, and camping, Sawtooth Lake has unmatched views of the incredible, jagged Sawtooth Mountains. At night, the cosmos become incredibly clear: bring a star chart and let the Milky Way blow your mind.

Photo: Colin Ayers

Craters of the Moon National Monument is home to over 600 miles of lava tubes from volcanic activity 15,000 years ago. Many lava tubes are accessible for adventuring. Bring a headlamp and a camera and explore the monstrous Indian Tunnel, Boy Scout Cave, and Beauty Cave.

Photo: George Manlove

Stanley Lake is nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, offering spectacular scenery and ample ways to relax and connect with nature. Fish for rainbow trout, paddle around the lake, go for a hike, or set up a hammock and take a nap in the sun!

Photo: Eric Bennett

Fall Creek Falls is easily accessible from Boise and Jackson, WY alike. Fall Creek Falls is a wonderful, peaceful, free campsite that is lightly trafficked. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit.

Photo: Ross Perkins

Goldbug Hot Springs is just one of many legendary geothermal pools in Idaho. Hot water pours over rocks into the pools, acting as a natural shower. This is a great adventure year-round: perfect in the summer months or after some backcountry skiing in the winter. 

Photo: Dusty Klein

Alice Lake is a classic Idaho backpacking experience. As the top destination in the Sawtooth Wilderness, Alice Lake undoubtedly lives up to the hike: jagged spires surrounded by gorgeous forests and crystal clear lake waters. Bring a fishing pole (and of course, a fishing license) if you want to try your hand at catching some trout.

Visit a waterfall, soak in a hot spring, or plan a glorious backpacking trip. Take a break from your busy daily life and plan a trip to Idaho. Paradise is waiting! 

Cover photo: Dusty Klein

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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