Bucket List Idaho: 10 Must-Do Adventures

Discover the untouched landscape of the Gem State

Idaho may just be the country’s best-kept secret. There aren’t many places with such an incredible combination of amazing trails, mountains, lakes, and rivers. Most destinations with such a high concentration of adventure have been overrun with crowds, but that’s not the case in Idaho. If you want to explore some of the most pristine landscapes in the country in near solitude, then head to the Gem State!

1. Camp at the Coyote Yurts

Photo: Dusty Klein

Need a basecamp for mountain biking or backcountry skiing? Or just want to spend the night in comfort in the Sawtooth National Forest? Look no further than the Coyote Yurts. Learn more.

2. Hike and Soak in Goldbug Hot Springs

Photo: Ross Perkins

Head up on this quick 4 mile round trip hike to these relaxing hot springs...the view isn’t bad either. Learn more.

3. Ski to Redfish Lake

Photo: Sarah Sheehy

Redfish lake is a popular summer destination for hiking and backpacking, but in the winter, the crowds thin out and it makes for a great spot to snowshoe and cross country ski. Learn more.

4. Camp at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs

Photo: Dusty Klein

Idaho is full of serene river valleys with geothermal pools and the Rocky Canyon Hot Springs are situated right along the Middle Fork Payette River. Learn more.

5. Explore Upper and Lower Mesa Falls

Photo: Josh Packer

Travel the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway through Targhee National Forest and make a pit stop to take in these incredible waterfalls. Learn more.

6. Backpack to Sawtooth Lake

Photo: Dusty Klein

Hike through the quintessential Idaho terrain of the Sawtooth Mountains to this pristine alpine lake for an amazing backpacking experience. Learn more.

7. Camp at Fall Creek Falls

Photo: Eric Bennett

This is a great camping spot on national forest land, which means it’s free and no reservations are needed. It’s also a great pit stop if you’re passing through Idaho on the way to the Grand Tetons from the West Coast. Learn more.

8. Paddle on Stanley Lake

Photo: George Manlove

Stanley Lake is the heart of the Sawtooth National Forest and makes for the perfect destination for anybody who wants to bust out their kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Learn more.

9. Soak in Kirkham Hot Springs

Photo: Dusty Klein

There’s no better escape from the snowy weather than a secluded hot springs and if you visit Kirkham Hot Springs in the winter, you could have the place to yourself. Learn more.

10. Hike to Devil’s Bedstead West

Photo: Dusty Klein

The Sun Valley area is well known for skiing during the winter, but like most great skiing areas, there are amazing trails that come to life when the snow melts. Learn more.

Cover photo: Eric Bennett

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Get the gear you need for all your adventures in Idaho:

Published: February 3, 2016

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Visit Idaho


Idaho is home to thousands of miles of biking and hiking trails, rugged mountains, pristine lakes, 18 ski areas, and more recreational whitewater than any state in the lower 48. Find spectacular scenery and endless re...