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The Best Idaho Road Trip Itinerary

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Idaho is a state that I can’t get sufficient of recently. Again in February I hightailed it out there after discovering on the market have been tons of of scorching springs, and a couple of weeks in the past made my means again for some summer time action within the Sawtooth Mountains, the jagged rock formation I’d been gazing at while soaking within the small city of Stanley.

Every time I publish footage from Idaho, individuals on social media are like, “That’s Idaho?!“ And I’m like, “I know!” It seems like an enormous, surprising secret.

Idaho is a hidden gem that’s so pristine and lovely I virtually need to hold it all to myself in order that it stays that means. However you guys are cool and I know that you simply love nature and will treat it proper. So without further ado, right here is my good Idaho street trip itinerary:

Pleased dance for the journey deets!

1. Boise

This itinerary begins in Boise, which is your probably start line when you’re flying in or driving in from Nevada or California.

While I’m not usually a fan of cities, Boise is extra like a very actually huge town, and as you discover it I feel you’ll discover it has that really feel. It’s each the state capital and a university city, and it impressed me with how numerous, inclusive, and typically funky and various it’s. Test it out:

I took one among my greatest pals from house with me on this journey and we stumbled upon a freak alley accidentally, and fell head over heels in love with the skillful road art and the scrumptious meals round there. Lemon Tree Co. and Guru Donuts have been a few favorites I visited in February and revisited on this trip.

After spending a lot of the day exploring downtown we made our method to Camel’s Back Park for sundown, the right solution to shut out day one.

Keep: The Trendy Lodge is situated downtown and places you in straightforward walking distance to the whole lot talked about above, apart from the park, which you’ll have to drive to.

2. Kirkham and Bonneville Scorching Springs

idaho road tripA steaming scorching waterfall? Yes, please.

Simply because it warms up in the summertime doesn’t mean it’s not still good scorching spring climate! Plus, you don’t have that horrible moment between getting out of the spring and stepping into heat clothes that proved problematic in -30°F in February.

The other advantage of doing this in the summertime is that the campgrounds are open at Kirkham and Bonneville Scorching Springs. Truthfully both are nice so should you’re making an attempt to choose between the 2 simply know that Kirkham has a stunning view on the Payette River and a scorching waterfall, nevertheless it tends to be extremely popular. Bonneville feels a bit more hidden and secluded and it even has slightly picket shed and a tub that you could fill with scorching spring water. Both are fairly primitive campsites in the Boise Nationwide Forest though they do have loos. Tenting value $15 and a day use cross is $5. Convey cash!

idaho road tripHanging out within the shed at Bonneville

Particularly, Depart No Trace rules are essential to comply with at the scorching springs, and all over the place in nature. Nevertheless the springs are notably weak so please pack out all of your trash, be clear once you bounce into the spring, and when you do share pictures of your expertise, please don’t geotag the recent springs.

3. Stanley

idaho road tripThe good sundown spot

Stanley could be my favorite little city in the American west. The population is simply in the 60s, and it looks like a village within the Alps. Significantly, the Sawtooth Mountains might rival the Alps and even Patagonia when they’re snow-covered. The mountain range is astoundingly lovely and Stanley, framed by the mountains, is the right vantage level for sundown.

There’s also an unimaginable quantity of activities to do round Stanley. Within the winter individuals take pleasure in snowmobiling, and in the summer individuals fly fish, mountain bike, kayak, hike, and swim. Right here’s what I did:


Once I was there the snow from a heavy winter meant that the majority trails were not open but, but I was capable of do the 10-mile round trip hike to Hell Roaring Lake, and simply take a look at it! (Turn off here to hike it yourself. You’ll see a tiny parking zone by the trailhead sign).

idaho road trip hell roaring lakeAmazed

This hike is pretty straightforward, and it amazed me that there were only a few different individuals on it. I stored exclaiming that it might be completely packed anyplace else on the planet.

When the snow melts, there are tons of trails, together with backpacking adventures into the wilderness. Needless to say it is bear country, so plan accordingly. You’ll be able to learn extra concerning the hikes in Stanley here.

To get updated info on the state of the paths, I like to recommend stopping by Riverwear where they have been pleasant and useful, not to mention well-stocked in case you forgot any supplies.


idaho road trip - dark sky reserveStars over Stanley

There are dozens of scorching springs within the Stanley space. The one you see here is hooked up to the lodge I stayed at, Mountain Village Resort. Nevertheless there are plenty of primitive springs as properly which you’ll be able to read extra about in my Idaho Scorching Springs itinerary.


idaho road trip redfish lakePerfection

Don’t miss Redfish Lake once you visit Stanley.

You’ll be able to drive up to the lodge or customer’s middle as a leaping off level, or take a ferry from one finish of Redfish Lake to the opposite and hike back, or ferry back in fact. I opted to SUP (get up paddle board) as an alternative which was peaceful and meditative on that huge, lovely lake.

Horseback Driving

idaho road trip redfish lakeYou possibly can horseback experience, too

I additionally confronted a worry and went horseback driving (They’ve obtained their very own little brains in there! That all the time scared me a bit.) Regardless of my worry of horses, it was a pleasant expertise with Mystic Saddle Ranch and with beautiful views of the lake and Sawtooths.

Keep: The solely place I’ve ever stayed in Stanley is the Mountain Village Resort, pictured in the star photograph above, though there are many choices.

Eat: Sawtooth Luce’s and the Stanley Baking Company each have scrumptious and healthy meals.

Each time I’ve gone to Stanley I’ve spent two days there, though I can understand why some individuals go for the whole summer time. So when you can completely wing it, I do recommend wanting into it a bit before you go because there may be multi-day hikes or other adventures that require a bit more time but you’d be sad to overlook out on.

four. Solar Valley and Ketchum

idaho road trip ketchumProper in town!

About an hour and a half south of Stanley, you’ll reach Sun Valley and Ketchum. Benefit from the beautiful drive, but look out for deer! That goes for Stanley too – I encounter them each single time I get in the automotive!

First, you’ll move via Galena, which has great snowshoeing in the winter and great climbing trails in the summertime. There’s also a lodge with a nice restaurant. It’s not open year-round so you’ll want to verify their website to verify.

Having been in Solar Valley each within the winter and in the summer, it’s arduous for me to select which one I like better. Within the winter, it’s good for snowboarding and in the summer, it completely explodes with wildflowers. I counted a minimum of 20 totally different sorts!

idaho road trip ketchumThey’re all alongside the path

On the suggestion of an area (thanks Shannon!) we hiked from the trailhead of Fox Creek and branched off to Chocolate Gulch. It’s a few 5 mile loop and it’s relatively straightforward with beautiful views because the payoff. Look for a left-hand turn right around right here which you’ll be able to comply with to a parking zone and trailhead to Fox Creek. You possibly can park here for the hike and veer to the left to get to Chocolate Gulch on the path.

ho road trip ketchumThe unimaginable view at the prime

For more wildflower hikes, take a look at this publish with a few of the greatest ones within the space.

Stay: Lodge Ketchum is cute and funky. It has a nice outside space and most of the rooms have a mountain view.

Eat: Rickshaw is an Asian fusion café with scrumptious dinner and Glow Stay Meals Café has organic and wholesome food together with vegan choices. Get the kale salad!

Also don’t overlook to lookup, this complete area from Stanley to Craters of the Moon is the only designated dark sky reserve in the US in the intervening time. This implies the light pollution is low enough you could see some really dazzling stars. Can you simply imagine it during a meteor shower?

5. Salmon

idaho hot springsIn all probability probably the most lovely scorching spring I saw though the competitors is stiff

This can be a deviation from my summer time route and one that I took in February to get to Goldbug Scorching Springs. Since Salmon and Sun Valley are in opposite instructions from Stanley, it is sensible to select one route based mostly on the place you’re headed subsequent. In the event you’re making your approach up to Montana, head up to Salmon and cease by Goldbug. From there you possibly can maintain heading north into Montana.

6. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Protect

idaho road trip craters of the moon indian tunnelSo cool!

Alternatively, in the event you’ll be heading again to Boise or into Wyoming from Solar Valley, make it some extent to stop by Craters of the Moon National Monument and Protect for some dramatically totally different landscape to every part you’ve seen on the trip thus far.

As you drive to Craters of the Moon Nationwide Monument and Protect, farmland will make method for an enormous lava area with a number of brief hikes and tunnels value testing. My favorite was the Indian Tunnel. The park is just not too massive, although you possibly can camp there and make a number of days of it if you want. This could possibly be a particularly good place for stargazing.

Be sure you take a look at the website to make it possible for all of the roads within the park are open, as typically they get snowed out.

Although this detour would require you to go back on yourself for those who’re headed back to Boise, it’s value the additional time in the event you can squeeze it in.

It’s additionally potential to go up to Goldbug Scorching Springs and then return down by way of Arco, where you’ll be able to stop for the night time, and circle down by way of Craters and back to Boise.

That is just a sampling of the unimaginable beauty in Idaho that you might see you throughout a street journey. Also contemplate McCall, Coeur D’Alene, and the wilderness up north when you’ve got the time. There are in all probability hundreds more climbing trails, lots of of scorching springs, and countless adventures to be had.

This epic Idaho road trip itinerary includes 6 amazing stops that are full of surprises! If you are into beautiful hot springs, hiking, all things nature and outdoor activities, this road trip is perfect for you. Click to read now and start planning your trip! #Idaho #USARoadTripPin me!

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*This publish was delivered to you in partnership with Go to Idaho. However as I’m positive you’ll be able to inform, my enthusiasm for Idaho and ideas shared listed here are all my own.

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