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From lava fields to tumbling falls to snowy peaks, Idaho has amazing things to do and see. For families looking for fun things to do in Idaho or locals looking for new activities this summer, this list has something for everyone. From sobering historical monuments to natural beauty and good old-fashioned country stores, there’s a little bit of everything (and much more than simply potatoes).

10. Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho(image via Flickr)

Craters of the Moon National Park is a striking, otherworldly landscape—a vast lava field given to beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Camp out for a few days in this unique Idaho destination. We recommend going during the fall, as temperatures cool down and the wind also dies down. Summer crowds have also moved out, leaving plenty of space for you to enjoy the monument on your own. There are plenty of trails for driving and hiking the scenery, and the Cave Trail and Indian Tunnel walk you through caves of molten stone.

9. BASE Jump from Perrine Bridge

BASE Jump from Perrine Bridge in Idaho(image via Flickr)

The titanic Shoshone Falls is 212 feet high and around 900 feet wide. They call it the “Niagara of the West,” but it’s actually taller than Niagara Falls. Be sure you go in the spring because in the late summer and fall, they divert water to the power plant. Watch (or participate with) BASE jumpers at Perrine Bridge, maybe the only manmade structure in the U.S. that allows the sport year-round, with no permit.

8. Sierra Silver Mine Tour

Sierra Silver Mine Tour(image via Flickr)

Sierra Silver Mine Tours give you lessons about the history of the mining town as you descend into the mountain, and the Ghost Town Trolley Tour takes it one step further with reenactors. A retired miner takes you through the process of hard-rock mining in the richest silver district on Earth. Get in the trolley, put on your hard hat, and get ready to see real mining equipment in action.

7. River Surfing and Kayaking

River Surfing and Kayaking in idaho(image via Facebook)

Boise River Park is a city park in Boise, Idaho, where the river has been fitted with two state-of-the-art waveshapers that make waves between 20 and 25 feet tall. This allows people to surf and kayak, or whatever you want to do really. Jetties on both sides of the river guide you. A Phase 2 expansion was recently completed and opened. There’s even a surf company or two in town to help you get started.

6. Skiing at Schweitzer Mountain

Skiing at Schweitzer Mountain in idaho(image via Flickr)

With 2,900 acres, Schweitzer Mountain is the largest ski resort in Idaho and a paradise for tree skiing fans in particular. The lodges and condos are great places to relax after a long day, but if you need that extra bit of unwinding, there’s the Solstice Spa. Special events like Fall Fest ensure there is fun year-round, and the leaves are gorgeous in autumn, whether you like skiing or not.

5. Minidoka Internment National Monument

Minidoka Internment National Monument in idaho(image via Facebook)

Minidoka housed over 9,000 of the nearly 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-American residents of the United States who were relocated to internment camps across the country in the largest forcible relocation in American history. It’s a grim part of our history, but it needs to be remembered. We need never forget what we’re capable of when the going gets tough. This monument stands to honor those who were forced to live in the camp in Idaho, including cultural figures like Paul Chihara and Shig Murao.

4. Square Ice Cream at Berry’s Gas Station

Square Ice Cream at Rainey Creek Country Store(image via Instagram)

Maybe it’s the square scoop, though that seems like a flimsy reason. Maybe it’s the local favorites like huckleberry. Manager Judy Moore thinks it’s the fact that they’ve been in the same spot since 1946. Whatever the reason, Berry’s Gas Station is the place to go to cool off in the middle of summer.

3. Snow Sculptures at the McCall Winter Carnival

Snow Sculptures at the McCall Winter Carnival in idaho(image via Flickr)

The McCall Winter Carnival takes place over more than a full week with winter sports, beer gardens, live entertainment, video game tournaments, and more. The big draw, however, is the snow sculpture competition. Dozens of snow sculptures line the main routes of the city, turning the whole place into a winter wonderland of beautiful variety.

2. Have a Hemingway Remembrance

the Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho(image via Facebook)

When people think of Hemingway tourism, they tend to think of his home in Key West. But the author spent many an autumn in Idaho enjoying the weather and the company. He was dear friends with the publicist Gene Van Guilder and came to visit often. He finished For Whom the Bell Tolls in suite 206 of the Sun Valley Lodge (a room in which guests can still stay), and he’s buried not too far away in Ketchum Cemetery.

1. Bear River Massacre Site

Bear River Massacre Site

In January of 1863, fed up by Shoshone raids on Ft. Douglas (a result of the starvation the invading pioneers had caused upon the tribe), Col. Patrick E. Conor made for the Shoshone camp, boxing them in and firing on them from the bluffs. Sixty-seven federal troops were lost or wounded, primarily in a failed frontal attack, but the Shoshone were massacred. Their losses were between 384 and 410 casualties, including women and children. The Lemhi-Shoshone tribes currently have a historic site set up in remembrance of this largest single-incident massacre of American Indians in the West.



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