68 Interesting Facts About Idaho

Last updated on April 30th, 2023

53. In the Treasure Valley: the Treasure Valley in Boise offers a plethora of fun activities throughout the year. Apart from big treats like Quinn’s Pond, Camel’s Back Park, and Table Rock, there are other hidden gems for family vacations. One of the popular summer activities in Boise is floating the Boise River. There is a floatable stretch between Morrison Park and Barber Park.

54. Roaring Springs, Meridian: unleash your inner child at the biggest waterpark in Meridian. Catch some waves, float along a lazy river, or enjoy the water slides. Next door you will find mini golf, bumper cars, and bowling.

55. Rexburg Sits on a Volcano: sitting atop a shield volcano is the city of Rexburg. Centuries ago, hot magma cascaded from the active shield volcano and caused a massive accumulation of edifice on the ground. This edifice is the present city of Rexburg.

Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Interesting facts about Idaho. Idaho Falls, Idaho. Image via Nicolas Henderson.

56. A City That Owes Its name to Snake River and Railroad: Idaho Falls attributes its name to a waterfall along the Snake River, a key feature of agriculture in the state of Idaho. The surrounding communities have re-created waterfalls that had been destroyed in the process of developing the area.

57. The Portneuf Greenway Trails: the Portneuf Greenway links Pocatello parks and other parts of the city. It is an ideal avenue for exercising, exploring nature and evading traffic. It runs through Old Town Pocatello, a river corridor, riverfront parks, as well as the Idaho State University.

58. A City With Speculations About Its Name’s Origin: the origin of the name Nampa is hypothetical. Some early residents used to call it New Jerusalem due to the presence of a big religious community. In other speculations, the name Nampa means ‘foot’ in Native Americans. Yet, historians claim the place was named after Nampus- a Shoshone chief. Local legends has it that Nampa means “Namb” (footprint) or moccasin.

59. Sunnyslope Caldwell, Heart Of Idaho Wine Country: it is said that love is grown and crafted in Sunnyslope Wine Trail. The area produces most of the State’s vineyards and 50% of the wineries are found here. It is an ultimate destination for wine tasting, panoramic views, and dining.

View of Bayhorse, Idaho.
Bayhorse is an old lead and silver mining camp located about 4 miles off ID Hwy 75 in a narrow mountain canyon. It is now a ghost town and part of the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park. This was taken from the Bayhorse Ore Mill. Image via Jimmy Emerson, DVM.

60. Most Inland Seaport on West Coast: the port of Lewiston is situated 465 miles off the ocean. It exposes the Inland Northwest to worldwide trade markets by linking to Columbia Snake River System. It is an intermodal transportation hub that offers instant access to a rail route, airport, road, and river.

61. Post Falls- An Authentic Mill Town: named after Frederick Post, Post Falls welcomes visitors with ponderosa pine, beautiful cliffs, and forested areas. Frederick, a German immigrant created a lumber mill beside Spokane River in 1871. Post Falls is also a gateway to North Idaho. Prime golfing, lodging and dining are activities for all seasons.

62. Moscow the Green City: with more than 27 sq. meters of parks per individual, Moscow can be compared to other green cities of the world like Paris and New York. There are 18 gardens, 96 parks, 4 botanical centers, and a zoo with over 6,500 specimens.

63. World’s Silver Capital: for a long time, Wallace has been regarded as the silver capital. Most of the silver mining comes from Shoshone County. The activity is conducted in the most environmentally-friendly way to conserve the pristine mountains where recreational enthusiasts flock.

64. Bayhorse – The Longest Running Silver City in Idaho: in the late 1800s, Bayhorse was an established goldmine camp. Ten years later, it started to attract attention when a silver vein was discovered in Beardsley and Ramshorn mines. Gradually, it turned out to be the greatest producer of silver in Idaho State until 1915.

Naming of Bayhorse Sign, Idaho.
Interesting facts about Idaho. Naming of Bayhorse Sign, Idaho. Image via Jimmy Emerson, DVM.

65. Twin Falls was Discovered by Rafters: Twin Falls city may have been founded by the irrigation wizardly godfather- I.B. Perrine when he built the Milner Dam. But the city was actually discovered in 1811 by a group of rafters led by Wilson price Hunt. After a year’s expedition from Saint Louis to Oregon, his trip with the group stopped when they hit the rapids on Snake River.

66. If you’re looking for a truly idahoan experience, be sure to check out the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. This annual event celebrates Idaho’s sheepherding heritage with a week-long festival that includes sheepdog trials, live music, and of course, plenty of Idaho potatoes. The festival culminates in a grand parade through the streets of Boise, Idaho’s capital city.

It was once ranked as “One of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World” by msn.com. 

67. Idaho forests are home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. Some of the most common trees found in the forests include douglas fir, western hemlock, and lodgepole pine. Idaho forests are also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, and moose. Idaho forests are an essential part of the state’s ecosystem and are vital to its economy and way of life.

68. The Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is one of the most unique landscapes in Idaho.

The monument is home to more than 60 volcanoes, lava flows, and cinder cones, making it a must-see for any geology enthusiast.

The preserve is also home to a variety of plant and animal life, including several endangered species.

After reading Idaho facts, let us also learn about one of the state’s most important river – the Snake river. 

The Snake River

1. By far, the most important river in Idaho is the Snake River, a major tributary of the Columbia River. It is also one of the major rivers in the western United States, at 1,078 miles (1,735 km) long.

2. The river is the 13th longest rivers in the US.

3. The Snake River drains a large watershed that encompasses parts of six U.S. states: Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

4. The average discharge of the Snake River is over 55,000 cubic feet per second (1,600 m3/s), making it one of the largest rivers in the US by volume.

5. The Snake River has been dammed numerous times for irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectric power generation.

6. The Snake River is a popular recreation destination for rafting, fishing, and hiking.

7. The Snake River has been an important transportation route for centuries, and today it is still used by barges and ships to transport goods.

Facts about the Flag of Idaho

The flag design is comparatively simple.

It consists of the Great Seal of the State of Idaho in the center of a blue background. Directly below the Great Seal is a curved red banner which reads “State of Idaho” in gold block letters.

flag of Idaho

However the Great Seal symbolically depicts many features of Idaho.

The background to the adoption of the Great Seal and its incorporation into the state flag is also interesting.

The flag itself evolved from earlier regimental flags used by soldiers from the then territory when they fought for the Union in the Civil War. These were fairly simple regimental banners that contained the territory’s name, colors and territorial seal.

Emma Edwards Green was a New York art student who later became an art teacher in Boise. After Idaho became a state in 1890, Emma Edwards Green was invited to submit a design for the State Seal competition. After her design was selected, on May 5, 1891, Edwards was awarded $100 by Governor N. B. Willey.

In 1907, this Great Seal was adapted and put onto the state flag, making Green the only woman to design a state seal.

By depicting a man and woman of equal size and standing next to each other, it epitomized the idea that both women and men had equal rights.

The Great Seal reflects the rich history of Idaho at the time of statehood.

On the left there is an image of a woman who symbolized liberty, equality and freedom. On the right is a miner who depicts Idaho’s mining history.

Between the man and the woman lays a great shield symbolizing the joint protection of Idaho by men and women.

The shield depicts the Snake or Shoshone River, one of Idaho’s mightiest, winding between mountains. The head of an elk rises above the shield.

Edwards-Green cited an Idaho game law which protected animals such as elk and moose. The Seal also depicts agricultural activities – something for which the state is known.

Original designs for the territorial seal prior to statehood included a moon rising over the mountains. This was replaced later by Edwards-Green’s version with a sunrise instead of a moon. She also replaced a figure symbolizing Peace with a miner. The modern version also includes a star, signifying a new state being born and taking its rightful place within the galaxy of the states of the Union.

The original design by Emma Edwards Green was then simplified in 1957. This remains the most current version of the flag.

While being of relatively simple design, the flag represents the state of Idaho well. Each time you look at the flag, you are looking at a snapshot of the earliest days of Idaho statehood and what it meant for its people to be officially part of the Union.

Idaho – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationID
State CapitalBoise
Largest CityBoise
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 83,570 sq miles; Land Only: 82,747 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2022 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodJuly 3, 1890
State rank by population38th
State rank by date of formation43rd
State rank by area14th
Number of Counties44
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
Bordering StatesMontana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointBorah Peak
12,662 ft (3,859 m)
Lowest pointConfluence of Snake and Clearwater River; Lewiston
713 ft (217 m)
Length 479 miles (771 km)
Width305 miles (491 km)
Mean elevation5000 feet above sea level
GovernorBrad Little (R)
Lieutenant GovernorScott Bedke (R)
Electoral Votes4
State MottoEsto perpetua (Let it be perpetual)
State NicknameGem State
% Water0.98
Noble prize WinnersJames Rainwater (Physics, 1975)
Famous peopleLarry Wilson (Pro Football player)
Harmon Killebrew (Baseball player)
Jeremy Shada
State AmphibianIdaho Giant Salamander
State BirdMountain bluebird
State InsectMonarch butterfly
State FishCutthroat Trout
State FlowerSyringa
State FossilHagerman Horse Fossil
State FruitHuckleberry
State GemStar garnet
State HorseAppaloosa
State RaptorPeregrine Falcon
State TreeWestern white pine
State VegetablePotato
Longitude111°03′ W to 117°15′ W
Latitude42° N to 49° N
Time ZoneMountain Time Zone, Pacific Time Zone
Area Codes208
Last updatedApril 27, 2023