Hiking in the sunrise.

Discover Idaho's Natural Wonders: 10 Best Places to Hike

Idaho, often referred to as the Gem State, boasts an abundance of natural beauty waiting to be explored. From rugged mountains to pristine lakes and lush forests, this state is a hiker's paradise. Whether you're an avid trekker seeking a challenging summit or a casual adventurer looking for a scenic stroll, Idaho offers trails to suit every preference and skill level. Here are the top 10 places to hike in Idaho:

  1. Sawtooth Wilderness: Located in central Idaho, the Sawtooth Wilderness is renowned for its jagged peaks, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and diverse wildlife. Trails like the Alice-Toxaway Loop and Sawtooth Lake offer breathtaking views of this spectacular landscape.

  2. Hells Canyon: As North America's deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon provides hikers with unparalleled vistas of rugged cliffs, roaring rivers, and untouched wilderness. The Seven Devils Loop Trail is a challenging yet rewarding trek that showcases the canyon's awe-inspiring grandeur.

  3. Craters of the Moon National Monument: Step into another world at Craters of the Moon, where lunar-like landscapes of lava fields, cinder cones, and spatter cones await. Explore unique trails such as the Inferno Cone Trail and Devil's Orchard Loop to witness the park's otherworldly beauty up close.

  4. City of Rocks National Reserve: Nestled in southern Idaho, the City of Rocks is a haven for rock climbers and hikers alike. Traverse the scenic trails amidst towering granite spires and discover hidden gems like Bath Rock and Window Arch.

  5. Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness: Covering over 2.3 million acres, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States. Embark on the Middle Fork Salmon River Trail or hike to breathtaking vantage points like Sheepeater Point for a true backcountry adventure.

  6. Hiking in the Boise Foothills: Just minutes from Idaho's capital city, the Boise Foothills offer a myriad of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline and the Boise River Valley while exploring trails like the Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail and Table Rock Trail.

  7. Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness: Straddling the Idaho-Montana border, the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is a pristine wilderness area characterized by dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountain peaks. Trek along the Selway River Trail or climb to high alpine lakes like Three Lakes for a truly remote hiking experience.

  8. Sawtooth National Recreation Area: With over 700 miles of trails, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area offers endless opportunities for exploration. Hike to iconic destinations such as Goat Lake and Alpine Lake or venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems tucked away in this stunning landscape.

  9. Shoshone Falls: Often referred to as the "Niagara of the West," Shoshone Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder located on the Snake River near Twin Falls, Idaho. Explore scenic overlooks and hiking trails around the falls, such as the Canyon Rim Trail, for unparalleled views of this majestic waterfall.

  10. Teton Valley: Situated on the western slope of the Teton Range, Teton Valley offers a wealth of hiking opportunities amidst picturesque mountain scenery. Explore trails in Grand Teton National Park, such as the Teton Crest Trail and Cascade Canyon Trail, for unforgettable views of towering peaks and pristine alpine lakes.

Whether you're seeking rugged wilderness adventures or leisurely nature walks, Idaho's diverse landscapes offer something for every outdoor enthusiast. From the towering peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains to the otherworldly terrain of Craters of the Moon, each hike promises an unforgettable journey through some of the most stunning scenery in the American West. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and get ready to discover the natural wonders of Idaho on foot.