- Idaho boasts varied topography and small population. These characteristics combined make for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and chances for solitude. The state can be split into three areas the south, central and panhandle regions.
Copyright: National Park Service
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Southern Idaho contains Boise, the largest and capital city. It is an industrial and economic center, as well as a political hub. Industries that thrive there include wood, agricultural, technological and defense. Southwest Idaho contains the Snake River Valley. The area once was a sage-covered plain, but due to irrigation, which began in the nineteenth century, it now is very productive farm land. The staple crop of the region is potatoes.
Central Idaho contains the largest wilderness area in the continental United States, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, and the deepest gorge in North America, Hells Canyon. Also in this untamed region are a plethora of rivers, volcanic remains, 12,662 foot Borah Peak and the Craters of the Moon National Monument.
The Idaho panhandle is an excellent place for outdoor activities of many types. The area contains several sites within Nez Perce National Park, as well as its headquarters. Two large lakes lie within the region, Lake Pend Oreille and Coeur d'Alene Lake. Natural areas include the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Upper Priest Lake Scenic Area, Kootenai National Wildlife Area and several state parks.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities within Idaho are as varied as the terrain. Kayaking, rafting and fishing are particularly popular on the states wild rivers. Hiking, horseback riding and backpacking facilities are plentiful in every region of the state.
Climate - The climate in Idaho varies with the elevation. The bottom of Hell's Canyon, Boise and other locations at low elevations receive hot summer weather. Temperatures at these elevations often reach 90 degrees or more during the summer months. At the same time the mountains will get mild temperatures with cool nights.
Winters are just as extreme with the mountains experiencing extreme conditions and temperatures. An average of 500 inches of snow falls on the Idaho highlands. Temperatures are known to dip below zero degrees F on many winter nights. The lower elevations enjoy a more mild winter season with less precipitation than the mountains. The sun is a constant throughout the year. Be sure to wear sunscreen and layered clothing in Idaho's unpredictable weather.