As one of the most sparsely populated states, Idaho shares a lot with Alaska: there are still some regions that are largely unexplored due to their remoteness. In addition to the loneliness, Idaho also has the nickname “Gem of the Mountain” in reference to the rich finds of precious stones. In the tourism sector, however, this appropriate slogan “Idaho: Adventures in Living” has established itself. And he sums it up: The diverse landscape, characterized by remote mountain ranges, dense forests, crystal-clear lakes and deep gorges, is the El Dorado for outdoor fans. Here you can go mountain biking, white water rafting, skiing and of course hiking without end.
In the north of the state are well-known resort towns like Coeur d’Alene, in the heart the majestic Swatooth Mountains tower – and in the south there is farming. Here are those potato fields that gave the state its other nickname, “Famous Potatoes.” That slogan is still emblazoned on state license plates—complete with the words “Scenic Idaho.”
Location and Size
According to answermba, Idaho is located in the Northwest of the United States. The state – with a north-south extent of 770 km – borders on British Columbia (Canada) in the north, on Montana and Wyoming in the east, on Oregon and Washington in the west and on Nevada in the south. With an area of 216,443 km², it ranks 14th among the states in the USA. About 47% of Idaho is forested. The state’s landscape is predominantly mountainous with vast, uninhabited areas. The highest elevation is the 3,859 m high Borah Peak (also called Mount Borah) in Custer County.
Idaho is one of the sparsely populated states. With a population of just 1.7 million, it only ranks 39th among US states. Almost 83% of residents are white with European ancestry. Around 22% are descendants of German-speaking settlers. Around 12% of residents are Hispanics/Latinos. Due to its isolated location and its rural, strongly Christian population, Idaho is considered one of the most conservative states in the USA. The Republicans have never lost a presidential election here.
Direct arrival from Europe is not possible – but regional flight connections to southern Idaho – to Boise – via Salt Lake City (Utah). Spokane (Washington) Airport is a good choice for the north.
Most of Idaho is shaped by the Rocky Mountains. There is a typical alpine climate with hot summers and cold, often snowy winters. At lower altitudes, summer temperatures can rise above 30 degrees. In mountainous regions, on the other hand, summers are short. The last snow melts here in June, it can snow again from September.
The weather in the western part of Idaho is influenced by the Pacific Ocean, around 500 km away, and is therefore milder and rainier than the leeward part in the east and south-east. In the east and southeast there is a continental climate with very little precipitation, but also lower temperatures.
In the southern region of the Snake River Plain – and the capital Boise – the climate is more temperate. Here you have to reckon with fewer extremes: spring and autumn are mild, winters are moderate. Especially in the summer months there is little rainfall.
|Average temperatures in Boise, Idaho in °C|
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Covering an area of 2,893.5 km², at an altitude of 1,750 m above sea level, one of the most unusual regions in the state stretches: cooled lava flows have formed an extraordinarily bizarre landscape of jagged and rippled fields dotted with volcanic cones and craters. The last eruption happened 2,000 years ago. The volcano is not extinct, but it is dormant.
The Craters-of-the-Moon area is so remote that it wasn’t better explored until the early 20th century. Up until the year 2000, just under a tenth of this region was designated as a protected area. Now the entire volcanic field with the adjacent prairie is also under protection. The fields were formed by lava flows that erupted from fissures in the earth’s crust up to 13,000 years ago. The whole area gives the impression that there are hardly any living beings. But despite the inhospitable appearance, 50 different species of mammals and 170 species of birds live in the area. There are also colorful wildflowers that bloom here every summer. In fact, in the 1960s, astronauts on the Apollo 14 space mission were prepared for their work and trained primarily in rock formations that have similarities to those on the moon.
The Visitors Center provides valuable information on the geology and natural history. In the park you can camp in summer and cross-country ski in winter.
Access via US-20. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, PO Box 29, Arco, ID 83213