Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for idaho

Into the Woods in Idaho

By Linda Tancs

The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is the third-largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. Located primarily in Idaho (with a small portion extending into Montana), it comprises four national forests: Bitterroot National Forest, Nez Perce National Forest, Clearwater National Forest and Lolo National Forest. Part of its charm are the dramatic Selway-Bitterroot peaks spanning the Bitterroot Range along the Montana-Idaho border. Wild and scenic, it’s a must-do for hikers, backpackers and other outdoor adventurers.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Silver Capital of the World

By Linda Tancs

More than 1 billion ounces of silver were mined in 100 years in the historic mining town of Wallace, Idaho. No wonder it’s called the Silver Capital of the World. And they’re not resting on their laurels; silver production is still a part of the economy. So is skiing and other outdoor recreation. But this time of year it’s the blues festival that draws crowds downtown, where every building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

What’s Hot in Idaho

By Linda Tancs

Idaho is one hot destination, literally. Just head on over to Lava Hot Springs, a quaint resort town on the way to Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons. Its therapeutic hot springs attract visitors from around the world. In addition to public pools (including an indoor aquatic center), many hotels have private hot pools. Even the “coolest” hot pool is pretty hot. Can you stand the heat? If not, then maybe an onsite massage is in order.

Idaho’s Volcanic Wonderland

By Linda Tancs

Along Idaho’s Snake River Plain a series of eruptions over 15,000 years ago formed a volcanic wonderland known as Craters of the Moon National Monument. And yes, the name does derive from its lunar-like appearance, a moniker popularized by promoter Robert Limbert in a national magazine article. Dormant rather than extinct, the area comprises more than 25 cinder cones, each one a small volcano. This time of year tiny wildflowers in neat little rows adorn the cinder slopes of the monument. Rest assured, there’s no professional landscaping here. The plants space themselves naturally to compete for limited resources in this harsh environment.

The Great Divide

By Linda Tancs

The Continental Divide is an epic hydrological divide separating the watersheds draining into the Atlantic Ocean from those draining into the Pacific Ocean. In the United States, its route is over 3,000 miles long, extending from the Canadian border with Montana to the Mexican boundary in southwest New Mexico. Following this course you’ll find the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, part of a series of national trails established by Congress in recognition of their natural beauty. The Continental Divide trail in particular passes through 25 national forests, 21 wilderness areas and three national parks, providing access to spectacular vistas in some of the most scenic places left in the world. The highest point is in Colorado at Grays Peak (14,270 feet) and the lowest is along Waterton Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana (4,200 feet). The long winter season along the Divide (September through May) is now over. Why not plan a hiking or camping trip! From backpacking to family day trips, there’s something for everyone.

Idaho’s Sweet Willy

By Linda Tancs

To be in the doghouse is generally not a good thing if you’re the two-legged sort–unless, of course, you’re in Cottonwood, Idaho.  That’s where you’ll find the Dog Bark Park Inn, a Beagle-shaped bed & breakfast guesthouse.  Affectionately known as Sweet Willy, the 30-foot-tall canine takes the cake (er, biscuit) as the world’s biggest Beagle.  Guests enter the unusual hotel through a private second story deck.  It was named one of the most fun and exciting places to stay by London’s Times.  Maybe you’ll agree.

A Lakeside Playground

By Linda Tancs

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is blessed with an abundance of lakes in the region left by glaciers from the Ice Age, including Lake Coeur d’Alene.  No wonder the city bills itself as “Your Lakeside Playground.”  The 25-mile lake plays host to sightseeing and dinner cruises as well as a beach and the world’s longest floating boardwalk at The Lake Coeur d’Alene Resort.  An all-weather destination, the area is home to three ski resorts offering over 131 runs and the West’s driest powder.

All Buttered Up in Idaho

By Linda Tancs

Just 10 miles south of Idaho Falls lies the epicenter of celebration of Idaho’s famed export, the potato.  Specifically, the small city of Shelley, Idaho has hosted the annual Spud Day festival (www.ci.shelley.id.us) since 1927.  The 17 September event commemorates the potato harvest and includes events like a parade at State Street, a potato picking contest, talent show and treasure hunt.  Pick up your free baked potato and trimmings at City Park. 

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Tater City

By Linda Tancs

Blackfoot, Idaho was known as Grove City, a tribute to its abundance of trees and parks.  Don’t forget the potatoes, though.  Blackfoot is the agricultural epicenter of Idaho’s revered potato industry.  Known as the Potato Capital of the World, it hosts–what else–the Idaho Potato Museum.  With each paid adult admission,
you will receive a box of hash browns to take home with you.  Welcome to tater heaven.

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Fun in the Sun Valley

By Linda Tancs

Sun Valley, Idaho is considered by many to be the birthplace of the U.S. ski resort industry.  Now in its 75th season, the resort destination has had plenty of time to perfect its ski-town image.  Located in central Idaho, this wealthy enclave has something for every level of skier.  Those willing to test their mettle should head on over to Bald Mountain, or Baldy, where the vertical drop is over 3000 feet.  For the more faint of heart, stick to the treeless Dollar Mountain where the vertical drop is a mere 600 feet.  Cross country skiers will love the 25 miles of groomed and marked trails that begin at the Nordic and Snowshoe Center.  If you need to brush up on your technique, you’ll find the area’s largest Nordic ski school in Sun Valley.  This location may also be familiar to you as the site of ice skating shows presented by the world’s best skaters.  Sun Valley Ice Rink continues to draw the biggest talent, and ice shows begin at dusk for a fabulous celestial experience.

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