Idaho is an absolutely beautiful state, and not only do we have some of the best natural landmarks, attractions, lakes, rivers, and mountains etc.But we’re also home to some of the greatest and most amazing wildlife — including unique Owls, Falcons, Hawks, and Bald Eagles.
Well, on June 21, 2022, Travis Hall with Field & Stream reported, “Idaho Men Receive Hunting and Firearm Bans for Poaching Eagles and Hawks; The poachers were caught spotlighting and killing red-tailed hawks and golden eagles at a national conservation area.”
Um… yeah, how about let’s NOT shoot down our Nation’s federally protected birds?! What the heck?
And according to Field & Stream’s report of the U.S. Department of Justice’s press release, these two men have been at this for quite some time, as there have been “multiple reports of dead raptors found beneath power lines that parallel a road in Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.”
The agents investigating the case have been finding multiple dead raptors including, “red-tailed, ferruginous, and rough-legged hawks, along with multiple golden eagles.” Field & Stream explains, “the aforementioned hawk species are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, while golden eagles are protected under the Bald Eagle Act of 1940. All of the raptors showed signs of being shot.”
If you’d like to go and see some of Idaho’s favorite birds (Owls, Falcons, Golden Eagles etc.) read here about the Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey — it’s a perfect family activity and it’s near the Boise Area.
How Many of These Idaho Attractions Have You Been To?
Google “things to do in Idaho” and these attractions come up on nearly every list! With so many of them in our backyard, how many of them have you actually been to?
Sun Valley and more specifically, Bald Mountain, is home to the most famous skiing in the world. It’s also the birthplace of the modern day ski lift. We think it’s pretty cool that Google actually sent someone on a snowmobile out on the trails on Bald Mountain to take these cool Google Street view photos!
City of Rocks
“A city of tall spires,” “Steeple Rocks” and “Silent City” are all names that have been used to describe the City of Rocks near Almo, Idaho. It’s a place to enjoy rock climbing, hiking, camping and take a look back at Idaho’s “Old West” past.
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Bruneau Sand Dunes near Mountain Home is home to the tallest sing-structured sand dune in North America. As temperatures start to cool down, you’ll see the return of sandboarders who slide down the 470 foot dune like it was snow. Sandboards can be rented for $15 a day at the park’s visitor center on days where the air temperature is below 80º.
Craters of the Moon
It’s hard to picture Idaho as a hot spot for volcanic activity, but once upon a time Craters of the Moon experienced lava erupting through a series of deep cracks that the National Parks Service calls “The Great Rift.” They estimate that the site was formed about 15,000 years ago. You won’t find a volcano like the ones you saw in storybooks here, but there are more than 25 mini volcanoes called cinder cones at this national park. Over the years, beautiful wildflowers started to appear along the slopes of those mini volcanoes. In 1969, a group of astronauts from the Apollo 14 mission came to learn about volcanic geology at Craters of the Moon before their trip to the moon.
The “Smurf Turf”
It’s funny to call something that’s basically in our backyard an “attraction” but seeing The Blue is a bucket list item for tourists visiting Boise for the first time. People from all 50 states and 37 different countries have signed the guestbook.
Idaho Botanical Garden
If you Google “things to see in Idaho” the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise comes up on every single list. It’s a living museum split into smaller gardens like the English Garden, Rose Garden, Herb Garden and Meditation Garden. It’s a also a concert venue welcoming some of the biggest names in music to “Outlaw Field.” And from Thanksgiving until late December, it’s home to one of the most spectacular Christmas lights displays in the state – Winter Garden aGlow.
Idaho Potato Museum
While Idahoans might think it’s silly, tourists believe that the state is full of nothing but potatoes so why ruin the fantasy? The Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot walks guests through the state’s history in the potato industry, sells potato cookbooks and other potato themes swag and has it’s own Potato Station cafe.
Downed World War II Bomber
Hiking in McCall? Add the Loon Lake hike to your bucket list. This WWII era bomber has been sitting at this crash site since January 1943 and there’s a pretty incredible story behind how every man on board survived.
Idaho State Captiol
If you live in Boise, this is one of those things you see everyday so it doesn’t feel like much of an “attraction.” However, students from outside the Treasure Valley look forward to field trips here as much as tourists.
Yellowstone Bear World
Have you ever wanted to bottle-feed a baby bear cub? Yellowstone Bear World near Idaho Falls gives you the opportunity to do that as one of their experience! The drive-thru wildlife park lets you experience free-roaming wildlife like the American Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Mule Deer, Bison and more! They also have a petting zoon and a small handful of kid friendly amusement park rides. If you’re hoping to get in a visit this year, you better hurry! They’re only open through mid-October because of the bear’s hibernation patterns.
Lake Coeur d’Alene
Nicknamed the “Playground of the Pacific Northwest, Lake Coeur d’Alene is something every Idahoan and non-Idahoan should experience at least once. Our favorite way to experience them is by taking one of the river cruises they offer! One of said cruises is a “Journey to the North Pole” where kids get to visit with Santa and families get to marvel at over 250 holiday light displays around the lake. They also offer hot cocoa cruises, eagle cruises and sunset cruises.
Museum of Clean
In Pocatello, being pristine is highly valued. So much so that there is even a museum dedicated to being clean. Among the items here, you will find the world’s first vacuum cleaner built in 1860. They are also home to the world’s largest janitor. At the Museum of Clean, you will learn about clean air, water, language, floors, jokes, and more!
Image via Google Maps
Lava Hot Springs
Is Lava Hot Springs a town or a waterpark? The answer is simple “yes.” There are dozens of hot springs pools around this small Idaho town, but it’s also home to the Lava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming Pool & Waterpark.
Museum of Idaho
Not to be confused with the Idaho State Museum in Boise, this is a huge museum in Idaho Falls. It’s currently hosting the Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out and Way Out West exhibits in addition to its everyday exhibits. They’ve got a great sense of humor at this museum. They hosted an exhibit for Wonder Woman’s “Invisible Plane” in 2019 and accepted a signed Ocean Spray bottle from TikTok and Idaho celebrity(Nathan Podcast) last year.