Photos are provided courtesy of Idaho Tourism.
The diversity of this area provides a wide spectrum of geological masterpieces. These are not limited to vast river canyons, mountains, lava fields and ancient lake basins which host an abundant array of wildlife. Larger communities follow highway corridors, while small-town life thrives in more remote communities. This is potato country, with fields and processing plants bringing Idaho's most famous product to the world.
Mountains dominate the central part of southeast Idaho with the peaks of the Boulder, White Cloud, Lost River, Lemhi and Sawtooth ranges making the area the most mountainous in the state. Idaho's highest peak, Mount Borah, rises 12,662 feet above the sweeping plains around it. Thousands of creeks, alpine lakes and rivers weave between the peaks; and antelope, elk, deer and moose can be seen grazing in meadows. Some of the most spectacular vistas in Idaho are found in Stanley, which lies along the Salmon River in a land of high mountain meadows punctuated with cattle ranches and forests. From the Stanley Basin you can venture into the Sawtooth Wilderness Area or the Sawtooth National Recreation Area with their countless streams and over 300 alpine lakes. The Salmon River is the “whitewater capital of the world” where you can be outfitted to run the river that Lewis and Clark dubbed "The River of No Return".
The eastern part of this region showcases snowcapped peaks of the Grand Tetons, thundering waterfalls, glistening lakes and free-flowing rivers. Near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, you can see an abundance of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. In southeast Idaho the Continental Divide defines the border between Idaho and Montana. Excursions along this trail offer unforgettable views.
Magic Valley located in south central Idaho contains some of America’s most productive farmland. The Snake River Canyon, over 486 feet deep and 1500 feet across in some places, can be viewed from the Perrine Bridge as you enter Twin Falls. Not far from Twin Falls on the Snake River is Shoshone Falls, which is higher than Niagara at an impressive 212 feet. The falls are best viewed in spring from the park on the south rim of the canyon just outside of Twin Falls. West of Twin Falls, near Hagerman, Thousand Springs is the result of water emerging from the Snake River Plains aquifer and seemingly springs out of the rocks. Nearly 85 percent of all the commercial trout sold in the United States is produced in the Hagerman Valley near Twin Falls.
Rejuvenating Lava Hot Springs is a gathering place of diverse peoples, drawing visitors from around the world. Minnetonka Cave is to the south, and offers visitors a half a mile trek through a panorama of stalactites, stalagmites and fossils. Straddling the Idaho-Utah border, Bear Lake provides an abundance of water sports from fishing, sailing, power boating, and swimming at North Beach, one of the most popular swimming sites in a three-state area.