Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Plan a long weekend getaway with our Idaho Falls adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.
GPS: 43°29'N 112°02'W
Big-box stores and cookie-cutter housing developments may give Idaho Falls that "anywhere USA" vibe, but no other major metro area is as well situated alongside the legendary trout waters of the South Fork of the Snake River.
Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Idaho Falls adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.
If you’re fished out, swap your waders for hiking boots and venture into Yellowstone and Grand Teton, both about a hundred miles away. Or, take an overnight trip out to Island Park: 90 miles northeast of Idaho Falls, the park has similar terrain and geographical phenomena to Yellowstone, its next-door neighbor. Island Park is also home to a now-extinct volcano, with a 58-mile by 40-mile basin that offers stunning hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Wildflowers, bald eagles, and grizzly cubs emerge north of eastern Idaho’s Bitterroot Mountains in the spring, which is also a great time of year to jump on a piece of the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Scenic Trail, a trekking experience unique to this part of the world. Hike Lemhi Pass—Lewis and Clark’s famous point of crossing—on the border of Idaho and Montana.
The Whitewater Grill, which overlooks the Salmon River, is the perfect place to unwind over anything from steak to sushi (wasabiidaho.com
A rustic cabin makes the perfect base camp for your Island Park explorations (islandparkidaho.com
). For trips to Lemhi Pass, campgrounds in the Challis National Forest abound. Try the Bear Valley (upper) Trailhead Campground off of Forest Service Road #009. Getting there is a bit tricky; we suggest checking out details with a forest ranger before heading off into the woods (stateparks.com/challis.html