State parks are great places where you can hike, explore nature, enjoy fishing activities, go boating, visit historical sites, try a little camping, and even get away from it all for a few hours at a time. A visit to a state park is a great way to spend a day or a weekend, and fortunately for Idaho residents and visitors, there are plenty of amazing state parks to choose from. Here are 10 of the best state parks in Idaho that you definitely don’t want to miss.
10. Lucky Peak State Park – Boise
A short drive from Boise, Lucky Peak State Park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports and activities. You can go fishing, boating, or bring your RV or tent and camp overnight. The park also has an amphitheater, hiking trails, and a group picnic area with a covered pavilion. You can find plenty of things to do in Lucky Peak State Park, which makes it a great place to visit for a day or even an extended weekend.
9. Castle Rocks State Park – Almo
Castle Rocks State Park is a hidden gem in Idaho, with some of the best views and trails any visitor would love. Known for its large valleys and jagged rock formations, this public park is the perfect place for visitors looking for a hiking adventure. According to the park’s website, the rocks formed 2.5 million years ago, and the entry fee per car is $5 onwards. You will also be required to pay extra for camping, so make sure you are prepared.
8. Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls
Shoshone Falls Park often referred to as Niagara of the West can be found in Twin Falls. Bordering both the Snake River and Shoshone River, this park is where you can find some of the best views in Idaho. The falls themselves can be seen from above or below, with walkways and walkways allowing for close-up access. In addition to exploring the waterfalls, you can also hike along the Pirin Bridge, which is a new addition to the park and home to the world’s longest commercial bungee jump. If you’re visiting in the spring, you might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of salmon that are spawning while swimming downstream.
7. Hepburn State Park – Plummer
Heyburn State Park isn’t your classic state park. Although it still offers the opportunity to hike, bike, camp, and fish, its main attraction is Lake Hepburn. The lake is connected to the Snake River by a dam and offers some of the best sea bass in Idaho. There are also plenty of other fish to catch including catfish, trout, and perch. The park itself is great for camping, with plenty of camping sites for visitors as well as a few cabins that can be rented. The park also contains a historic community home that can be rented and used for weddings or gatherings of all kinds.
6. City of Rocks National Park – Elmo
The City of Rocks National Reserve is a unique and beautiful place to visit. It is located in southern Idaho near the city of Almo. The reserve is famous for its interesting rock formations, which were created by ancient volcanic activity. There is also a variety of plant and animal species called the reserve. It is a great place to visit during any season and offers many different activities for you to enjoy.
5. Bruno Dunes State Park – Bruno
Located along I-84 between Mountain Home and Boise, Bruneau Dunes State Park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The park features four large sand dunes that are perfect for walking, picnicking and playing on the sand. There are also several small lakes within the park which are ideal for fishing and bird watching. Kids will love exploring the area and adults will appreciate the opportunity to relax in nature.
4. Henrys Lake State Park – Island Park
Henry’s Lake State Park is an oasis of natural beauty in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in southern Idaho. The lake provides a desirable opportunity for some excellent fishing. If you’re lucky, you might also spot the majestic bald eagle peeking out over the horizon. The park also offers several miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking trails.
3. Harriman State Park – Island Park
Harriman State Park is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor recreation in the state. It features more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as scenic lakes and streams where you can fish or just relax on your own. There are also plenty of campgrounds, cabins, and tents to choose from. If you are looking for a little more adventure during your visit, be sure to visit the Harriman Trail. This trail is one of the most challenging bike trails in the state – just don’t forget to bring plenty of water. According to the New York State website, there’s been a lot of bear activity lately, so camping along the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail has been suspended. If you ever encounter a bear, shout it loudly and walk away slowly. Make sure or not to run or stand between the cub and their parents.
2. Yellowstone National Park – Island Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and for good reason. The park is home to an incredible array of geothermal features, including world-famous geysers, as well as a wealth of wildlife. Visitors can see bison, elk, antlers, and grizzlies in the wild. While visiting Yellowstone National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, those who want to get a glimpse of what it’s like to visit can explore Island Park. You’ll find this incredible area of natural beauty just outside the western entrance to Yellowstone National Park. There, you can get a view of the area’s geothermal properties – and even see some wildlife.
1. Farragut State Park – Athol
Farragut State Park is a four-season family amusement park in Athol, Idaho. It is one of the most visited state parks due to its beautiful natural surroundings and many outdoor activities that are sure to keep you and your loved ones entertained throughout your stay. The park is located in a lake area surrounded by lush green forests with many lakes and rivers nearby. Other notable features of the park include the Snake River, Gold Creek Pond, and the Farragut Memorial. These locations are ideal for bird watching, boating, fishing, hiking, and many other recreational activities.
The Idaho State Park is a great place to visit for anyone who loves to enjoy the beauty of nature. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day of fishing or hiking, or an exciting adventure of exploring the wilderness, there is something for everyone at these amazing parks in Idaho. So, if you are planning a trip to this beautiful state anytime soon, be sure to check out one of the best must-visit parks in Idaho.