Idaho: naturally beautiful

NOT often the first thought-of destination when travelling the US, the state of Idaho has more kilometres of designated wilderness than anywhere else in the continental USA. There are waterfalls, blue ribbon trout streams, ancient lava flows, sand dunes, free-flowing rivers, lakes and mountains.

If water recreation is your kind of holiday, then you can’t pass up on a visit to Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene in the state’s northwest, where you can experience canoeing, kayaking, boating and lake cruises. The highlight of the state’s water-based adventures is a jet boat tour through Hells Canyon on the Snake River — the continent’s deepest river-carved gorge.

If you’re more inclined to stay in urban areas during your vacation, be sure to visit Boise in the southwest. Packed with locally owned restaurants, craft breweries and wine-tasting rooms, the state’s capital is also not far from the communities of Ketchum, Sun Valley and Stanley, where you can enjoy skiing, hot springs and fly-fishing. Just north of the city is the Payette and Salmon rivers, where you can book half-, full- or multi-day whitewater rafting adventures.

The east of the state is where things really heat up. There are lava fields to check out at the Craters of the Moon National Monument, as well as trout streams, hot springs, waterfalls, and snowmobiling in the winter.

And when the snow rolls in, Idaho doesn’t disappoint with 18 ski areas, all of which feature fresh powder and short lines. Choose from destination resorts such as Schweitzer Mountain, Sun Valley and Grand Targhee and local ski haunts such as Lookout Pass, Tamarack Resort and Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area.

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