Idaho's State Parks Shine

Idaho is home to 30 distinct state parks

By: By Shirley Mak

A visit to one of Idaho’s 30 state parks may be a fun way to kick off this summer, especially since each park is so distinct in what it has to offer. Below are just a couple examples of some possible parks to visit.

For those with a thirst for adventure, Ponderosa State Park in McCall has numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as wildlife including eagles, deer and even the occasional bear. With its abundance of campgrounds, rental cabins and yurts, staying overnight is definitely a feasible option.

Visitors who want more of a rustic feel can head to Old Mission State Park in Cataldo, which was constructed by Catholic missionaries in the 1850s and has an exhibit on the Mission as well as on the Couer d’Alene Indians. A stay at the quaint Greenbriar Inn, located near scenic Lake Couer, is another fitting experience.

For more of a thrill, there’s Hells Gate State Park in Lewiston, which is located at the mouth of Hell’s Canyon, the steepest and deepest canyon in North America. Visitors can take a guided boat tour through the roaring rapids, look for wildlife or swim in the Snake River.

Located near the City of Rocks National Reserve is Castle State Rocks Park, which features opportunities for a wildflower walk, lunch in a picnic area or some photography in the park’s forests and meadows. The visitor’s center will also have information on hiking, camping, climbing and geology. Rock climbers can easily head over to the National Reserve to mount a series of unique geologic formations. The climb is sure to be a memorable experience, as some of the granite is estimated to be 2.5 billion years old.

Visit Idaho.