There’s more to Idaho than big potatoes, neo-Nazis, Demi Moore and Evel Knievel.
The southern section of this jigsaw puzzle–shaped state, sandwiched between the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies, serves enough activities to keep you smiling for weeks. There’s mad five-day rafting trips (think sleeping under the stars at the edge of the water) down the world-class Snake River to join. And kick-ass shoots to ride at glitzy Sun Valley and Ketchum ski resorts, which attract a movie-star crowd. When you need to return to modernity, there’s Boise. The low-key state capital is filled with funky coffee shops and increasingly trendy nightlife.
It’s easy to get lost in Idaho, if you want to. The state is second only to Alaska when it comes to national forests and wilderness areas, has more lakes than anywhere else in North America and is home to one of the USA’s deepest gorges, dramatic Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.
OK, we’re not going to lie. The Idaho panhandle did once attract a greater than average number of white supremacists, when the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations was operating out of a 20-acre compound north of Cour d’Arlene. And the state claims the dubious honor of hosting one of Evel Kneivel’s more infamous stunts – his unsuccessful attempt to jump his rocket propelled motorcycle across the Snake River Canyon in 1974.
But Idaho’s state-wide wild beauty, endearing towns and outdoor adventure buffet are as much a part of this state’s soul as the clichés and eccentric residents associated with it – and a much better part at that.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009