Hiding between Montana and Oregon is a rather large chunk of land with some of the most vast and rugged mountains in the lower 48. It’s called Idaho (no, not Iowa), and when the federal government was dividing the northern territories into states, it got stuck with the leftovers nobody wanted: those bothersome mountain ranges that you just can’t farm in – 114 of them to be precise.
While that may have been a setback for the agriculturally deprived young state, it is a golden opportunity in the modern recreation economy. Over 60% of the state is public land, and with 3.9 million acres of Wilderness, it's the 3rd-most wild state in the union – and mountain lovers are beginning to notice. The outdoor industry now brings six times as much cash into Idaho as do its famous potatoes.