Cities In Idaho: The Gem State
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, cities in Idaho exude a captivating allure with their vast wilderness, majestic peaks and bountiful natural resources. As one of the most geographically diverse states in the U.S., Idaho offers a unique blend of rugged landscapes, green valleys and crystal clear lakes. From the picturesque shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene to the rugged canyons of the Snake River, Idaho's geography beckons outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Its rich cultural heritage, shaped by Native American tribes, early explorers and pioneering settlers, adds depth to the state's identity. Whether adventuring through the wild expanses of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, enjoying world-class skiing in Sun Valley, or savoring the charm of small mountain towns, Idaho presents a treasure trove of experiences that leave an indelible mark on all who venture into this enchanting western gem.
Idaho Fun State Facts
Aptly nicknamed "The Gem State" dues to its abundant natural resources and precious gems, Idaho became the 43rd state to join the United States on July 3, 1890. With a population of 228,057 Boise is both the largest city in Idaho and the state capital. Famous for its potatoes, Idaho is the only place in the world to witness the potato drop where on New Year's Eve, a massive lighted potato descends at midnight. If that's not enough, there is also a potato museum for tourists and residents to enjoy. The state is also home to many other famous landmarks including Shoshone Falls, Hell's Canyon (the deepest gorge in North America) and the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Idaho is the 14 largest state in the U.S. by land area and the 39th largest state by population. Bordering Idaho states include Montana, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah. From Heaven's Gate Lookout, you are able to see 3 of those states (Oregon, Washington and Montana). Famous people born in Idaho include Aaron Paul, Jake Plummer, Jermy Shada, Josh Ritter and Paul Revere.
Idaho Historical Facts & Events
Idaho's history dates back thousands of years starting with Native American tribes such as the Nez Perce, Shoshone, Coeur d'Alene and Bannock. Later, in the 19th century the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed through the present-day state in 1805, which opened the region to further exploration. The state was actually one of the last to be explored. In the mid-19th century, the Oregon Trail became a crucial route for pioneers heading westward. The discovery of gold in Idaho in the 1860s brought a rush of miners seeking small fortunes. Towns like Idaho City, Boise Basin and Silver City boomed with activity and played a significant role in the years to come. After the gold rush era, agriculture became a vital industry in Idaho. The state's fertile soil and abundant water resources led to the cultivation of crops such as potatoes, wheat, barley and sugar beets. Idaho's abundant natural resources, including minerals, timber and hydroelectric power, have continued to drive its economy. The state's mining industry produces valuable resources like silver, lead, zinc, and phosphate. Today, the Idaho economy has diversified to include technology, manufacturing, tourism, and outdoor recreation, drawing visitors from around the world to experience its stunning landscapes and warm hospitality.
The Extraordinary Geography of Idaho
The geography of Idaho is as diverse as it is stunning, with its landscapes ranging from massive mountains and vast plains to green valleys and large lakes. Located in the northwestern United States, Idaho's geography is shaped by the Rocky Mountains, the Snake River, and numerous other natural wonders. Idaho has a total land area of 83,569 square miles and is 1.1% water. Even with a small percentage of water coverage, Idaho is home to numerous lakes and rivers including Lake Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille Lake and Payette Lake. The Salmon River, known as the "River of No Return," winds through the wilderness of central Idaho, providing thrilling whitewater rafting experiences. Along the western border with Oregon, Hell's Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America, carved by the Snake River. The canyon offers breathtaking views and excellent opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Idaho boasts extensive forests, covering about two-thirds of the state. The Clearwater National Forest, the Sawtooth National Forest, and the Targhee National Forest are among the protected areas that showcase the state's natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.
Thinking About Relocating to Idaho?
If you look at a map of Idaho, it may appear to be wedged between Washington and Montana, but when you cross the Idaho border, the great expanse of natural beauty makes it a territory uniquely its own. Larger than all of New England, the geography of Idaho is varied with such rivers as the Columbia and Snake, mountains such as the Sawtooth Range, and spectacular lakes such as Lake Coeur d'Alene. To the north, the arts community of Sandpoint draws travelers with its annual Festival at Sandpoint; to the south, the capital city of Boise is a population hub with an eclectic mix of restaurants and accommodations for business and pleasure travelers. Central Idaho's Sun Valley is a popular ski and entertainment destination.
Virtually all cities in Idaho enjoy a mild climate, especially in the northern part of the state where the marine influence of the distant Pacific moderates temperature extremes. The southwestern portion of Idaho experiences more variation, yet throughout the state drastic weather patterns are rare. The economy is largely supported by agriculture, with the potato crop being the chief export. Other jobs in Idaho are linked to such industries as lumber, paper production, and other manufacturing. According to the Idaho tourism board, the state's cost of living and crime rate are among the lowest of the 11 western states.
Crime rates in Idaho cities are almost 40% less than the rest of America, making Idaho a very safe place to live. The cost of living is about 5% less than the national average, with housing coming in more than 10% less than average.