State parks are great places where you can hike and explore nature, enjoy fishing and boating activities, visit historic sites, try a little camping and even get away from it all for a few hours at a time. Visiting a state park is a great way to spend a day or weekend, and luckily for residents and visitors of Idaho, there are plenty of amazing state parks to choose from. Here are 10 of the best state parks in Idaho that you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
10. Lucky Peak State Park - Boise
Just a short drive from Boise, Lucky Peak State Park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports and activities. You can go fishing or boating, or bring your RV or tent and camp out overnight. The park also has an amphitheater, hiking trails, and a group picnic area with a covered pavilion. You can be able to find plenty of things to do at Lucky Peak State Park, making it a great place to visit for a day or even an extended weekend getaway.
9. Castle Rocks State Park - Almo
Castle Rocks State Park is a hidden gem in Idaho, with some of the best views and trails that any visitor would love. Known for its big canyons and jagged rock formations, this state park is the perfect place for visitors looking for a hiking adventure. According to the website of the park, the rocks were formed 2.5 million years ago and the entrance fee for every car is $5 onwards. You will also be required to pay extra for camping so make sure that you come prepared.
8. Shoshone Falls Park - Twin Falls
The Shoshone Falls Park often referred to as the Niagara of the West, can be found in Twin Falls. Bordering both the Snake River and the Shoshone River, this park is where you can find some of Idaho’s best views. The falls themselves can be seen from the top or bottom, with trails and boardwalks that allow for close-up access. As well as exploring the falls, you can also hike along the Perrine bridge, a newer addition to the park and home to the world’s longest commercial bungee jump. If you’re visiting in the spring, you may also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the spawning salmon as they swim upstream.
7. Heyburn State Park - Plummer
Heyburn State Park isn’t your classic state park. While it still offers the opportunity to hike, bike, camp, and fish, its main attraction is actually Heyburn Lake. The lake is connected to the Snake River by a dam and offers some of the best bass fishing in Idaho. There is also plenty of other fish to be caught including catfish, trout, and perch. The park itself is great for camping, with plenty of campsites available to visitors as well as a few cabins that can be rented. The park also has a historic community house that can be rented out and used for weddings or gatherings of all kinds.
6. City of Rocks National Reserve - Almo
The City of Rocks National Reserve is a unique and beautiful place to visit. It is located in southern Idaho near the town of Almo. The reserve is known for its interesting rock formations, which were created by ancient volcanic activity. There are also a variety of plant and animal species that call the Reserve home. It’s a great place to visit during any season and offers many different activities for you to enjoy.
5. Bruneau Dunes State Park - Bruneau
Located along I-84 between Mountain Home and Boise, Bruneau Dunes State Park serves as a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The park features four large dunes that are perfect for hiking, picnicking, and playing in the sand. There are also several small lakes within the park that are perfect for fishing and bird watching. Kids will love exploring the area and adults will appreciate the chance to relax in nature.
4. Henrys Lake State Park - Island Park
Henry's Lake State Park is an oasis of natural beauty in southern Idaho's Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The lake provides a coveted opportunity for some stellar fishing; if you're lucky, you might even spot the majestic bald eagle gracing the skyline. The park also offers several miles of hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking.
3. Harriman State Park - Island Park
Harriman State Park is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor recreation in the state. It features over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as scenic lakes and streams where you can fish or just relax by yourself. There are also plenty of campgrounds, cabins, and yurts to choose from. If you're looking for a bit more adventure during your visit, then be sure to check out the Harriman Trail. This trail is one of the most challenging bike trails in the state - just don't forget to bring along plenty of water. According to the New York State website, there are a lot of bear activities recently so camping along Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail is suspended. if you are ever faced with a bear, scream loudly and back away slowly. Make sure or don't run or get between the cub and their parents.
2. Yellowstone National Park - Island Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and for good reason. The park is home to an incredible array of geothermal features, including the world-famous geysers, as well as a wealth of wildlife. Visitors can see bison, elk, pronghorn, and grizzlies in the wild. While visiting Yellowstone National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, those who would like to get a glimpse of what it’s like to visit can explore Island Park. Just outside the western entrance of Yellowstone National Park, you’ll find this incredible area of natural beauty. There, you can get a view of the geothermal features in the area – and even see some wildlife.
1. Farragut State Park - Athol
Farragut State Park is a four-season family fun park in Athol, Idaho. It is one of the most visited state parks for its beautiful natural surroundings and numerous outdoor activities that are sure to keep you and your loved ones entertained throughout your stay. The park is situated in a lake region that is surrounded by lush green forests, with several lakes and rivers nearby. Other notable features of the park include the Snake River, the Gold Creek Pond, and the Farragut Monument. These sites are perfect for bird watching, boating, fishing, hiking, and many other types of recreational activities.
Idaho state park is a great place to visit for anyone who loves enjoying the beauty of nature. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day fishing or hiking, or an exciting adventure exploring the wilderness, there is something for everyone at these amazing parks in Idaho. So, if you're planning a trip to this beautiful state anytime soon, be sure to check out one of these top parks to visit in Idaho.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn