Perfect for a short vacation or a longer trip where you take in the sites in several cities or states, Idaho and Utah offer something for everyone. Let's look at some of the spectacular and scenic areas you'll want to explore when you're in this region.
Bear Lake Valley
The Bear Lake Valley region of Idaho and Utah is one of the most beautiful sections of the Rocky Mountains and is located less than 25 miles from Logan, Utah. It's a popular destination throughout the year, and provides a wide range of outdoor activities from hiking to fishing to skiing. Here are a few great choices if you want to plan a getaway to this unique area depending on the time of year -
- Bear River Heritage Area -A large area that extends from the Bear River to the Great Salt Lake. Makes for an incredible drive through some spectacular country. You can find everything from hiking to bird watching areas to hot springs to native american heritage sites in this encompassing area.
- Winter Sports -Bear Lake Valley has several outstanding ski resorts. The area also has several locations that are ideal for for cross country skiing, such as Bear Lake Golf Course and Emigration Mountain in Idaho. The area also has over 350 miles of trails for snowmobiling.
- National Oregon/California Trail Center located in nearby Montpelier, Idaho features historical exhibits, live reenactments, a gun shop, a mercantile and covered wagon rides that will take you back in time when settlers traveled the trail. There are also holiday arts and crafts festivals, a gift shop, a community theatre and local restaurants and hotels nearby so that you have plenty of time to see it all at your own pace.
Logan is a city in Cache County that was founded by Mormons and is also the home of Utah State University. There are several ski resorts nearby as well as the beautiful Logan Tabernacle if you are into architecture. Here are a few other things to do in the area as well -
- Wind Caves -The Wind Caves are a popular place to hike, where you will find panoramic views along the trails as well as the beautiful caves. It's a relatively short hike of 3.5 miles, so it can be completed in a few hours.
- Crimson Trail -A breathtakingly scenic but also challenging hike that will take you to some of the higher cliffs in the area. This is not recommended for beginners and caution should be used during wet conditions.
- Willow Park Zoo - Located in Logan, it features a learning center and educational programs, a large variety of birds, many regional animals and a few non-regional animals as well! It is very inexpensive trip for the family and run by a non-profit organization. The perfect afternoon getaway.
Idaho Falls, which is the largest city in Eastern Idaho, is located in the Snake River Plain and surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. There are a variety of interesting things to do in and around the city.
- Hell's Half Acre -If you want to take a day trip and do some hiking, Hell's Half Acre is a fascinating place to visit. This is an ancient lava field with trails, tunnels and large lava pits.
- Snake River Greenbelt -A picturesque place to walk or take a bike ride alongside the river. It boasts a 4000 square foot pier that overlooks the river and includes an award winning water feature along the trail with cascading water falls and a 3.3 acre lake.
- Collector Corner Museum -Anyone interested in antiques and collectibles will enjoy this museum, which has a large selection of items to browse, including dolls, military collectibles, antique toy cars and much more.
- American Falls Reservoir -This is the largest reservoir on the Snake River and a beautiful place for camping, boating and fishing with easy access to everything the town of American Falls, Idaho Falls and Pocatello have to offer a short distance away.
Only about 20 miles from Boise, Nampa is a city in Canyon County that has a number of outstanding attractions for the whole family.
- Canyon County Historical Museum -This museum has exhibits and artifacts pertaining to local history, with a special emphasis on railroads. The museum is currently working on a project to restore the historic train depot.
- Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge -A large refuge that protects a variety of animal species, especially migratory birds. Depending on when you visit, you can witness amazing displays of mallards and Canadian Geese during their migrations.
- Warhawk Air Museum -A fascinating museum for anyone interested in military history. Contains a good selection of aircraft and memorabilia from World War II.
- Lake Lowell Park -A 20 acre park with trails, picnic tables, BBQ grills and a disc golf course. Boating is permitted during the spring and summer.
For people who appreciate nature and history, the Bear Lake Valley, Snake River Greenbelt and Lake Lowell area provides some of these areas most impressive sights. You can go hiking, horseback riding, boating or fishing in the warmer months and skiing or snowmobiling in winter. These areas also have an abundance of museums and old buildings that capture the region's history and charm.