#37 best destination in the world

Silverwood Theme Park, Athol

Best time to travel: June-Sept
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Opened in 1988, originally, the park included a small assortment of carnival rides, a main street with shops and eateries, and an authentic steam train that traveled in a 30-minute loop around the property
  • Over the years, Silverwood has grown in both size and popularity, transforming from a small local amusement park to a regional theme park destination
  • In 2003, an adjacent waterpark named Boulder Beach Water Park was opened
  • In 2009, Silverwood began an annual Halloween event called Scarywood, held during evenings in the month of October
  • Today, Silverwood is the largest theme and water park in the American Northwest, boasting more than 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Central Idaho

Best time to travel: Sept-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Monument and national preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho, established in 1924
  • The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles of sagebrush steppe grasslands
  • All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet
  • There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features

Schweitzer Mountain, Bonner County

Best time to travel: Jan-Feb
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Ski resort in northern Idaho, located in Bonner County in the Selkirk Mountains
  • Schweitzer Mountain has a summit elevation of 6,400 feet above sea level with a vertical drop of 2,440 feet
  • There are 92 named runs and open bowls on Schweitzer’s skiable area of 2,900 acres, served by 10 lifts

Shoshone Falls, Jerome/Twin Falls County

Best time to travel: April-June
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Waterfall on the Snake River in south-central Idaho
  • Sometimes called the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is 212 feet in height, higher than Niagara Falls, and flows over a rim nearly one thousand feet in width
  • Formed by the cataclysmic outburst flooding of Lake Bonneville during the Pleistocene ice age about 14,000 years ago, Shoshone Falls marks the historical upper limit of fish migration (including salmon) in the Snake River, and was an important fishing and trading place for Native Americans
  • Shoshone Falls is best viewed in the spring, as diversion of the Snake River can significantly diminish water levels in the late summer and fall

Bogus Basin, Boise National Forest

Best time to travel: March-May
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Ski area in Boise County, within Boise National Forest
  • Ski season generally runs from Thanksgiving weekend until the weekend preceding April 15, depending on snow conditions
  • The area also has cross-country skiing on 23 miles of Nordic trails

Silver Mountain, Silver Valley

Best time to travel: Jan-Feb
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Ski resort located in the Silver Valley region of northern Idaho
  • Originally opened as “Jackass Ski Bowl” in January 1968, it was renamed “Silverhorn” in 1973
  • With planned improvements, most notably the gondola from the city of Kellogg and expansion on Kellogg Peak, the name was changed to “Silver Mountain” in the summer of 1989

Brundage Mountain, Payette National Forest

Best time to travel: Jan-mid April, late Nov-Dec
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Alpine ski area in the Payette National Forest
  • Brundage first opened in 1961, and offers skiing lessons, backcountry powder skiing, snowcat trips through the backcountry, guided snowmobile tours, and snowmobile rentals
  • During the summer months, Brundage has chairlift-served mountain biking on over twenty miles of specially built single-track trails