Best Place to Hike in Idaho
Idaho! The land of the Idaho Potato. But also, the land of beautiful mountains and lush landscape. If you are caught off guard by this, you aren’t alone.
I too once thought Idaho was a barren land with nothing to offer other than high carb potato spuds. It turns out, nothing could be farther from the truth. Idaho is filled with beautiful landscapes, vast amounts of protected wildlife, and more than 19 thousand miles of trails to hike. Idaho is easily an outdoorsman’s’ dream summer getaway.
Today, we are going to go over three hiking trails in Idaho that you must go on. Picking just three wasn’t an easy task by any means, and please, don’t be offended if your favorite hiking destinations didn’t make this list. There are just too many beautiful places and picking only three was more difficult of a task than one might think. And we think that one of these three is the best place to hike in Idaho.
We’ll start with Darby Canyon Wind Cave in Driggs, Idaho. This trial is roughly a 5.5-mile hike and has a range of about 2020 feet of elevation, making this a good trail for those who are looking for somewhat of a challenge. The cliffs throughout the trail combined with the wind cave itself can lead to some unpredictable weather so you should be sure to pack accordingly. Plus it is in the mountains so expect it to be chilly year round.
Speaking of inclement weather, on the trail you will come across a memorial for five hikers that were struck by lightning in 1951. The lesson to take here is, if you notice bad weather looming over you, turn around and come back another time.
Making your way to the wind cave can be treacherous, snow covers the ground, basically always, and when it doesn’t, you have heaps of mud to navigate through. But the scenery around you is gorgeous and makes the hassle of reaching the cave so worth it.
Once you do reach the cave go ahead and take a peek inside, but don’t go too far. There are numerous cliffs and water holes, exploring the cave is amazingly dangerous. By the way, bring some bear spray. I have read on several occasions that it has been useful.
The beauty that this trail has to offer makes it a destination that any nature lover should see. So if you ever find yourself driving through Driggs Idaho, take a day to see this gem. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Upper Priest River Trail #302
This is an excellent trail for bringing along the entire family; it is scenic and a pretty easy trek. It is mostly covered by the foliage of the trees indigenous to the area, offering excellent cover from the sun. Once you get about four miles in you will emerge from the cedar trees and be at the lake shore. You can follow the coastline to the Trapper Creek Campgrounds and set up for the evening, something I would highly recommend.
Trail #302 is an easy hike that you can enjoy with the entire family. The scenery is pleasant and the destination the path leads you to is a great one if you enjoy camping. I would recommend taking your family out here for a couple of days.
The Bruneau Canyon is a beautiful place to hike. The Bruneau Canyon is not even visible until you reach the edge of the cliffs. Here is when you get to experience the beauty it has to offer, the cliffs drop thousands of feet, and running through them is the Bruneau River (if you enjoy rafting this is an excellent remote rafting spot).
You can hike the rim of the canyon if you like. It isn’t a difficult hike at all, but you are on the edge of a canyon, so it goes without saying, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. There are fences to help protect children from walking off of the cliff, but personally, I will not be bringing my kids here.
This hike gives you fantastic views of junipers and red volcanic cliffs and “hoodoo” rock spires (one of nature’s most gorgeous and odd creations). The wildlife on this trail includes cougars, coyotes, bighorn sheep, deer, and river otters. This place is beautiful, the mix of animals, canyons, rivers and crazy rock designs make it an experience that you have to have.
I’ve said many times throughout my life, that nature has a way of allowing us to reconnect with who we are at our core. That fact is the reason I enjoy spending time in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the clothes I’m wearing and whatever I put in my backpack.
It just seems to put me at ease. I think these three destinations will do the same for you and your family. I hope you like our best place to hike in Idaho presentation.
- Darby Canyon: http://nwtravelmag.com/hiking-darby-canyon-wind-cave-driggs-id/
- Priest River Trail: http://www.priestlake.org/9-attractions/50-trail-302
- Bruneau Canyon: https://visitidaho.org/things-to-do/hiking-backpacking/bruneau-river-canyon/
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