STATE PARKS &
When you need a destination with stunning scenery, open spaces and National Park-worthy recreation, look to Southwest Idaho.
IDAHO STATE PARKS
There are six state parks in the region. Just outside of Mountain Home is Bruneau Dunes State Park, home to the tallest free-standing sand dunes in the nation, and Three Island Crossing State Park near Glenns Ferry, where emigrants on the Oregon Trail crossed the Snake River.
Lucky Peak State Park is a beautiful reservoir in the Boise Foothills. Located just outside the city of Eagle is Eagle Island State Park, bordered on the north and south by the Boise River.
Off Highway 55 is Lake Cascade State Park, a lovely place for year-round outdoor recreation. Ponderosa State Park, just outside of McCall, is surrounded by Payette Lake and offers beautiful year-round recreation and lodging.
NATIONAL FORESTS IN SW IDAHO
Idaho is known for its wilderness areas and is home to some of the most remote places in the nation. Three national forests span Southwest Idaho: Boise National Forest, Payette National Forest, and Sawtooth National Forest. These forests are home to thousands of plant and animal species, not to mention seemingly endless recreation opportunities.
HELLS CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area creates an impressive natural border between Idaho and Oregon. As the nation’s deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon is vast, remote and absolutely worth a visit. Here you will also see an abundance of wildlife, from bald eagles to bears to aquatic life. Experience Hells Canyon from the water, from a trail along the canyon rim or from the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.
BIRDS OF PREY NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA
More than 700 pairs of raptors nest each spring in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. The National Conservation Area is located 35 miles south of Boise along 81 miles of the Snake River. Watch for flight activity in spring and early summer.
OWYHEE CANYONLANDS WILDERNESS
The lesser-known Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness stretches more than half a million acres across Southwest Idaho, encompassing some of the most remote canyons, rivers and desert in the lower 48. The best time to explore this otherworldly landscape is spring and early summer, before temperatures heat up.