A Sunny Guide to the Outdoors in Southwest Idaho
Fun In The Sun Guide
Summer in Idaho is all about getting outside. The fun starts the minute you step out your door.
Playing in the Sun!
Whether you are looking for an idyllic camping spot in the mountains or your next big adventure in the desert, Southwest Idaho delivers. Read on for a few of our favorite can’t-miss activities!
Follow the Snake River into Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. The dramatic basalt rock formations, abundant wildlife, and perfect rapids make Hells Canyon a popular spot for backpacking, fishing, and whitewater fun. Several companies offer jet boat rides, rafting adventures and fishing charters you’ll never forget (check out our Whitewater Guide for the best rafting in Southwest Idaho).
Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge.
- America’s Rafting Co
Float into the deep Idaho wilderness on a 3 to 6-day whitewater rafting adventure with America’s Rafting Co.
- Hells Canyon Adventures
Plunge into the surging waters of the Snake River as you navigate through powerful rapids and the deepest river gorge in North America.
- Mountain River Outfitters
Escape into the Idaho Wilderness on a premier river trip with Mountain River Outfitters.
Try exploring the miles of trails in Hell’s Canyon during the early spring. Temps are often already warm during the day, and you’ll probably get the place to yourself.
Desert & Dunes
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Stretching from Bruneau Dunes to Three Island Crossing, you will find the most spectacular hikes, rivers, biking and ATVing. Or rent a sand board and surf the dunes!
- Bruneau Dunes State Park
Fishing, boating, picnic area, birding, hiking, horseback riding, star gazing, dune skiing/sledding.
- Three Island Crossing State Park
Camping, hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife, wildflower viewing, disc golf, picnic area.
McCall Central Mountains
With the snow off the slopes, McCall becomes a great destination for a wide range of outdoor activities. Hiking. Biking. Boating. Fishing. Kayaking. Camping. And all within a quick drive of one of the top mountain towns in the West.
- Brundage Mountain
Brundage has several mountain biking trails with various levels of terrain that cater to both first-timers and experienced bikers. The lift service will drop you off at BlueBird Quad, which leads to a 20-mile downhill cruise through the wilderness.
- Jug Mountain Ranch
Guest Ranch, restaurant, golfing, cabins, mountain biking and more.
- Payette Lake
Camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, volleyball, horsehoes, swimming, fishing, boating.
- Cascade Lake
Camping, picnic area, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, boating, ATV.
Farm-to-table dinners. World class wineries. Destination Caldwell has all the details on the best experiences in this up-and-coming city.Learn More
Payette Lake next to McCall, Idaho
MCCALL LAKE CRUISES
Take in panoramic views of Payette Lake, McCall and the mountains on board The Idaho!Learn More
Boise Metro Area
Live like a local and enjoy the miles of easy-access trails, nature reserves and water activities all summer long. (Check out our Food & Wine Guide for the best dining spots in the Boise area.)
- Boise Foothills
Nearly 200 miles of singletrack mountain biking trails in the foothills surrounding Boise. Download our Mountain Biking Area Map for a list of trails.
Hiking, mountain biking, scenic views.
- Boise Greenbelt
The Boise Greenbelt is a 20-mile urban trail that follows the Boise River, providing the perfect way to see the city by foot or by bike. You’ll discover plenty of great stops along the way, including breweries, restaurants, and concert venues. Bike rentals are available at many locations.
Walking, biking, swimming, tubing, parks, downtown Boise.
- Bogus Basin
Sitting just 30 minutes outside of downtown Boise, Bogus has some of the best mountain biking trails in all of Idaho.
Hiking, mountain biking.
- Quinn’s Pond (and Boise Whitewater Park)
Incredible SUPing opportunity right in the middle of town. For the more adventurous, try urban river surfing in a kayak or on a board.
SUPing, surfing, kayaking.
- Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Start your visit to Deer Flat at the Refuge Visitor Center. Grab a refuge brochure, view wildlife from the observation room, enjoy hands-on activities in KidSpace, or learn from interpretive displays.
Hiking, boating, swimming, birding.
- Roaring Springs Waterpark & Wahooz Family Fun Zone
Want to feel like a kid again? Bring the whole family to the largest waterpark in the Northwest. Float along a lazy river, catch some waves, or take a spin on Snake River Run.Be sure to check out Wahooz & Pinz next door for 15 indoor & outdoor attractions including go-karts, mini golf, laser tag, bowling and more.
Biking at Brundage Mountain
BRUNDAGE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Blessed with more than 320 base area inches of snowfall annually, Brundage Mountain has an undisputed reputation for the Best Snow in Idaho™.Learn More