Where is Idaho Located in the US? Why should I travel to Idaho?

Spectacular aerial view of Shoshone Falls or Niagara of the West, Snake River, Idaho, United States.
Spectacular aerial view of Shoshone Falls or Niagara of the West, Snake River, Idaho, United States.

Idaho is a Pacific Northwest state and a Rocky Mountain State. It is bordered entirely by Canada to the north and bordered by six other states in the other directions. When looking at a map, Idaho is predominately in the top right region.

Where is Idaho on a US map?

Where is Idaho located in the US
Where is Idaho located in the US

Idaho borders several US states including Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Oregon. Idaho also has a small border with Canada. Crossing the border to Canada there will mean you are in British Columbia. This border also happens to be the 49th parallel. The southernmost part of Idaho lies along the 42nd parallel.

Interesting Facts about Idaho

While Idaho is the 14th largest state, it is the 13th least populous.

The land of Idaho became part of the United States in the Oregon Treaty of 1846 and it was considered part of Oregon Country, Oregon Territory, and Washington Territory. It became organized as its own territory in 1863 and later went on to become the 43rd state in 1890.

Idaho has two different time zones, however, rather than being split east and west like states such as Tennessee or Florida, it is divided north and south along the panhandle. The Idaho Panhandle is in the Pacific Time Zone along with Washington, while the rest of the state is in the Mountain Time Zone like Utah.

The United States Forest Service owns roughly 38% of Idaho’s land, which is the highest proportion of land held by the Forest Service in any other state.

Idaho is very well known for its potato crop and yields one-third of the nation’s potatoes.

Idaho’s Capital

Idaho state capital building and city of Boise
Idaho state capital building and city of Boise

Idaho’s capital is Boise. This city is the most populous city within Idaho. Boise is only 41 miles away from the Oregon border and 110 miles away from the Nevada border.

The Boise Metropolitan area is situated within five different counties and brings the population from roughly 250,000 to roughly 750,000. The Boise Metropolitan area also includes two other of Idaho’s largest cities: Nampa, and Meridian.

The downtown Boise area is home to small businesses and medium sized buildings. Major attractions include the Basque Block, the Egyptian Theater, the Boise Art Museum, and Zoo Boise.

Reasons to Visit Idaho

Idaho boasts more than 30 scenic byways, 60 wineries, 70 breweries, 130 hot springs, 3,000 miles of raftable whitewater, and more than 30,000 miles of hiking or backpacking trails.

For people looking for a rafting experience, Idaho has the world-famous Middle Fork of the Salmon River where you can take a weeklong trip rafting down it. Idaho also has plenty of hot springs for relaxing your muscles and improving your health.

Lower Salmon River Idaho
Lower Salmon River Idaho

The Shoshone Falls are higher than Niagara, plunging 212 feet into the Snake River, which is excellent for thrill seekers and people wanting to take in some awesome beauty. In the late summer, you can take a paddleboard to get close to falls without risking your life.

Spectacular aerial view of Shoshone Falls or Niagara of the West, Snake River, Idaho, United States.
Spectacular aerial view of Shoshone Falls or Niagara of the West, Snake River, Idaho, United States.

In general, Idaho is full of rivers to enjoy in some manner or fashion. Whether it is canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, rafting, or tubing, Idaho has it.

For people more interested in driving, there are thousands of miles of scenic byway to traverse. The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway and the City of Rocks Scenic Byway will each take you past waterfalls, canyons, and gorgeous landscape. They will also take you through small towns and great fishing spots.  

Overlook on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, Idaho
Overlook on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, Idaho

For the beer and wine lovers, there are craft breweries everywhere in Idaho and nearly as many wineries. Trying to taste test them all would require a lot of time and dedication.

Snake River wine region in southwestern Idaho
Snake River wine region in southwestern Idaho

Reasons to Move to Idaho

Idaho is perhaps the best state for anyone looking to stargaze. So if you are someone who is interested in seeing the stars in the night sky, consider moving there and becoming part of the 20% of the United States population that can see the stars in the night sky.

For example, you can see the Milky Way, which not very many other people in the United States can do. Idaho has designated dark parks and you can see the Northern Lights there.

Idaho has plenty of national parks and monuments for you to visit any time you want. These monuments include:

  • City of Rocks National Preserve
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • And many more!

Additionally, the cost of living in Idaho is comparatively low to other states in the Pacific Northwest. Idaho also has lower taxes than nearby states, which means even more money stays in your pocket.

People looking to experience four seasons throughout the year will never miss out in Idaho whatsoever. Idaho has low crime rates and there is hardly any traffic.

It is the perfect place for an outdoorsy type to move, because practically everyone’s backyard is a vast wilderness with so much to do. Plus, because Idaho has so much good agriculture, the supply chains for food are just that much closer. Consider having nearly immediate access to fresh meat and produce, particularly trout and potatoes.

Idaho is also great for people wanting to have space to themselves. The state is huge and just not that populated, so there is plenty of room for you. Plus, the state is very close to the West Coast, which means many West Coast attractions are within easy reach.


Idaho is a lovely state for people who love the outdoors and want some space to spread out with privacy. There are plenty of national parks, trails, scenic byways, and water for you to get out and enjoy.

For the people looking to experience the stars and the great outdoors, Idaho is a great place to put on your retirement list, or maybe consider moving there even sooner.

Alternatively, for people who just want a taste of the outdoors, visiting Idaho is also a perfectly acceptable option. There are plenty of places to go and get the outdoorsy fix before returning to wherever you came from.

See Also


Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Idaho

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!