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Overview

Idaho is a massive western state compressed between the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, with a wagon load of attractions for lovers of the outdoors. Settled in 1860, shortly after miners struck gold and eventually established trading camps and posts, Idaho was originally called the Colorado Territory when Congress first created it in February 1861. Trailing only Alaska in amount of designated wilderness areas and national forests, it is also home to one of the continent's deepest gorges, Hells Canyon (deeper than the Grand Canyon). Idaho spans two time zones, stretches from Nevada to Canada, and constitutes much of the western ...

Idaho is a massive western state compressed between the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, with a wagon load of attractions for lovers of the outdoors. Settled in 1860, shortly after miners struck gold and eventually established trading camps and posts, Idaho was originally called the Colorado Territory when Congress first created it in February 1861. Trailing only Alaska in amount of designated wilderness areas and national forests, it is also home to one of the continent's deepest gorges, Hells Canyon (deeper than the Grand Canyon). Idaho spans two time zones, stretches from Nevada to Canada, and constitutes much of the western slope of the continental divide.

Its genuinely rugged terrain of waterways, plains, and crags mixes with farmland to create a gorgeous topography. The panhandle has stretching foothills, placid lakes, and elongated plains, whereas central Idaho gleams with jagged peaks. The Snake River Plain, with its wide open landscape, irrigated farmland, and unhurried cities, gives southern Idaho a relaxed charm.

Both cosmopolitan and small-town friendly, with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, Idaho attracts more than 20 million tourists each year. Tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture remain the state's prominent industries.

Aaron Anderson
About the Expert

Aaron Anderson is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Washington, D.C. City Guide, a contributor on western states to Lonely Planet USA, and he wrote the Austria chapters for Lonely Planet's Western Europe and Europe on a Shoestring.

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Aaron Anderson for Triporati

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