20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Idaho

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Idaho is a landlocked state in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. In addition to its beautiful landscapes, the state boasts several fascinating attractions and cultural elements. There are many fun facts about Idaho that makes it an interesting state for visitors.

Idaho is bounded by Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada, and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west. There is even a short section of the United States-Canada border in common with British Columbia to the north.

Quick Facts And Statistics About Idaho

  • Capital: Boise
  • Population: 1.7 Million (39th Populous State in the U.S)
  • Land Area: 83,569 sq mi / 216,443 kmĀ² (14th Largest in U.S)
  • Nickname: The Gem State
  • Abbreviation: ID
  • Statehood: July 3, 1890 (43rd U.S State)
  • State Bird: Mountain Bluebird
  • State Flower: Syringa

Historical Facts About Idaho


The Mountain Bluebird is the state bird

In 1931, legislators in Idaho officially designated the mountain bluebird as the state bird. The Bluebird, which measures around seven inches in length, is named for its azure blue feathers and vest, contrasting with the bird’s white underparts.

The female bird, dressed in a subdued blue-gray, often lays between six and seven white-blue eggs. Its nest is typically constructed in a tree hollow or a rock outcropping. The Bluebird is extremely clean and tidy, transporting its trash far away from the nest.

In the whole United States, only Latah County was established through Congress.

There is a fascinating historic Idaho fact behind how Latah County came into existence. In 1888, the county was established by an act of Congress meant to appease locals. A year before the county was established, Northern Idahoans vowed to secede from the rest of Idaho and join Washington.

Idaho is home to the largest potato in the world.


Why has Idaho been dubbed the “Potato Capital of the World”? The climate in Idaho is ideal for cultivating the highest quality potatoes.

The mineral-rich soil here is suitable for growing potatoes, and the Idaho Potato Museum claims this is due to volcanic material from previous eruptions. The potato production industry is one of the things that Idaho is known for.

Idaho was labeled Colorado Territory.


The name “Colorado Territory” was officially adopted by Congress for Idaho in 1861. It was in 1863 that they separated Idaho into its territory and gave the area now known as Colorado its name. Thankfully, there’s something odd with being called Coloradans.

Theodore Roosevelt established Caribou National Forest while he was president.

You may not know this important fact about Idaho. In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt established the Caribou National Forest, which later amalgamated with the Targhee National Forest.

The Appaloosa is the official Idaho horse.


The Appaloosa, the official state horse, was introduced to the Americas by the Spanish in the 1700s. It quickly became a favorite of the Nez Perce people. Spotted equines were originally named “Palouse horses” by early settlers, who took the name from the nearby Palouse River.

Interesting Facts About Idaho

Two Time Zones Exist In Idaho


Two time zones coexist in Idaho. Those communities above the Salmon River observe Pacific Time, while those below the river observe Mountain Time.

Be sure to double-check which time zone you are in when visiting Idaho so you aren’t late for events and activities. The difference between the two time zones is 1 hour.

Idaho Is Home To The Deepest River Gorge in North America 


Hells Canyon in Western Idaho is the deepest river gorge on the continent. Stretching nearly 8,000 feet down, the Hells Canyon is more than 2,000 feet deeper than the famous Grand Canyon in Arizona.

A woman created Idaho’s official state seal. 


Out of all 50 states, Idaho is the only one where a woman was commissioned to create the official state seal.

In 1891, Emma Edwards Green, a New York City native, and art school graduate depicted a miner, a woman representing justice, and various state natural resources for a competition sponsored by the First Legislature of the State of Idaho.

The Idaho State Capitol Building is heated by geothermal energy.


An impressive fact about Idaho’s Capitol building. This is the only State Capitol in the United States that is heated by geothermal energy derived from subsurface hot springs.

Elk River is home to the state’s largest tree.

Elk River is home to the state’s largest tree, the Idaho Champion Western Red Cedar Tree. This mammoth, estimated to be over 3000 years old, has a diameter of almost 18 feet and is 177 feet tall.

Popular Facts About Idaho

Ernest Hemingway lived in Idaho in his final years.

In 1959, Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Old Man and the Sea,” settled in the little hamlet of Ketchum, Idaho.

There, he settled in a house with a view of the Big Wood River, but he found that his new home wasn’t quite a haven of tranquility. His later years were marked by the ravages of Hemochromatosis and a severe bout of depression.

Upon reaching his breaking point on the morning of July 2, 1961, Hemingway shot himself in the head with a double-barrelled shotgun at his Ketchum, Idaho, home.

The first-ever chairlift was built in Idaho. 


Sun Valley Ski Resort in Idaho can claim to have the first chairlifts in the world. The Sun Valley Ski Resort can be found in Blaine County, Idaho, in the area presently known as Sun Valley.

This is not your typical resort, founded in 1936 by Union Pacific Railroad. It was the country’s first purpose-built ski area.

Union Pacific Engineering was hard at work building what would become the first chairlift at the resort, which would change the face of the whole snow sports sector. Though it took some time for skiers to become used to the new system, it was widely praised as a success. 

The state of Idaho serves as the backdrop for the cult classic film Napoleon Dynamite. 

Napoleon Dynamite is about a socially awkward teenager named Napoleon who tries to make his way through high school in the fictional town of Preston, Idaho.

The filmmaker, Jared Hess, attended and graduated from Preston High, and many of the film’s scenes were shot there.

The star garnet is the official state gem of Idaho.

 The Star Garnet is an extremely uncommon variety of garnets that can only be found in small numbers worldwide. With the exceptions of India and Idaho, of course.

The purple Star Garnet is valuable in various applications, from industrial machinery to fine jewelry. This gorgeous gem has the potential to be very lucrative. It is one of the things that Idaho is known for.

Craters of the Moon National Monument is in Idaho


Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho is a park unlike any other. Miles of sagebrush and rocky lava flows characterize this extraordinary location.

A little over fifteen thousand years ago, the park’s formation was initiated by volcanic eruptions deep inside the earth’s crust. The inactive volcanoes have left lava caves and visitors’ pathways for some exciting exploration.

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Fun Facts About Idaho

Shoshone Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Idaho.


This is one of the famous landmarks in Idaho. You can find the breathtaking Shoshone Falls along the Snake River in southern Idaho.

In addition to being a renowned tourist destination, this waterfall is one of the largest in the United States. It measures 212 feet in height and 900 feet in width. Tourists can fully appreciate the falls when the snow begins to melt in the spring.

The flag of Idaho has remained unchanged for 64 years.

The state legislature formally adopted the flag on November 2, 1957. Black, red ribbon, brilliant sun, royal blue, gold, and royal blue are the six fundamental colors of the flag.

Typical flag dimensions are 3 by 3.9 feet. The words “State of Idaho” and the official state seal are on the flag.

Idaho has many preserved pioneer trails.

Early Americans forged a path westward in search of new opportunities and freedoms by crossing the continent in covered wagons. Five historic pioneer routes passed Idaho, including the Oregon and California Trails. Wagon ruts left by the pioneers are still visible in the landscape in many parts of southern Idaho.

Idaho’s highest point is Borah Peak

The National Forest Service’s Lost River Ranger District administers the peak. Its elevation of 12,662 feet makes it the state’s highest point.

The longest floating boardwalk in the world can be found in Idaho

This boardwalk is at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and stretches 3,300 feet. It is free to walk along this five-eighths-of-a-mile stretch. The boardwalk has 360-degree views of the lake and a trip down and back about 1.25 kilometers.

Discovering More Fun Facts About Idaho. 

These are some of the interesting facts about Idaho. It is a beautiful state, with stunning mountain ranges surrounding the cities, towns, and villages and lush, green landscapes covering the rest of the state.

The Gem State has a lot of character and personality. Be sure to make a trip down yourself to discover more fun facts about Idaho.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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