Idaho is a scenic and diverse state, full of natural wonders, rugged mountains, vast, clear lakes and fertile farmlands. If you love scenic beauty, remote hiking trails, summertime boating or deep powder skiing in some of the finest ski resorts, you’ll go crazy on your Idaho Travel Adventure.
Idaho is the 43rd state to join the union and ranks 13th in geographical area. Adjacent to Washington State and Oregon in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is a big state. It’s been said if you flatten all the mountains in Idaho, the state would be the size of Texas. Idaho covers two time zones, runs from Canada to Nevada, and encompasses the western side of the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains. Rivers, mountains and farmland dominate the state’s landscape. The panhandle has emerald green hillsides, timbered mountains and pristine lakes. Central Idaho is covered with jagged peaks. The Snake River Plain, with its wide open vistas, irrigated farm lands and vibrant cities forms the character of Southern Idaho.
Idaho’s history lies with its native tribes, the Lewis and Clark Expedition and determined pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Today’s Idaho is both cosmopolitan and small-town friendly. Boise, the capital and largest city, developed near Fort Boise along the Oregon Trail has grown to a population of 190,000. Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism are Idaho’s major industries. Abundant outdoor recreation opportunities and scenic vistas around every turn attract over 20 million tourists annually.
Idaho is rich in authentic western culture. See real cowboys rangle cattle and horses at a real working guest ranch. Hike scenic mountain trails above vast Lake Pend Oreille. Whichever part of this magnificent state you choose to discover, you’ll find spectacular scenery, fun things to do and friendly, helpful people. You’ll also find a place that’s unhurried, unspoiled and unassuming. So linger awhile and discover Idaho.
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Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. Idaho is the 14th largest, the 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 United States. The state’s largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called “Idahoans“. Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state.
Idaho is a mountainous state with an area larger than that of all of New England. It borders the Canadian province ofBritish Columbia to the north, Montana to the northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, andWashington and Oregon to the west. The network of dams and locks on the Columbia River and Snake River make the city of Lewiston the farthest inland seaport on the Pacific coast of the contiguous United States.
Idaho’s nickname is the “Gem State”, because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found there. In addition, Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found in any significant quantities, the other beingIndia. Idaho is sometimes called the “Potato State” owing to its popular and widely distributed crop. The state motto isEsto Perpetua (Latin for “Let it be forever”).
Humans may have been present in the Idaho area as long as 14,500 years ago. Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls in 1959 revealed evidence of human activity, including arrowheads, that rank among the oldest dated artifacts in North America. American Indians peoples predominant in the area included the Nez Percé in the north and the Northern and Western Shoshone in the south.
An early presence of French-Canadian trappers is visible in names and toponyms that have survived to this day: Nez Percé, Cœur d’Alène, Boisé, Payette, some preexisting the Lewis and Clark and Astorian expeditions which themselves included significant numbers of French and Metis guides recruited for their familiarity with the terrain.
Idaho, as part of the Oregon Country, was claimed by both the United States and Great Britain until the United States gained undisputed jurisdiction in 1846. From 1843 to 1849 present-day Idaho was under the de facto jurisdiction of the Provisional Government of Oregon. When Oregon became a state, what is now Idaho was in what was left of the original Oregon Territory not part of the new state, and designated as the Washington Territory.
Between then and the creation of the Idaho Territory on July 4, 1863, at Lewiston, parts of the present-day state were included in the Oregon, Washington, and Dakota Territories. The new territory included present-day Idaho, Montana, and most of Wyoming. The Lewis and Clark expedition crossed Idaho in 1805 on the way to the Pacific and in 1806 on the return, largely following the Clearwater River both directions. The first non-indigenous settlement was Kullyspell House, established on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille for fur trading in 1809 by David Thompson of the North West Company. In 1812 Donald Mackenzie, working for the Pacific Fur Company at the time, established a post on the lower Clearwater River near present-day Lewiston. This post, known as “MacKenzie’s Post” or “Clearwater”, operated until the Pacific Fur Company was bought out by the North West Company in 1813, after which it was abandoned. The first attempts at organized communities, within the present borders of Idaho, were established in 1860. The first permanent, substantial incorporated community was Lewiston in 1861.
After some tribulation as a territory, including the chaotic transfer of the territorial capital from Lewiston to Boise, disenfranchisement of Mormon polygamists upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1877, and a federal attempt to split the territory between Washington Territory which gained statehood in 1889, a year before Idaho, and the state of Nevada which had been a state since 1863, Idaho achieved statehood in 1890. The economy of the state, which had been primarily supported by metal mining, shifted towards agriculture, forest products and tourism.
Idaho was one of the hardest hit of the Pacific Northwest states during the Great Depression. Prices plummeted for Idaho’s major crops: in 1932 a bushel of potatoes brought only $.10 compared to $1.51 in 1919, while Idaho farmers saw their annual income of $686 in 1929 drop to $250 by 1932.
In recent years, Idaho has expanded its commercial base as a tourism and agricultural state to include science and technology industries. Science and technology have become the largest single economic center (over 25% of the state’s total revenue) within the state and are greater than agriculture, forestry and mining combined.