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The abundant natural beauty of Idaho means that for hikers and bikers there are seemingly endless opportunities to explore. Below are just a few of the best trails.
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (Arco)
If you have ever wanted to hike a lava field, this is your chance. Craters of the Moon offers caves and craters and otherworldly scenery in Central/South Central Idaho.
Swan Falls Dam and Park (Murphy)
Foot trails and old jeep paths along Snake River allow you to easily navigate Swan Falls Dam and Park.
Farragut State Park (Athol)
There are more than 40 miles of trails winding through the 4,000 acres of Farragut State Park.
Bruneau Dunes State Park (Mountain Home)
Bruneau is reportedly home to the highest “single-structured dune” in North America. Hike over the dunes, sandboard down them or enjoy some star gazing.
Gem State Parks & Recreation Areas
Summer means dusting off your hiking boots and getting ready to hit the trails. Locals and visitors of Idaho have more than their share of scenic and challenging hiking trails ideal for couple or family outings – and even perfect for a solitary adventure.
A great example of your Idaho hiking possibilities is Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Set north of McCall in central Idaho, this 652,488-acre area is part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, and features over 900 miles of hiking trails.
Trek down the Heaven's Gate National Recreation Trail, check out the Sawpit Saddle Viewpoint, or stop for lunch at one of the picnic tables along the Low Saddle Trailhead.
More trails are found in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, set in central Idaho in the well-known Sawtooth National Forest. Found northwest of Ketchum, the SNRA is a 778,000-acre hot spot for hiking trails, not to mention backpacking, hunting, and biking.
Hiking paths include the Mill Lake Trail, Miner Lake Trail, and the Prairie Lakes Trail – plus picnic areas, scenic overlooks, and the free-to-the-public Sawtooth National Recreation Area Visitor Center.
But that doesn't complete your summer in Idaho. Many other hiking and walking trails are found throughout the state. Try the six-mile hiking trail at Bruneau Dunes State Park in Mountain Home, stroll along the walking paths at Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge in Bonners Ferry, or hike your way to the deep ruts created by travelers of the Oregon Trail at the Milner Historic Recreation Area in Burley.
Gem State Biking & Horseback Rides
Summer means it's time to get off your feet...and take advantage of Idaho's bike paths and horseback trails.
Thanks to Idaho’s scenic and sometimes challenging terrain, mountain biking and long-distance cycling have become popular summer activities.
Not only does Idaho host the annual Ironman Coeur d'Alene – where participants bike more than 100 miles – but it also features many bike-friendly national forests, state parks, and recreational areas.
Visit Coeur d'Alene for the Silver Mountain Ski & Summer Resort – home to what is said to be some of the best road, cross-country, and downhill biking in the state.
Tackle the 73-mile Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, or choose the 15-mile bike path through the Bitterroot Mountains. More biking is found at the Ponderosa State Park – set in the central Idaho town of McCall against Payette Lake. Cyclists are encouraged to try the Huckleberry Bay Mountain Bike Trail, or the Fox Run Mountain Bike Trail.
But that’s all the biking in Idaho. Check out the Saint Anthony Sand Dunes in eastern Idaho, just northeast of Idaho Falls. Open from April through December, the St. Anthony Sand Dunes features a 10,600-acre of sand dunes perfect for dirt biking – and also ATVs, motorcycles, and dune buggies.
For those of you looking to tour the Idaho countryside on horseback, look no further than the Targhee National Forest. Set north of Driggs in eastern Idaho, the Targhee National Forest features several hundred miles of horseback riding trail throughout the 1,600,000-acre forest.