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Sports in Idaho
Heart pounding competition and professional quality play can be found in team sports, both at the college-level and minor league teams in Idaho. There are also numerous individual sports throughout the state that might capture your imagination.
If you count down the days until the start of hockey season every year, you’ll love getting a chance to see the Idaho Steelheads take the ice in downtown Boise’s Qwest Arena. From the fast-paced action to the body checks, crowds cheer for this ECHL professional hockey team. It’s also an AA-affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars, so don’t be surprised if you see these players scoring goals for years to come.
If you are traveling with kids, you might also be interested in attending the Idaho IceCats games. They are a junior hockey team out of McCall, and they play in the Northwest Division of the Western States Hockey League. Homes games are played out of the Manchester Ice & Event Centre.
As the warm winds begin to blow, you can hear the crack of the bats as the Boise Hawks minor league baseball team start hitting them out of the park. The Hawks are a Class A-Short Season Northwest League team and one of the Colorado Rockies’ farm teams. You can see them take the field at Memorial Stadium, which also houses a kid’s park along right field.
The Idaho Falls Chukars is a part of the Pioneer League, also a short-season league that runs from June through early September. They are the Minor League Baseball affiliate for the Kansas City Royals baseball team. You see them play over at Melaleuca Field.
The Boise State Broncos pack in the fans on game day. They play at Bronco Stadium on the Boise State University campus. Home games are massive celebrations, and whether you are inside with the other 33,500 fans or outside tailgating, it’s an ideal fall football experience.
If basketball is one your mind, the Idaho Vandals men’s and women’s basketball teams, out of the University of Idaho, bring you close to exciting NCAA Division 1 action. The school is part of the Big Sky Conference, and their games are well-worth a trip to Moscow, Idaho, in North Central Idaho.
If the need for speed drives you, you’ll love visiting Idaho. Here, you are never far away from racing thrills. If you are in South Central Idaho, think about adding either Meridian Speedway or Magic Valley Speedway to your itinerary. Meridian has been in operation since 1951 and features a ¼-mile asphalt short track with weekly races every Saturday night. It’s a member of the Western Idaho Racing Association (WIRA), and it hosts huge annual events like the Winged Sprintcar and Hornet 100 Series races. It is also the host of the WIRA Hall of Fame.
Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls has been running races for more than 29 years. It is a NASCAR-sanctioned speedway, and it features a 1/3-mile asphalt, a 1/5-mile tri-oval and a go-kart track. You’ll see the country’s top drivers take the track at stunning speeds. You can even visit them in the pit area after the final main event.
Meanwhile, if your travels take you to Post Falls, be sure to catch a race at State Line Speedway. Here, you can cheer on your favorite drivers as they take to the ¼-mile banked, oval track (another figure 8 track is embedded). State Line is home to one of the largest stock car races in the Northwest when the Idaho 250 comes to town.
There are more than 100 golf courses throughout the Idaho countryside offering challenging greens and gorgeous landscapes. So, no matter where you roam, you’ll find a golf course that appeals to your style.
The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course is among the most unique experiences in the country. Why? In addition to terrific service and manicured lawns, it features a Honduran Mahogany water taxi to get to the floating green on the 14th hole. And because it is floating, this means that this man-made island green is constantly changing location.
The Sun Valley Resort Golf Courses in Sun Valley, Idaho are open to the public and offer 45 holes set over three very different courses, with the fantastic mountain views as a backdrop. Other favorites include the Jerome Country Club in Jerome and the Desert Canyon Golf Course in Mountain Home in Southern Idaho, the University of Idaho Golf Course in Moscow, in the North Central region of Idaho, and the 9-hole Mirror Lake Golf Course in Bonners Ferry. The 9-hole Purple Sage Golf Course in Caldwell, in Southwestern Idaho, also earns raves.
Of course, there are many other sporting activities that can be found throughout the Gem State’s numerous parks, resorts and forests. In fact, there are more than 20,000 skiable acres in Idaho, including popular areas like the Sawtooth National Forest and the Targhee National Forest. Take your skis to Silver Mountain Ski Area to the east of Coeur d’Alene or head over to Ketchum to the Sun Valley Ski Area. There are also thousands of miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, and bike riding here. And anglers, with permits, have their pick of lakes throughout the state.