Southeastern Idaho has surprising and fun adventures for the whole family and you need to check it out
Southeastern Idaho is home to so many incredible things. From Lava Hot Springs to the American Falls Reservoir, you’re going to be surprised by the fantastical things you’ll find in this little piece of the country. Where will you go and what will you and your family do in Southeastern Idaho this year?
Take a dip at Lava Hot Springs
Lava Hot Springs is a favorite getaway for people in Utah. Especially since it’s just two hours north of Salt Lake City. Most importantly, Lava Hot Springs wouldn’t be complete without taking a dip in the world-famous hot springs. But there are also indoor and outdoor pools with Olympic diving platforms and water slides. There are also some fun shops and restaurants in town. And you can even tube down the Portneuf River.
Retrace the steps of early pioneers and take a drive up the National Pioneer Historic Byway
The National Pioneer Historic Byway begins on US 91 at the Utah/Idaho border and it leads north to Idaho 34 where it finally ends at the Idaho/Wyoming border. On the Pioneer Historic Byway, you can trace the steps of the early pioneers who came through the area as the country was expanding west. Plus, it’s actually the shortest point between Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park. It takes about 2.5-hours to drive from the beginning to the end. On the drive, you’ll definitely spend way more time with activities, recreational opportunities, scenic views, and historic sites. Here are the things you can visit along the historic route:
- Kayak the Bear River in Black Canyon Gorge, part of an ancient lava flow.
- See the site of the gruesome Massacre at Bear River where on January 29, 1863, more than 250 Native Americans were killed by Colonel Patrick Connor and his troops.
- Visit Red Rock Pass, the spillway of the ancient Lake Bonneville.
- Feel history at the Chesterfield Historic Town Site an early preserved Mormon settlement that diverged with the Oregon Trail.
- Check out China Hat and China Cap Geological Sites that are rhyolite domes formed around older volcano lava flows.
- Go to the 133-year-old Oneida Stake Academy an early Mormon pioneer school designed to give children a first-class education.
- Walk part of the Oregon California Trail at Sheep Rock where there is a fork in the road for the first time on the trail.
- Experience some of the original Yellowstone Highway Markers.
- Visit Grays Lake Wildlife Refuge that provides refuge for migrating waterfowl.
- Check out Formation Springs Preserve that features crystal pools and a wetland complex.
- Go into the Niter Ice Cave that was formed when basalt lava flowed out of a vent 500 thousand years ago forming a lava tube.
- Finally, check out Franklin Historic District in Franklin, ID the oldest city in Idaho, and visit the first grist mill in Idaho.
And there are more than ten reservoirs that have boating, fishing, and camping available.
Clean up at the Museum of Clean
The Museum of Clean in Pocatello is, as the name implies, about all things clean. That includes clean homes, clean minds, clean language, a clean community, and a clean world. From the one-of-a-kind collection of vacuum cleaning equipment to the over 200 pieces of clean-themed art, you’ll find everything clean at the Museum of Clean.
Play in the water at American Falls Reservoir
At 56,000 acres, American Falls Reservoir is the largest reservoir on the Snake River. It’s a really popular location for boating, swimming, and definitely fishing. Plus, you can even go kayaking, swimming, picnicking, ride on jet boats, water ski, do some birding, and even go windsurfing. So, the recreation possibilities here at this reservoir are pretty endless.
Drink carbonated spring water in Soda Springs
This little Idaho town is a fun stop wherever you are on your way to. The town itself is named for the hundreds of springs dotted around the area. What makes Soda Springs unique is that the natural springs are all carbonated! You can fill up a bottle of natural sparkling water at some of the local springs like those at Hooper Springs Park. But the real draw is the man-made Soda Springs Geyser that goes off on the hour, every hour with the help of a time-released valve.
Take in the sun on a sandy beach at Northern Bear Lake
The “Caribbean of the Rockies” is one of the most serene places in the state of Idaho. If you have ever been to Bear Lake in Southern Idaho, you know just how pristine and turquoise the water is. The Idaho side of Bear Lake is particularly stunning at North Beach State Park. Where the waters have an incredible bluish hue with a beautiful sandy beach.
Ride or hike Pocatello City Creek Trail System
Right around Pocatello proper is a favorite of many of the locals: The Pocatello City Creek Trail System. The trail system includes thousands of acres of Public Land on the benches and mountains surrounding Pocatello and the Portneuf Valley. The city designed the trail system for mountain biking and hiking at all levels.
Find a piece of history at Massacre Rocks State Park
Massacre Rocks State Park is home to beautiful hiking, a premiere disc golf course, and beautiful views of the Snake River. But the thing that makes this special is the amount of emigration that happened here. You can clearly see wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail. In addition, check out Register Rock. That’s where pioneers inscribed their names as they emigrated across the country. It’s pretty amazing to see that history.
What will you do in Southeastern Idaho?
It might surprise you that Southeastern Idaho has so much to offer. Whether you are in it for outdoor recreation, fun activities to do with your family, or just looking to take a quick trip, Southeastern Idaho should definitely be right up your alley.
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