Facts About Idaho (Interesting & Fun)

Idaho, also known as the “Gem State,” is a fascinating destination with a rich abundance of natural resources and stunning landscapes. From majestic mountains to glistening rivers and vast farmland, Idaho offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for visitors and residents alike.

facts about idaho

Key Takeaways:

  • Idaho is known as the “Gem State” due to its abundance of natural resources like mountains, rivers, lakes, minerals, metals, and gems.
  • The state bird of Idaho is the Mountain Bluebird, designated in 1931.
  • Idaho’s state tree is the Western White Pine, which has seen a significant decrease in numbers over the years.
  • Idaho’s state flag and seal were designed by Mrs. Emma Edwards Green in 1890.
  • Idaho’s state fruit is the huckleberry, which is abundant in the state’s mountains.

Discover more fascinating facts about Idaho and delve into its captivating history, geography, and vibrant cities.

Idaho’s Natural Resources

Idaho is blessed with a wealth of natural resources that have shaped its history and economy. The state’s majestic mountains are not only a sight to behold but also hold a treasure trove of valuable minerals and metals, making it a prime location for mining enthusiasts.

Gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, cobalt, and rare gems can all be found in Idaho’s mining locations, attracting prospectors and adventurers from far and wide. These rich mineral deposits not only contribute to the state’s economy but also showcase the incredible natural diversity that Idaho has to offer.

“We are fortunate to have such abundant natural resources in Idaho. Our mountains hold hidden treasures that have enticed and fascinated people for generations.”

-Jane Johnson, Idaho Mining Association

Whether you’re an avid miner or simply fascinated by the wonders of Idaho’s natural resources, the state’s mining locations offer an opportunity to explore and discover the riches hidden within its rugged landscapes.

Next, we will delve into Idaho’s fascinating state symbols, representing its unique heritage and culture.

Idaho State Symbols

Idaho takes pride in its state symbols, which represent the unique characteristics and cultural heritage of the state. These symbols embody the natural beauty, history, and spirit of Idaho. Let’s explore some of the notable state symbols:

Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is the official state bird of Idaho. Its vibrant blue color and melodious song make it a cherished symbol. Designated as the state bird in 1931, the Mountain Bluebird represents the abundance of wildlife in Idaho’s mountains and skies.

Western White Pine

The Western White Pine holds the honor of being Idaho’s state tree. This majestic coniferous tree can reach towering heights and is a symbol of strength and endurance. The Western White Pine’s importance in Idaho’s timber industry and its contribution to the state’s scenic beauty are celebrated through this symbol.


Indigenous to the mountainous regions of Idaho, the huckleberry is the state fruit. These delicious and nutritious berries have long been cherished by Idahoans and are synonymous with the state’s natural abundance. Huckleberries are used in various culinary delights, including pies, jams, and syrups.

Star Garnet

A truly captivating gem, the Star Garnet is Idaho’s state gemstone. Known for its unique star-like pattern that appears when light reflects upon it, the Star Garnet represents the state’s rich geological history and its mineral wealth. Idaho is the only place in the United States where Star Garnets can be found.

“These state symbols represent the essence of Idaho, showcasing its natural beauty, abundant resources, and cultural significance.”

The Idaho state flag and seal, designed by Mrs. Emma Edwards Green in 1890, also embrace the state’s unique identity. They feature Idaho’s majestic mountains, a miner, and the state’s famous crop – potatoes.

Idaho’s state symbols reinforce its pride in its natural heritage and cultural distinctiveness. They serve as reminders of the state’s rich history, diverse ecosystems, and the unwavering spirit of its people.

Idaho’s Geography and Landmarks

Idaho is a state known for its diverse geography, offering stunning landscapes that attract visitors from near and far. From majestic mountains to winding rivers, picturesque lakes to expansive farmland, Idaho’s natural beauty leaves a lasting impression on all who explore it.

When it comes to landmarks, Idaho does not disappoint. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a history buff, there are plenty of attractions to discover. Let’s take a closer look at some of Idaho’s most notable landmarks:

Craters of the Moon

The Craters of the Moon is a unique and otherworldly destination. It is a vast expanse of dried lava flows, cinder cones, and lava tubes, offering visitors an opportunity to explore a volcanic landscape. It is truly a sight to behold and a testament to Idaho’s geological wonders.

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon, located along the Idaho-Oregon border, is the deepest river gorge in North America. With its rugged cliffs, wild river rapids, and diverse wildlife, it is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and camping while taking in the breathtaking views.

Ancient Giant Cedar Groves

Idaho is home to two ancient giant cedar groves, namely the Grove of the Patriarchs in the Clearwater National Forest and the Cedar Grove in the Monongahela National Forest. These majestic trees, some of which are over a thousand years old, stand as living witnesses to the rich natural heritage of the state.

Bruneau Dunes

At Bruneau Dunes, visitors can experience the tallest single sand dune in North America. The dunes, which reach heights of up to 470 feet, provide a unique opportunity for sandboarding, picnicking, and stargazing. The breathtaking views from the summit are unparalleled, offering a one-of-a-kind experience.

Shoshone Falls

Known as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is a spectacular natural wonder located in Twin Falls. It is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States, surpassing the height of Niagara Falls. The sheer power and beauty of the falls make it a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring Idaho.

These are just a few examples of the many remarkable landmarks that embody the natural beauty and diversity of Idaho. With its stunning geography and captivating attractions, Idaho truly offers a world of exploration for those who seek adventure and awe-inspiring experiences.

Idaho’s Cities

Idaho is home to several vibrant cities, each with its own unique charm and attractions. From the bustling capital city of Boise to the picturesque resort town of Sun Valley, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in these Idaho cities.


As the capital and largest city of Idaho, Boise offers a perfect blend of urban amenities and outdoor adventures. Known for its vibrant downtown area, Boise boasts a thriving arts scene, trendy restaurants, and a lively nightlife. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Boise River Greenbelt, go hiking in the nearby foothills, or enjoy water sports on Lucky Peak Reservoir.

Coeur d’Alene

Nestled on the shores of beautiful Coeur d’Alene Lake, the city of Coeur d’Alene is a hidden gem in northern Idaho. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, including scenic trails, pristine lakes, and panoramic mountain views. The city’s charming downtown area offers a variety of boutique shops, cozy cafes, and art galleries to explore.

Sun Valley

Renowned as a premier ski destination, Sun Valley attracts visitors from around the world. Located in the central part of the state, this mountain resort town offers world-class skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and golfing amidst the breathtaking mountain landscapes.

Twin Falls

Twin Falls is famous for its awe-inspiring natural wonders, most notably Shoshone Falls, known as the “Niagara of the West.” This magnificent waterfall is even higher than Niagara Falls and offers breathtaking views of the Snake River Canyon. Twin Falls also offers outdoor activities such as rock climbing, base jumping, and fishing.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, the cities of Idaho have it all. Plan a visit to Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley, or Twin Falls to discover the unique charm and natural beauty that make Idaho a truly special destination.

Idaho’s Public Land and Borders

Idaho is proud to be one of the largest public land holders in the nation, with 63% of its land designated as federally funded public land. This means that a significant portion of Idaho’s stunning landscapes and natural beauty is accessible to the public, allowing for outdoor recreation, conservation efforts, and the preservation of Idaho’s unique ecosystems.

In addition to its extensive public land, Idaho also shares borders with several U.S. states, showcasing its strategic location and connectivity. Idaho borders four states to the west, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana. To the east, it shares borders with Wyoming and Utah. Furthermore, Idaho’s northern border extends to Canada, adding an international dimension to the state’s geography.

These borders provide Idaho with not only geographical diversity but also economic opportunities and cultural exchanges with neighboring regions. The seamless flow of commerce and tourists across these borders further contributes to the vitality and growth of Idaho’s economy.

For a visual representation of Idaho’s public land and borders, refer to the informative table below:

States Bordering Idaho







Idaho’s Key Industries

Idaho is a state with a thriving economy supported by its key industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. These industries play a crucial role in driving the state’s economy and contributing to its overall growth and development.

Manufacturing in Idaho

The manufacturing sector in Idaho is diverse and robust, encompassing a wide range of industries. The state is known for its production of various goods such as food, lumber, machinery, paper products, chemical products, electronics, and silver. Idaho’s manufacturing sector not only provides employment opportunities but also contributes significantly to the state’s GDP.

Agriculture in Idaho

Idaho’s agricultural industry is a vital component of the state’s economy. The rich fertile soils and favorable climate make Idaho an ideal place for agricultural activities. The state is one of the largest producers of food in the United States, including crops like potatoes, barley, wheat, sugar beets, and beans. Additionally, Idaho is also a major producer of dairy products, cattle, and sheep. The agriculture industry supports rural communities and contributes to Idaho’s overall economic stability.

Tourism in Idaho

Idaho’s natural beauty and unique attractions make it a popular tourist destination, attracting over 20 million visitors annually. The state offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, and whitewater rafting. Visitors can explore stunning landmarks like Craters of the Moon, Hells Canyon, and Bruneau Dunes. Idaho’s cities also have their own charm, with Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley, and Twin Falls offering a mix of cultural, recreational, and historical experiences. The tourism industry in Idaho contributes significantly to the state’s economy, supporting local businesses and job creation.

The table below highlights some key statistics related to Idaho’s key industries:

Industry Contribution Employment
Manufacturing Contributes to Idaho’s GDP through the production of various goods such as food, lumber, machinery, paper products, chemical products, electronics, and silver Provides employment opportunities to thousands of Idahoans
Agriculture One of the largest producers of food in the United States, including potatoes, barley, wheat, sugar beets, and beans. Also a major producer of dairy products, cattle, and sheep Supports rural communities and provides employment in farming, processing, and distribution
Tourism Attracts over 20 million visitors annually. Offers a wide range of outdoor activities, landmarks, and cultural experiences Supports local businesses, hotels, restaurants, and recreational facilities. Creates employment opportunities in the hospitality industry

Idaho’s key industries are pivotal in driving the state’s economic growth and contributing to its vibrant and diverse communities. The manufacturing sector produces crucial goods, the agriculture industry sustains rural livelihoods, and the tourism industry showcases Idaho’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Idaho’s Historical Significance

Idaho has a rich history deeply intertwined with the land and its people. Native American tribes, including the Shoshone-Bannock, Shoshone-Paiute, Nez Perce, Coeur d’Alene, and Kootenai, have inhabited this region for thousands of years.

“The history of Idaho is a tapestry woven with the stories of diverse Native American tribes who have lived in harmony with the land for millennia.”

Idaho gained its statehood on July 3, 1890, becoming the 43rd state of the United States. The path to statehood was influenced by the legacy of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which explored the region in the early 19th century, and the subsequent influx of settlers drawn by the mining boom.

The mining boom in Idaho played a pivotal role in its history, attracting fortune seekers in the late 1800s. The discovery of gold and other minerals in the mountains ignited a frenzy of mining activities, transforming Idaho into a thriving hub of economic growth and cultural exchange. Towns and cities sprouted up across the state, driven by the promise of wealth and opportunity.

Idaho continued to evolve, with various industries shaping its landscape and economy over time. Today, remnants of the mining era can still be seen in historic mining towns and abandoned mines scattered throughout the state.

Mining Activities and Their Impact

The mining boom in Idaho left a lasting legacy, shaping the state’s identity and providing a glimpse into its past. Here are some key facts about mining activities in Idaho:

Mining Boom in Idaho Impact
Gold, silver, lead, copper, and zinc mining Provided economic opportunities and attracted settlers
Development of mining towns Created vibrant communities with a unique cultural heritage
Population growth Contributed to the state’s development and growth
Infrastructure development Established transportation networks and improved connectivity
Mining techniques and technologies Advanced mining practices and innovation in the industry

The mining boom in Idaho not only played a crucial role in its historical development but also left a significant impact on the state’s environmental landscape. Today, efforts are underway to restore and preserve mining sites, focusing on environmental sustainability and responsible resource management.


Idaho is a unique and diverse state that captivates visitors with its abundant natural resources, breathtaking landscapes, and fascinating history. From soaring mountains and majestic rivers to vibrant cities and iconic landmarks, Idaho offers a wide array of experiences for everyone to explore and enjoy.

The state’s key industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism, play a vital role in driving Idaho’s economy. Its vast natural beauty, encompassing everything from lush forests to shimmering lakes, attracts millions of tourists each year, eager to immerse themselves in the Gem State’s charm and splendor.

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast seeking outdoor thrills, a history buff looking to delve into the state’s rich heritage, or simply someone who wants to soak in the tranquility of its picturesque landscapes, Idaho has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and witness firsthand the wonders that await in the heart of Idaho.


What is the nickname of Idaho?

Idaho is known as the “Gem State” due to its abundance of natural resources like mountains, rivers, lakes, minerals, metals, and gems.

What is the state bird of Idaho?

The state bird of Idaho is the Mountain Bluebird, designated in 1931.

What is the state tree of Idaho?

The state tree of Idaho is the Western White Pine, although it has seen a significant decrease in numbers over the years.

Who designed Idaho’s state flag and seal?

Idaho’s state flag and seal were designed by Mrs. Emma Edwards Green in 1890.

What is Idaho’s state fruit?

The state fruit of Idaho is the huckleberry, which is abundant in the state’s mountains.

What is the state gem of Idaho?

The Star Garnet, a stunning gem with a reflecting star, is the state gem of Idaho.

What is the capital of Idaho?

Boise is the capital of Idaho and its largest city, with a population of over 230,000 people.

What is the population distribution like in Idaho?

Idaho’s population is spread thin throughout the state, with a majority residing in Boise.

How big is Idaho?

Idaho is the 13th largest state in the USA, covering 83,000 square miles.

What are people from Idaho called?

People from Idaho are called Idahoans.

What are some popular cities in Idaho?

Popular cities in Idaho include Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley, and Twin Falls.

How much of Idaho’s land is public land?

Idaho has 63% of its land as public land, making it one of the largest public land holders in the nation.

Which states and country does Idaho border?

Idaho borders four U.S. states and Canada.

What are the key industries in Idaho?

Idaho’s key industries are manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism.

What is Idaho known for producing?

Idaho is one of the biggest producers of food, lumber, machinery, paper products, chemical products, electronics, silver, and other natural materials.

What is a popular food product produced in Idaho?

Idaho sells 70% of the US’s supply of trout, with over 41 million pounds produced per year.

What are some natural landmarks in Idaho?

Some natural landmarks in Idaho include Craters of the Moon, Hells Canyon, and the ancient giant cedar groves. Idaho also has the tallest single sand dune in North America at Bruneau Dunes.

What is a popular waterfall attraction in Idaho?

Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls is known as the “Niagara of the West.”

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