Cities and Towns of Central Idaho
Central Idaho, intersected by only four major highways, is a tapestry of national forests, rivers and some of the most out-of-this-world topography to be found on the continent.
The Boise, Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis National Forests comprise much of the region, with small- and mid-sized towns spread across this mountainous region.
At its southeastern tip is the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, 618 square miles of "barren" volcanic cones, tubes, lakes and "bombs" - the remnants of more than 10,000 years of volcanic activity. Scientists estimate the youngest eruption to have been about 2,000 years ago. The National Monument is part of the Great Rift Zone, a vast plain of fissures, cones and other volcanic anomalies. Contrary to its appearance, it is also a rich habitat for birds, insects and animals, and a great location for wildlife viewing.
Central Idaho also is home to the Earnest Hemingway Memorial, just outside Sun Valley Ski Resort. Central Idaho was a cherished home for Hemingway and his last location of residence. In Ketchum, travelers can visit the Hemingway Exhibit and learn about the author's writings and years in Idaho.
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area, northwest of Sun Valley, comprises the headwaters of the Salmon River. The NRA is home to some 300 alpine lakes, many of which were once known for their prolific numbers of salmon, and are still popular for their beauty and idyllic settings.
Land of the Yankee Fork State Park, near Challis, highlights the history of the Idaho miner with a museum, gold panning and other attractions. Nearby are the ghost towns of Custer and Bonanza, and the Challis Bison kill site that was used by early inhabitants during hunting.
Motels, B&Bs and other accommodations are easy to locate in the region's small scenic towns.
Craters of the Moon National Monument - "alien" lava landscape
Little Britches Rodeo, Challis
Mining-era ghost towns - Bonanza, Custer, Land of the Yankee Fork
Salmon River & Snake River - wild river adventures
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Sun Valley - America's first ski resort, now luxurious, four-season vacationing
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Idaho Off the Beaten Path, 8th: A Guide to Unique Places by Julie Fanselow. This book features what travelers want to see and experience. This guidebook features the best in local dining, quirky cultural tidbits, hidden attractions and unique finds. Order now...
Compass American Guides: Idaho, 3rd Edition by John Gottberg. Written by longtime Idaho residents, this book provides in-depth coverage of the history and culture. Also features are photographs, insider tips and detailed color maps. Order now...
City of Rocks Idaho, 7th: A Climber's Guide by Dave Bingham. This edition offers the most thorough and up to date information, maps and topos detailing over 750 high quality climbs. Also included are details on local amenities, camping, geology, biking, hiking and running trails, climbing lore, and other Idaho climbing spots to discover. Order now...
Rockhounding Idaho: A Guide to 99 of the State's Best Rockhounding Sites by Garret Romaine. This is the one must-have book for anyone interested in collecting rocks, minerals, fossils and gold in the Gem State. Over 200 pinpoint GPS coordinates in 99 collecting locales, covering widely known fee-dig operations, four-wheel-drive adventures into the deserts and long winding drives through the mountains. Order now...
Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho by Ken Retallic and Rocky Barker. This new edition of Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho features updated information, including new hunting regulations and the Access Yes! program. Updated hub city information includes hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, sporting good stores, veterinarians, auto repair services, and much more. Order now...
Rafting the River of No Return Wilderness - The Middle Fork of the Salmon River by Thomas Walsh. This is the adventure of one family's rafting trip through the River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and the lessons learned from the experience. Order now...
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