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Click for map of Central Idaho The town and road map of Central Idaho will help you locate cities, towns and other attractions.

Visitor Information for Central Idaho


Cities and Towns of Central Idaho
Bellevue
Challis
Carmen
Hailey
Ketchum
Picabo
Salmon
Stanley
Sun Valley


Craters of the Moon National Monument


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Idaho Travel Region

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.

Salmon Idaho
Salmon, Idaho. Go Northwest photo by Jack High.

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.

Salmon River Headwaters as seen from Galena Summit
Headwaters of the Salmon River as seen from Galena Summit. Go Northwest photo by Jack High. GPS: N 43, 52.277; W 114, 43.6646; Elevation: 8,487 ft, or, 2,587 m.

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.

Top Attractions in Central Idaho

  • 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

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