Tag Archive for: southwest idaho

Towering over the southernmost part of the Owyhee desert are the Owyhee Mountains, a rugged range extending from Southwest Idaho to northern Nevada. The elevation varies from 2,000-8,000 feet (600-2,400 meters) above sea level. Nearly a half-million acres are protected by the U.S. government, making it one of the largest strongholds of undeveloped wilderness in the country.

When miners discovered silver in the mountains surrounding Hayden Peak, the once-sleepy settlement of Silver City transformed into a booming mining metropolis. Then, it was home to eight saloons, two hotels, six general stores and Idaho’s first-ever newspaper. When mines closed in 1942, the city faded into a boarded-up ghost town. Today, Silver City is one of the last towns from Idaho’s silver rush that hasn’t been developed or destroyed by wildfires. It looks nearly the same now as it did over 150 years ago … and it’s open to the public. Visit in late spring, summer or fall.

Past the rugged mountain peaks and ghost towns, three rivers cut through the Owyhee desert. Each of them is a crucial source of freshwater to 200-plus species – including trophy bass and world-famous brown trout – that call this place home.

Towering over the southernmost part of the Owyhee desert are the Owyhee Mountains, a rugged range extending from Southwest Idaho to northern Nevada. Photo courtesy of the Southwest Idaho Travel Association

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

McCall Winter Carnival

A mountain celebration of all things winter in McCall. https://visitmccall.org/events/winter-carnival/

Treefort Music Festival

Over 400 bands and 30+ venues, all packed into five high-energy, creativity-inducing days in Boise. https://www.visitsouthwestidaho.org/6-reasons-to-visit-treefort/

Savor Idaho

Idaho’s premier local food and wine event. https://idahowines.org/event/savor-idaho/

The Huckleberry Festival, Donnelly Idaho

A celebration of all things huckleberry over a weekend. https://donnellychamber.com/events/huckleberry-festival/

Caldwell Night Rodeo

Idaho’s #1 large outdoor rodeo and one of the top 5 large professional outdoor rodeos in the entire U.S. https://caldwellnightrodeo.com/

The Emmett Cherry Festival

Since the 1930s, the community of Emmett and all of Gem County has gathered each June to celebrate the abundance of our valley. We celebrate with the region’s longest continually running festival. https://www.emmettcherryfestival.com/

Idaho Potato Drop

Of course Idaho drops a potato on New Year’s Eve rather than a disco ball – and it’s just as strange and wonderful as it sounds. https://idahopotatodrop.com/

National Old Times Fiddle Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho

This event is an old-time music contest competition, festival and musical meeting. https://www.fiddlecontest.org/

Get your nosh on at Savor Idaho, Idaho’s premier local food and wine event. Photo courtesy of Visit Southwest Idaho

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

Treefort Music Festival

Over 400 bands and 30+ venues, all packed into five high-energy, creativity-inducing days. Since 2012, Treefort Music Festival has taken over the streets of downtown Boise with a five-day celebration of music, art, culture and community. The festival has become a hotspot for up-and-coming bands in the Pacific Northwest and an emerging stop along the nationwide festival circuit. Treefort is so much more than a typical music festival. Additional “forts” – Alefort, Artfort, Comedyfort, Dragfort, Filmfort, Foodfort, Hackfort, Kidfort, Skatefort, Storyfort and Yogafort – encourage festivalgoers to bounce from venue to venue to experience something new.

The Spa at Tamarack

Tamarack is located north of Boise in Donnelly, Idaho. The Spa at Tamarack pampers guests with natural and luxurious treatments found only in the heart of the majestic Idaho Tamarack forests. Based on Native and holistic traditions, their healing oils, lotions and aromatherapies transform you with healing wildflowers and herbs that abundantly thrive in these high mountain meadows and forests. This is Idaho. This is where you rediscover yourself. This is the Spa at Tamarack.

Over 400 bands and 30-plus venues combine into Treefort Music Festival, a high-energy, creativity-inducing five-day celebration. Photo courtesy of Visit Southwest Idaho

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

If you’re interested in discovering wide-open spaces, dramatic vistas and picturesque locations, visiting Southwest Idaho any time of year is for you.

Owyhee Mountains
Nicknamed by local ranchers as the “Big Quiet,” Southwest Idaho’s Owyhee desert is still the most remote, undeveloped region in the lower 48. The Owyhee Uplands is one of those iconic, freewheeling spaces people envision when they think about the West.

Hells Canyon
The powerful waters of the Snake River slice through the mountains of central Idaho, creating the deepest gorge in the United States: Hells Canyon. Here, the land is as beautiful as it is dangerous. It’s full of myth, legend, beauty and the best whitewater in the nation.

Tamarack Resort
At Tamarack Resort, you can start your day biking rugged mountain ridges and end it wakeboarding through the warm waters of Lake Cascade. You can brave the snowy slopes and Nordic trails in the morning, then soak in a steaming hot tub before bed. At Tamarack, every season brings new adventures to experience, and you can take on the panoramic views of the mountains, lake and valley below.

At Tamarack Resort, every season brings new adventures to experience, and you can take on the panoramic views of the mountains, lake and valley below. Photo courtesy of Sherri Harkin Photography/Tamarack Resort

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

In Southwest Idaho, at the heart of downtown Boise’s food scene is 8th Street, a lively hub of local fare where you can find everything from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall pizzerias. Enjoy artfully designed atmospheres and memorable craft cocktails. The food (and the atmosphere) is genuine, with no pretense – just passionate chefs and mixologists who are proud of what they do. At Fork, we recommend the Idaho Rainbow Trout. It’s paired with local vegetables to match the season and is a local and visitor favorite. 

Also located in downtown Boise is the Basque Block. It’s a year-round must-visit offering a taste of the Basque culture. Sample Basque specialties, watch Basque dancers or learn Basque history – it’s all here. Every Wednesday and Friday at noon, we invite you to Paella on the Patio – rain or shine. You don’t want to be late, as the paella is usually gone by 12:30 p.m. 

Don’t miss Paella on the Patio in Boise’s Basque Block, every Wednesday and Friday, rain or shine. CREDIT Visit Southwest Idaho

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

Treefort Music Festival in Boise (March)

Boise plays host to national and regional musicians while showcasing local up-and-coming talent.

Savor Idaho in Boise (June)

Savor Idaho is Idaho’s premier wine event, taking place in June during Idaho Wine and Cider Month at the beautiful Idaho Botanical Garden.

Hells Canyon Days in Cambridge (June)

A fun-filled weekend of family-friendly activities, music, crafts, cars/trucks, food and more.

National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest & Festival in Weiser (June)

A five-day celebration complete with fiddle contests, food and merchandise vendors, local entertainers and more.

Snake River Stampede Rodeo in Nampa (July)

The Stampede began as a small, local bucking horse competition in the early 1900s and has evolved into a major professional sports event.

Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell (August)

With over 600 world-class contestants and seven action-packed nightly events, the excitement in the arena is electric.

McCall Winter Carnival in McCall (January)

The McCall Winter Carnival was inspired by the Payette Lake Winter Games, first held in 1924, when a train from Boise brought 248 visitors to McCall, Idaho. Over the years, it has grown into an iconic Idaho event that brings more than 60,000 people to McCall each year.

National, regional and local up-and-coming talent all perform at the Treefort Music Festival in Boise each March. Photo courtesy of Southwest Idaho

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

Southwest Idaho is all about exploring. That doesn’t stop when it snows. If you’re looking for fun in the snow, then Southwest Idaho is the place for you.

McCall, Idaho gets an average of 132 inches of snow a year! The snow starts in November and lasts until May – sometimes even into June! If you are looking for some great snow, look no further. Whether you want to find skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, ice fishing, or just a little sledding, you need to take a trip.

  • Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Ice Fishing
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Snowmobiling to Hot Springs!

Southwest Idaho has some of the best natural warm springs in the world. You haven’t experienced winter until you are in the mountains surrounded by snow… in a swimming suit. Visitors can also take and adventure on a snowmobile to the hot springs for an epic soak.

HOT Snow Events

Do you want to visit a cozy mountain town for one of the best winter festivals in America? Do you want to see a garden glow (not just grow)? Southwest Idaho knows how to have a good time.

Winter Wonderland – Caldwell, Idaho

Mid-November through mid-January

To kick off the holiday season the city of Caldwell will use almost 600,000 lights to decorate the historic downtown! Not to mention the additional 35,000 lights they use to construct a tunnel feature along Indian Creek. Don’t miss out on this spectacular free light show.

McCall Winter Carnival – McCall, Idaho

Late January through early February

Enjoy the famous snow sculptures, torchlight and Mardi Gras Parades. Plus, live music and daily events spanning everything from comedy shows to art auctions to the Monster Dog Pull and much more!

Winter Garden aGlow – Boise, Idaho

Late November through early January

Join us at the Idaho Botanical Garden and see our dazzling display of over 300,000 sparkling lights artfully displayed throughout the holiday season.

For more information and planning visit: VisitSWIdaho.org

Photos: Gary Ertter and Activity Barn McCall, courtesy of Visit Southwest Idaho

Fall Flights at the World Center for Birds of Prey

Fall Flights, a series of performances that showcase the flying abilities of some of the many raptors living at the World Center for Birds of Prey. The annual performances attract visitors from around the state, the nation and even the world, promoting public awareness and engagement around endangered raptors.The Fall Flights isn’t about getting visitors to just learn about the raptors — it’s about getting people to care about them. Catch the Fall Flights at 3 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from late September to early November.

Learn more: https://www.visitsouthwestidaho.org/birds-of-prey-boise/

Fall Fishing in Southwest Idaho

All you can hear is the sound of the river, the wind and the birds as you cast a line into the clear water. You watch the steelheads glimmer under the surface, breathe in the mountain air…and wait. It’s peaceful and quiet, the kind of place that anglers dream of and locals keep a secret.

These are the fishing holes that bring fishermen from all over the US to Southwest Idaho. The region is home to thousands of miles of reservoirs, rivers and lakes — and it’s one of the only places this far inland where you can catch steelhead trout and salmon. Ready to kick off the fishing season here? We’ve got 10 fishing holes no one should pass up.

Learn more: https://www.visitsouthwestidaho.org/10-fishing-holes-in-southwest-idaho/

Soak in Ancient Mineral Water

Picture this: You’re soaking in a warm pool of ancient mineral water, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the rugged wilderness. As you sink deeper into the water, you close your eyes. The only thing you hear is the wind whistling through the trees. Places like these really exist in Southwest Idaho. Idaho has the largest number of soakable hot springs in the nation. Out of the 130 soakable hot springs in the state, we’ve narrowed the list down to six of our favorites. Can’t decide between the luxury of poolside service and the scenery of rugged wilderness?  

Nestled in the alpine forests surrounding Idaho City, The Springs is a natural hot springs retreat less than an hours’ drive from Boise. Relax in the sauna, dive into the main pool, soak in spacious hot tubs or treat yourself to a massage.

Worried about hot springs being too hot or too cold? At Gold Fork Hot Springs, you don’t have to. Less than an hours’ drive south of McCall, this natural hot spring flows into a series of six tiered pools with different temperatures, so you can find the perfect temp to soak in.

Learn more: https://www.visitsouthwestidaho.org/the-best-hot-springs-in-southwest-idaho/

Photo credit and to learn more visit: VisitSouthwestIdaho.org