5 Must-Do Summer Outdoor Activities in Idaho

Ready for some outdoor adventures that will take your breath away and invigorate your spirit? Consider an unforgettable trip exploring the natural attractions of Idaho. The ponderosa pines, majestic mountain ranges, crystal clear water, and volcanic lava flows will leave you inspired.

Now I must admit, Idaho wasn't high on my travel bucket list which proved to be a BIG MISTAKE. If it wasn't for our friends' wedding, I never would've known what I was missing!

Brad and I definitely put a lot of miles on the rental car as we made our way from Boise and the Sunnyslope Wine Trail to the following sites in central Idaho.

#1 Hot Springs

Grab a swimsuit and melt your worries away in Idaho's hot springs. With over 100 to choose from, it's easy to add one to your itinerary. Spend an hour or a whole day soaking in these rocky pools with temperatures ranging from 85-120°F.

Ultimately we decided to visit Kirkham and Goldbug Hot Springs after reading rave reviews from fellow travelers. The waterfalls, stunning backdrops, and refreshing pools proved to be right up our alley. Check out this post to learn more about my favorite pick.

#2 Sawtooth National Forest

The most impressive mountains in Idaho can be found along the Sawtooth Range. The jagged snow-covered peaks pierce the sky and beckon hikers to traverse the many scenic trails totaling 700 miles.

The Iron Creek Stanley Lake Trail to Sawtooth Lake is a 10-mile out-and-back moderate hike worth every step. Your effort will be rewarded with lush pines, incredible views, and glacier lakes. The altitude was challenging at times, but our mini snowball fight was definitely a highlight!

#3 Whitewater Rafting

Up for an adrenaline rush? Strap on your lifejacket and paddle along one of Idaho's magnificent rivers for a ride you won't soon forget. Half-day, full-day, and multi-day whitewater rafting trips are possible with knowledgeable guides.

We joined some of the wedding guests for a half-day trip with Payette River Company on the South Fork of the Payette River near Kirkham Hot Springs. We had a blast navigating the rapids for a few hours in the Idaho wilderness. Luckily nobody fell overboard!

#4 Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

Drive along the park's 7-mile loop and stop at the multiple trailheads to see what this volcanic landscape has to offer. The various cinder cones, spatter cones, lava tubes, and tree molds are between 2,000 and 15,000 years old!

Walking along the trails of Craters of the Moon does make you feel like you are on another planet. The porous rock crunches beneath your feet and heat radiates off the surface to create an environment like no other. Be sure to stop at the visitor center for a free permit if you want to explore the caves.

#5 Redfish Lake

Looking for a laidback spot that combines the outdoors with modern amenities? Make your way over to Redfish Lake Lodge. Whether you plan to stay for a couple hours or a few days, the options seem endless at this family-friendly retreat.

Affordable boat rentals are available along with kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes. Lay out on the sandbar, grab a bite to eat, or take the convenient shuttle across the lake to start your hike beneath the Sawtooths.

Idaho is perfect for a summer getaway with its abundance of outdoor activities. Rejuvenate your sense of adventure in this satisfying and pristine wilderness.