12 Must-See Attractions Near Yellowstone In Idaho

things to do in idaho near yellowstone

Nestled in the rugged landscapes of Idaho lies a collection of awe-inspiring natural wonders that are sure to leave you breathless. From jagged snow-capped mountains to pristine lakes, the region is a treasure trove of raw wilderness, tangled with abundant wildlife and mesmerizing scenery. If you're planning a trip to Yellowstone, make sure to put the nearby Idaho attractions on your itinerary. There's something for everyone on the list of 12 must-see attractions, so pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Gem State.

Activity Description
Hiking in Yellowstone National Park Explore the geysers, hot springs, and wildlife in the world-renowned national park
Fishing in the Snake River Try your hand at fly fishing in one of the most scenic rivers in the area
Rafting on the Snake River Experience the thrill of Class III rapids and take in the stunning views of the Snake River Canyon
Exploring Craters of the Moon National Monument Discover the unique volcanic landscape and caves of this national monument
Visiting Teton Valley Enjoy scenic drives, hikes, and mountain biking in the beautiful Teton Valley
Skiing/Snowboarding at Grand Targhee Resort Hit the slopes at this popular ski resort, with over 2,500 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain
Soaking in the Hot Springs Relax in natural hot springs, including Lava Hot Springs and Goldbug Hot Springs
Horseback Riding Take a leisurely ride through the picturesque landscapes of Idaho and Yellowstone National Park
Golfing at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club Play a round of golf with stunning Teton mountain views as your backdrop


Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

Source: nwtravelmag.com

If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, then you might want to consider taking a detour to the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway in Idaho. This beautiful route offers stunning views of two breathtaking waterfalls, wildlife sightings and the peaceful tranquility of the great outdoors.

The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is a 27-mile stretch of highway that connects Ashton and Island Park, two charming Idaho towns. The two waterfalls, Upper and Lower Mesa Falls are the primary highlights of this journey. They are located about 14 miles apart and can be easily accessed from the highway. The waterfalls are known for their spectacular cascading water, and the rush of the water can be heard from a distance. Visitors can take a short hike to the lookout points to get a better view. The Upper Mesa Falls has a drop of 114 feet and is much larger than the Lower Falls, which is about 65 feet tall.

The scenic beauty of Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is not limited to just the waterfalls, but extends to the entire drive along the byway. Along the way, you can spot wildlife, such as bears, moose, elk, and deer. Birders can also enjoy spotting an array of avian species. There are several designated picnic areas and campsites on this route, making it an ideal place for a day trip or a more extended stay in Idaho.

Autumn is a particularly beautiful time to visit the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway since the leaves change color, and the landscape is filled with oranges, yellows, and reds. Winter brings a different kind of beauty, with the fresh snow creating a serene atmosphere for a snowshoe hike or cross-country skiing adventure.

In conclusion, the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to or from Yellowstone National Park. With its captivating waterfalls, natural beauty, and abundant wildlife, it's a breathtaking experience to savor. So, plan your route and hit the road. You won't regret it!

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Harriman State Park

Source: islandparkidaho.com

One of the main attractions of Harriman State Park is the Henrys Fork of the Snake River, which runs through the park. The river is known for its exceptional trout fishing, and avid anglers flock to Harriman State Park to catch a variety of trout species, including rainbow, brown, and cutthroat.

In addition to fishing, visitors to Harriman State Park can also enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding on over 20 miles of trails. Birdwatching is also a popular pastime in the park, as it is home to a variety of bird species, including sandhill cranes, great blue herons, and bald eagles.

One of the unique features of Harriman State Park is its history. The park was originally owned by the Harriman family, who used the land as a private retreat. Today, visitors can tour the historic buildings on the property, including the Harriman Lodge and the Railroad Ranch, which was once used as a summer home for the Harriman family.

Camping is another popular activity in Harriman State Park, with several campgrounds available for visitors to choose from. From tent camping to RV hookups, there are options for all levels of camping experience. The park also offers yurts for rent, providing a unique and comfortable camping experience.

Overall, Harriman State Park is a must-visit destination in Idaho for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. With its beautiful scenery, diverse wildlife, and range of activities, it's no wonder why visitors come back year after year to explore this gem near Yellowstone National Park.

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Craters of the Moon National Monument

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Idaho is located in the northwestern United States and is home to many natural wonders. One of the most unique and fascinating is Craters of the Moon National Monument. This expansive park is located just a few hours from Yellowstone National Park and is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

One of the most interesting things about Craters of the Moon is the way that it was formed. The park is situated on the remains of a massive shield volcano that erupted millions of years ago. This volcano created a large caldera, or crater, that eventually collapsed and formed a series of smaller craters. Over time, the volcano continued to erupt and spread lava across the landscape, creating the unique formations that can be seen today.

Visitors to Craters of the Moon can see a variety of different volcanic features, including lava tubes, spatter cones, and volcanic fissures. One of the most popular attractions in the park is the Indian Tunnel, a lava tube that is nearly a mile long. Visitors can explore the tunnel on foot and see the unique formations that were created by flowing lava.

Another popular attraction in the park is the North Crater Flow. This massive lava flow covers more than 26 square miles and is one of the most recent eruptions in the area. Visitors can hike along the flow and see the different textures and colors of the lava.


Bear Lake

Source: www.yellowstonepark.com
Characteristic Description
NameYellowstone Bear World
TypeWildlife park in Madison County, Idaho
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 3,719
Address6010 S 4300 W, Rexburg, ID 83440
Phone(208) 359-9688
HoursWednesday - 9 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–5 PM
Friday - 9 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–5 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 9 AM–5 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–5 PM

Idaho is home to a plethora of breathtaking natural wonders and attractions, especially in the area near Yellowstone National Park. One such destination that should be on your travel itinerary is Bear Lake, also known as the "Caribbean of the Rockies" due to its turquoise blue water and sandy beaches.

Located on the border of Idaho and Utah, Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake that spans over 109 square miles. The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque mountains that provide a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The clear blue water is perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing, while the sandy beaches offer a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the most popular activities at Bear Lake is water sports, particularly sailing and windsurfing. The lake's steady winds and pristine waters make it an ideal spot for both seasoned and novice sailors. There are many rental options available for those who want to rent boats or windsurfing equipment, and there are also several companies offering sailing lessons for beginners.

For those who prefer more tranquil activities, Bear Lake also offers fishing opportunities. The lake is home to several species of fish, including whitefish, cutthroat trout, and lake trout. There are several public fishing access points around the lake, making it easy for visitors to enjoy this popular pastime. Fishing licenses are required, can be purchased from local vendors.

Aside from water activities, Bear Lake also has several hiking trails that provide stunning views of the area's natural beauty. One of the most popular trails is the Limber Pine Nature Trail, which takes hikers through a forest of limber pine trees said to be over 1,000 years old. The trail is an easy hike and is suitable for all skill levels.

In conclusion, visiting Bear Lake should be on your list if you're planning to visit the Yellowstone area. It's a great destination for water sports, fishing, hiking, and relaxing. So, pack your bags, leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind, and head to Bear Lake for a memorable and enjoyable trip to Idaho.

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Shoshone Falls

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameShoshone Falls Park
TypeWaterfall in Idaho
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.8 / 8,599
Address4155 Shoshone Falls Grade, Twin Falls, ID 83301
Phone(208) 736-2265
HoursWednesday - 8 AM–10 PM
Thursday - 8 AM–10 PM
Friday - 8 AM–10 PM
Saturday - 8 AM–10 PM
Sunday - 8 AM–10 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 8 AM–10 PM
Tuesday - 8 AM–10 PM

If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park and are looking for a fun side trip, be sure to check out Shoshone Falls in Idaho.

Located in the city of Twin Falls, just under a 3-hour drive from Yellowstone, Shoshone Falls is known as the "Niagara of the West." At 212 feet tall and 900 feet wide, it is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States. The falls are so impressive that in the early 1900s, they were once proposed as a site for a hydroelectric dam.

Visitors can access the falls via a paved path that leads to a viewing platform with stunning views of the falls and the surrounding canyon. There are also picnic areas and hiking trails available for those who want to explore the area further.

The best time to visit Shoshone Falls is in the spring, when snowmelt causes the flow to reach its maximum capacity. However, the falls are still impressive year-round, with water flowing even in the drier summer and fall months.

In addition to the falls themselves, visitors can also check out nearby attractions such as the Perrine Bridge, which spans the Snake River Canyon, and the Evel Knievel jump site, where the famous stuntman attempted (and crashed) a jump over the canyon in 1974.

Overall, if you have the time, a visit to Shoshone Falls is definitely worth it if you are in the area. The falls offer a beautiful natural spectacle and a welcome break from the crowds of Yellowstone National Park.


Sun Valley

Source: visitidaho.org

Located in the central Idaho region, the Sun Valley area is a perfect destination for those looking to explore both Idaho and nearby Yellowstone National Park.

In the summer, Sun Valley is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. The area has more than 400 miles of hiking and biking trails. Visitors can take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of Bald Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The town also has a golf course, tennis courts, and fly-fishing opportunities.

Yellowstone National Park is about a four-hour drive from Sun Valley. Visitors can take a day trip to the park or stay overnight in one of the nearby towns. Yellowstone offers some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world, including Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the Norris Geyser Basin. Visitors can also see a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, and bears.

When it comes to accommodations, Sun Valley has something for everyone. The Sun Valley Resort has a variety of lodging options, including hotel rooms, suites, and condos. There are also several other hotels and vacation rentals in the area. Restaurants in Sun Valley range from casual cafes to fine dining establishments.

Overall, Sun Valley is an excellent destination for those looking to explore both Idaho and nearby Yellowstone National Park. With its abundance of outdoor activities and scenic beauty, there is something for everyone in this charming resort town.

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Idaho Potato Museum

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameIdaho Potato Museum & Potato Station Cafe
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 1,738
Address130 NW Main St, Blackfoot, ID 83221
Phone(208) 785-2517
HoursWednesday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Friday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Sunday - Closed
Monday(Memorial Day) - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Tuesday - 9:30 AM–5 PM

If you're planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, consider stopping by the Idaho Potato Museum on your way. Located in the town of Blackfoot, Idaho, just a few hours drive from the park, the museum is both educational and entertaining for all ages.

The museum is dedicated to the history and impact of Idaho's famous crop - the potato. Visitors can learn about the planting and harvesting process, see antique potato harvesting equipment, and even watch a video on how potatoes are made into your favorite snacks.

One of the highlights of the museum is the world's largest potato chip, which is on display for visitors to marvel at. It weighs in at over 25 pounds, so make sure you have a friend to help you take a photo with it!

Another fun activity at the museum is the Potato Station, where visitors can make their own potato-themed crafts to take home as souvenirs. And if you're feeling peckish, make sure to stop by the Potato Cafe, which offers a variety of potato dishes, including baked potatoes, potato soup, and even potato ice cream (yes, you read that right!).

Overall, the Idaho Potato Museum is a unique and enjoyable stop on your trip to Yellowstone. It's a fun way to learn about the history and importance of potatoes in Idaho, and to admire some impressive potato-related artifacts. And who knows - maybe you'll even leave with a new appreciation for this humble yet versatile vegetable.


Kelly Canyon Ski Area

Source: yellowstoneteton.org
Characteristic Description
NameKelly Canyon Resort
TypeSki resort
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.2 / 823
Address5488 Kelly Canyon Rd, Ririe, ID 83443
Phone(208) 701-2817

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. The park's natural beauty, wildlife, and geothermal features attract millions of visitors each year. If you're planning a trip to Yellowstone, you might want to consider adding Kelly Canyon Ski Area to your itinerary. This ski resort is located just a short drive from the national park and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region.

One of the things that make Kelly Canyon Ski Area special is its family-friendly atmosphere. The resort caters to families with children, offering a variety of programs and services designed to make their experience enjoyable and safe. The resort has a children's learning center, where kids can take ski lessons in a fun and supportive environment. There are also designated family areas on the mountain, where parents and kids can ski together and enjoy the mountain's scenery.

If you're an experienced skier or snowboarder, you'll appreciate the challenging terrain at Kelly Canyon Ski Area. The resort has a variety of black diamond runs that are steep and fast, as well as gladed areas that offer a true backcountry experience. The resort's terrain parks are also popular among advanced riders, offering features such as jumps, rails, and boxes.

If you're planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, consider adding a visit to Kelly Canyon Ski Area. This ski resort offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region, with a family-friendly atmosphere, challenging terrain, and a peaceful mountain experience. It's the perfect way to complete your Yellowstone adventure.

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Yellowstone Bear World

Source: investigations.peta.org
Characteristic Description
NameYellowstone Bear World
TypeWildlife park in Madison County, Idaho
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 3,719
Address6010 S 4300 W, Rexburg, ID 83440
Phone(208) 359-9688
HoursWednesday - 9 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–5 PM
Friday - 9 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–5 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 9 AM–5 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–5 PM

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most visited attractions in the United States, drawing millions of visitors each year. However, there's another destination that's worth checking out if you're planning a trip to this awe-inspiring natural wonder - Yellowstone Bear World.

Located in Rexburg, Idaho, just over two hours away from Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Bear World is a wildlife park and drive-thru experience that allows visitors to see bears, elk, bison, and other wildlife from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles.

The park is home to over 50 bears, including black bears, grizzly bears, and Yellowstone's famous brown bears. Visitors can witness the bears lounging around in their natural habitat, playing, or snacking on some of the park's famous cinnamon bears. The drive-thru experience is designed to give visitors a close-up look at these majestic creatures without any danger.

But, there's more to Yellowstone Bear World than just bears. You can also see Rocky Mountain elk, North American bison, and various other animals roaming around while on the drive-thru tour. The park also has a petting zoo where visitors can get up-close encounters with some of the smaller animals like deer and goats.

The park has various activities and adventures for visitors of all ages, including a grizzly and wolf discovery center, where visitors can learn more about these animals and their lives. If you're feeling adventurous, you can book a guided tour from one of the park's knowledgeable bear experts, which includes exclusive access to the bears' playground.

If you're planning to visit Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Bear World is an excellent addition to your travel plans. It's an opportunity to see some of the iconic wildlife up close and personal, and an unforgettable experience for you and your family. So, if you're in Idaho near Yellowstone, make sure to put Yellowstone Bear World on your must-visit list.


Silverwood Theme Park

Source: idahofaq.com
Characteristic Description
NameSilverwood Theme Park
TypeAmusement park in Kootenai County, Idaho
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 10,803
Address27843 US-95, Athol, ID 83801
Phone(208) 683-3400
HoursWednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed
Friday - Closed
Saturday - 11 AM–7 PM
Sunday - 11 AM–8 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 11 AM–6 PM
Tuesday - Closed

Idaho is home to many breathtaking natural wonders and attractions that are located conveniently near Yellowstone National Park. One such attraction that cannot be missed is the Silverwood Theme Park, located in Athol, Idaho.

Spread across 220 acres of land, the Silverwood Theme Park is an absolute paradise for thrill-seekers and families alike. The park boasts over 70 rides, live entertainment, and a water park, making it the perfect place to spend a fun-filled day with friends and family.

One of the most popular rides in the park is the Tremors rollercoaster, which takes riders on a thrilling journey through the Idaho wilderness, featuring unexpected twists and turns that will get your adrenaline pumping. Another must-try ride is the Aftershock, which launches riders vertically and then sends them through an array of twists and turns at speeds of over 60 miles per hour.

For those who want to cool off after a day of rollercoaster rides, the Boulder Beach water park offers plenty of thrills as well. With over 6 acres of water attractions, including wave pools, lazy rivers, and thrilling water slides, the water park is a perfect place to spend a hot summer day.

In addition to thrilling rides and attractions, the park also offers live entertainment, with daily performances from talented musicians and performers from around the region. There are also various themed festivals and events hosted by the park throughout the year, including Oktoberfest, Halloween events, and Christmas celebrations, making the Silverwood Theme Park a perfect year-round destination.

The park also offers a great selection of dining options, ranging from classic theme park fare to a full-service restaurant and cafes. Visitors can also choose to stay overnight at the park's on-site lodging, ranging from campsites and RV parks to cabins and comfortable hotel rooms.

All in all, the Silverwood Theme Park is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting the Yellowstone area of Idaho. With its thrilling rides, water park, live entertainment, and great selection of dining and lodging options, the park provides something fun for everyone. Don't miss out on this unforgettable experience and add it to your itinerary for your next trip to the area.


Snake River Canyon

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

If you find yourself planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, be sure to add a visit to the nearby Snake River Canyon in Idaho. This awe-inspiring landmark is just a short drive away and boasts incredible views and outdoor activities.

One of the best ways to experience Snake River Canyon is by taking a scenic drive along its rim. The road winds along the edge of the canyon, providing stunning views of the flowing river and towering cliffs. Pull over at one of the many overlooks to snap some photos or simply take in the breathtaking scenery.

For a more adventurous experience, embark on a whitewater rafting trip down the river. The Snake River boasts some of the best whitewater rapids in the country, making it an exciting and memorable activity for thrill-seekers. There are several rafting companies in the area that offer guided trips, so be sure to do your research and find one that fits your needs.

If you prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of hiking trails in Snake River Canyon that offer amazing views and opportunities to spot wildlife. The most popular trail is the Snake River Canyon Rim Trail, a 10-mile round-trip hike that takes you through lush forests and along the rim of the canyon. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, mule deer, and even the occasional black bear.

In addition to its natural beauty, Snake River Canyon also has a rich history. The canyon was formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity and erosion, and has been an important site for the Shoshone-Bannock tribes for centuries. Today, you can still see traces of their influence in the area, including petroglyphs etched into the rocks.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or simply appreciate natural beauty, a visit to Snake River Canyon is a must when exploring the area around Yellowstone National Park. Don't miss out on an opportunity to witness one of the most stunning natural features of the American West.


Bogus Basin Ski Area

Source: visitidaho.org
Characteristic Description
NameBogus Basin
TypeSki area in Boise County, Idaho
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 538

If you're looking for some amazing skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Idaho, then Bogus Basin Ski Area is definitely worth checking out! Located just 16 miles north of Boise, it offers some of the most stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a great destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

With a base elevation of 5,800 feet and a summit elevation of 7,582 feet, Bogus Basin has 2,600 acres of skiable terrain, which is more than enough for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders to enjoy. There are 12 chairlifts that provide access to 91 runs, which range from easy green runs to challenging black diamond ones. The resort also has six terrain parks, where freestyle skiers and snowboarders can show off their tricks and improve their skills.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Bogus Basin offers other winter activities such as snowshoeing, tubing, Nordic skiing, and fat biking. You can rent snowshoes, cross-country skis, and fat bikes on-site, and there are plenty of trails to explore in the surrounding forests.

When you're ready to take a break from all the outdoor activities, the resort has several restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink with your friends. There is also a small shopping area with ski and snowboard gear, souvenirs, and other items.

Overall, Bogus Basin Ski Area is a great place to visit if you're near Yellowstone in Idaho. With its vast ski terrain, stunning views, and a wide range of winter activities, it's a great destination for families, couples, and solo travelers. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip and hit the slopes at Bogus Basin today!

Frequently asked questions

- There are many outdoor activities to do near Yellowstone, such as hiking in Yellowstone and hiking through the beautiful mountains of the Sawtooth Range in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. You can go fishing in the Snake River or kayaking along the Salmon River. You can also enjoy mountain biking on the trails in the Targhee National Forest and wildlife watching in the Henry’s Fork Wildlife Management Area.

- Yes, there are several historical sites to visit near Yellowstone. The Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello has exhibits on the history and culture of the region, including Native American history. The experimental Idaho National Laboratory offers tours of their facilities and visitors can learn about the lab's contributions to nuclear energy, scientific research, and national security.

- Family-friendly activities near Yellowstone include visiting the Yellowstone Bear World, where you can see live bears and other wildlife up close. You can explore the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, which features unique and volcanic landscapes, and the Lava Hot Springs, which offer natural hot springs to soak in. The Kelly Canyon Ski Resort and the Teton Springs Resort and Spa both offer skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

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Leona Harvey

I highly recommend checking out Idaho's Sawtooth National Recreation Area if you're in the area. The hiking trails there offer stunning views of the jagged peaks and crystal-clear lakes. I personally did a day hike to Sawtooth Lake and it was worth every step. Another must-visit place is Sun Valley, a popular ski resort town. Even in the summer, the town has a vibrant atmosphere with lots of outdoor activities like mountain biking, fishing, and horseback riding. It's a great place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. Idaho truly surprised me with its outdoor wonders, and I can't wait to go back and explore more!

Jessica Johnston

I recently took a trip to Idaho and was amazed at the variety of outdoor activities near Yellowstone. One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. The unique landscape of volcanic features and lava fields made me feel like I was exploring another planet. I also had a great time hiking and wildlife spotting in the Teton Valley. The scenery was breathtaking and I even got to see some moose and elk up close. Overall, Idaho has so much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts like myself, and it's definitely worth checking out if you're visiting Yellowstone!

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