Although mostly a pass through state and known in America for potatoes, Idaho does have a few hidden gems.

My Favorites

1. Craters Of The Moon

Indian Tunnel

Highlights: Lava tubes, lava fields
Suggest Staying: 1/2 day
Stay Around: Yellowstone or Grand Teton
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Craters Of The Moon National Park is an ocean of lava tubes and lava fields which you can pretty freely explore. You can even disappear into the lava tubes and caves on your own. It’s quite beautiful. The park is located about 220 miles (4.5 hours) from both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.

If you have…

  • 30 Mins. 7-mile loop drive.
  • 1 Hour. North Crater Flow trail.
  • 2 Hours. Indian Tunnel, Big Craters from Spatter Cones hike.
  • 1/2 Day. Broken Top Loop Hike, Tree Molds trails, Buffalo Cave on Broken Top Loop.


  • Cave Permit. Required on all cave hikes, including Indian Tunnel and Buffalo Cave. Easy to get and free, they just check with you about WNS.
  • White Nose Syndrome (WNS) (Important!). This terrible fungal disease is killing off bats at an alarming rate across America. WNS doesn’t affect humans, but bats catch it and effectively can’t breathe, freak out, use up all their energy and die. Millions of bats have died as a result, so do your part to avoid spreading it! Bats are critical to our survival, they kill disease carrying insects like mosquitoes. Plus they are super cool animals. If you have been in a cave within the last 10 years that has WNS, or if you’re not sure, mention this to the rangers and be sure not to wear the same clothes, shoes, or pack.
  • Indian Tunnel. You will be climbing up and down rock piles, so wear sturdy shoes. If you have a headlamp, bring it. Don’t do this if you’re unsteady on your feet. Not necessary, but helps in a couple of spots with low/no light and also if you want to try and spot bats.

2. Apline to Palisades

Red Rock Pass

This just happened to be the route I took, no particular reason. However, the drive from Alpine to Palisades was gorgeous past a huge lake and mountains. Looked like it would be a nice recreation, camping, or hangout area. Pretty remote, although off a major highway, but I didn’t see any people around the lake. If you’re planning a route through Idaho, I would recommend driving through this way. Along the route is Idaho Falls and Red Rock Pass are two noteworthy stops if you need a break. There’s a place called Lava Springs I didn’t visit, but has hot springs. Just outside Craters of the Moon on the way down to Utah.

General Tips

  • Cracked Windshield. Apparently in Idaho due to the wind, number of trucks, or maybe dumb luck, I managed to have my windshield cracked twice while on the road in Idaho at two different places. I actually keep a windshield repair kit from Walmart in the car, as this happened a couple years ago on a road trip. So I fixed the first crack, drove about 30 minutes and it happened again! My advice is to pay attention if you start hearing rocks crackling up against your windshield and back off of the car in front of you. This goes especially for large trailers, trucks hauling stuff, or pickup trucks.

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