Idaho is one of those hidden gem states that you might not think of as a top travel destination, but once you visit, you'll be completely blown away! It has hot springs, mountains, lakes, waterfalls... literally everything you could want on a road trip! This 10 day road trip itinerary will start in Boise and loop back around, since that's the largest city and most likely where you'll be flying in from. But feel free to adjust accordingly! When I did this trip I was coming from Yellowstone National Park, so I actually started in Idaho Falls!
Day 1: Boise
The capital city of Idaho! Today you'll enjoy the city. Take a walk along the Boise River Greenbelt that follows the banks of the Boise River, or even have a picnic in either Barber Park or Kathryn Albertson Park. Don't forget to grab a bite to eat at the Boise Farmers Market!
Day 2: Kirkham Hot Springs & Redfish Lake
Drive 1 hour & 50 minutes to the Kirkham Hot Springs- probably Idaho's most famous geothermal pool. Take a soak in one of the various hot pools and take in the gorgeous scenery all around you.
Once you're ready to get back on the road, continue driving for about 1 hour & 10 minutes to get to Redfish Lake. You can either get one of the various camping spots around the lake, or stay at the Redfish Lake Lodge. As long as you're close to the lake, you'll be happy! Spend the rest of your day relaxing lakeside, renting paddle boards, and/or grabbing drinks from the airstream outside of the lodge! It's a beautiful place to just relax.
Day 3: Redfish Lake
Continue on with what you did the day before: RELAX! Enjoy the lake life. Rent some water toys, eat lots of food, and soak in the sun. If you feel like you did enough lakeside relaxing just with Day 2's afternoon, then feel free to shorten the trip and move on!
Day 4: Stanley
This is a tiny town right outside Redfish Lake, so drive up to Stanley Baking Company & Cafe to grab breakfast in the morning. Once you've let your food settle, it's time to hike! I highly recommend the Fishhook Creek Trail. It's 4.4 miles round trip, but extremely easy. Feels like a nice stroll through the forest, and the ending view of the Sawtooth Mountains is absolutely jaw-dropping. If you're interested in something a little more difficult there are a plethora of other hikes in the area like Bench Lakes Trail (8 miles), Fisher Creek Trail (13.3 miles), or Redfish Lake Trail (14.6 miles).
End your day with some hot springs! First, head to Boat Box Hot Springs. This one is super popular and can only fit 2 people at a time. So drive by and see how many people are waiting in line because it might not be worth it! End your day at my personal favorite: Valley Creek Hot Springs. This is a local secret- I'm serious. We got there and there was a local guy in there who asked us how we even knew about this place! It was absolutely gorgeous.
Day 5: Craters of the Moon
Drive 2 hours & 45 minutes to Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. It costs $20 per car to enter, but if you have the Annual National Parks pass it's free. (I can't recommend buying this pass enough- it saves you so much money!) This is a small park, so you'll just follow the main road in the park and pull over for different sites to see or loops to walk around.
Day 6: Idaho Falls
Drive 1.5 hours to the beautiful city of Idaho Falls. The main thing to do here is the River Walk, read my blog for more details. Make sure you grab a bite to eat at The SnakeBite Restaurant- leave room for their homemade chocolate cake... you won't regret it!
Day 7-8: Twin Falls
Drive 2 hours & 20 minutes to Twin Falls. Start your day 7 at Shoshone Falls- the main attraction of this city! ($5/vehicle) You can even walk the Canyon Rim Trail to get to the multiple viewing platforms to see the falls from different angles and get great photos.
Once you've finished enjoying the gorgeous falls, drive down the street to Dierkes Lake. You can BBQ, go swimming, or even rock jumping!
Start off day 8 by heading to Centennial Park. On the road down, you'll see Perrine Coulee Falls to the side of the road. You can pull over and snap a quick photo! Then, continue on down the road to get to the park. Here you can have a picnic and then rent kayaks. Make sure to get there early, because they will sell out of kayaks for the day. You can kayak up the Snake River to see Shoshone Falls from a different point of view! Along the way you'll also see Pillar Falls.
Once you're done with water activities, head back up to the city. Make sure to watch the BASE jumpers jump off Perrine Memorial Bridge at sunset- it's truly an awesome sight to see! Read more about Twin Falls here.
Day 9: Bruneau Dunes State Park
Drive 1.5 hours to the dunes! Its $5/ vehicle to enter the park. Once inside you can rent a sand board from the visitor center for $15/day. This park has the highest sand dune in North America, peaking at 470 feet. Spend the day hiking dunes, boarding down them, and stargazing at night.
Day 10: Boise
Drive 1 hour & 10 minutes back to Boise to catch your flight home! Of course if you have more time, you can walk around the downtown shops and eat your heart out. Do whatever you want to do to end your amazing Idaho road trip!
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