Nestled against the western side of the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains, Idaho is a vast and diverse state. From emerald green hillsides to rugged mountains, rolling wilderness and sparkling sapphire lakes, Idaho truly is the Gem State. Around every bend you’ll find spectacular scenery and abundant recreational activities, from the world renowned white-water rafting in Salmon to the skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Sun Valley. This 14 night tour aims to give you a taste of the outdoor lifestyle of one of the USA’s lesser known regions. Enjoy!
- Whitefish & Glacier National Park
- Jackson & Grand Teton National Park
- Sun Valley
In Boise, you’ll find a mix of beautiful scenery, easily accessible outdoor recreation and an abundant culture. Boise’s vibrant downtown has three main sections, the main historic district, BoDo, a newer area with big-name retailers, and the Basque Block, a charming street that highlights Idaho’s Basque heritage. Make sure to visit the Basque Museum to learn their colourful history; you can easily walk to many of Boise’s museums, including the Boise Art Museum and the Idaho Historical Museum, both located within the Julia Davis Park. The Boise River is at the centre of life during the spring and summer; bike, jog or walk along the 25-mile Greenbelt, fish for rainbow trout or kayak along the river. Eagle Island State Park is also a fun spot, with a beach, water slide and plenty of shade picnicking. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a rodeo, baseball game or live music at Live After Five on Wednesday evenings in downtown Boise. Head to nearby Horseshoe Bend for zip-line adventures and a ride on the historic Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Located two hours north of Boise, McCall is a vibrant resort town nestled between forested mountains and the shores of Payette Lake. In the summer, McCall buzzes with activity as visitors enjoy the water sports, hiking, biking, dining, and the sunshine McCall is known for. Hire a kayak from within Ponderosa State Park and paddle Payette Lake. Make sure to grab a huge ice cream at Ice Cream Alley too. Spend a day at one of the three scenic golf courses in town or a sunset cruise on Payette Lake is a great way to spend an evening. During winter, the Carnival attracts craftsmen from far and wide to showcase stunning snow sculptures and skiers and boarders ply the slopes at Brundage Mountain Resort. The rink at Manchester Ice Centre is also open year-long.
In Lewiston, you’ll find quaint eateries in a historic, tree-lined downtown and, just a few miles south you can take a look at one of history’s ultimate adventures at the Lewis and Clark Discovery Centre. Hells Gate State Park offers kayak rentals for leisurely paddling or try to spot otters and hawks as you walk or ride the park’s riverside trail. If your visit incorporates a Saturday evening in summer, head to Brackenbury Square for live music and the Lewiston Farmer’s Market. Every September, the Lewiston Roundup brings three days of professional rodeo action to the town. Definitely put Hells Canyon on your must-see list; the rugged landscape along North America’s deepest river gorge is astounding, whether you drive its winding road, take a jet boat tour, angle for monster fish or go rafting through class IV and V rapids.
Spending time in Coeur d’Alene, on the shores of one of the country’s prettiest lakes, means water-skiing and building sandcastles, roaming in and out of art galleries and sipping wine at sunset. Lake Coeur d’Alene is the major draw, with almost 110 miles of shoreline and crystal blue waters perfect for swimming, sailing, jet-skiing and relaxed cruising tours. Soak it all in from above with a parasailing adventure or sea plane tour. You’ll catch amazing views and see osprey diving for their dinner when you hike Tubbs Hill Peninsula or pedal along the Coeur d’Alene Parkway State Park. Treat the kids to a day of riding, splashing and screaming with pure joy at Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach Water Park.
On the way to Whitefish, you may want to make a stop in Wallace, a small town that grew up from the gold rush of the area in 1882. The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places; visit the Wallace District Mining Museum and head underground for a guided of the Sierra Silver Mine.
Whitefish itself takes you over the Idaho/Montana border and serves up a heaping helping of rustic charm amid the rugged beauty of the Rockies. Nestled at the foot of Big Mountain and within a short distance of Glacier National Park and the Canadian border, the area offers no shortage of outdoor activities for all seasons, from skiing Whitefish Mountain Resort in the winter to cycling, horseback riding and white-water rafting in summer. The town's historic railroad depot and quaint Central Avenue charm visitors with a taste of historic Montana.
Missoula's historic downtown boasts unique dining and shopping opportunities and a living nightlife. Just outside the city, Rattlesnake National Recreation Area offers endless mountain trails; here you'll find mountain lakes, waterfalls and slopes of sub-alpine fir, pine and spruce and open parklands. An abundance of wildlife can also be found, from elk and coyotes to black bears and mountain lions. In the city itself, explore the exhibits at the Art Museum of Missoula or take a trip back in time at the Historical Museum. Dragon Hollow, a magical playground that features a hand-carved carousel is a must for families.
Salmon confirms why Idaho is called the ‘Whitewater Capital of the World’. The Salmon River, or ‘River of No Return’ runs right through the town, leading to amazing adventures through some of the best rapids and most scenic landscape in the world. Perched on the edge of the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the town provides the opportunity for a wide array of outdoor activities not limited to rafting; go hiking, fishing and big game hunting. Finish your day with a relaxing hot spring soaking. Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark’s translator, companion and guide, was born. The Sacajawea Centre honours her heritage and role in the Corps of Discovery.
As you arrive at Jackson, it becomes immediately obvious why the Grand Tetons, the 40-mile long mountain range that surround it, are a National Park. All three Scenic Drives are a must do: the Teton Park Road, Jenny Lake Scenic Drive, and Signal Mountain Summit Road. We highly recommend taking a Wildlife Expedition, which will take you into the back country of Grand Teton National Park, otherwise inaccessible to traffic. There are also plenty of fly-fishing, skiing and white-water rafting opportunities, depending when you are visiting. Hot air balloon trips are also popular.
Sun Valley is the West’s storied ski resort, with a long history of movie stars and over royalty escaping to the slopes. Today, people come to experience the old-world charm of this cosy alpine village on the edge of wilderness. Whilst it is known for its slopes, Sun Valley is bustling year-round; hit the greens at its beautiful golf courses or take a guided trail ride. Also, plan to take the Roundhouse Express Gondola up to the top of Mount Baldy, where you can hike, bike or enjoy a meal and a great view at the Roundhouse restaurant. Whilst here, take a trip to Ketchum, less than a mile away, where Ernest Hemingway spent his last years, and browse their many shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. You can also go paragliding or learn to fly-fish here too!
This morning, make your way back to Boise for your afternoon flight home.
- 14 nights accommodation and room tax.
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required).
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available).
- A detailed and comprehensive travel pack with driving directions and maps.
Daily Departures from May to September.