Many people don’t know much about Idaho except “famous potatoes.” But, since you are here, you would probably like to know more.
Adjacent to Washington and Oregon in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is a big state. It’s been said if you flatten all the mountains in Idaho, the state would be the size of Texas. Idaho covers two time zones, runs from Canada to Nevada, and encompasses the western side of the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains. Rivers, mountains and farmland dominate the state’s landscape. The panhandle has emerald green hillsides, timbered mountains and pristine lakes. Central Idaho is covered with jagged peaks. The Snake River Plain, with its wide open vistas, irrigated farm lands and vibrant cities forms the character of southern Idaho.
Idaho’s history lies with its native tribes, the Lewis and Clark Expedition and determined pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Today’s Idaho is both cosmopolitan and small-town friendly. Boise, the capital and largest city, developed near Fort Boise along the Oregon Trail has grown to a population of 190,000. Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism are Idaho’s major industries. Abundant outdoor recreation opportunities and scenic vistas around every turn attract more than 20 million tourists annually.
Whichever part of this magnificent state you choose to discover, you’ll find spectacular scenery, fun things to do and friendly, helpful people. You’ll also find a place that’s unhurried, unspoiled and unassuming. So linger awhile and discover Idaho.
Facts About Idaho
As the 13th largest state in the U.S., Idaho produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones. Some of these stones can be found nowhere else in the world, which is why our great state is known as the Gem State.
|Population:||1,900,000 (2020 Census)|
|Land Area:||83,557 square miles|
|Date of Statehood:||July 3rd, 1890|
|Highest Elevation:||12,662 ft. (Mt. Borah)|
|Lowest Elevation:||738 ft. (Lewiston, ID)|
|Water Area:||823 square miles|
|River Miles:||3,500 miles (more than any other state in the Lower 48)|
State Flag and Seal
A silk flag, with a blue field, 5 feet 6 inches high, 4 feet 4 inches on pike is bordered by gilt fringe 2 1/2 inches wide, with the State Seal of Idaho in the center. The words “State of Idaho” are embroidered in gold block letters two inches high on a red band below the Great Seal. It was adopted by the 1907 legislature. The state seal was designed by Emma Edwards Green.
State Flower: The Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii)
The syringa was designated the state flower of Idaho by the legislature in 1931. It is a branching shrub up to 12 feet tall with clusters of white, fragrant flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer. The blossoms are similar to the mock orange, have four petals, and the flowers grow at the ends of short, leafy branches.
State Bird: The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia arctcia)
The mountain bluebird was adopted as the state bird for Idaho by the state legislature in 1931. The Bluebird is about seven inches long, has an azure blue coat, and a blue vest with white under-feathers. The mother bird wears a quiet blue-gray dress and usually lays six or seven blue-white eggs. The Bluebird’s nest is usually built in a hollow tree or in a crevice. The Bluebird is very neat about its home and carries all refuse some distance from the nest.
State Tree: The Western White Pine (Pinus Monticola pinaceae)
Our state tree is probably most notable since the largest remaining stand of this timber in the United States grows in the northern part of Idaho. Tall and slender, the Western White Pine is native to forests of the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to Montana and as far south as central California. It has blue-green needles, slender cones and can grow to 100 ft. It has many other fine qualities such as straight grain and soft, even texture. The Western White Pine was named Idaho’s state tree in 1935.
State Horse: Appaloosa
The Appaloosa was the first horse breed to be acquired by the Nez Perce tribe around the 1700’s leading to the tribe developing into excellent horsemen and breeders. Settlers began to refer to their horses as “a Palouse horse” in reference to the Palouse River in north Central Idaho. The term evolved from that to “Palousey”, “Appalousey” and finally “Appaloosa”. An Appaloosa Horse Club was chartered in 1938 and has become one of the leading equine breed registries in the world. The Appaloosa was named Idaho’s state horse in 1975 because of its importance to Idaho history.
|State Fruit:||Wild Huckleberry|
|Motto:||“Esto Perpetua” meaning “It is perpetual.”|