Central Idaho is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in Idaho. From Redfish Lake to the Salmon River, Central Idaho has no shortage of sparkling alpine lakes, jagged mountain peaks, fields of wildflowers and historic mountain towns.

This region is not new to adventure—this was the home of Sacajawea, the brave Lemhi-Shoshone woman who served as an interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition as they made their way west to the Pacific Ocean. Find the interpretive center dedicated to sharing those stories in Salmon. Make a visit to Land of the Yankee Fork State Park to learn about Idaho’s mining history and then visit the ghost towns of Bayhorse and Custer.

Hiking, Fishhook Creek Trail, Near Redfish Lake, Stanley. Photo Credit: Idaho Tourism.
Dollar Mountain, Sun Valley. Photo Credit: Idaho Tourism.

The towering Sawtooth Mountains stand guard over the Stanley Basin, an area where hiking and biking trails abound. Mount Borah, the state’s highest peak at 12,662 feet, looks out over the sweeping plains near Mackay, beckoning hikers and climbers to ascend its slopes. Travel to Sun Valley, Hailey, and Ketchum for world-class skiing and hiking, mountain biking, or stroll through art galleries and do some shopping in the downtown areas. Ernest Hemingway settled here in his later years and was particularly fond of the Silver Creek area, now a preserve known for fantastic fly-fishing and its rich habitats for birds, elk, and other wildlife. The night skies in this part of Idaho are truly stunning. With North America’s first and only International Dark Sky Reserve and a Dark Sky Park designation at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, the stargazing here is out of this world.

Central Idaho has  two ski areas: Sun Valley Resort, which includes Bald and Dollar Mountain, and Lost Trail Powder Mountain, located on the Idaho-Montana Border.

It’s all about the moon, the stars and the mountains on this epic adventure in Central Idaho. Explore a parallel universe at Craters of the Moon National Monument, conquer the turns of Idaho’s rugged mountains, and settle in to view the dazzling night sky as you’ve never seen it before in North America’s only Dark Sky Reserve.

Getting to Central Idaho

Whether you pack up the car or hop on an airplane, this list of scenic byways and nearby airports will simplify your travel plans.

The Scenic Route

Central Idaho Travel Tips

Idaho Travel Guide Cover Idaho Roadsider Guide

Download the Official Idaho Travel Guide and the Idaho Roadsider for more Idaho adventure inspiration.

Download Now

Nearby Things To Do

Learn more about Central Idaho Find places to stay