For those who like to feel a rush of excitement on their vacations, Idaho offers thrilling activities in stunning settings that will get pulses racing. Add some heart-pumping action to your itinerary with these outdoor pursuits.
Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Idaho is home to the most navigable miles of whitewater in the lower 48, making it a list-topper for avid rapid riders. Splash your way through a one-of-a-kind wilderness trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, or discover wild-water exhilaration in Hells Canyon or on the Lochsa, Selway, South Fork of the Payette and several other rivers.
You can thank Idaho’s geological history for its jagged landscapes that provide a playground for all types of rock climbing. The aptly named City of Rocks National Reserve is home to thousands of granite spires—and 600-plus routes—that rise like skyscrapers across the southeastern Idaho desert. Other must-climb destinations include Elephant’s Perch, Castle Rocks State Park, Q’emiln Park and Chimney Rock.
Parachute-toting thrill-seekers travel from all over the world to Twin Falls’ I.B. Perrine Bridge to experience the rush of leaping, free-falling and then floating to the Snake River Canyon floor. Take a tandem leap with a trained professional or enjoy the action as a spectator from the safety of the canyon rim.
Cat & Heli-Skiing
For those who find conquering black diamond runs a tad too familiar, it’s time to explore Idaho’s renowned backcountry on a guided cat or heli-skiing trip, where you’ll descend thousands of vertical feet as you navigate waist-deep pow, alpine cirque bowls, powder fields, chutes, glades and covered tree runs.
With thousands of miles of singletrack around the state—and an impressive portion of that being lift-served, downhill trails—you’ll find invigorating rides wherever you go. Silver Mountain Resort claims North America’s longest single-stage gondola, providing access to nearly 40 trails ranging from gravity-fed and flowy singletrack to technical terrain and hand-tuned jump lines across 3,400 feet of descent. Other can’t-miss rides can be found at Brundage Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort, Schweitzer, Tamarack Resort, the Ridge to Rivers Trail System and many other areas.
Nothing compares to the thrill of wind in your face as you soar over forest canopies, creeks, canyons and valleys at speeds up to 55 mph. Zip lining in Idaho offers some of the best vantage points for experiencing the state’s raw beauty as you zoom from platform to platform. Embark on a high-speed tour with several outfitters peppered across the state.
ATV Recreation & Motorsports
Throttle-happy adventurers will find all kinds of designated off-road territory in Idaho to get their motor running. St. Anthony Sand Dunes rise to 400 feet above the valley floor, creating a wonderland for dune buggy fun. Discover other open spaces to rev your engine.
Winter’s wildest event doubles as the perfect spectator sport. Imagine a galloping horse (or a dog sled or an ATV, depending on the event) pulling a skier at a fast clip through an obstacle course of jumps and gates, while sometimes collecting rings, for the fastest time—that’s skijoring! You can witness this unique, intense activity at competitions around the state, like the Wood River Extreme Skijoring event in Bellevue or the Extreme SkiJor competition in Wallace.Didn’t find what you were looking for?
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