Spectator Events

Ranging from rodeos and jet boat races to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the gnarly North Fork Championship kayak competition, Idaho makes a big splash when it comes to entertaining an audience.

College Sports
Whichever sport gets you fired up on game day, Idaho has you covered. With several colleges and universities spread across the state, both men’s and women’s sports provide hours of entertainment. Visit Boise State University’s famous blue turf, cheer on the Vandals at the University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome, take yourself out to the ballgame at the Avista NAIA World Series in Lewiston or experience the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Albertsons Stadium.

Professional Sports
Boise is home to the Idaho Horsemen professional indoor football team as well as three professional sports affiliate teams: Idaho Steelheads hockey (Dallas Stars), Boise Hawks baseball (Colorado Rockies) and Idaho Chukars baseball (Kansas City Royals).

Motor Sports
From drag racing and funny cars to road rallies, motocross, motorcycle hill climbs and ATV/UTV rallies, Idaho kicks it into high gear when it comes to motor sports. If you feel the need for speed, check out the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway or thrill at the sight of high-powered, high-dollar performance cars at the Tour de Force in Sun Valley.

Spectators line the banks of the Snake River in Burley in late June to witness three days of the fastest circle sprint boat racing around at the Idaho Regatta. Fans of action-packed jet boat racing can catch other races on the Snake, Salmon, St. Joe and Clearwater Rivers. Fans of extreme sports will want to head to Crouch for the annual North Fork Championship, where you can watch the world’s best kayakers take on the gnarly whitewater of the Payette River’s north fork.

Biking & Running
Whether you prefer to see whose fastest on two legs or two wheels — and off-road or on — Idaho hosts several biking and running events for riders and runners of all stripes. The Twilight Criterium promises fast-paced peloton excitement on the streets of downtown Boise. The Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival pairs four days of bike races with clinics, demos, live music and beer. Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene pits endurance triathletes against each another in a charming, spectator-friendly setting. Billed as “the toughest half marathon in the Northwest” by its organizers, the Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon lives up to the claim by having participants climb 2,200 feet over the first 8.5 miles. 

From barrel racing and bull riding to steer wrestling and team roping, summers in Idaho are packed with professional and amateur rodeos around the state. Cowboy up at two of the of the top professional events in the country — the Snake River Stampede in Nampa or the Caldwell Night Rodeo — or find a variety of grandstand fun at smaller events like the Eastern Idaho State Fair, the Gooding Pro Rodeo or the Sandpoint Bonner County Rodeo.

Read these Travel Tips for more action-packed spectator event ideas.

Reaching Extremes: Idaho’s North Fork Championship

University of Idaho: A Weekend Getaway in Moscow

Boise State University: A Weekend Getaway Guide to Boise

Idaho State University: A Weekend Guide to Visiting Pocatello

Idaho’s Wildest Rodeo and the Wild Beyond