For families that feel the need for speed when it comes to outdoor adventure, Idaho is jam-packed with summer activities in stunning settings that will set your pulses racing. Here are five destinations sure to bring joy and excitement to thrill-seekers of all ages and abilities.
1. Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area
Twist, turn and scream with delight as you speed through the woods on Idaho’s only mountain coaster! The Glade Runner at Bogus Basin offers one- and two-seated coaster carts that are pulled to the top of the track and then released for an exhilarating ride across 4,330 feet of mountain terrain. When you’ve recovered from your adrenaline rush, grab a cozy spot on the patio for a bite and cold beverages. Bogus Basin also offers a bungee trampoline, a summer tubing hill, a climbing wall, disc golfing, gem panning and 23 trails for all levels of mountain bikers, horseback riders and hikers to enjoy.
2. Rhodes Skate Park
Whether you were born to skate or simply like to roll with the flow, any family member will find fun on two or four wheels at Rhodes Skate Park in downtown Boise. Offering 40,000 square feet of cement packed with bowls and ledges for skateboarding, inline skating, BMX and kick scooters, this is one of the largest skate parks in the Northwest. A covered, lighted area features rails, ramps and a vert, and there’s even a parkour course to jump, swing, climb and flip. When you’ve had your fill of gnarly fast plants and frontside flips, cool off with an iced coffee and a giant cherry scone at nearby Big City Coffee & Café.
3. Tamarack Resort
Ziplining, mountain biking and hiking, oh my! Tamarack is an all-season resort located just 2.5 hours from Boise that serves up a healthy dose of outdoor summer fun for all adventurers. Feel the adrenaline rush as you zip along a cable through the forest canopy and down the mountain over 3,500 feet of creeks, canyons and rugged mountain terrain. The exhilarating zipline tour gives you a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding peaks, forest and Lake Cascade as you soar from platform to platform. If you’re not big on heights, Tamarack also offers several hiking and biking trails for all abilities. Bikes are available for rent at the main lodge and include a helmet and free shuttle service. Pack a water bottle, snacks and sunscreen for quick refueling and reapplying on hot, sunny days.
4. Bear Lake State Park
What spells summer fun more than the thrill of springing off a giant water trampoline into a turquoise-colored lake? Despite its Caribbean-like water, beautiful Bear Lake is a 20-mile-long natural, freshwater lake straddling the Idaho-Utah border. Bear Lake State Park claims the north and east shores and is a popular destination for those who love to camp, swim, fish, paddle, waterski and build sandcastles. When it’s time to settle who in the family sports the best flip or dive, rent one of the 20-foot water trampolines (three can jump at a time!) or opt for an outing on a kayak, stand-up paddleboard or canoe (lifejackets, paddles and instruction included).
5. Teton Scenic Byway
Slow things down and hit the open road for a self-guided tour of breathtaking mountain vistas, rushing rivers, lush fields and historic sites. This 69-mile stretch of paved two-lane — one of the most scenic of Idaho’s 31 byways — extends from Swan Valley to Ashton and runs along the western side of the stunning Teton Mountain Range. Travel alongside rolling hills of barley and wheat and through small towns marking the area’s meeting points for fur trappers, mountain men and Native Americans during the 1800s. Although the road weaves through small towns, it’s helpful to have snacks, water and a full tank of gas before you set out.
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