44 Interesting Facts About Idaho
Facts about Idaho
1. The state’s name derived from a Native American word that means “the land of many waters.” The pronunciation is similar to the state’s name.
2. Idaho is sometimes referred to as the Gem State. One can find nearly 72 types of precious stones in the state.
3. The state grows nearly one/third of America’s potatoes. It is likely that the people living outside the state eat more of these starchy vegetables than the people in Idaho.
4. A mayor seemed to have a strange adoration for his small town in Idaho. He declared that Wallace, with a population of 800 people, was the Center of the Universe. A manhole cover was made to mark this declaration and the place he said was the center.
5. Idaho produces other crops besides potatoes. The state is actually known as the Lentil Capital of the World. It is also known for having one of the largest hop farms in the United States.
6. This state is known for having a canyon with an interesting name. The canyon is called Hells Canyon, and it’s 7,900 feet deep. Keep in mind that this is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
7. There are only a few places in the world where a bounty of star garnets can be found. One is in India and the other happens to be in Idaho.
8. Many states are working toward being more eco-friendly, but it seems that Idaho is moving quickly. The state’s Capital Building is the only state capital that is kept warm using a renewable source of energy. It is called geothermal water, which means the hot water that sits 3,000 feet underground is used to produce heat.
9. Women should be pretty proud of Idaho as it is the only state seal in the United States that was designed by a woman. The woman was Emma Edwards Green, and her design was chosen in 1891.
10. Idaho may be known for its crops or gems, but one thing that horror lovers like about the state are the ghost towns. Silver City and the Burke are some of the most known ghost towns, but there are many others.
11. It might sound a little strange, but it is against the law for a man to give his beloved a box of sweets that weighs more than 50 pounds.
12. People really love to smile in Pocatello, Idaho. This obsession with smiles went so far that it became a law. Yes, it is illegal not to smile in public in this little region of the state.
13. It is illegal for a person to fish while they are riding the back of a camel. Take that camel-riding fisherman.
14. A person cannot sweep dirt from his or her house into the street. This is a law in Eagle, Idaho where cleanliness is definitely valued by the people in the city.
15. Idaho’s State Penitentiary is known as a haunted location. Talk about a double-whammy for those who might commit a crime.
16. Heaven’s Gate Lookout, in Idaho, is a location where you can see Washington, Montana, and even Oregon.
17. This state is home to Atomic City, which was booming when the National Reactor Testing Station was active in the 70s. It is a desolate area with around 29 people now.
18. There is a ski resort in McCall, Idaho that is home to the Brundage Bra Tree. The name is known throughout Idaho because it is where many women throw their bras as they ride a chairlift.
19. One 1800’s tale says there is a strange creature in Bear Lake, Idaho. It is known as the Bear Lake Monster, and this story has scared some kids in the state.
20. This region is home to the highest navigable river in the world. The river is called St. Joe River, and it flows from an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet.
21. This state offers the longest gondola ride in the world, so strap in and enjoy nature from above. The gondola is in the Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg.
22. Idaho actually holds a strange little Guinness World Record for a maze. Yes, the state is known for the longest straw bale maze, which is in Rupert.
23. Someone paid $600,000 for a bull from Idaho. This was the most expensive bull ever sold. The cost was high because the Hereford bull weighed 1,410, and its lineage was impeccable.
24. The Lake Coeur d’Alene boardwalk is 3,300 feet long and is known as the longest boardwalk in the world. This is definitely for all those who love to walk by the beach.
25. Dog lovers should be interested in Idaho because it is home to the only dog-shaped B&B in the world. For those who want to visit the dog lover’s paradise, it is in Cottonwood, ID.
26. There is a small town in Idaho that has the longest main street in the United States. It is located in the City of Island Park.
27. The Coeur d’Alene Resort is home to the only man-made 14th hole island. It definitely gives golfers a new experience.
28. A gargantuan tree can be found at The Elk River. It is called the Idaho Champion Western Red Cedar Tree. It has an 18-feet diameter and it’s over 170 feet tall.
29. Idaho City can thank gold for its success. Yes, the city’s economy boomed because of gold mining back in the 1860s.
30. Idaho definitely stepped up to the plate when it came to structured sand dunes. Bruneau Dunes State Park is home to the country’s tallest structure that stands 470 feet high.
31. Idaho is home to the Niagara of the West. Yes, those who want to experience something like Niagara Falls could check out Shoshone Falls with its 212-foot drop.
32. Those interested in birds of prey will be happy to know that Idaho has an awesome wildlife preserve, which is known for its dense population of falcons, eagles, and hawks.
33. If you are interested in old churches, you may want to visit the Rathdrum. This city holds the state’s oldest brick church called the Saint Stanislaus Church.
34. North America has a lot of ski resorts, but it seems that Idaho beat other states to the punch. The first ski destination in the United States is Idaho’s State Valley.
35. The state’s fruit is the Huckleberry, which makes sense because Huckleberry tea is good for starch digestion. Potatoes, the most popular vegetable in the state, are full of starch.
36. The state’s motto is “Esto Perpetua,” which means “this is forever.”
37. 13 is a very special number for this state. It is special because it is the 13th largest state (in terms of land area) in America.
38. Idaho might not like the idea of private land. This is evident because a whopping 63 percent of the state is considered public land.
39. Idaho may be known for potatoes, but it should be known for its trout, too. It is estimated that 85 percent of all the commercial trout sold in America comes from Hagerman Valley.
40. Evil Knievel tried to jump over the Twin Falls in 1974. He failed, but those interested in seeing the failed jump can check out the Twin Falls.
41. The word “potato” was first used in the state’s license plate back in 1928, and the state has not looked back since.
42. One of the most celebrated winter celebrations called the Winter Carnival in McCall began in 1924. It actually started because the locals were bored.
43. There are about 4,522,506 acres of wild land in Idaho. Yes, this means there are no roads here.
44. This region is home to the Treefort Music Fest, which is held in Boise. It is perhaps one of the most successful modern country music festivals in America.
Idaho – Quick Facts
State Abbreviation ID
State Capital Boise
Largest City Boise
State Size Total (Land + Water): 83,570 sq miles; Land Only: 82,747 sq miles
Population 1,754,208 (Estimate July 1, 2018 from United States Census Bureau)
Statehood July 3, 1890
State rank by population 39th
State rank by date of formation 43rd
State rank by area 14th
Number of Counties 44
Bordering States Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Official Language English
Highest Point Borah Peak 12,662 ft (3,859 m)
Lowest point Confluence of Snake and Clearwater River; Lewiston 713 ft (217 m)
Length 479 miles (771 km)
Width 305 miles (491 km)
Mean elevation 5000 feet above sea level
Governor Brad Little (R)
Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin (R)
Electoral Votes 4
State Motto Esto perpetua (Let it be perpetual)
State Nickname Gem State
% Water 0.98
Noble prize Winners James Rainwater (Physics, 1975)
Famous people Larry Wilson (Pro Football player)
Harmon Killebrew (Baseball player)
Jeremy Shada (Actor)
State Amphibian Idaho Giant Salamander
State Bird Mountain bluebird
State Insect Monarch butterfly
State Fish Cutthroat Trout
State Flower Syringa
State Fossil Hagerman Horse Fossil
State Fruit Huckleberry
State Gem Star Garnet
State Horse Appaloosa
State Raptor Peregrine Falcon
State Tree Western White Pine
State Vegetable Potato
Longitude 111°03′ W to 117°15′ W
Latitude 42° N to 49° N
Time Zone Mountain Time Zone, Pacific Time Zone
Area Codes 208 986