5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Idaho

By Ian-Spiegel Blum

5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Idaho


Idaho offers over 19,000 miles of hiking trails in unique environments and varying in difficulty and length. Ascend to over 11,000 feet on the Sawtooth Mountains, take in the beautiful, scenic views surrounding Idaho’s white water, and watch incredible wildlife in their natural habitat. Below, you’ll find five perfect locations for all of the above, and much more.

1. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve provides the opportunity to hike through craters and caves along a volcanic landscape. Handicap accessibility is offered on two of the trails. Leashed pets are welcome. Keep in mind that cave goers, overnight visitors, and filmographers must procure permits.  

2. Bruneau River Canyon

Gander at the gorgeous Bruneau River while hiking through the River Canyon. According to the website, you can “discover a maze of spectacular canyons, ‘hoo-doo’ rock spires, junipers and red volcanic cliffs in this 50-mile long stretch.” Wildlife includes deer, coyotes, cougars, bobcats, river otters, and more. If you’re interested in a slightly easier hike, it’s recommended you go though the sage fields toward the south. 

3. Blue Lake

Blue Lake, located just outside of Cascade, is one of the lesser-known trails in Idaho, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth visiting. The hike, overall, is on the easier side, with gradual declines and few hazards. Choose between a one-mile hike directly to the lake or take the three-mile loop. All levels of hikers are welcome, and few should have any trouble getting through the workout.

4. Jump Creek

Jump Creek brings you to a 60-foot waterfall surrounded by rock walls and ends in a serene pool of water. The hike is only half a mile round trip, offering a quick jaunt away to commune with nature without taking up your entire afternoon. Watch out for poison ivy along the path. Serious hikers might find the Jump Creek path to be a bit too easy, but casual hikers will find much to enjoy.

5. Redfish Lake to Alpine Lake

Follow the Alpine Trail from Redfish Lake to Alpine Lake near Stanley, Idaho. As one of the more popular trails, you’re likely to see quite a few other hikers. The hike can be strenuous, so beginners should think twice about starting out on it before working up to it. According to the website, “this trail climbs rapidly through a variety of switchbacks and gives you an excellent sweat-inducing workout until you reach your destination.” From beginning to end, you’ll be treated to delicious views of the Redfish and Alpine lakes. 

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