By Chris DeBona
There is no better way to soak in the beauty of Idaho than by hitting the hiking trails. Year after year people, from all over the world flock to Idaho to stroll through the state’s breathtaking natural wonders. So, the next time you’re passing through and you’re in need of outdoor activity, explore these five amazing hiking locations.
Craters of the Moon provides excellent opportunities in sightseeing and animal watching. Some fascinating creatures you will find at Craters of the Moon are the Pacific tree frog, tad poles, and toads. Hiking in this area will prove to be somewhat challenging in some sections. The area is covered in black lava, and this makes for abrasive grounds. So be sure to bring the proper footwear, water, and sunscreen, too. There are nine hiking trails to pick from, each with their own level of diversity and challenge. For the young ones, you may want to try out the .3-mile North Crater Flow, the half-mile Devil’s Orchard, or the .1-mile Spatter Cones—all of which are categorized as easy hikes.
Located near Stanley, Idaho, Sawtooth Lake is any hikers ultimate dream. Trek through the enchanted wilderness to a clear opening of crystal waters. The route from Iron Creek to Sawtooth lake is generally categorized as moderate, and is 8.9 miles in length. Maybe even consider spending a night under the stars—making the trek even more memorable. After waking up to the soothing sounds of nature, take a dip in the refreshing water before setting back out on the trails.
Rich in diverse foliage and amazing virgin creek vistas, Priest Lake is a hiker’s paradise. The Upper Priest River Trail is classified as an easy hike, but it’s utilized heavy so be aware of other hikers traversing the trail around you. Also, look out for wildlife! The trail is situated in grizzly bear and mountain caribou habitat.
Deep in the Sawtooth National Forest is the famous Toxaway-Alice Lake Loop. Surrounded by the Sawtooth Mountains, the serenity of nature trails capture even the busiest city slicker’s attention. Hikers and bikers can take advantage of the picturesque paths with ample amount of space to explore. The Sawtooth canyons are the most heavily used trails in the region, which is no surprise due to the breathtaking views and miles of terrain. For those who prefer a more relaxed trip, the loop also has a variety of meandering trails. The Toxaway-Alice Lake Loop is a quaint getaway for families, active go getters, and those seeking more time in the great outdoors.
This moderately-rated trail affords some of the most breathtaking views in the state. The trail is characterized by pristine, shimmering lakes and granite mountains towering above. On nice weekends, the area can get busy—so come prepared! If you’d like for a more low-key excursion, try visiting on a week day. With minimal elevation gain, this is an ideal hike for those less-experienced hikers.
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