From the forested hill and mountain country of the northern panhandle to the broad high country deserts of the south, Idaho is home to diverse landscapes. Follow the Oregon Trail into southern Idaho, where Register Rock, near American Falls, records the names of some of the pioneers. In southern Idaho, visitors can enjoy the refreshing waters of Bear Lake, brave the whitewater on the Snake River, or visit Arco, the first town in the world provided with electricity from nuclear power. During summer, the experimental reactor that produced that power can be visited.
Just west of Arco is the strange land of Craters of the Moon, a bleak landscape set at the edge of mountains that keep their snow caps on for 10 months out of the year. Recreational boating, fishing, camping, and ghost-town exploring are merely some of the activities popular in southern Idaho. A few well-maintained roads lead visitors to central Idaho, home of the spectacular winter ski resort of Sun Valley. During the summer Sun Valley offers golf, tennis, horseback riding, backpacking, and just about every other kind of outdoor activity imaginable. Whitewater rafting is popular on the Salmon River. And here are the lofty, snowcapped White Cloud peaks and the Sawtooth National Recreational Area, with some of the most splendid scenery anywhere.
In southwestern Idaho lies Boise, the state capital. Boise offers many fine city parks, camping facilities, good fishing, and a fine historical museum. Elsewhere in the southwest portion of the state, the fast-flowing Snake River offers incredible views as it rushes over falls and cliffs 500 feet below the surrounding land in the deep Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls.
Idaho's narrow northern panhandle is a land of sparse population and dense forests. Many of the state's 2,000 lakes are here, including Lake Coeur d'Alene, one of the most beautiful in the nation. History buffs can visit the oldest wooden structure in the state, the Cataldo Mission. This is a land of forested mountains, of winding roads, the home of the osprey and the American bald eagle, a land of fishing, boating, canoeing, and hiking. Catch a trophy trout or salmon, or surprise a moose silently wading. The Gem State offers adventure, spectacular scenery, and the unhurried pace of living that seems to be vanishing elsewhere.