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Idaho Bucket List: The 75 Things All Idahoans Should Try (At Least Once)

Henry's Fork, Island Park, scenic, Idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio
Henry's Fork, Island Park, scenic, Idaho Fly-fishing the Henry's Fork near Island Park, Idaho is #7 on the bucket list.

Idaho's nearly 84,000 square miles of breathtaking views, rugged terrain, and unique landmarks mean the Gem State is rife with recreation and site-seeing options. It could take a lifetime to see it all. In the spirit of the new year, we've compiled a list of the 75 things you must experience in Idaho -- at least once.

Consider this list a starting place for your own Idaho bucket list. By no means is this a definitive list. Send us more Idaho must-dos using the hashtag #IDbucketlist.

75. Bike the Hiawatha Trail.

74. Have a picnic at Shoshone Falls on the Snake River near Twin Falls.

73. Swim in Idaho’s deepest lake, Pend Oreille. It's measured at 1,170 feet and is one of North America’s deepest lakes.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio
Boise State Public Radio
The very top of Idaho's Capitol dome is painted with stars. Snapping your own photo is #72.

72. Stand directly under the Idaho Capitol dome and snap a photo.

71. Pick fruit at an Emmett orchard.

70. Visit Boise’s Botanical Gardens.

69. Pick huckleberries.

68. See Boise State’s blue turf in person.

67. Catch an Idaho trout.

66. Visit Avery’s historic railroad depot.

65. Take the gondola to the top of Silver Mountain in Kellogg.

64. Eat fried cheese at Meridian’s Hungry Onion Drive-In (or get a burger like Clint Eastwood did in the movie ‘Bronco Billy’).

63. Float through Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River, the deepest river canyon in the United States.

62. Visit the hometown of television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth at the Jefferson County Historical Museum in Rigby.

61. Cross-country ski, snowshoe or snowmobile at the top of 4th of July Pass on the historic Mullan Trail.

60. Eat breakfast at Ketchum’s ‘The Kneadery.'

59. Go spelunking at Craters of the Moon.

58. Cut your own Christmas tree from an Idaho forest.

57. Get a milkshake at Moon's Kitchen Cafe in Boise.

56. Pan for gold.

55. Learn the words to the Idaho state song.

54. Drive Idaho’s scenic Highway 12 from Lewiston to the Montana border.

53. Sip a soda at one of Idaho’s oldest soda fountains, the Corner Drug in Driggs.

52. Take the carriage-drawn Fright Night Ghost tour of Twin Falls.

51. Bike or walk the entire length of Boise’s Greenbelt.

50. Hit a golf ball at Idaho’s famous floating hole at the Coeur d'Alene Resort.

49. Sample local foods at Boise’s Farmer’s Market.

48. Watch proceedings at the Idaho Legislature.

47. Stroll through the University of Idaho’s New England-inspired landscape.

46. Hike to Heaven’s Gate on the Nez Perce National Forest. At 8,400 feet, you can see four states; Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana.

45. Watch a container ship dock at the Port of Lewiston.

44. Visit the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho.

43. Attend the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum, Idaho.

42. Go to a drive-in movie at the Spud Drive In on Highway 33 near Driggs.

41. Get a slice of pie from Trudy’s Kitchen in Idaho City.

scenic, Idaho, Cataldo Mission
Credit RollingStone2009 / Flickr Creative Commons
Flickr Creative Commons
The mission at Cataldo is Idaho's oldest building. It was constructed between 1850 and 1853. It's number #32 on our list.

40. Visit Sacagawea’s birthplace and tour the Sacajawea Interpretive Center in Salmon, Idaho.

39. Hike in to Goldbug Hot Springs south of Salmon.

38. Attend the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest and Festival in Weiser.

37. Stretch your legs and take in the mountain air atop Lolo Pass on the Idaho/Montana border.

36. Eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster.

35. Visit Idaho’s historic McConnell Mansion, the 1880s governor’s mansion in Moscow.

34. Ride a rollercoaster at Silverwood Theme Park.

33. Get an underground mine tour at one of North Idaho’s historic mines.

32. Watch the sunset at Cataldo's Mission of the Sacred Heart, Idaho's oldest building.

31. Float the Boise River beyond the usual stretch of Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park.

30. Eat Idaho-style finger steaks. While you're at it, make sure you dip your Idaho french fries in some fry sauce.

29. Ride the Thunder Mountain Line, an historic train ride along the Payette River.

28. Tour some of Idaho’s ghost towns;  Silver City, Custer, Bonanza, Chesterfield, Rock Creek Station.

27. Take a ride on Rexburg’s historic wooden carousel, first built in 1926.

26. See the hourly geyser eruption at Soda Springs.

25. Get a designated driver and do the ‘Bovill Run,' a storied tour of dive bars between Moscow and Bovill, Idaho popularized by beer-thirsty college students.

24. Visit the Oasis Bordello Museum, a Wallace brothel that was in business for a century and closed its doors in 1988.

23. Get a Chorizo sandwich and Croquetas at one of downtown Boise’s Basque restaurants.

22. Put on your moon boots and visit Preston, Idaho, the filming location for ‘Napoleon Dynamite.'

21. Tour the Shoshone Ice Caves.

20. Witness (or do) a basejump from the 486 foot Perrine Bridge on the Snake River.

19. Visit the Bear River Massacre site in remembrance of the 250 American Indians who were killed there.

18. Hike in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

17. Snap a picture with the two-story wooden owl at the Owl Club in Salmon.

16. Take a drive along the St. Joe Scenic River Byway.

15. Stay at Ernest Hemingway’s Suite 206 at the Sun Valley Lodge.

14. Go whitewater rafting on the Salmon River.

13. Photograph the Sawtooth Mountains near Ketchum.

12. Take a drive down the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway (Old Highway 30) and visit the alligators at Miracle Hot Springs.

11. Grab a ‘no frills’ burger from Hudson’s Hamburgers in Coeur d’Alene. It’s been in business for more than a century!

10. Attend the McCall Winter Carnival.

9. Enjoy a performance under the stars at the Idaho Shakespeare festival.

ice cream
Credit Edgar Zuniga Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons
Flickr Creative Commons
Rainey's in Swan Valley is known for their square scoops of ice cream. It's #5 on our list.

8. Slide down the Bruneau Sand Dunes or stay the night and watch the stars come out at the Bruneau Dunes Observatory.

7. Fly-fish on the Henry’s Fork near Island Park, Idaho.

6. Follow the Oregon Trail for a few miles. In parts of southern Idaho, you can still find original ruts from the wagons.

5. Get a square ice cream cone at the Rainey Creek Country Store in Swan Valley.

4. Skinny dip in one of Idaho’s remote mountain lakes.

3. Hike to the top of Moscow Mountain. At nearly 5,000 feet you’ll see views of the Clearwater and Snake River Canyons, the Palouse Prairie and Seven Devil Mountains.

2. Canoe on Redfish Lake.

1. Spend the night in a forest fire lookout.

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio

Correction: Number 54 originally said to drive Hwy 12 from Moscow to Montana, that's been corrected to begin in Lewiston.

We accidentally posted two 38s, so, consider this one a bonus: watch the hot air balloons take off at sunrise at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.

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