Idaho is a totally landlocked US state situated in the Pacific Northwest region of the country, bordering a total of 6 other states, Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west.
There is a lot to do and see when visiting, re-locating, or just passing through the Gem State. Stunning mountain ranges surround the cities, towns, and villages, with lush, green landscapes covering the rest of the state, Idaho is certainly easy on the eye.
With all of these fantastic mountains, forests, and iconic places comes a variety of interesting facts about Idaho that you may not have known about.
19 Interesting Facts About Idaho
1. Like a lot of other states, Idaho’s name originates from a Native American word. The word sounds very similar to the state’s name and is translated to “the land of many waters”.
2. Idaho’s nickname, the Gem State was given to the state due to the sheer abundance of gemstones at the state’s disposal – 72 different types to be precise.
3. Located in Cottonwood, Idaho, you can stay at the Dog Bark Park Inn, which is a bed and breakfast shaped like a giant beagle.
4. The capital city of Idaho is Boise, boasting a population of over 240,000, Boise boasts the highest population out of all the cities within the state by a long shot, the second-highest being Meridian, with a population of over 114,000.
5. Despite being landlocked geographically speaking, you can still reach Idaho by sailing from the Pacific Ocean! You can do this by traveling through various river systems, namely the Snake River and Columbia River.
6. Every US state has a Capitol Building, ironically located in each state’s capital. Idaho is no different; however, the state’s Capitol Building is the only one in the US that is heated by geothermal energy! The heat is generated via the hot springs located 3,000 feet underground.
7. In 1861, Idaho was not considered to be Idaho, in fact, the state was dubbed as part of the Colorado Territory. Idaho finally became a territory in its own right in 1863 and became the 43rd state to be admitted to the union back in 1890.
8. The majority of the United States trout is supplied by Idaho.
9. Interesting facts about Idaho don’t get much stranger than this one. Idaho is home to Hells Canyon, an odd name, for sure. The Canyon is 7,900 feet deep, which is deeper than the Grand Canyon, and above the Canyon, you will find Heaven’s Gate Lookout!
Facts About Idaho Potatoes
This next section within our list may come across as a little strange, however, the relationship Idaho has had with these golden vegetables has been extremely long and very rewarding, so, we believe it’s worth a little mention.
10. Idaho is famously known for growing potatoes, producing nearly one-third of the entire nation’s spuds. Ironically, the state’s most famous crop doesn’t originate from the area. The first-ever American potato was ironically planted in New Hampshire in 1719, almost 2,600 miles away!
11. Annually, over 100 million hundredweight of potatoes are produced on more than 300,000 acres of Idaho land, that’s a lot of spuds!
12. Perhaps one of the weirdest facts regarding Idaho and its potatoes is that there is a potato museum located within the state. If you head to the old Oregon Short Line Railroad Depot you will discover this fascinating and rather strange Idaho Potato Museum.
So, what is Idaho famous for other than potatoes?
13. Circling back to Idaho’s nickname, there is a specific gem located in the state, the star garnet, which can only be found in abundance in Idaho and India.
14. The maximum speed limit you can drive in Idaho is 75 mph.
15. The next Idaho fact is about the state’s famous seal. Idaho’s state seal is the only seal out of all 50 states to be created by a woman!
What is Idaho known for?
So, other than the obvious one, potatoes, Idaho is known for many brilliant things. The state is littered with fantastic hiking trails, recreational areas, incredibly scenic mountainous landscapes, green luscious forests, and of course, a strong and ever-growing economy and business climate.
16. Speaking of fun facts about Idaho, none may be as entertaining and weird as this one; it is actually against the law for a male to give his other half a box of candy weighing more than 50 lbs. Maybe the state is trying to encourage its residents to cut out the sweet snacks!
17. Idaho, like many other states has a multitude of different things used to associate with the state:
- State Bird: Mountain Bluebird (1931).
- State Flower: Syringa (1931).
- State Song: Here We Have Idaho (1931).
- State Tree: Western White Pine (1935).
- State Gem: Star Garnet (1967).
- State Horse: Appaloosa (1975).
- State Fossil: Hagerman Horse Fossil (1988).
- State American Folk Dance: Square Dance (1989).
- State Fish: Cutthroat Trout (1990).
- State Insect: Monarch Butterfly (1992).
- State Fruit: Huckleberry (2000).
- State Vegetable: Potato (2002).
- State Raptor: Peregrine Falcon (2004).
18. Idaho’s highest point is at the summit of Mt. Borah, located in the Lost River Range, Custer County, and is 12,662 feet above sea level.
19. Idaho’s lowest point is located on the Snake River at Lewiston and is 770 feet above sea level.
Thanks for checking out our weird, and wonderful list of Idaho facts, if there is anything we have missed or that you would like to share with us regarding this page, feel free to let us know in the comments section!