The first settlers of Idaho arrived in this territory 10,000 years ago. Various Indian tribes lived in this region during the 19th century: Shoshone, Coeur d’Alene, Pend d’Oreille, Kutenai, Bannock, Paiute and Nez Perce.
Idaho, which formed part of the territory of Oregon disputed by the French, Spanish, British and North Americans, was explored by Lewis and Clark in 1805 during the expedition organized by President Jefferson. This expedition sought to learn about the territory of Louisiana, (acquired in 1803 by France), and the unexplored region that stretched from the limits of the new US territory to the Pacific coast.
- See Countryaah.com for a full list of counties in Idaho.
The territory of Idaho was the site of the fur traders, activity of the first decades of the 19th century. Later, in 1842, Idaho was a transit point on the route to Oregon, but despite this few settlers decided to settle in its territory. With the Oregon Treaty, signed by the United States and Great Britain in 1846, Idaho was integrated into the United States. For years, the region that forms the state of Idaho was divided between the territories of Oregon and Washington. When Oregon was admitted as a state to the Union in 1859, Idaho became part of the Washington Territory.
Colonization of this region began in 1860 with the founding of Franklin by Mormon settlers from Utah. However, it was the discovery of gold in northern Idaho in 1860 that caused the massive arrival of Europeans, which immediately caused conflicts with the indigenous tribes. Thus, in 1877 war broke out with the Nez Perce and a year later with Bannock. As a result, the Indian tribes were confined to reservations.
The discovery of lead and silver in the 1880s caused a new growth in Idaho’s population, a fact that allowed the territory to become a state starting in the 1890s. The early years of Idaho as a state were tumultuous as they arose. serious conflicts for the control of power. Political struggles between Mormons and non-Mormons, and disputes over the rights to exploit mineral resources, characterized political and social life during the first decades of the twentieth century. As an example, after the 1905 assassination of Governor Frank Steunenberg investigations and prosecutions revealed the implication of mining companies in crime.
During the twentieth century, agriculture also prospered thanks to irrigation works. Idaho, however, suffered an economic downturn during the years following the First World War and, especially, during the general crisis in the country of the 1930s, and until the beginning of the Second World War when Idaho was able to revive its economy.
In 1949 a nuclear power plant (National Testing Reactor Station) was built in Idaho Falls, a pioneering project in the United States. Beginning in the 1970s, Idaho’s population grew rapidly thanks to the proliferation of new industries, while agriculture (especially potato growing), and the mining sector, continued to be vital. The development of tourism in the state, especially due to the success of the Sun Valley ski resort, and its natural parks, allowed for significant economic growth during the last decades of the twentieth century.
- See ejiaxing.org for Idaho state facts, including geography, climate, flora and fauna as well as major cities.
Idaho tourist spots
Much of this sparsely populated state has remained wild since it was first explored by Lewis and Clark, so a large chunk of land in the middle of the state is still devoid of roads and human settlements. Southern Idaho, flatter and drier, is largely dominated by the Snake River, which was used as a communication route by early Oregon Trail settlers. But, outside of this narrow populated strip, Idaho’s landscape is pleasantly free from the malls and urban agglomerations so ubiquitous in other US states. It is the ideal region for sports enthusiasts, with landscapes for hiking, mountain biking and rafting.
Craters of the Moon National Monument, preserves one of the most extraordinary landscapes in the state. The most accessible part can be visited thanks to short paths that cross the layers of lava, dotted with cones and craters. These lava fields are home to more than 50 mammal species, 170 bird species and millions of wild plants. Below the surface there are numerous caves and tunnels of lava origin. During the summer it is also possible to camp inside the park.
Coeur d’Alene– North Idaho vacation city, nestled among lakes and pine forests, offers year-round recreation. Coeur d’Alene has a great variety of historical and natural sites for the tourist. The Museum of North Idaho describes the history of the area with exhibits and photographs. Part of that story starts with the Cataldo Mission, about 45km east of the city, built in 1842 and is the oldest building in Idaho. A walk takes you to Tubbs Hill which offers spectacular views of the area. For the whole family, a visit to the Wild Waters amusement parks in town and Silverwood 15 minutes north of town.
- See itypemba.com to learn specific information about Idaho geography and economy.
Idaho Falls – Along the banks of the Snake is Idaho Falls, a charming rural town with a large Mormon population. Dominated by the mass of the temple, the city is characterized by a large green belt where you can jog or skate. Although the waterfalls that give the city its name are now dry due to the creation of a dam, they are still the backdrop to the green areas of the city. Idaho National Laboratory (INL), 80 km west of the city, was created in 1949 to design, build and test nuclear reactors.
SunValley– is one of the oldest and most luxurious winter resorts in the USA. The slopes on the well-groomed slopes of the 2789m-high Bald Mountain attract an exclusive clientele during the ski season. The nearby town of Ketchum still retains the characteristics of the border center.
While most tourists don’t go beyond Sun Valley and Ketchum, the surroundings offer additional entertainment options. Cyclists can take the Wood River Trail, along the ancient Union Pacific Railroad route. The Wood River is also great for fishing and the magnificent Sawtooth National Recreation Area has excellent hiking trails and campgrounds.
Cultural Tourist Spots – The most notable cultural institutions in Idaho are: the Boise Art Gallery, the State Historical Society of Idaho, the Idaho Natural History Museum, the University of Idaho Museum, the Latah County Museum and the Herrett Museum. The abandoned mining towns of Idaho City, Bonanza and Silver City are of great interest for their historical and cultural interest.
The National Monument of the Craters of the Moon is a park of great geological interest. Also, within the borders of Idaho is a part of Yellowstone National Park, one of the most renowned natural conservation areas in the United States.
Also noteworthy, Hagerman Fossil Bed, Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America, and Shoshone Falls, with a 65m drop greater than Niagara Falls, are located on the Snake River.
Mountains, lakes and waterways, as well as large natural areas make Idaho a great place to enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing, hunting, hiking, camping, boating and fishing. The major ski resorts are Silver Horn and Sun Valley.