1) Bear Lake State Park – US 89 at St. Charles. Often called “the Caribbean of the Rockies” because of its clear turquoise waters, the park’s north and east ends include over five miles of beaches for swimming, boating, water sports, fishing, hiking and camping. Visitors might glimpse geese, ducks, owlets and even moose at the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
2) At St. Charles’ Minnetonka Cave visitors can take subterranean trails filled with natural wonders.
Go to: BearLake.org.
3) Paris – US 89. The Paris Tabernacle built in the 1880s is a landmark of the pioneer West. The City of Paris Historical Museum features exhibits and artifacts on early settlement. Great ATV trail adventures await at Paris Canyon.
Go to: BearLake.org.
4) Montpelier – US 30. Visitors can see the ruts from thousands of Oregon and California Trail pioneer wagons at the Oregon-California Trail Portal – Big Hill roadside pullouts on US 30 beginning at Milepost 440. At the National Oregon California Trail Center visitors can join a wagon train, choose trail supplies, hear stores around the campfire and ride a simulated covered wagon. The Center also includes a gift shop, an art gallery, the Montpelier Heritage Museum and the Historical Quilt Museum.
Go to: OregonTrailCenter.org.
5) Soda Springs – US 30. Many pioneers thought the carbonated water from the area’s natural springs tasted like beer. Today a 100-foot-tall geyser of spring water erupts every hour at Geyser Park and Visitor Center. Visitors can follow wagon trail ruts at Oregon Trail Park and at the Oregon Trail Golf Course.
6) Pocatello/Chubbuck – I-15. Today’s Fort Hall Replica and Frontier Town celebrate this colorful era of pioneer history.
7) Fort Hall Reservation – I-15 exit 80. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum in Fort Hall displays Shoshone and Bannock tribal history, culture and art.
8) American Falls – I-86. The Oregon Trail Sportsman Access provides fishing and boat access to the Snake River.
9) Massacre Rocks State Park – Off I-86. This park on the Snake River is home to a variety of plant and bird species and features hiking trails, rock climbing and world-class disk golf. Visitors also don’t want to miss Register Rock where pioneers etched their names. A visitor center and pioneer wagon ruts are nearby.
Go to: ParksAndRecreation.idaho.gov.
10) Burley – South of I-86 on US 30. This is great place to swim, fish, boat, waterski, paddleboard, wakeboard or windsurf along over 20-miles of Snake River shoreline. A variety of fun restaurants overlook the river and even play golf next to the river at River’s Edge Golf Course. The Cassia County Historical Museum provides a fascinating glimpse of the area’s history from Native Americans to the pioneers and early settlers. Storybook Park is a great family place designed by kids for kids of all ages. The King Fine Arts Center features performance arts year-round. The Snake River inspires many fun events including the Spudman Triathlon, the Idaho Regatta jet boat races, and the Wake in the Snake wake board competition.
Go to: BurleyIdaho.org/196/attractions.
11) Milner Historic Recreation Area – is located nine miles west of Burley on the south bank of the Snake River. This historic site is located where over 170 years ago Oregon Trail emigrants passed through and in some areas their deep wagon ruts are still visible. There are several developed and primitive recreation sites available on the shoreline of the Snake River in addition to a hiking trail leading to some of the historic trail ruts.
Go to: blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/StateRecreationGuide.pdf