Idaho Facts
Idaho Facts

26 Interesting Idaho Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published October 26, 2021
  • The name "Idaho" is derived from a Native American word that means "the land of many waters."[2]
  • Idaho grows an estimated 1/3 of America's potatoes.[3]
  • The longest gondola ride in the world is located at Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, Idaho.[3]
  • Emma Edwards Green designed Idaho's state seal. It is the only state seal designed by a woman.[2]
  • Potato Drop Fact
    Idaho's favorite spud drop
  • Instead of a New Year's Eve apple drop, Idaho has a potato drop.[2]
  • Idaho's capitol building is the only state capitol in the United States that is heated using geothermal water.[4]
  • A person standing on Heaven's Gate Lookout in Idaho can see Washington, Montana, and Oregon.[4]
  • Idaho is larger than all of New England combined (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.)[4]
  • Eruptions at Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument occur every 2,000 years. The last eruptions happened 2,000 years ago.[4]
  • Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, Idaho, plummets 212 feet (65 meters). Its nickname is the "Niagara of the West."[3]
  • The state horse of Idaho is the Appaloosa, and Idaho was the first state to offer a license plate featuring a state horse.[2]
  • Idaho has 9,322,000 acres of roadless wilderness, more than any other state except Alaska.[3]
  • Sun Valley was the first ski resort in the world to use chairlifts.[4]
  • Boise is the capital and largest city in Idaho. The name "Boise" is a French word meaning "wooded."[3]
  • Hells Canyon in Idaho is 7,900 feet (2,400 meters) deep, which is deeper than the Grand Canyon.[3]
  • Hells Canyon Fact
    Hell's Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon by almost 2,000 feet

  • The Cataldo Mission is the oldest building in Idaho. It was built entirely without nails.[3]
  • Between 1861 and 1866, it is believed that gold seekers found $20 million in gold dust and nuggets during the Idaho gold rush.[3]
  • The largest population of Basque people in the United States lives near Boise.[3]
  • The United States Forest Service owns about 38% of Idaho's land, which is the highest proportion of any U.S. state.[3]
  • Idaho relocated beavers into the wilderness by dropping them out of airplanes with parachutes in the 1940s.[7]
  • In 1914, the United States Postal Service banned sending people through the mail after a four-year-old was mailed across the state of Idaho.[6]
  • After a child was decapitated in a fender-bender in Idaho, the U.S. government revised airbag laws to be more child-friendly.[1]
  • The largest sand dune in America is in Idaho's Bruneau Dunes State Park.[3]
  • Because there are over 72 different types of gemstones found in Idaho, its nickname is the "Gem State."[2]
  • Gem State Fact
    Officially, Idaho is known as the "Gem State"

  • Idaho is one of only two places to find garnet gems.[4]
  • Philo Taylor Farnsworth is one of Idaho's most famous citizens. While in a chemistry class in Rigby, Idaho, he thought of an idea for a vacuum tube that would revolutionize television.[5][7]
  • Amazing Idaho Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Idaho Fun Infographic

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