• Located in the north-east of the US; borders with Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Canada
• Capital and largest city is Boise
• 3,100 miles of river – more than any other state
• The US’s leading producer of potatoes, trout, Austrian winter peas and lentils
• Top July temperature in Boise is 90°F (32°C); lowest January temperature in Boise is 22°F (-6°C)
• Idaho’s Shoshine Falls (the ‘Niagara of the West’) is 14m higher than Niagara Falls
• Nearly four million acres of designated wilderness
• The average commute time (ie. from home to work) in Boise is around 20 minutes
With the Rocky Mountains providing the state’s spine, Idaho boasts more national forests and wilderness areas than any state other than Alaska, along with more lakes than anywhere else in the North American continent.This is a great state for those who enjoy high-adrenaline sports activities – especially snow sports and white-water rafting. Idaho is one of the US’s leading destinations for skiers and snowboarders, and its Bald Mountain resort is esteemed among the best in the world.Along the state’s western border is Hell’s Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge, a top destination for rafters, but also just for relaxing on the riverside beaches, and camping, fishing and hiking.State capital Boise is nicknamed the ‘City of Trees’, due to its numerous tree-lined streets. Along the Boise River Greenbelt Corridor, there are 22 miles of maintained pathways – perfect for a relaxing stroll by the water.
The city has ranked highly on lists of the US’s best places to live, thanks to its relatively low cost of living, high proportion of college graduates, good job prospects – and of course the close proximity of beautiful outdoor locations.The pace of life is probably best described as ‘relaxed’, but that doesn’t mean the city has fallen behind the times. Among its largest employers are tech companies Hewlett-Packard and Micron Technology, the second of which has its headquarters here.Arts and culture are also thriving in Boise; the city has its own philharmonic orchestra, several theatres and a varied live music scene – as well as a good selection of cafes, restaurants and nightspots.
The state’s largest university is Boise State University, based in Boise, with around 20,000 students. The University of Idaho, based in Moscow (not the one in Russia!), has around 12,000 enrolled.Both of these universities place a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities, with each boasting more than 200 student clubs. Both also host an annual jazz festival – the Gene Harris Jazz Festival and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival respectively.A third option is Idaho State University, based in Pocatello, which has around 14,500 students and was awarded the second-highest category in the Carnegie Foundation’s 2011 ranking of US colleges for research.