The Most Beautiful Place in Idaho: A Stunning Destination Revealed

Choose the location you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 06:03
Discover the hidden gems of the Gem State by participating in our latest ranking - "What is the most beautiful place in Idaho?" As passionate explorers and nature enthusiasts, we know that Idaho is brimming with awe-inspiring landscapes, mesmerizing lakes, and enchanting forests. But now, it's your turn to decide which location reigns supreme! Dive into our carefully curated selection of Idaho's most breathtaking spots or suggest a missing option that deserves a place in the spotlight. Don't miss your chance to celebrate the scenic wonders of Idaho and vote for your favorite destination. Adventure awaits, so grab your hiking boots, cast your vote, and let's uncover the true beauty of this magnificent state together!

What Is the Most Beautiful Place in Idaho? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    Sawtooth National Recreation Area
    Fredlyfish4 · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Sawtooth National Recreation Area

    United States Congress
    With its jagged peaks, crystalline lakes, and abundant wildlife, the Sawtooth NRA is one of the most stunning natural areas in Idaho.
    The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is a stunning natural paradise located in central Idaho, USA. It encompasses a vast expanse of spectacular landscapes, including rugged mountains, crystal clear alpine lakes, deep river canyons, and verdant forests. Created by the United States Congress in 1972, its purpose is to provide a wide range of recreational opportunities and to preserve the unique natural and cultural heritage of the area.
    • Location: Central Idaho, USA
    • Established: 1972
    • Size: 756,000 acres
    • Elevation range: 4,500 to 10,751 feet
    • Lakes: approximately 300 alpine lakes
    Sawtooth National Recreation Area in other rankings
  2. 2
    Coeur d'Alene
    Bobak Ha'Eri · CC BY 3.0
    This beautiful town on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene boasts a charming downtown district, scenic parks, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.
    Coeur d'Alene is a picturesque city located in northern Idaho, known for its stunning natural surroundings and charming lakeside setting. The city is nestled along the shores of the magnificent Lake Coeur d'Alene, which enhances its beauty. Coeur d'Alene combines a rich history with modern amenities, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
    • Population: 52,414
    • Elevation: 2,180 feet (664 meters)
    • Area: 16.08 square miles (41.65 square kilometers)
    • Founded: 1878
    • County: Kootenai
    Coeur d'Alene in other rankings
  3. 3
    City of Rocks National Reserve
    Levieuxchiendetalus · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This unique geologic formation in southern Idaho is a wonderland of towering rock spires, hidden canyons, and winding hiking trails.
    The City of Rocks National Reserve is a stunning natural wonder located in southern Idaho. It is renowned for its unique rock formations that have been sculpted by years of erosion and volcanic activity. The reserve is a haven for rock climbers, hikers, and nature lovers, offering a truly unforgettable experience.
    • Location: Almo, Idaho
    • Size: 14,407 acres
    • Rock formations: Over 600 unique granite monoliths and spires
    • Camping: Multiple campgrounds with basic amenities
    • Wildlife: Home to deer, elk, pronghorn, and various bird species
    City of Rocks National Reserve in other rankings
  4. 4
    Shoshone Falls
    Jloft · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Often called the "Niagara of the West," these thundering falls on the Snake River are a sight to behold.
    Shoshone Falls, often referred to as the 'Niagara of the West,' is a stunning waterfall located on the Snake River in southern Idaho. It is considered one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the state. With its impressive height and powerful flow, Shoshone Falls offers a breathtaking sight for visitors to behold.
    • Location: Snake River, southern Idaho
    • Height: 212 feet (approximately 65 meters)
    • Flow Rate: Up to 20,000 cubic feet per second
    • Width: 900 feet across (approximately 275 meters)
    • Natural Surroundings: Lush greenery, canyon walls, and volcanic rock formations
    Shoshone Falls in other rankings
  5. 5
    This starkly beautiful landscape of black lava fields and cinder cones is a popular destination for hikers, campers, and stargazers.
    Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a stunning natural wonder located in central Idaho. It was created by volcanic activity that took place thousands of years ago, resulting in a unique and captivating landscape. The area is characterized by vast stretches of lava flows, cinder cones, and volcanic fissures that offer a surreal and otherworldly experience for visitors.
    • Location: Arco, Idaho
    • Established: 1924
    • Size: 759,860 acres
    • Elevation: 5,900 - 7,600 feet
    • Lava Flows: More than 60
    Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in other rankings
  6. 6
    This deep and rugged canyon on the Snake River is the deepest in North America, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness.
    Hells Canyon is a magnificent natural wonder located in the western United States, specifically straddling the borders of Idaho and Oregon. Carved by the powerful and majestic Snake River, it is known for its awe-inspiring beauty and rugged landscapes. Hells Canyon is often considered one of the most beautiful places in Idaho, attracting visitors from all over the world.
    • Location: Idaho and Oregon
    • River: Snake River
    • Borders: Idaho and Oregon
    • Type: Canyon
    • Formation: Carved by the Snake River
  7. 7
    This upscale resort town in central Idaho is famous for its world-class skiing, but also offers plenty of summer activities, including hiking, fishing, and mountain biking.
    Ketchum/Sun Valley is a picturesque area located in central Idaho, known for its stunning mountain landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this region offers a combination of natural beauty and a charming small-town atmosphere. Ketchum is a quaint town that serves as the gateway to Sun Valley, a world-class ski resort and outdoor paradise. Visitors can expect breathtaking views, abundant wildlife, and a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year.
    • Bald Mountain: The main ski area in Sun Valley known for its challenging slopes and panoramic views.
    • Sawtooth National Recreation Area: A vast wilderness area offering opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
    • Sun Valley Resort: A luxury resort with world-class amenities including accommodations, golf courses, and a spa.
    • Big Wood River: A scenic river that provides opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and rafting.
    • Sun Valley Ice Rink: A popular outdoor ice skating rink that also hosts events and performances.
  8. 8

    Payette Lake

    Payette National Forest
    This pristine alpine lake in McCall is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and swimming, and is surrounded by beautiful forested hills.
    Payette Lake is a stunningly beautiful natural lake located in the west central mountains of Idaho. It boasts crystal clear waters surrounded by lush green forests and majestic mountains. The lake is renowned for its breathtaking scenic views and serene atmosphere, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
    • Location: West central mountains of Idaho
    • Size: 5,330 acres (21.58 square kilometers)
    • Elevation: 4,997 feet (1,523 meters)
    • Length: 13 miles (21 kilometers)
    • Maximum Depth: 392 feet (119 meters)
    Payette Lake in other rankings
  9. 9
    This small town in central Idaho is nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks, as well as access to some of the best hiking and fishing in the state.
    Stanley is a charming small town located in central Idaho, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. It is known for its picturesque mountain landscapes, crystal-clear lakes, and adventurous outdoor activities. The town is nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains, making it a popular destination for hikers, campers, and nature enthusiasts.
    • Population: Approximately 100 residents
    • Elevation: 6,253 feet (1,906 meters)
    • Location: Custer County, Idaho
    • Sawtooth Mountains: Nestled within the beautiful Sawtooth National Recreation Area
    • Redfish Lake: Nearby stunning alpine lake, popular for fishing, boating, and hiking
    Stanley in other rankings
  10. 10

    Priest Lake

    Ancient glaciers
    This clear and quiet lake in northern Idaho is a favorite spot for swimming, boating, and camping, and is surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains.
    Priest Lake is a stunning freshwater lake located in the northern part of Idaho. This natural masterpiece was carved out by ancient glaciers, leaving behind a majestic landscape that captivates visitors with its pristine beauty and serenity.
    • Size: 25,947 acres
    • Maximum Depth: 369 feet
    • Length: 19 miles
    • Width: 3 miles
    • Water Clarity: excellent, with visibility up to 30 feet
    Priest Lake in other rankings

Missing your favorite location?


Ranking factors for beautiful place

  1. Natural beauty
    Consider the diversity and uniqueness of the landscapes, such as mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and rock formations.
  2. Scenery
    Look at the overall visual appeal of the place, including the colors, contrast, and harmony of the surroundings.
  3. Wildlife
    Consider the variety of wildlife that can be spotted in the area, including birds, mammals, and aquatic species.
  4. Recreational opportunities
    Take into account the outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the area, such as hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and skiing.
  5. Seasonal variations
    Consider the beauty of the location across different seasons, including spring blooms, fall foliage, and winter snowscapes.
  6. Accessibility
    Factor in the ease of getting to the location and the availability of nearby accommodations and amenities.
  7. Cultural importance
    Look at the historical or cultural significance of the place, such as Native American history, pioneer settlements, or historical landmarks.
  8. Environmental conditions
    Consider the air and water quality, as well as the overall health of the surrounding ecosystems.
  9. Public opinion
    Take into account the opinions of locals and tourists who have visited the area and the reputation of the location.
  10. Personal preferences
    Lastly, consider your own personal tastes and preferences when evaluating the beauty of a place. What you find beautiful might be different from what others find appealing.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful place in Idaho. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite location is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 171 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each location once every 24 hours. The rank of each location is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful place in idaho

Idaho is a state of natural wonders, with its stunning landscapes, beautiful lakes, and majestic mountains. From the rugged wilderness of the Sawtooth Mountains to the lush green valleys of the Snake River Plain, Idaho is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. In this article, we explore the most beautiful places in Idaho, as voted by our StrawPoll community. Our rankings are based on the opinions of thousands of users who have shared their experiences and insights about Idaho's breathtaking scenery. Whether you're looking for a scenic drive, a challenging hike, or a peaceful retreat, Idaho has something for everyone. So, let's discover the top-rated destinations in Idaho and get ready to be amazed by the state's natural beauty.