84 Idaho Facts and Weird Laws

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What’s unique about Idaho? 

Idaho is a northwestern state of the United States. It’s popular for its mountainous landscapes, outdoor recreation areas, and protected wilderness.

If you want to have a view of the amazing landmarks standing in this state, it’s time to take that ride!

Before that, let’s take a tour of Idaho with these interesting facts about the state.

You’ll also find a list of the most famous locations in Idaho, plus the notable people from Idaho.

Here are Idaho fun facts.

Panhandle National Forest, Idaho. Credits: Unsplash

Idaho Facts – Politics And Government

  1. Idaho is one of the most loyal Republican states in the country. 
  2. In 2020, President  Joe Biden won only 3 out of 44 counties in the United States. That was Latah county, Teton county, and Blaine county.
  3. No other Democrat has won Idaho State since Lyndon B Johnson’s national landslide.
  4. Idaho State boasts four votes in the electoral college.
  5. The governor of this State is elected during midterm elections to serve a four-year term.
  6. Brad Little (Republican Party) is the current governor of Idaho.
  7. The legislature of Idaho has past-time legislators. That’s not the only job they hold.
  8. Legislative election is carried out every even-numbered year.
  9. Idaho State has an intervening appellate court, assigned cases by the Supreme Court—Idaho Court of Appeal. 
  10. Emma Edwards Green is the person who designed Idaho’s state seal.

Idaho Facts – History

  1. There was human activity in Idaho territory as early as 14 500 years ago.
  2. Arrowhead artifacts found in the Wilson Butte Cave excavation site are some of the oldest in North America. 
  3. The Nez Perce tribe and Western and Northern Shoshone are the Native American tribes.
  4. The United States and Great Britain claimed Idaho before the US gained total control.
  5. Idaho was originally part of Oregon country.
  6. The Lewis and Clark expedition passed through Idaho State.
  7. The State’s capital was originally Lewiston, but it changed to Boise.
  8. During the great depression, Idaho was the most hit of the Pacific Northwest states.
  9. Emma Edwards Green is the first woman to design a state seal.
  10. The world’s largest potato chip is housed in the Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho. The Idaho potato measures 25 by 14 inches.
  11. Idaho was part of the Washington territory.
  12.  The Idaho name was thought to originate from a Native American word but it has since been proved wrong.

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Idaho Facts – Geography

Autumn Colors. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Idaho is the 14th largest State in the country, with a land area of 216,632 km².
  2. It’s located in the Western Region of the Pacific Northwest.
  3. It neighbors six states, namely Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and the Canadian Province of British Columbia.
  4. The Idaho landscape is rugged with large unspoiled natural areas.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Being a Rocky Mountain state, Idaho is dotted with scenic areas and natural resources.
  2. The Columbia plateau spreads into the southern part of Idaho.
  3. Idaho has vast lakes, snow-capped mountain ranges, steep canyons, rapids, and vast lakes. 
  4. Soda springs house the largest artificial geysers.
  5. Snake River flows via Hells Canyon–which is the deepest river gorge in the nation.
  6. The key river in Idaho is the Snake River, a tributary of the Columbia River.
  7. Rocky mountains
  8. The Snake  River passes through the Snake River Plain and goes out of the State at Lewington.
  9. Other rivers in this State include the Spokane River, Clark Fork River, and the major tributaries of Snake River, namely, the Salmon River, the Clearwater River, the Payette River, and the Boise. 

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Credits: Unsplash
  1. The Salmon Rivers’ north shore is Nez Perce country’s southern boundary.
  2. Shoshone falls, located in the Twin falls, is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the country. 
  3. Settlers preferred the Snake River Plain to the route via the Cascade ranges and the Blue Mountains while on the Oregon Trail.
  4. The Magic Valley occupies the central area of the Snake River Plain. The western part of this plain is known as the Treasure Valley.
  5. In the Lost River Range, Borah Peak is Idaho’s highest point at 12,662 feet above sea level.
  6. The region where the Clearwater River and the Snake River meet is Idaho’s lowest point.
  7. The sawtooth mountain range is often referred to as Idaho’s most popular mountain range.
  8.  The Bitterroot Range, the Lost River Range, the Salmon River Mountains, the White Cloud Mountains, and the Clearwater Mountains make up the rest of Idaho’s Mountain ranges.
  9. This State is home to national forests, including Salmon National Forest and Challis National Forest located in the Cobalt Belt —one of the regions with the highest deposits of Cobalt.
  10. Idaho boasts two time zones: the Pacific Time Zone and the Mountain Time Zone.
  11. The State’s Western Border is nearly 330 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
  12. The State’s highest temperature ever —48°C (118°F) was recorded at Orofino, while the all-time lowest was at Island Park Dam—a temperature of -51°C.

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Idaho Facts – Plants And Animals

  1. Idaho’s state fruit is the huckleberry.
  2. The large forest is a habitat for various species of wildlife and plants.
  3.  The State is home to some of the World’s endangered animal species, including the grizzly bear, the North American Lynx, and the gray wolf.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Numerous bird species in this State include the black-backed woodpeckers, harlequin duck, peregrine falcons, and common loon.
  2. The official state animals are the cutthroat trout, the mountain bluebird, monarch butterfly, Appaloosa horse, and peregrine falcon.
  3. About 100 bears live in Idaho — they occupy Cabinet Yaak, Selkirk, Selway-Bitterroot, and Yellowstone National Park.
  4. Central Idaho is dotted with federal government-owned lands.
  5. Idaho State has over 100 Woodland caribou.
  6. Fisher or Pekan is one of the unique carnivorous animals in North America.
  7. Pygmy Rabbit is the smallest rabbit. Although it’s endangered, it’s native to Idaho.
  8. Coyotes inhabit the forests and Savannah areas. They are adaptive animals capable of living anywhere.
  9. Western rattlesnake, Wolverines, and Big Sheep are also found in Idaho.

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Yellowstone National Park. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Idaho has several varieties of plants, namely the arrowroot Balsamroot, Bartonberry (in Hells Canyon), the antelope Bitterbrush, Bluebunch Wheatgrass, Common Comas, and the Huckleberry.

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Idaho Facts – Demographics

  1. Idaho’s population is over 1,860,123.
  2. Idaho’s population makes it the 13th largest state in the nation.
  3. Only six states show less population density than Idaho’s 19 people per square mile.
  4. Ada County has the largest population of any state —a population of over 400, 000.
  5. The capital city of Idaho is Boise and it’s also the most populous in the State.
Boise, Idaho. Credits: Unsplash
  1. The Pacific Islanders or the Native Hawaiian are the lowest in population while the whites make up over 80% of this State’s population.
  2. Whites have the highest high school graduation rate of over 90%.
  3. Over 43% of Asians graduate with a bachelor’s degree in this State.
Credits: Imgflip
  1.  Around 8% of the State’s population speaks Spanish, making it the most popular of languages other than English in this State.
  2. Approximately 30% of the blacks in Idaho live below the poverty line.
  3. Only 42% of the residents of Idaho were born in Idaho.

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Idaho Facts – Economy

  1.  Idaho State has a gross domestic product of over $77 billion.
  2. Some of the richest agricultural lands in the country are found in this State.
  3. The State produces one-third of the country’s potatoes.
Credits: Unsplash@Kieran
  1. Other key sources of farm income include oats, barley, wheat, beans, lentils, sugar beets, alfalfa seeds, and peas beans.
  2. The main commercial trees are western white pine, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine.
  3. The discovery of gold and the resulting gold rush sparked the mining industry in this State.
  4. Idaho’s primary metal mine products include molybdenum, lead, and silver.
  5. Boise, Central Idaho is famous for ice cream potatoes.
  6. In the southeast, phosphate mining and processing are key to the economy.
  7. Power stations in the Snake River produce much of the country’s hydroelectric power.
  8. The service, manufacturing, labor, and processing industries are also major contributors to the economy of this State.
  9. North Idaho College has an enrollment of more than 6,000 students.
  10.  College of western Idaho is the state’s largest community college.

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Famous Locations in Idaho

Credits: Unsplash
  1. Sun Valley Resort in southern Idaho offers skiing fans sporting facilities. 
  2. Crater of the Moon National Monument in southeastern Idaho has scenic lunar-like landscapes.
  3. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area has 40 peaks over 10 000 feet tall.
  4. Twin falls city is the gateway to the Snake river canyon.
  5. Lake Coeur d’Alene offers fishing, sailing, and boating.
  6. Idaho’s Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is located in northern Idaho. It lies within the Whitman-Wallowa National forest.
  7. The Boise River Greenbelt has access to Julia Davis Park, the campus of Boise State University, and the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.
  8. Salmon River, popular as the “River of No Return,” passes through this State.
  9. City of Rocks National Reserve is popular with mountain bikers, hikers, photographers, and birders.
  10. Bruneau Dunes State Park has the largest freestanding dunes in the country.
  11. Shoshone Falls.
  12. Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site is rich in a century-long history.

Famous People From Idaho

  • Cecil Andrus, who lived and died in Boise, was the 26th and 28th Idaho’s governor. He also served as the US Secretary of the interior.
  • Born in Whitney, Idaho, Ezra Taft Benson was the 13th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and US Secretary of agriculture.
  • Lillian Marie Disney, deceased, was an ink artist and the wife of Walter Disney.
  • Bryan Fuller, born in Lewiston, Idaho, is an American television writer and producer.
  • Sherry Jackson, aged 79, was a child star and American actress.

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Common Misconceptions About Idaho

The bear lake monster is a myth that started in the 19th century. 

Residents of Alabama think those from Idaho don’t know the grass’s color.

No, they know. The grass is green, and the turf is blue in Idaho.

Everybody grows potatoes in Idaho

Credits: Pinterest

Yes, potatoes are the most famous of all crops in Idaho. But not everyone grows them.

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Idaho is all in the Mountains

No, it’s not. There is the Snake River Plain. Of course, over 110 mountain ranges pass through Idaho. Boise city is in a valley.

Weird Laws in Idaho

Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Idaho cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

Here are some of our favorites.

  1. There is no fishing on a giraffe’s back in Boise.
  2. 88 and older can’t ride a motorcycle in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
  3. The state of Idaho makes it illegal for a man to give his sweetheart less than fifty pounds of candy.
  4. There is a law that prohibits you from riding merry-go-rounds on Sundays.
  5. White canes are only used by the blind
  6. Bicycles are not allowed on tennis courts
  7. You must smile in public. (The Mayor of Pocatello jokingly passed this law following a severe winter back in 1948, which dampened the morale of city employees and citizens alike.)

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You must smile in public in Idaho. Image: Stocksy

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Idaho Is a paradise in the Western United States. It’s a top tourist destination because of its scenic landscape and diversity of plants and animals.

We compiled a list of Idaho fun facts to help you learn more interesting things about this great state.

We hope you now know what a marvel this place is! But for more exciting facts, watch the video in the link below.

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Idaho Facts And Stats

Population2020 (1,839,106)
GovernorBrad Little ( Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionJuly 3, 1890
U.S. SenatorsMike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
US House of Representatives2 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe Gem State
State MottoEsto perpetua meaning “Be meaning”
State SongHere We Have Idaho
State FlowerSyringa
State FishCutthroat trout
State BirdMountain Bluebird
State TreeWestern white pine
State MammalAppaloosa horse
State AmphibianIdaho Giant Salamander 
State MineralThe Star garnet
State GemThe Star garnet
State FossilHagerman Horse Fossil
Neighbor StatesUtahMontanaWyoming NevadaOregonWashington British Columbia (Canadian provinces)

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 interesting facts about Idaho?

  • The official state bird is the Mountain Bluebird.
  • Idaho is nicknamed the gem state.
  • Star garnet is the official state gem of Idaho.
  • Peregrine falcon is the official state raptor of Idaho.
  • Boise City is the state capital of Idaho.

What are the 3 things Idaho is famous for?

Credit: Visit Idaho
  • The Rocky Mountains.
  • Outdoor recreation areas.
  • Potatoes.


[1] https://texasarchive.org/2017_00234

[2] https://ballotpedia.org/Idaho_State_Legislature

[3] https://www.eniscuola.net/en/2011/05/16/an-artificial-geyser/

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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