Category: Recreation

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Arts and Culture

Southeast Idaho has wonderful Performing Arts Theatres. Find upcoming shows on our Events page.

ATV Trails

Bike Trails

Mountain Biking and Cycling Trails There are 100’s of miles of mountain bike trails within the public lands of Southeast Idaho!  We have a Free Interactive Trail Map website! You can zoom into the area you are interested in, click the trail and print the map or use your smart phone with geolocation! Click on a trail and a window shows trail details. You can export your map to Google Earth, a GPS device or the Avenza Maps App for use in areas with no mobile coverage. Try out Pocatello City Creek Trail Maps!   The Portneuf Greenway has miles of scenic trails in the heart of our Pocatello, connecting lives and world class destinations. The Mission of the Portneuf Greenway Foundation is to create a network of bicycle and pedestrian trails throughout the Greater Pocatello Area.

Birdwatching

Experience Southeast Idaho Birding! Lush green valleys dappled with purple sage, and wetlands nestled into mountain vistas Southeast Idaho captivates travelers of all walks. Bear Lake and Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuges along with Curlew National Grasslands headline the forty five birding sites in Southeast Idaho. Avid birders will want to experience the Bear River area between Preston and Downey, the bird sanctuary at Sterling, and the Snake River area between American Falls and Massacre Rocks State Park. All 45 birding sites are listed and each species is indexed on the chart in our Birding Trails in Southeast Idaho Brochure (PDF). Request your Free Print Birding Trails in Southeast Idaho Brochure. View the Idaho Birding Trail Interactive Map Portneuf Valley Audubon Society Field Trips & Birding Info American Falls Birding Festival May 2021 – The Bird Festival provides bird watchers the opportunity to view a wide variety of birds normally seen in Southeastern Idaho. Field trips to Massacre State Park and the American Falls Reservoir provide a great place for bird watching. The date is timed to overlap wintering birds and the beginning of spring migration. Southeast Idaho Birding Sites

Breweries & Nightlife

Southeast Idaho has amazing nightlife with Breweries, Bars, Sports Bars, Pubs and restaurants that serve alcohol. Many have live bands and dancing. Join in the fun with the links below: Pocatello Area Bars Chubbuck Idaho Bars Lava Hot Springs Bars American Falls Bars Blackfoot Idaho Bars Soda Springs Idaho Bars Fish Haven Idaho Bars Preston Idaho Bars Montpelier Idaho Bars Downey Idaho Bars Malad Idaho Bars Grace Idaho Bars

Byways

Travel our Idaho Byways and History Tours. The National Pioneer  Historic Byway and Oregon/California Trail Scenic Byway have beautiful scenery and amazing pioneer and early settler stories.  Also explore The Gold Road History Tour!

Casinos

Southeast Idaho Casinos.

Family Activities

Bring your family to Southeast Idaho for fun activities and recreation!

Fishing

Southeast Idaho Fish and Game Native Idaho Trout are plentiful in Southeast Idaho! Southeast Idaho is a paradise for fishing.  If you stay on the Interstate highways you’ll see very little of the abundance of waters which make the area a Mecca for dedicated fishermen winter and summer. Thirty one fishable reservoirs and many streams, creeks, and rivers are located in the 110 mile length and 105 mile breadth of this travel region. Species include Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Bull Trout, Chinook, Salmon, Kokanee Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead, White Sturgeon, Mountain Whitefish, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Channel Catfish, Bullhead Catfish, and Pumpkinseed. Idaho Fish And Game Permits & Stocking and Fishing Reports Find a Southeast Idaho Licence Vendor Printable Southeast Idaho Fishing Map, Seasons & Rules Bear Lake Fishing Report Seasons and catch limits vary widely in the region and licenses are required.  Short term and season non resident fishing and hunting licenses and official information publications are available at sporting goods shops in each community. The Idaho Fish & Game Fishing Trailer travels all over southeast Idaho each summer!  It is equipped with fishing gear for use by the public for free, they provide fishing instruction to those that need it, and if you register at the trailer— no fishing license is necessary! Watch the Video!

Geology and Caves

The three forces of nature that shaped this landscape to become mountains and valleys are the shifting of the land plates to push the mountains up, two major volcanic eruptions and finally the massive Bonneville Flood. Several rivers and streams ad their courses altered by these natural events, but virtually all the lakes and reservoirs came into being at the hand of man to fill the need for crop irrigation and electric power. Looking at a geographic map of the United States people wonder how Idaho’s eastern and western boundaries were decided in such irregular pattern. The northern and southern borders of the state are nice and straight lines by contrast. The simple explanation is the western border used to be the coastline of the Pacific Ocean until California, Washington and Oregon rose up from the ocean floor pushing Idaho upward to become the western side of the Rocky Mountains. The highest point of the Rockies became the Continental Divide which is defined by where the snowmelt runoff from these mountains goes. This also explains the border of Idaho and Montana. Montana’s water runs southeast to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers to the Atlantic Ocean. Idaho’s water runs northwest to the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.  The Bear River is part of the westward flowing slope of the Rockies. It starts in the mountains of Utah and flows northwest to Idaho’s Bear Lake Valley and on to Soda Springs where it turns south through Preston and empties into the Great Salt Lake, which doesn’t make much sense. It travels over 400 miles to cover a distance of only 90 miles. It used to flow through Pocatello to the Snake River and onto the Pacific Ocean.   Then a rift volcano, named China Hat, still visible near the intersection of state highway 34 and US 30 near Soda Springs raised the valley floor and sent a wall of molten lava 40 miles west to Pocatello. A second major flow occurred shortly after following the same path. These lava flows turned the Bear River southward. The remnants of these flows are spectacular to see at Grace, McCammon, Inkom and Pocatello.   The final event affecting the geography of Southeast Idaho occurred just 15,000 years ago. Prior to that a great deal of Utah and Nevada were covered by Lake Bonneville. What is now Preston was underwater but current day Downey was dry. Then at Red Rock Pass the natural dam broke and sent a wall of water estimated to be 300 feet high northwest all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The boulders pictured and the landscape of Marsh Valley were tumbled and polished by this event.

Golfing

You can spend your entire vacation playing golf at a different course each day! We have 12 very different and interesting golf courses. Every location has parking for RV’s and will make you feel welcome.

Hiking

Hike Southeast Idaho’s beautiful mountain trails. Explore our mountain streams and rivers while hiking hundreds of miles of secluded trails. We have a Free Hiking Trail Map website! You can zoom into the area you are interested in, click the trail and print the map or use your smart phone with geolocation! Click on a trail and a window shows trail details and weather conditions! You can also export it to Google Earth, your GPS device or GPS App on your smartphone.

Historic Sites

Southeast Idaho is filled with Pioneer Oregon Trail and Railroad Historic sites.

Horseback Riding

Hot Springs

    Forces of nature created them for us to enjoy, thankfully without the sulfur or chemical odor usually associated with natural hot springs.  Seven locations have been developed for regular visits popular with tourists and local citizens alike. There are several hotels included below have private hot springs!  GET YOUR IDAHO HOT SPRINGS PASS!

Hunting

Southeast Idaho Hunting Game birds are plentiful.  Vast open spaces support a variety of game birds which prefer landing feeding, and dozens of reservoirs, streams and rivers mean water fowl abound.  Especially worthy of note is the population of Canada goose.  Not only do these geese breed in high numbers in the area, the region is located in the migratory flyway.  These factors combine to make Region Five one of the highest harvest areas for the Great Basin Canada Goose population. Big Game populations are deer, moose and elk.  Idaho hunters are also proficient at archery and you may want to investigate the hunting seasons reserved to bow hunters. Idaho Fish & Game –  1-208-334-3700 or 1-800-275-3474 can provide more information. Visit Fishing Southeast Idaho to learn more about fishing here and view more photos. Visit Southeast Idaho Mule Deer Foundation to learn more about Southeast Idaho Mule Deer. Rafter C Guide and Outfitting -Hunts for Elk, Mule Deer, Moose, Lion and Bear. Guided Elk Hunts in Southeast Idaho – Hunts for Elk and Bison

Ice Fishing

Plan Your Ice Fishing Trip to Southeast Idaho! Many of our thirty one reservoirs and lakes are accessible for Ice Fishing. You may need to snowmobile into the more remote ones. There’s great ice fishing at Bear Lake for the Bonneville Cisco, a species found nowhere else on earth.  Download our Ice Fishing Brochure Catch limits vary widely in the region and licenses are required.  Short term and season non resident fishing and hunting licenses and official information publications are available at sporting goods shops in each community. You can also get this information online from the Idaho Fish and Game at: Idaho Fish And Game Website Idaho Fish And Game Fishing Report Get your Fishing License! Southeast Idaho Fisheries Brochure (page 24) Bear Lake Fishing Report .  

Indoor Recreation

Southeast Idaho Indoor Recreation includes Bowling, Arcades, Roller Skating, Laser Tag, Jump & Trampoline Parks, Axe Throwing, Escape Rooms and Indoor Rock Climbing.

Lakes and Rivers

Learning

Museums

Many of our museums are open year round and some are open only in the summer. Each one is marked below. Please visit their websites for hours and details.

Outdoor Recreation

Parks

Race Tracks

Rafting and Kayaking

Rock Climbing

Site-Seeing

Skiing

Pebble Creek Ski Area & Cross Country Skiing Trails Enjoy Southeast Idaho on cross country skis and snowshoes! We have several Nordic Ski Parks and hundreds of miles of open trails. Get some fresh Idaho winter air! Free Interactive Idaho Cross Country Ski Map on ArcGIS!  Our maps show many of our main ungroomed trails but most unplowed roads can be used. Click on an area of the map to see a larger printable map. Map Legend Pocatello – Mink Creek Area Nordic Ski Map Pocatello – East Mink Creek Nordic Center Map Pocatello – Portneuf Range Nordic Ski Map Soda Springs – Kelly Park Nordic Ski Map Soda Springs – Bailey Creek Trail Nordic Ski Map Other  Idaho State Parks & Recreation Park & Ski Passes Pocatello Cross Country Ski Foundation Soda Springs Ski Association – Kelly Park Ski Map Portneuf Range Hut System – You must make reservations to use a yurt at the ISU Wilderness Rental Center Office located downstairs in the Student Union Building. Yurts are locked and location maps will be given only to renters. Call 208-282-2945.

Snowmobile Trails

Explore Southeast Idaho Snowmobile Trails one two three

Visitor Centers

Water Parks and Swimming Pools

Southeast Idaho has Swimming Pools in nearly every city. There are also many lakes and reservoirs for swimming, waterskiing, jet skiing, boating and sailing.

Water Sports

Southeast Idaho has  many lakes and reservoirs for swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, boating and sailing. The Bear River and Portneuf River are great for whitewater rafting, Kayaking and tubing.

Wildlife

Ziplining

Go Ziplining and run Rope Courses in Southeast Idaho!