Idaho Fun Facts & Trivia

 

Idaho Postcard

Greetings from Idaho Postcard. Available at Legends’ General Store.

Idaho became the 43rd State on July 3, 1890.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in the 48 contiguous states – 2.3 million acres of rugged, unspoiled backcountry.

63% of Idaho is public land managed by the federal government.

Five of history’s pioneer trails, including the Oregon Trail and the California Trail, cross Southern Idaho. Wagon ruts are still visible all along the rugged terrain.

The Statehouse in Boise and dozens of other buildings in the city are geothermally heated from underground hot springs. In fact, Idaho is well sprinkled with public and private hot springs.

In the late 1800s, there were several sightings of strange creatures in Bear Lake (on the Idaho/Utah border). The Bear Lake Monster causes residents and visitors to Idaho to question whether they are in Idaho or Scotland. The serpent-like monsters were up to 90 feet in length, could move faster than running horses, and were witnessed by several different people. To this day, there are still those who refuse to night fish on the lake.

The world’s first alpine skiing chairlift was (and still is) located in Sun Valley. Built by Union Pacific Railroad engineers, it was designed after a banana-boat loading device. The 1936 fee: 25 cents per ride.

The world’s first nuclear power plant is located at the Idaho National Environmental and Engineering Laboratory (INEEL), near Arco, Idaho. The Atomic Energy Commission offered the town of Arco electricity generated by atomic energy in 1953.

Hells Canyon, Idaho

Hells Canyon, Idaho

The deepest river gorge in the North American Continent is Idaho’s Hells Canyon – 7,900 feet deep. Yes, it’s deeper than the Grand Canyon.

A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face in Pocatello, Idaho.

Sacajawea, a Lemhi Shoshoni from an area now on the Montana/Idaho border, escorted Meriwether Lewis and William Clark through northern Idaho to the mouth of the Columbia River drainage. Today, Highway 12 follows the old Lewis and Clark Trail along the Lochsa (pronounced lock-saw) and Clearwater Rivers until they merge with the Snake and continue their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

Nearly 85 percent of all the commercial trout sold in the United States is produced in the Hagerman Valley near Twin Falls.

In Idaho, it’s against the law for anyone over the age of 88 to ride a motorcycle.

Shoshone Falls (212 feet), near Twin Falls, Idaho, drops 52 feet further than Niagara Falls.

Wilson Butte Cave, near Twin Falls, was excavated in 1959 and found to contain bones of bison and antelope, as well as some arrowheads and other artifacts that were carbon-dated to be 14,500 years old. This makes them “among the oldest definitely dated artifacts in the New World.”

Lana Turner

Lana Turner

Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner was born in Wallace, Idaho and changed her name to Lana Turner, becoming a famous movie star!

Between 1863 (when Abraham Lincoln signed the bill making Idaho a Territory) and statehood (27 years later), the Idaho Territory had 16 governors, four who never set foot in Idaho.

Appropriately named the “Gem State,” Idaho produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world.

The Silver Valley in northern Idaho has produced more than $4 billion in precious metals since 1884, making the area one of the top 10 mining districts in the world.

Ernest Hemingway arrived in Sun Valley in 1939 to work on his novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Idaho offered wide open spaces for Hemingway to indulge in his passions for hunting, skiing, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Hemingway is buried in Ketchum, Idaho where he died on July 2, 1961.

Did you know that Idaho has a seaport? The Port of Lewiston allows the exportation of millions of bushels of grain down the Snake and Columbia Rivers for overseas shipment.

After the great Wallace fire of 1910, the Pulaski, a mattock-ax tool used in firefighting, was invented in Idaho.

Salmon River, Idaho

Salmon River, Idaho

Idaho’s Salmon River, known as the “River of No Return” because of its difficult passage, is the nation’s longest free-flowing river that heads and flows within a single state.

One of the largest diamonds ever found in the United States, nearly 20 carats, was discovered near McCall, Idaho.

In Boise, Residents may not fish from a giraffe’s back.

In 1953, the engineering prototype of the first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, was built and tested in the Idaho desert on the Snake River Plain near Arco.

In Idaho, riding a merry-go-round on Sundays is considered a crime.

The longest main street in America, 33 miles in length, can be found in Island Park, Idaho.

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