Physical activity is a pretty big deal in Idaho. Because it does not have the same level of infrastructure development as other states in the country, it has a lot of wide open spaces and natural escapes that Idahoans really like to use. Sure, wide open spaces mean that a lot of Idaho is farm country and that generally just brings physical labor when it comes to outdoor activity, but Idaho is not just potato and beet fields. There are mountains and rivers and even sand dunes and these get a lot of use from resident and visitors that like to have fun outside. Most of these activities can be called sport, though that definition is pretty ambiguous and the things I am going to talk to you about today definitely do not fall under the same blanket terms that might encompass football or soccer. Either way, they are a bunch of different amateur sports you can take part in when you come to Idaho and you might need some help thinking up what is available. So, here you are. A few of your best options.
Idaho Outdoor Sports
I am obligated to mention skiing. It is probably the biggest amateur sports in Idaho. So many people come from all over the country to use Idaho’s snowy slopes to improve their skills in skiing and snowboarding and with good reason. Idaho is pretty flat in the south where the major population centers can be found, but as you travel north things tend to get quite a bit bumpier. Idaho has a lot of mountains and where there are a lot of mountains there are a lot of foothills and both of these make for excellent skiing terrain. There are tons and tons of ski resorts dotted across the state and while some of them might just have a chair life to take people to the top of a slope, they can still result in days and days of fun in the snow. The place I would recommend you start if you are looking for a good sport to start skiing in Idaho is Brundage Mountain Resort in McCall. It is a pretty big resort with a lot of different options for varying levels of skill. If you are an expert skier, it has something for you. If you are just learning and have never even put your foot in a snowshoe, it has something for you too. Whether you need lessons or a difficult slope, you are good to go.
Hunting in Idaho is also very important. It probably is not as big as skiing, which does not take as much emotional commitment, but it is still huge and tons of people come to Idaho looking for an untouched wilderness where they can explore and track down animals. Naturally, hunting comes with a lot of different things to think about and prepare for, probably the least of which being actual skill with a gun. Hunting in every state is carefully regulated to try and keep animal populations in the proper proportions and that means you cannot just walk into the mountains with a gun and walk out with five deer carcasses. You need permission from the government bodies in Idaho that control hunting and you need tags for the specific animals you plan to hunt. Also, hunting is dangerous, and not just because animals are inherently unpredictable and might charge you are run away from you depending on the way the wind is blowing (Quite literally sometimes). The Idaho wilderness can be unforgiving, especially in the winter time. You need to be prepared for the experience and bring the proper tools to get yourself out alive at the end of the hunt.
Shooting sports, in general, are pretty popular. If hunting was easier and more unregulated, everyone would probably spend their time doing that, but since that is not the case, people tend to spend a lot of time shooting targets and honing their skills for that. More than just plinking away at paper targets or metal silhouettes, clay pigeon shooting is getting more and more popular. Generally known as sporting clays, this takes quite a bit more skill than most target shooting and there actually a lot of competitions that surround the sport. Basically, you have to shoot a clay pigeon that can be shot in any safe direction. It is a lot like golf if instead of hitting a ball with a club you blew a little disc apart with birdshot. It is not easy. It takes a lot of practice to hit these targets accurately and consistently. They move very quickly and are pretty small against the backdrop of the outdoors.
Water sports are also very big in Idaho. The state has a whole lot of rivers and might even have the largest network as far as river length goes in the country. One of the things Idahoans particularly like to is white water rafting. With so many rivers there are a lot of stretches of water that are rough and full of rapids and rather than frightening Idahoans into staying away from those stretches they get excited about trying to negotiate them. Of course, this might be the most dangerous of all the different activities I have mentioned so far. Guns are generally far more dangerous than fast rivers, but people tend to give them the respect they are due. A river can seem safe and inviting and then suck you, tear you up, and spit you out again. Or maybe it does not spit you out. It depends on how lucky you are. Follow whatever safety measures are assigned to you when it comes to white water rafting. You will probably start with an outfitter or rental company that will provide experience and safety knowledge, just pay attention to it. For all of these different activities, you do not want your fun day to turn into a tragic one that either ends with a funeral or an extended stay in a hospital.