It is probably not a question you have asked yourself very often (Or at all, for that matter) but there is a certain contradiction in the way people see Idaho. On the one hand, it is a somewhat barren part of the country when it comes to population and big cities. Whenever you hear about Idaho (Assuming you are not currently a resident), you probably hear about how many potatoes Idaho grows or how much of the state is just flat terrain. On the other hand, there are still a bunch of people that live in Idaho, despite this perspective outsiders have of the state. It has a population of almost two million, and that number has only grown over the last few years and will continue to grow. Sure, there are tons of people that grow up in Idaho and hate it and cannot wait to get out to somewhere else, but there are far more people who think fondly of Idaho and would not dream of living anywhere else. How does this contradiction exist? Why does most of the world ignore Idaho while the people who live there cannot help but fall in love with it? Why do more people move to Idaho every day? Well, let me explain it for you.
First of all, Idaho is in a great spot economically. It was hit hard during the recession but bounced back hard once the country had started to sort those problems out. There are two very big reasons in this category people are moving to Idaho. First, it is not very expensive. You can get housing at a good price, the standard of living is high, and the state is just easy to live in. Nothing is too expensive, and nothing is so cheap as to be worthless. All in all, the economic situation is good all around. Second, there are jobs. Lots and lots of jobs. If you are having trouble finding work in your field in another part of the country, Idaho might be the next best place for you to look for employment. You might be thinking: “I thought Idaho was all farms and cows. I work in a highly advanced tech field. How am I going to find work when I am not a farmer?” While yes, Idaho has a very large agricultural complex and farming is huge, it is actually a very diverse marketplace for different job fields. In fact, some of the largest companies in the state are tech companies, churning out advanced microtechnology. However, beyond this, Idaho is just like every other state in the country. It has people living in it, and where there are people, there are jobs those people need filled. Most of the jobs you can find in New York or California are going to be right there waiting for you in Idaho.
Idaho’s Natural Resources
Now, while the economy and job market are some of the reasons people move to Idaho, they are not the reasons they stay there. Why do people stay in Idaho? For the beauty and activity. Wait, did I not just acknowledge that a lot of Idaho is flat and covered in farmland? What could be beautiful about that? Yes, Idaho has a lot of flat land, but that is only in its southern half and somewhat going north. Everywhere else is diverse and exotic. Okay, maybe exotic is not the right word since you are not going to see much that is not quintessentially representative of the United States, but there are some very cool and beautiful things to see. One part of Idaho that is exotic is the dunes. You can find sand dunes in different parts of the country, but they are mostly rare. Idaho has some fantastic dunes that are perfect for taking out a buggy and plowing around the sand. Then, there is the rest of Idaho. You have mountains, rivers, hills, forests, and all manner of different kinds of terrain. Really, it is the rivers that make Idaho special. Idaho has a lot of rivers are most of them are spectacular. For example, take the Snake River. It is one of the largest and longest rivers in the country and there are all kinds of things to do and see across its length. There are old and decrepit dams that give you a picture of what hydroelectric technology looked like in the past. There are jaw-dropping waterfalls that actually manage to capture some of the same emotions you might get from Niagara Falls or Angel Falls. There are canyons that stretch for miles with that single thick vein of water running through them, toiling away to gouge out the sandy sediments to the left and right. If you like rivers, Idaho has a lot for you.
Activities to do in Idaho
Now, I mentioned activity. Not only is Idaho amazing to just sit and look at, but the best way to experience the state is to actually get into it and do some exploring. Those mountains I talked about earlier? Better get to some hiking and climbing. The forests? Filled to the brim with wildlife and birdsong. Bring a wildlife book and some binoculars to spot some amazing animals. You might even try your hand at hunting some of those animals, just so long as you have the right tags and permits. And the rivers. There is so much you can do with the rivers. Do you like fishing? Idaho has some of the best spots to cast out a line and real in a big fat trout or bass. Idahoans also go nuts for river rafting and white-water rapids. There are tour companies all over the state that will strap you to a raft and send you on a death-defying journey down the most dangerous rivers in the state. If you like thrills, rafting is a great way to get them. And, if you are less into thrills and just want to do some relaxing, Idaho rivers are excellent for that as well. Just recline in the water and enjoy the sun or a hot spring.