Whether you are an ancestor of western pioneers or you’ve only recently settled into the area, you might not be aware of just how much there is to do in Eastern Idaho. The areas around Idaho Falls and Pocatello are especially rich in natural attractions.
Here are seven of my top recommendations for those looking for a little bit of adventure.
1. Museum of Idaho
The Wild West’s premiere museum features a variety of exhibits, dedicated to educating the public. From natural history and archaeology to culture, there are some great attractions here, but there is always a traveling exhibit on display, too, giving you a reason to make repeat visits.
The Museum of Idaho is currently featuring “Rebels With a Cause”, where you can view artifacts and history dating to the founding of the United States. Many of the artifacts on display have never been viewed by the public before, and will likely be returned to private ownership once they are done here, so come see Rebels soon!
2. Hell’s Half Acre
A lot of places have to work hard to preserve their natural wonders, but in the desert plains of Idaho, it’s actually easy to drive right past some of ours and not even know they were there. Hell’s Half Acre Lava Field is one such sight, being about 30 miles outside of both Pocatello and Idaho Falls.
You can access this geological marvel going either northbound or southbound on I-15, at the Blackfoot Rest Area. There are some trails and educational signs nearby, or if you want to upgrade the experience a bit and go for a hike, you’ll want to take Highway 20 to mile marker 287, there you’ll find some rough trails that will take you for a much longer stroll.
3. Museum of Clean
Alt text: world’s first vacuum cleaner
Image courtesy of https://goidaho.com/museum-of-clean-pocatello-idaho-family-fun/
You will be pleasantly surprised if you make some time to visit Pocatello’s Museum of Clean. Don Aslett created this masterpiece with thousands of cleaning-related objects that go back a couple thousand years, and as a vacuum repair store in Pocatello and Idaho Falls, we love it!
The museum has a great kids area and dozens of hands-on activities; you don’t just walk quietly from exhibit to exhibit reading placards. Test your skills against grandma with the array of floor polishers, see Queen Elizabeth’s toilet, and test your strength against some of the beastly vacuum cleaners from days past.
4. St. Anthony’s Sand Dunes
When we think of dunes, most of us have visions of an endless ocean of sand in the blistering heat of the Sahara. Yet, less than an hour outside of Idaho Falls, we have 10,000 acres of beautiful white quartz sand that is the perfect playground for off-road vehicles.
5. Darby Canyon Caves
If you’re in decent shape, then you can make it up this canyon trail that will take you to two incredible caves, connected underground by a mile-long passageway. The first, Wind Cave, can be seen from the trail and a couple hundred feet back it shrinks to a small tunnel, which connects to the other cave.
Don’t plan on going through there to the Ice Cave unless you have some spelunking experience and equipment. Instead, just continue on down the trail and you can find the entrance less than a mile away. This is a fun adventure, but be prepared! Your round trip is only a little over 5 miles, but it’s not a leisurely stroll.
6. Zoo Idaho
Pocatello’s zoo is different than most, in that it specializes in animals that are native to the Rocky Mountain regions. Therefore, you won’t see animals native to the arctic or the jungle being kept in Idaho’s high desert climate.
The stars of the show are grizzly bears Stripes and Shoni. They’ve been getting a lot of attention, and you can even see what they are up to via the Grizzly Cam.
7. Lava Hot Springs
We don’t usually associate water slides and pools with winter, but at Lava Hot Springs it doesn’t matter what time of year it is! Geothermal activity means we have an abundant supply of naturally-heated hot water, perfect for family fun and relaxation. You have a few options at your disposal in this small town, so you are able to pick what suits your fancy.
Eastern Idaho has many great offers for those looking for fun things to do. Idaho Falls and Pocatello are great communities to live in, with an abundance of natural and manmade attractions within short reach.
Within just a couple hours, you can go from rapids and waterfalls to sand dunes, and not even need to refill your gas tank. This is just one of the reasons that we are proud to call Idaho our home.
For the love of Embroidery!
Jones Sew & Vac Team