Fun Facts About Idaho
Idaho also known as the The Gem State is a very interesting state that is located in the pacific north west of the United States, it is a state that has lots to offer the both in minerals and other aspects. In fact, Idaho is called the Gem State because of the abundance of rare minerals that is found in almost every part of the state. These and more are many things one would want to learn about the state, this article we would be covering all the fun facts about Idaho that makes it a very unique state in the United States.
Idaho is one of the least populated states in the USA with a population of less than 2 million people. It used to be a home to a large number of Native Americans centuries before the arrival of the Europeans.
If you want to learn any more facts about Idaho and its rich history, then continue reading the article.
Idaho Fun Facts
- It is a major producer of potatoes in the US
Idaho is responsible for about 33% of the total amount of potatoes produced in the United States. This amounts to approximately 27 billion potatoes each year
This makes Idaho also called “The Potato State”.
- Idaho is the 43rd state
Idaho is the 43rd state of the US as it was admitted to the union on July 3, 1890.
- Idaho’s neighbors
Idaho is bordered by Washington and Oregon to the west, Montana, and Wyoming to the east, Nevada, and Utah to the south, and Canada to the north.
- It has the largest Department of Energy facility in the US
Idaho is home to the Idaho National Laboratory which is the largest Department of Energy facility in the United States.
- Idaho is the 14th-largest state
Of all the 50 states in the US, Idaho is the 14th largest as it has an area of 83,570 square miles.
- It is the 13th least-populated state
The state of Idaho has a population of about 1.8 million, making it 13th on the list of least populous states in the United States.
- It is the 7th least densely populated state
Idaho ranks 7th on the list of least densely populated states in the US as it has about 22 people per square mile.
- Idaho is the Gem State
The official nickname for Idaho is the “Gem State”, it is a figurative expression that refers to the natural beauty of the state.
- Idaho’s motto
The motto of the state of Idaho is “Esto Perpetua”, it is a Latin word that roughly translates to “let it be perpetual” or “it is forever”.
- Its highest temperature
The highest-ever temperature recorded in the state of Idaho is 118°F, and it was in Orofino in 1934.
- Its lowest temperature
The lowest-ever temperature recorded in the state of Idaho is -60°F, and it was in Island Park in 1943.
- USFS owns the most land in Idaho
The United States Forest Service (USFS) is known for holding portions of land in different states and Idaho, the organization holds a record 38% of the state’s land. This is the highest amount of land the USFS holds of any state in the United States.
- Its capital and largest city
The capital of Idaho is Boise, it also happens to be the state’s largest city as it has a population of 235,684 which is about 13% of the state’s total population.
- Its lowest point
The lowest point in the state of Idaho is where the Snake River joins Clearwater River, near Lewiston, it is 710 feet above sea level.
- Its highest point
The highest peak in the state of Idaho is Borah Peak at the Lost River Range in eastern Custer County. It is 12,662 feet above sea level.
- Idaho was once inhabited by only Native Americans
Many years before the European colonization of the territory, Idaho was inhabited by different native American tribes.
- There are only 5 Native American tribes in Idaho now
Today, there are only five federally recognized tribes in the state: the Shoshone-Bannock, the Shoshone-Paiute, the Coeur d’Alene, the Kootenai, and the Nez Perce. The total population of all native Americans in the state is 22,867 which is less than 1.5% of the state’s population.
- The first nuclear reactor was built in Idaho
The first nuclear reactor to produce usable amounts of electricity was built there as well as the power plant for the world’s first nuclear submarine.
- Idaho is home to one of the largest Basque communities
Boise, Idaho, is one of the largest Basque communities in the United States.
- Idaho is larger than Ireland
Not just being larger, Idaho is about three times as large as Ireland, a European country. If the state were to be a country, it would also be larger than Portugal, Belarus, Austria, Greece, and Iceland.
- It is home to the Center of the Universe
Wallace is a small town in Idaho, and it is considered to be the Center of the Universe after Mayor Wallace made the declaration. In 2004, a manhole was created to honor the declaration.
- It has the second most Mormons in the US
Idaho is the state with the 2nd most Mormons in the United States, after Utah, where the Mormons first settled. The Idaho Falls Temple is the first Mormon church in the state, and also the first Mormon church to have a modern spiral design.
- There are two time zones in Idaho
Throughout the state of Idaho, two time zones are utilized, the Pacific Time Zone and Mountain Time Zone.
- Idaho’s state seal was designed by a woman
The state seal of Idaho was designed by a woman, Emma Edwards Green, and it is the only one of all states in the US that are designed by a woman. The seal shows a miner, a woman, and all of the natural resources that can be found in the state.
- It hosts the world’s largest beagle
There is a 12-foot-tall beagle-shaped house at Dog Bark Park Inn in Idaho and it holds the record for the largest beagle in the world.
- Idaho has a weird shape
The state of Idaho is weirdly shaped, some say it looks like a logger’s boot or a gun. Both are valid depending on how you see things.
- The state capitol building is heated by geothermal energy
A lot of buildings are heated by geothermal energy and the Idaho State Capitol Building is one of them. The building can be heated thanks to the underground hot springs which provide enough geothermal energy. The state capitol building is the only one in the US to be heated using this method.
- Idaho has no national park
There are no national parks in the state of Idaho making it among 20 others states that do not have one. However, 1% of Yellowstone National Park is situated in the state’s area.
- It has 27 state parks
To make up for the absence of national parks, there are 27 state parks across the state of Idaho for one to visit.
- It is home to the Zone of Death
The 1% of Yellowstone National Park situated in Idaho is considered to be the Zone of Death as one can avoid being convicted of murder there due to a legal loophole in the constitution.
- North America’s deepest river gorge is in Idaho
The Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in the US and the whole of North America. It is located in a large remote region in Idaho and Oregon and is about 7993 feet deep.
- There are two national monuments in Idaho
There are two national monuments in the state of Idaho: Craters of the Moon and Hagerman Fossil Beds.
Craters of the Moon is known for its expansive ocean of lava flows with numerous islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. It is also the youngest volcano that still lies dormant, this means it could erupt at any point, beware!
Hagerman Fossil Beds is known for its old fossils of animals like mastodons, horses, saber-toothed cats, beavers, ground sloths, and birds.
- There is one national reserve in Idaho
Throughout the state of Idaho, there is just one national reserve and it is the City of Rocks National Reserve which is known for its beautiful granite rock formations.
- It is home to the Niagara Falls of the West
Shoshone Falls in Idaho is considered to be the “Niagara Falls of the West” as it is one of the most attractive waterfalls in Western America. Surprisingly, the Shoshone Falls is about 45 feet taller than the original Niagara Falls.
- It hosts America’s longest main street
US Route 20 in Island Park, Idaho, is recognized as the longest Main Street in the United States as it has a length of 33 miles.
- It produces the most lentils
Idaho is called the “Lentil Capital of the World” sometimes, this is because the state is responsible for the majority of the lentils produced in the US. Palouse, Idaho, grows 90% of the United States lentils on about 3,000 family farms.
- It hosts the world’s first nuclear power plant
The Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-1) is the first nuclear power plant in the world and it is located in the desert of Idaho.
- The waters of trout
Besides potatoes and lentils, Idaho is also responsible for a huge chunk of all commercial trout sold in the United States. The state supplies about 85% of all trout sold in the country. So the next time you eat that lovely fish, always remember Idaho and the Hagerman Valley where most are gotten.
- Napoleon Dynamite was filmed in Idaho
Idaho is no Hollywood but Napoleon Dynamite, a 2004 comedy classic, was filmed in Preston, Idaho.
- You have to smile in Idaho
In Pocatello, Idaho, you are prohibited from frowning, scowling, or making any other low-spirited facial hair. The city believes any of that may give it a bad reputation. So make sure to smile when out in public or stay at home if you’re in a bad mood.
- It has a lot of ghost towns
There are more than one hundred ghost towns across the state of Idaho, with some of the popular ones being Silver City, Bayhorse, and Burke.
- It frowns on public displays of affection
And to the perfect couples, if you are in Idaho, you should know that there is a time limit for public displays of affection. You’re allowed only 18 minutes.
- It has a potato museum
The Idaho Potato Museum is located in Blackfoot, Idaho, and as you guessed, it is dedicated to nothing but potatoes.
- It has the longest legislative session
Of all 50 states in the US, Idaho is the one with the longest legislative session ever held as in 2021, a legislative session lasted a record 311 days.
- The 2nd largest supermarket chain in the US was founded in Idaho
Albertsons was founded in Boise, Idaho, and today, it is the second-largest supermarket chain in the United States and all of North America.
- It has the most miles of rivers of any state
Idaho is the US state with the most miles of whitewater rivers as the Gem State has about 3,100 miles of whitewater rivers. If you love fishing, then make sure to visit this state. I hope you will be lucky to catch a trout.
- It had the first Jewish governor
The first Jewish governor to be elected in the United States was Moses Alexander under the Democratic Party in 1914. He served as the 11th governor of the state and remains the state’s sole Jewish chief executive.
- It has a celebrity hotspot
Sun Valley in Idaho is considered to be a celebrity hotspot as popular celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mark Zuckerberg own houses there.
- The first city lit by Atomic Energy is in Idaho
Well, after having the first city to be lit electrically, Idaho is also home to the first city to be lit by Atomic Energy. Arco, Idaho was first lit using atomic energy in July 1955.
- It is the fastest-growing state in the US
In 2022, Idaho is recognized as the fastest-growing state by population in the United States as the state witnessed a whopping 2.12% growth in population. It seems people are now attracted to the state due to its relatively low population density, affordability, and the good job market.
- It hosts the Brundage Bra Tree
Over the years, women who visit the Brundage Ski Resort in Idaho started a tradition of throwing their bras at a certain tree while riding up the mountain. The tree is recognized as the Brundage Bra Tree.
- It has the longest boardwalk in the world
The Lake Coeur d’Alene boardwalk is considered to be the longest boardwalk in the world as it measures 3,300 feet long. If you love walking by the beach, you’d surely appreciate this.
We have come to the end of the compilation of fun facts about Idaho, the Gem State. If there are any more unique and interesting facts about Idaho that were not featured, do mention them in the comments. In the following section I would be answering some popular and frequently asked questions about Idaho.
FAQs About Idaho Facts
What is Idaho known for?
Idaho is known for many things and these things that make Idaho popular and known are:
- Gems and precious stones
- Volcanic landscape.
- Star garnet
- Lava tubes
When did Idaho became a state?
Idaho became a state on the 3rd of July, 1890, this makes it the 43rd state of the United States of America.
What are people from Idaho called?
The people from Idaho are called Idahoers or Idahoans. Both are correct adjective of people and things from Idaho.
What is Idaho Famous for?
Idaho is famous for a lot of things such as Gem stones, potatoes, volcanic landscape, huckleberries, star garnet, lava tubes and much more.
Whats Idaho known for?
Idaho is known for many things and they are;
- Gems and precious stones
- Volcanic landscape.
- Star garnet
- Lava tubes
What is the motto of Idaho?
The motto of Idaho is ‘Esto Perpetua’ which when translated to English means ‘Let it be perpetual’.
What’s Idaho’s nickname?
Idaho’s nickname is the Gem state. It has other nick names such as The potato state, Gem of the Mountains, Land of Famous Potatoes, Spud State.