The Best Time to Visit Idaho

Idaho is known for its lush green landscapes and beautiful snowy mountains. So it is no wonder why it has recently become a popular vacation hotspot. As an Idaho native, I’m excited to share my knowledge on when the best time of year to visit Idaho is.

Each season brings unique activities for every traveler!

The temperature in Idaho can largely affect this decision. In the summer months, from June to August/September, the average temperature sits in the mid to high 80’s. Idaho isn’t very humid, but the summer months are the least humid months.

In contrast, the winter months, from December through February, stays around the mid-30s. January is also known to be one of the coldest months, dropping down to below zero at times. Picking your peak temperature will be key to deciding when to visit.

Idaho is a large state and the storms from the Pacific Ocean tend to carry over. Northern Idaho sees the worst storms, with up to four times more precipitation than Southern Idaho. This is due to Northern Idaho not having any high mountain ranges that would normally block the clouds.

See what to pack in Idaho in all seasons and here’s what to pack camping with you in Idaho. While you’re at it, let’s be friends on Instagram!

The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho

The Best Time To Visit Idaho

I grew up in Idaho and currently live here. In my experience, the best time to visit Idaho is in the spring, late summer, and fall. These times offer some of the best weather in Idaho! 

Which Season is Right for You to Visit Idaho?

Winter

The Winter months offer some of the most unique attractions the state has to offer! Winter is a peak tourism time to visit the state, due to the snowy outdoor activities it has to offer. 

Take advantage of the eighteen ski resorts that are located throughout the state once the snow begins to fall. Ski and snowboard season technically starts in late November and ends in May.

It can also become a fantastic holiday destination for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year. I recommend visiting Sun Valley, McCall, or Couer d’Alene in the winter.

Nestle up around a fireplace, while watching the snowfall right outside of your cabin window! You can indulge in holiday sleigh rides to get in the holiday spirit at Idaho Sleigh Rides or enjoy the snowy vast landscapes and view the local wildlife.

Check out my favorite winter boots for women to prep you for your winter trip to Idaho! 

Winter in Idaho
Idaho Winter activities
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
eighteen ski resorts
eighteen ski resorts

Summer

Visit from May to September in Idaho during the warmest months. Summer is known as the other peak season, drawing visitors from all over the world. 

You can hike at one of the twenty-seven state parks, hike to alpine lakes in the McCall area, or go backpacking in the summer in the Sawtooth Mountain range near Stanley! If you want to enjoy the water, I highly recommend spending a weekend at the lake in Coeur d’Alene or floating the Boise River.

Just remember that Idaho is affected heavily by wildfires and the past few summers have been extremely smoky all over the state. If smoke and 90-100 degree weather sounds horrible to you (it does to me) then you might want to stick to spring or fall!

Hike twenty-seven state parks
alpine lakes in the McCall area
The Best Time to Visit Idaho

Fall

Explore Idaho when the peak season is over in the fall months, from mid-September to November. This is an ideal time to avoid both rain and snow. 

Take advantage of the crisp weather and colorful falling leaves. Fall is a great time to take advantage of any backpacking trips or camping adventures. The weather stays in the high sixties and lower seventies, providing cooler temperatures than summer. I love leaf-peeping in Northern Idaho and Eastern Idaho in the fall the best! Check out my post about things to do in Idaho in the fall and my bucket list for Boise in the fall.

The Best Time to Visit Idaho
Fall in Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho

Spring

Watch the flowers bloom from March to May in Idaho, when the temperature is moderately cold. In March you can see anything weatherwise. Rain or snow is common, but towards the end of the month is when spring comes out in full force! 

The Spring Season is a perfect time to explore the blue skies, while still viewing the snowy mountain peaks in the distance. Temperatures range in the mid-sixties during this season, perfect for all outdoor adventures. This will also allow you to beat the summer tourism crowd, leaving the trails more remote than usual. You can also score dales on hotels since it is considered off-season. 

I highly recommend visiting Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls in the spring to see the falls gushing! 

Flowers blooming in Spring Idaho

Seasonal Activities in Idaho

Activities in Idaho are offered throughout the whole year! Here are the best activities for the rest of the seasons for you to enjoy.

Things To Do In Idaho During Winter

If you are adventurous give Heli-Skiing a try! Sun Valley Heli Ski prides itself on being the first Heli Ski Operator in America. What is Heli-Skiing? It is a downhill skiing experience that brings you off the beaten path by, you guessed it, by helicopter. This once-in-a-lifetime experience helps skiers explore the remote terrain that Idaho has to offer.

The Best Time to Visit Idaho
Idaho covered in snow

Visiting Idaho on New Year’s Eve? Then get ready to watch the Idaho Potato Drop. This fun event gives the ball drop in Times Square a run for its money. Held every year in Boise, Idaho at the state capitol.

Before midnight, a potato is raised in the air and as the clock counts down, it gets ready to drop. The potato is normally 17-feet long, has wings and releases smoke as it flies from a crane. It is an iconic and fun event for Idaho, which rings in the new year!

Idaho Potato Drop

Things to Do in Idaho During Summer

If you want to explore the outdoors then look no further than spending your summer in Idaho. Horseback riding, hiking, and camping are just some fun activities to try. Bring your own tent and book one of the affordable campgrounds on Recreation.Gov

You can also hit the water and try out boating or water sports. Hotspots such as Lake Pend Oreille, Priest Lake, and Cascade Lake are just a few to name. Rent jet skis or go whitewater rafting. Be sure to pack a cooler full of snacks and drinks, as well as tubes to float around on. The high temperatures of summer make lake days even more enjoyable. One of my favorite places to visit in the summertime is Thousand Springs State Park and Blue Heart Springs

hiking in the summer

Things to Do in Idaho During Fall

Fall foliage road trips become a popular activity from September to November. Visit the hottest leaf-peeping spots like Sun Valley, the Boulder Mountains, and Mink Creek Road near Pocatello. Here’s a great resource to find the best spots.

You can also visit one of the sixty-five vineyards and wineries in Idaho that provide gorgeous fall colors. Check out some of my favorite wine tours in another post. Have a great time apple picking, by visiting the Cabalo’s Orchard while enjoying the crisp fall air. Fall is a fantastic time to visit Idaho.

The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
Pumpkin patch during fall
swimming pool in the fall

Things to Do in Idaho During Spring

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails in the springtime. There are numerous spots to marvel at the spring flowers. This includes Fairfield Foothills, Camas Centennial Marsh, and Boise Foothills.

Be sure to visit the Craters of the Moon National Monument in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho too! The spring flowers in this area are a guaranteed bucket list photo. The Monument and Preserve contain more than 25 volcanic cones! Come learn a bit about Idaho’s history while enjoying the scenery.

The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho

I hope this helps you determine the best time to visit Idaho! You can’t really go wrong and you will have fun any month you visit. Let me know in the comments your favorite months to visit Idaho.

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The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho
The Best Time to Visit Idaho

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