Autumn is a special time of year in Idaho. As the cool weather settles in, the display of Idaho’s trees, native vegetation, wildflowers, rushing rivers and mountains create an amazing backdrop. The fall foliage generally starts making an appearance in early October in northern, central and eastern Idaho and by mid-October the colours are developing further south. The key to discovering the vibrant golds, oranges and scarlets is knowing where to go.
Here are our top 3 places to see fall colours in Idaho:
- Selkirk Loop
Visitors looking for gorgeous colour-changing foliage should not miss out on the Selkirk Loop. From Priest River, through Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry, to the border town of Porthill, this northern Idaho’s drive is particularly indicated during the fall. Stop at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, at the base of the Selkirk Mountain Range and travel to the St. Joe River Scenic Byway, an 89-mile route that will immerse visitors into a kaleidoscope of colours.
- Salmon River Scenic Byway
The Salmon River Scenic Byway follows the Salmon River through the Salmon-Challis National Forest, serving as a natural pathway into Idaho’s rugged backcountry. The Salmon River Scenic Byway is a treasure for fall foliage adventure. As visitors get closer to the Idaho/Montana border, the landscape becomes even more dramatic and the colours climb in intensity.
Located along the Boise River and nestled against foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise is also known as “The City of Trees”. Oaks, maples, and ash add flecked hints of colour to the downtown area, local parks and the North End neighbourhood. The Boise riverbanks and adjoining parks are luminous with mature trees adding brilliant oranges and deep reds to the landscape. Cottonwoods and aspens add gold to the palette, with native low-growing plants and shrubs adding shades of red. Embark on the ultimate fall foliage tour and explore the Boise Greenbelt with a walk or bike ride on a 25-mile path along the scenic Boise River.