All year round, Pocatello, ID offers so many outdoor recreation opportunities so close to home that it can be downright dizzying: skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, boating, the list goes on and on. It's exactly what attracts new residents like Rory Erchul to the beautiful mountain city.
“There are so many things to do right in our backyard, that it’s just amazing,” says Erchul, who runs the digital media marketing firm E-Squared Creative with his wife. “It’s one of the main reasons we decided to move our business headquarters to here in Pocatello.”
Fun in the Sun
When the warm weather hits, Corey Wight, a Pocatello native and avid mountain biker, knows just how fortunate he is.
“I’d definitely rank Pocatello top ten in the nation for mountain biking,” says Wight, who also owns local eatery The Sand Trap. “It’s a hidden gem. We have over 50 miles of trails right outside of downtown. You could literally ride for days.”
One of the most popular spots for outdoor lovers is the City Creek Trail System. The main trail, which meanders alongside a creek, is a scenic path well used by bikers, hikers, joggers and horseback riders.
The Portneuf Greenway, a 13-mile trail system that winds along the bucolic Portneuf River and through downtown, is especially popular with anglers thanks to the well-stocked Edson Fichter community fishing pond.
Just south of town, the Mink Creek Trail System contains over 100 miles of multi-use trails. Throughout the summer, Pocatello also hosts outdoor competitions like the Pocatello Marathon, the Pocatello Triathlon, and the Pedal Fest mountain biking race.
Residents looking to beat the summer heat can cool off at the Ross Park Aquatic Complex, a family-friendly water park. Ross Park also features a series of natural, 35-foot-high rock walls perfect for climbers and rappellers.
For residents who enjoy water skiing, jet skiing, or boating, the 87-square-miles of open water at American Falls Reservoir is just an easy, 30-minute drive away.
“The recreational opportunities here are endless,” says Wight, “So if you like the outdoors, Pocatello is a sure bet.”
In Pocatello, snow is just another great excuse to get outdoors. The city lies within a three-hour drive from celebrated ski resorts in Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, WY, and Park City, UT, which makes Pocatello the perfect base camp for residents itching to hit the slopes for some alpine skiing or snowboarding.
Even closer to home is the Pebble Creek Ski Area, located just twenty miles south of downtown Pocatello. Pebble Creek offers 54 runs on 1,100 acres of skiable terrain, including dozens of black diamond and double black diamond runs for experienced snowbuffs looking for a challenge.
Cross country skiers flock to the East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center, which maintains 20k of well-groomed, Nordic ski trails.
“It's pretty inexpensive, and the groomed trails are just beautiful,” Erchul says. “It's really a great place to spend a day.”
The Nordic Center also provides plenty of trails for snowshoers, and even a sledding hill for the young and young-at-heart.