Stunning views, diverse geography offer wide range of recreation
Active types: Go ahead and judge Southern Idaho like a book by its cover. The area’s outdoor beauty that meets the eye doesn’t disappoint when it comes to recreation throughout the year. Here’s a sampling:
Active types who embrace all seasons will be right at home on Southern Idaho’s snowmobile trails and at prominent ski resorts. The Albion Area Snowmobile Trails feature approximately 30 square miles of trails of varying difficulty. The Gooding County Snow Park snowmobile trail covers 150 miles. Magic Mountain Resort has several ski trails, as well as its own tubing trail. And in the Sawtooth National Forest, Pomerelle Mountain Resort gives access to 24 slopes.
Climbing, Hiking and Camping
The region is also home to several outdoor recreation sites that are most popular during warmer months for rock climbing, camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, sightseeing and bird-watching.
Bask in nature’s glory at Castle Rocks State Park near the village of Almo, where you can see the remnants of a ranch first homesteaded in 1888. Nestled at the base of the 10,339-foot Cache Peak, Castle Rocks State Park is open year round for hiking, mountain biking, world-class rock climbing and wildlife-watching.
The City of Rocks National Reserve offers outstanding rock climbing with 500 routes that ascend granite monoliths that can reach more than 60 stories. Located 2 miles north of Magic Mountain Resort, the Twin Falls Area Hiking Trail offers camping, fishing, hiking and bird-watching.
Thousand Springs State Park boasts historic structures at Ritter Island and Bonnieview, as well as the beautiful natural scenery of the Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve, Niagara Springs and Crystal Lake. The 1000 Springs Resort runs along the Snake River and connects to campground facilities, a picnic area, a boat ramp, an indoor pool and Jacuzzis.
Mountain biking enthusiasts can take great rides on about 40 miles of rugged trails known as the Indian Springs Trail network just south of Kimberly. To get there, take Main Street south for approximately 8 miles until it crosses 2900 North Road and becomes Indian Springs Road. A parking lot is available about one-quarter mile down Indian Spring Road.
Southern Idaho has a dozen golf courses, some set next to the beautiful Snake River. Prominent courses include Canyon Springs Golf Course in Twin Falls, an 18-hole course catering to players of all skill levels; Blue Lakes Country Club, a private 18-hole course open year round and situated in the alluring Snake River Canyon; Jerome Country Club, a semiprivate 18-hole course that offers mountain views; Clear Lake Country Club, located in Buhl, a semiprivate 18-hole course open in the spring and fall; and Jackpot Golf Club, an 18-hole course in nearby Jackpot, Nevada, approximately 45 miles south of Twin Falls.
Disc golf has grown in popularity over the past few years, and Southern Idaho has several nice places to play. There is an 18-hole course on the campus of the College of Southern Idaho and at Rock Creek Park in Twin Falls; an 18-hole course at Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion; a 27-hole disc golf course at Lake Walcott State Park in Rupert; and a 9-hole course at Eastman Park in Buhl.
Auto racing fans have a hometown track at Magic Valley Speedway, a one-third-mile, semibanked oval track. Besides thrilling races, the speedway also offers party and group packages in which participants can ride along in an official pace or race car. For those who prefer powerboat racing, the Idaho Regatta in Burley every June is one of the most popular on the American Powerboat Association racing circuit.
Warp Racing, a new entertainment destination in Burley, welcomes people to watch and participate in motocross, sprint boat racing and go-karting.
Sports fans also support College of Southern Idaho athletes at home events for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s baseball and women’s softball, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s rodeo. Friendly rivalries abound throughout the region when it comes to high school sports, especially football, basketball and wrestling. A typical fall weekend for many residents involves cheering on their favorite high school teams for at least one game or match.