Welcome to Idaho
Rugged Idaho, far in the northwest, occupies an almost mythical
place in the American imagination. It was the final home of Ernest
Hemingway, and the qualities that transformed the writer into a
literary icon are the same that have made Idaho legendary. It is a
harsh place of jagged peaks, waterfalls and deep canyon gorges,
where the hardiest outdoorsmen can find adventure. But it is a
place of stunning beauty as well, where visitors can fall into the
soothing rhythm of fly fishing, ski pristine slopes, see wildlife
in its natural habitat and experience a dynamic landscape that has,
to a large degree, remained unspoiled.
In the early 1800s, explorers Lewis and Clark dazzled Americans
back east with descriptions of Idaho, and pioneers began to trickle
into the territory. The state's population, however, did not cross
the million mark until the 1980s. But today, Idaho has changed from
outpost to posh locale. The real estate market has exploded,
particularly in resort areas, with several celebrities taking up
residence. Sun Valley, the state's original ski destination, is now
one of the most magnificent vacation spots in the country.
In spite of its popularity, Idaho has maintained its small-town,
friendly nature. Boise, the state capital and largest city, has
fewer than 200,000 residents. This is Idaho's allure. While it has
become the hottest destination for outdoor recreation, from boating
and white-water rafting to rock climbing and horseback riding to
skiing and dog sledding; Idaho, unlike neighbouring Colorado,
remains a hideaway, tucked into a far corner of the country and
seemingly impervious to hype. Even the fashionable resort towns,
like Sun Valley, Ketchum and Coeur d'Alene, for all their luxury
remain laid back and unhurried, almost as if they too are in awe of
the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them. (And the potatoes
aren't bad either.)
Information & Facts
Idaho has a diverse climate with differing temperatures between
north and south, but overall the air is dry and clear with little
humidity. Generally the south is drier and has hotter summer
temperatures, while the mountainous areas experience long and very
cold winters with lots of snow.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
Northern Idaho is GMT -8 (GMT -7 from March to November), but
southern Idaho is GMT -7 (GMT -6 from March to November).