Idaho Facts


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No One Knows the Origin of the Name Idaho

Idaho facts inform us that no one is quite sure where the name Idaho came from, though there are a few origin stories. One is that George M. Willing concocted the name when the United States Congress was attempting to name the Colorado Territory. He initially attributed the name to the Shoshone Indian tribe, but later said he simply made it up.

The name Idaho has also been attributed to the Apaches, the Comanche, and the Sahaptians. Several definitions have been attributed as well, from “the sun comes from the mountains” to “enemy” to “gem of the mountains”. There is no definitive proof for any of these origin stories.

Idaho Borders Six States and One Country

Geographical Map of Idaho

Geographical Map of Idaho

Idaho is located in the Northwestern United States. It borders six states: Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. The northernmost part of the state borders Canada.

Idaho Was Part of Oregon Country

Idaho facts tell us Americans first settled in the Pacific Northwest in the 1830s. British and French Canadian fur traders previously inhabited the area. Ownership of the land was disputed. The area was called Oregon Country and included British Columbia (Canada), Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming. In 1846, the disputing countries arrived at the Oregon Treaty, which set the 49th parallel as the border between the United States’ territory and the British territory.

Idahoans Are Predominantly Mormons, Protestants and Catholics

Idaho facts inform us that 23% of Idahoans classify themselves as Mormon, while 22% of Idahoans self identify as evangelical protestants and 18% identify as Catholic. Most Idahoans consider themselves Christian.

Idaho Produces Almost One Third of the US’s Potatoes

US Fall Potato Production by State

US Fall Potato Production by State

Idaho has several exports that support its economy. Idaho is known for its potatoes and produces almost one-third of all potatoes in the United States. Idaho is also the number one producer of trout.

Idaho Is Home to the United States’ Only DRAM Manufacturer

Idaho facts show that Micron Technology is the only producer of dynamic random access memory in the United States. Micron is based in Boise, the capital of Idaho, and was named one of the world’s top five semiconductor producing companies.

The First City to Be Lit by Nuclear Power Is in Idaho

On July 17 1955, Arco, Idaho, became the first city in the world to use electricity generated from nuclear power. The BORAX-III reactor provided the energy from the National Reactor Testing Station. Unfortunately, on January 3 1961, the National Reactor Testing Station suffered a reactor meltdown that led to three deaths. It became the world’s first fatal reactor accident.

Idaho Is a State of Many Rivers

Idaho facts tell us the state boasts 144 rivers and creeks running through it. Combined, the state has 3,100 miles of rivers, which is more than any other state in the union. Some of the state’s most important rivers are the Snake River, Columbia River, Salmon River and the Boise River.

Shoshone Falls Is Steeper Than the Famed Niagara Falls

Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls

Niagara Falls is a famed natural wonder in the United States and Canada and features gorgeous waterfalls at amazing heights. It would surprise many to know that the Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, Idaho, are actually steeper by 52 feet. The best time to visit this natural wonder is the spring and summer because dams lessen the water flow in other seasons.

Lava Hot Springs Is a Popular Idaho Attraction

One fun Idaho attraction is Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. The city has several hot springs for bathing and inner tubing that have made it an exciting resort location. Lava Hot Springs is located on the famed Oregon Trail.

Idaho Is in Two Different Time Zones

Idaho spans two time zones. The Idaho panhandle observes Pacific Standard Time, while the southern part of Idaho follows Mountain Standard Time. There are 14 states with split time zones, though many websites only claim 13. These states are: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.

The World’s First Chairlift was Installed in Idaho

Idaho facts tell us that Sun Valley, Idaho, has the distinction of being the first destination ski resort in the United States. The world’s first chairlifts were originally installed at the Proctor and Dollar Mountains in Sun Valley. The original ski lift at Proctor is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hell’s Canyon Is the United States’ Deepest Gorge

Hell’s Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge. It is located in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hell’s Canyon is 10 miles wide and 7,993 feet deep. The Snake River carved the canyon and still runs through it today.

Soda Springs Is Home to the World’s Largest Man Made Geyser

Soda Springs, Idaho, is so called because of the thousands of naturally carbonated springs surrounding the town. In 1937, in an attempt to build a hot spring swimming pool, the town drilled into the land and unintentionally created a geyser and flooded the town. Soon after, a timing mechanism was added. The geyser now erupts every hour and is the world’s largest man-made geyser with bursts of up to 100 feet.

Rigby, Idaho Claims to Be Birthplace of the Television

Idaho facts tell us that thanks to Philo T. Farnsworth, Rigby, Idaho, is known as the birthplace of television. Farnsworth was a Rigby native and invented the vacuum tube television display. The original tubes can be seen at the Jefferson County Museum.

Idaho Has 2.3 Million Acres of Protected Wilderness

US Wilderness Areas

US Wilderness Areas

Idaho has the pleasure of having the largest contiguous area of protected forest in the continental US. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area consists of 2.3 million acres of beautiful, unspoiled land.

Idaho Has 114 Named Mountain Ranges

Idaho’s highest mountain is Borah Peak, located in the Lost River Range. Idaho has 114 named mountain ranges running through it, including the Rocky Mountains, the Blackfoot Mountains, Seven Devils mountains and the Teton Range.

Idaho Has Its Own Loch Ness Monster

Scotland isn’t the only place that boasts a water-loving monster. The Bear Lake Monster was first spotted in the late 19th century in Idaho and was rumored to be a serpent-like beast that was 90 feet long. It was spotted by several people, though there is no photographic evidence.

Almost 85 Percent of US Trout Comes from Idaho

Idaho doesn’t just produce delicious potatoes; the state is also responsible for producing almost 85 percent of all trout sold in the United States. Hagerman Valley is renowned for its trout.

The Gem State Shines with Rare Stones

One of Idaho’s nicknames is the “gem state” because almost every type of gemstone has been found there at one time or another. Idaho is also one of only two places where star garnets can be found (the other is India).

Idaho Facts – Facts about Idaho Summary

Idaho factsIdaho is located in the Northwestern United States, where Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Canada border it. Idaho is known for its potato exports, but also provides 85% of the nation’s trout. Idaho has several popular attractions, including the first ski resort in the United States, Sun Valley, and the deepest gorge, Hell’s Canyon. Boise, Idaho, is home to Micron Technologies, the only semiconductor manufacturer located in the United States. Boise is the capital of Idaho, and is the state’s largest city.

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