Virtual Travel – Idaho

Today’s virtual travel takes us to Idaho. The first map in the collection dates from 1959.

It highlights, among other things, snow skiing.

Government State Idaho 1959.jpg


Easily the most famous ski resort in Idaho is Sun Valley. With the success of the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, skiing became much more popular.

In those days railroads were always looking for ways to increase ridership, and a common approach was to develop resorts as destinations. The chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, Averell Harriman, was one of those executives that took that approach. After searching the west for the perfect location he was told by one of his workers that the area near Ketchum, Idaho had spent more money for snow removal than any other location on the line.

Harriman purchased almost 4000 acres, and voila, Sun City was born. He built a lodge, and the ski runs and the rest is history. (image from website alpinestyle56)

sun valley idaho ridge chairlift vintage postcard roundhouse baldy mountain


Today it is a premier destination, and home to many of the rich and famous. (photo from Forbes Magazine)

Sun VAlley resort Idaho




1969 – Bruneau River Canyon. This canyon reaches heights of 800′, making it one of the deepest canyons in the country.





1970 – Lake Pend Orielle. The largest lake in Idaho, and 38th largest in the country, it reaches a depth of 1150′ in some areas. During World War II it was the second largest naval training center in the world.

Government State Idaho 1970.jpg



1972 – With a small population, traffic in 1972 and today on the Interstates in Idaho is quite light. One good result of this is the speed limit is 80 MPH (130 KPH).

Government State Idaho 1972.jpg



1978 – Mountain Valley Scene. The Rocky Mountains run the entire length of the state. The highest mountain is Mount Borah, which is featured on the cover below.

This mountain has an elevation of 12,662′ (3859m). Ironically until 1934 this mountain did not have a name, but when it was calculated it was actually taller than what at the time was thought of as Idaho’s tallest, it gained it’s name.

Government State Idaho 1978.jpg


View from the top (from website




1981 – Colleges and University. Boise State University is pictured.

Government State Idaho 1981.jpg

Boise State has had a very successful football program for decades now, but is most famous for their blue astroturf field.

Why is it blue? When the stadium was first opened in 1970 it had the traditional orange running track around it. Since their colors were orange and blue Gene Bleymaier, the athletic director at the time decided to see if they could get blue astroturf – and the rest is history.

Legend has it that ducks go crashing into it thinking it is water, but many believe that is an urban legend.

New Blue & upgraded video boards coming to Albertsons Stadium ...




1988 – Mountain Lake Scene.

Government State Idaho 1988.jpg




1993 – Tribute to the Oregon Trail. This 2000 mile trail supported covered wagons moving settlers west from Kansas to Oregon. Over the years 400,000 settlers made their way down the trail, which was eventually made obsolete by the trans continental railroad.

Government State Idaho 1993.jpg


This photo from Scottsbluff, Nebraska shows a portion of the trail and a typical wagon.

2012 07 09 45 Scottsbluff Nebraska.jpg




1994 – A tribute to state parks in Idaho. This view shows the Sawtooth Mountain Range.

Government State Idaho 1994.jpg

The largest state park is City of Rocks. This park has a large amount of granite rising from the landscape. It is a popular rock climbing region. (Photo from Wikipedia)





1995 & 1996 – Trail Creek Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness Area. There are actually 5 alpine lakes in this area, all called Trail Creek Lake.

These lakes are high in the mountains, all with an elevation over 8000′ (2500m).

Government State Idaho 1995.jpg           Government State Idaho 1996.jpg




1997 – Little Redfish Lake. This lake is located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Named for the red scaled sockeye salmon, these lakes offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Government State Idaho 1997.jpg




1999 – Upper Dry Creek Basin in the Lost River Range. This area offers mountain hiking just outside of Boise.

Government State Idaho 1999.jpg




2001 – Char Falls, Kaniksu National Forest.

Government State Idaho 2001.jpg




2002 – McGown Peak.

Government State Idaho 2002.jpg


This mountain is located next to Stanley Lake. (Photo from Wikipedia)

A photo of McGown Peak and Stanley Lake




2003 – Camas Prairie and the Smoky Mountains.

Government State Idaho 2003.jpg


The prairie is named for the camas, a Native American food source. (photo from USDA website).

Common Camas




2004 – Another visit to Little Redfish Lake.

Government State Idaho 2004.jpg




2006 – Bitteroot Mountains. Located int he northern panhandle of Idaho, the Bitteroots have two peaks that reach over 10,000′.

Government State Idaho 2006.jpg



2007 – Unidentified mountain scene with a focus on the 100th anniversary of Idaho State Parks.

Government State Idaho 2007.jpg




2008 – Boise. As the largest city in the state, Boise is the center for commerce and government.

Government State Idaho 2008.jpg





2009 & 2010 featured more unidentified lake scenes.

Government State Idaho 2009.jpg            Government State Idaho 2010.jpg



Our time in Idaho has been very limited, but still offered some great views and unique experiences.

Back side of the Grand Tetons from the Idaho side.

2015 09 13 56 Driggs ID.JPG



On a trip from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Salt Lake City we caught a cattle drive in the middle of the road. Most cows made their way around our car, except one decided to stop and lick the bugs off of the hood…

2015 09 14 9 Lava Hot Springs ID.JPG



Passing a potato farm!

2015 09 14 12 Lava Hot Springs ID.JPG



And a stop in Lava Hot Springs.

2015 09 14 17 Lava Hot Springs ID.JPG










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s