City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Idaho Through the Lens OR The Idaho Experience

Falling in Love with Idaho one Experience at a Time

Article by Ashley Loeb

Photography by Ashley Loeb, Charles Knowles, Carl Chase, Darwin Fan, Oliver Guy

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Idaho first stole my heart on a perfect day in May while walking along the Boise River's awning of dancing leaves with the soothing rush of water and backdrop of foothills blanketed with bright yellow arrowleaf balsamroot flowers. My jaw really dropped as we climbed up the Scenic Highway 21 for a quick glimpse of the expansive Lucky Peak Reservoir, surrounded by sprawling mountains, just minutes from town. After that, there was no looking back. After too many years in the Arizona heat, Boise became my home as the pandemic swept through in March 2020, and I couldn’t have imagined a better place to be trapped outside!

Idaho began flowing through my veins and really drew the photographer in me as I found a plethora of opportunities to soak up its beauty. The All Trails App and social media became my road map for exploring. With my camera in one hand and dog leash in the other, I found numerous trails in the Boise Foothills and beyond! My first year here made it clear that every season in Idaho offers unique experiences. With spring in full bloom, we cruised up Highway 55 in our new Subaru Outback to Cascade and McCall and later that year, watching the green rolling hills turn to towering pines along the rapids splashing through rocks along the Payette river. Twin Falls offered a dramatic view of the Snake River from the Perrine Bridge. Shoshone Falls filled my heart with glee on our wedding anniversary in May as we watched the rainbow reflections as the water made its 212-foot fall! 

Summer afternoons took me to the Boise River for a relaxing float and to the shade of the pines in Idaho City, where bright green moss decorated the trees and the wind whispered and leaves crunched beneath my feet. Before the transition to fall, we took our first drive to Stanley, catching glimpses of majestic mountain layers before we finally arrived at Redfish Lake to behold the reflection of aptly named Sawtooth Mountains reflecting in a serene scene. The Salmon River cooled us off as we ripped through the rolling rapids, passing unique rock formations and keeping watch for deer and eagles along our path. Winter took me up Bogus Basin for skiing, tubing, and epic Sunset views. In McCall, we slid down an ice slide and admired the intricate ice sculptures at their yearly festival before enjoying the fresh powder on skis and snowshoes.

Four years later, I’m still far from completing all of the diverse experiences across Idaho’s seven regions accessible by 31 scenic byways. Thousand Springs State Park takes you on a waterfall adventure of Southwest Idaho. For a drier experience, hike up a sand dune and sled back down at Bruneau Sand Dunes. Wander through unimaginable, fairy-tale rock formations in South Central’s Little or Big City of Rocks. In North Central Idaho, find yourself rafting through Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America! Central Idaho offers an other-worldly black lava rock landscape at Craters of the Moon and a vast sky of stars amongst unbelievable mountain views in the Dark Sky Reserve encompassing Stanley and Sun Valley. For a gateway experience to Yellowstone, Eastern Idaho is the place to be while the ultimate fall colors happen near Pocatello in Southeast Idaho. Lake Coeur d'Alene in Northern Idaho awaits with the world's longest floating boardwalk, Tubbs Hills filled with flowers, and boats ready to set sail through the glistening water. Camping is possible across all of these regions which also hold numerous wildlife and bodies of water for fishing and hunting opportunities.

All of these experiences and adventures continually leave me in awe of the astounding beauty right at my fingertips! My Idaho bucket list continues to grow as I’ve connected with local photographers and grown friendships during weekend Idaho getaways, paddleboarding, and hikes with epic views! Every adventure fills my soul with a feeling only ignited by the experience of nature. 

Not only am I lucky to have such a captivating place to explore, it’s also fortunate to be surrounded by talented photographers helping illustrate Idaho’s beauty from their own unique perspectives. These inspiring images make it easy to understand why Idaho is the Gem State for more reasons than one. Just know that once you open your heart to the experience of Idaho like we have, you may never get it back!

  • Carl Chase
  • Ashley Loeb
  • Carl Chase
  • Oliver Guy
  • Cindy Chapman
  • Charles Knowles
  • Ashley Loeb
  • Darwin Fan
  • Darwin Fan
  • Ashley Loeb
  • Charles Knowles