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  1. #1
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Any Idaho travel information?

    Iím so excited we booked a family multi day rafting trip on the Salmon River in Idaho. I think I read about these trips here many years ago and although I am not looking forward to the camping part, I know DC will love it. I also felt this was a great year for it since there is a max # on the trip so we donít have to worry about crowds. We are flying into Salt Lake City and have a 5 hour drive to rafting site with a few days before and after rafting portion for site seeing. Any recommendations? We are of course doing this last minute and there are some towns that are already completely booked for July. We may need to do a day in SLC so any recommendations there would be appreciated too. Kids are teens and we love active.. hiking, biking, etc. but would also love historical sites, great scenery, museums. TIA!

  2. #2
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    nfceagles is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Where exactly in Idaho is the rafting site?
    Island Park and Mesa Falls comes to mind. Earthquake Lake and the visitor center there is very cool. But Iím not sure exactly where you are going to be.


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  3. #3
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    It’s in Salmon, ID which looks to be Southeast part of state?

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    nfceagles is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Thatís a little further north than Iím familiar with but I still recommend Island Park, Mesa Falls, and Earthquake Lake as well and West Yellowstone and Yellowstone if you have the time. Not too far off the path from SLC to Salmon. The grizzly and wolf center in W Yellowstone is fun.


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  5. #5
    mom2binsd is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    You could stay in Park City when you arrive or at the end depending on timing. The Olympic park up there has some summer activities.

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    I recommend stopping at Craters of the Moon. You can totally see it in a day, but really surreal landscape. My kids loved the bear and wolf center in W Yellowstone when they were little. It’s actually a pretty neat place, with a good educational component and the animals are well cared for. The Sun Valley area is the big ski tourist area and much like Park City, there are some summer activities out of there. They also tend to have bigger events like concerts.
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  7. #7
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Thanks all... we will be a little too far from Sun Valley area which is fine because it is totally sold out! No hotels in Sun Valley, Ketchum, Stanley area for most of the summer. I have managed to find hotels in other areas. I hate to be so close to Yellowstone and not go but I know July is crowded in a normal year and this year they are expecting worse crowds than last year. We won’t have time to spend enough time there anyway and I’d rather plan when we can stay in park. We may try Grand Tetons.

    If anyone else has thoughts, please share!

  8. #8
    squimp is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I would consider Yellowstone and/or Grand Tetons if there is time. We went to Yellowstone in July a few years ago and it was so awesome. If you like to hike, you can get away from a lot of the crowds. And it's just so spectacular, I envisioned it as if Disneyworld was a national park and just tried to enjoy it. Find a place to stay ASAP, that is the tricky part.

  9. #9
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    You are in my stomping grounds :-) Yes, the national parks will be swamped!!! How many days do you actually have before/after? Like full days? Because that makes a difference. It's a 6 hour drive to Stanley from SLC and you don't want to do that in the dark--too much amazing scenery.

    So--things to see in SLC and Park City:
    1. Natural History Museum in SLC is truly amazing with great exhibits on all of the dinosaurs found here plus great info on the past and present Native Americans.
    2. Clark Planetarium in SLC is cool and worth a stop.
    3. For hiking, you would want to hit the Cottonwood Canyons or Millcreek Canyon. If you are coming from a lower altitude, I would do Millcreek Canyon and give everyone a chance to acclimate.
    There are plenty of hotel options in SLC and food as well--will be much less expensive than Park City.
    Park City has:
    1. Silver Mine tour (check to see if it is going)
    2. Lots of activities at the Olympic Park
    3. Downhill Mountain Biking on the ski lifts
    4. Hiking on the ski mountains
    Great lodging, but expensive. It will be a little cooler than Salt Lake.

    Then, driving to Stanley from SLC, taking 15 to 84 and then 93 and 75:
    1. Stop at the City of Rocks--check out the website. It's more for rock climbing but there are good places to scramble around as well.
    2. Burley is about the half way point. You can stop there or in Twin Falls for lunch.
    3. There's plenty of hiking to do around Stanley vs. staying in Sun Valley

    On the way back, you could take 75 north to Challis and then head south on 93 to Arco and then 26 West to Craters of the Moon--really an amazing place and unlike anything else you will have seen.
    Instead of Jackson and the Tetons which will be bursting at the seams, stay on the West side of the Tetons in Driggs. We stayed in a condo there and it was really nice. You can do some amazing hikes there. Mountain biking at Grand Targhee resort and good restaurants. I am sure you can go horse back riding as well. If you drive back on I-15 through Blackfoot, Idaho, you MUST stop at the Potato Museum--seriously amazing hour!!

    For the flight out--if you are flying out in the am, stay at a hotel WEST of the airport. Those are good. Don't stay anywhere on North Temple thinking that it will be closer to the airport--very sketchy.
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  10. #10
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    You are in my stomping grounds :-) Yes, the national parks will be swamped!!! How many days do you actually have before/after? Like full days? Because that makes a difference. It's a 6 hour drive to Stanley from SLC and you don't want to do that in the dark--too much amazing scenery.

    So--things to see in SLC and Park City:
    1. Natural History Museum in SLC is truly amazing with great exhibits on all of the dinosaurs found here plus great info on the past and present Native Americans.
    2. Clark Planetarium in SLC is cool and worth a stop.
    3. For hiking, you would want to hit the Cottonwood Canyons or Millcreek Canyon. If you are coming from a lower altitude, I would do Millcreek Canyon and give everyone a chance to acclimate.
    There are plenty of hotel options in SLC and food as well--will be much less expensive than Park City.
    Park City has:
    1. Silver Mine tour (check to see if it is going)
    2. Lots of activities at the Olympic Park
    3. Downhill Mountain Biking on the ski lifts
    4. Hiking on the ski mountains
    Great lodging, but expensive. It will be a little cooler than Salt Lake.

    Then, driving to Stanley from SLC, taking 15 to 84 and then 93 and 75:
    1. Stop at the City of Rocks--check out the website. It's more for rock climbing but there are good places to scramble around as well.
    2. Burley is about the half way point. You can stop there or in Twin Falls for lunch.
    3. There's plenty of hiking to do around Stanley vs. staying in Sun Valley

    On the way back, you could take 75 north to Challis and then head south on 93 to Arco and then 26 West to Craters of the Moon--really an amazing place and unlike anything else you will have seen.
    Instead of Jackson and the Tetons which will be bursting at the seams, stay on the West side of the Tetons in Driggs. We stayed in a condo there and it was really nice. You can do some amazing hikes there. Mountain biking at Grand Targhee resort and good restaurants. I am sure you can go horse back riding as well. If you drive back on I-15 through Blackfoot, Idaho, you MUST stop at the Potato Museum--seriously amazing hour!!

    For the flight out--if you are flying out in the am, stay at a hotel WEST of the airport. Those are good. Don't stay anywhere on North Temple thinking that it will be closer to the airport--very sketchy.

    Thanks so much for all of this info! To clarify, we are going to Salmon, ID (not Stanley) Stanley and the Sun Valley area are completely booked for lodging in July and August (just FYI if others are looking). I just did a quick check so Iím sure there may be some options. We have 1 full day pre rafting trip and 2.5 days after.

    We arrive AM Day 1 and will Uber to car rental place (off site as car rentals are a nightmare right now). Then were thinking of Antelope Island if shower facilities are open and we can get into Salt Lake. I know my kids would love the ďfloatingĒ. Then drive a couple hours towards Crater of the Moon (I have a hotel in Idaho Falls right now but it may be too far off route). Day 2 at Crater of the Moon then hoping to find hot springs between there and Salmon. I know there is Goldbug in Challis but saw it is clothing optional which would not go over well with the teens.

    Days 3-5 are rafting then we have days 6-8 to figure out. Options are Driggs area and Earthquake Lake, Island Park , others you mention. Or return to SLC and see sites there. We leave midday on day 8.

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