Frequently Asked Questions
What is the time zone?
What is the elevation?
What is the population?
What is the form of government?
What are the taxes?
What is the climate like?
What are the road conditions throughout the year?
What are the State of Idaho designations?
What is the history of Idaho Falls?
How should I dress in Idaho Falls?
Is transportation available from the airport to Idaho Falls hotels?
How far are Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks from Idaho Falls?
I only have one day in town, what must I see?
What is the name of your main newspaper?
Q: Time Zone
A: Mountain Standard
A: Idaho is a four-season destination. Summertime nightly lows average from 45Âº to 60ÂºF, and daily highs range from 75Âº to 95ÂºF. Winters are shorter and milder, and summers are cooler and longer than other locations east of the Continental Divide. Idaho experiences long periods of no rain between late June and the first powder snows of November. A mountain state with a high percentage of sunshine, Idaho is a reliable place to play outdoors.
Q: What are the road conditions throughout the state?
A: For information on Idaho roads and interstates you may call the Idaho Road Report toll free at 1-888-IDA-ROAD or click here to visit them online. This service will provide you with valuable information for safe travel and will also update you on any construction delays along your route. Winter road conditions are updated four times a day and construction restrictions are updated weekly.
Q: What are the State of Idaho designations?
A: State Bird—The Mountain Bluebird ranges throughout the West and as far north as Alaska. It usually nests in holes in trees and rock crevices.
State Capital—The capital of the state is Boise located in southwestern Idaho, approximately 4 hours from Idaho Falls.
State Flower—The Syringa is a wild flower similar to mock orange, and grows in clusters of white blossoms on a branching shrub.
State Fish—Named for its distinctive red to orange slash on the underside of its jaw, the Cutthroat trout is native to Idaho.
State Fossil—Although widely known as the Hagerman Horse, these 3 Â½ million year-old fossils are actually more closely related to today's zebra. The discovery in the south-central Idaho town of Hagerman is the largest find of this extinct species found in one location.
State Folk Dance—In Idaho's Centennial year of 1990, the State Legislature designated the Square Dance as the state's official folk dance.
State Fruit—Its distinctive flavor and difficulty to pick make the Wild Huckleberry the most precious, highly valued wild berry. Found in Idaho's mountains, huckleberries are sweetest in late summer.
State Gemstone—The Star Garnet is found almost exclusively in Idaho in Latah and Benewah counties. Normally the star garnet has four rays, but some have six.
State Horse—The Appaloosa was bred selectively by the Nez Perce Indians. The breed was brought back form near extinction beginning in 1938.
State Tree—The Western White Pine is abundant north of the Clearwater River. The largest Western White Pine in the world is near Elk River and stands 219 feet high.
Q: What is the history of Idaho Falls?
A: The portion of the Snake River Valley which is now known as Bonneville County has been a crossroads for Indians, trappers, miners, vigilantes, road agents, a Pony Express, wagons, stagecoaches, railroads, homesteaders and nuclear specialists.
The Idaho Falls section of the Snake River Valley, located on the banks of the Snake River, was known for many years as the only crossing point. In 1862 the Eagle Rock Ferry, named because of an eagle nest built on nearby rock island, was established. In 1865-1866 James Madison "Matt" Taylor, who freighted supplies to and from gold fields, envisioned a toll bridge, which became known as Taylor's bridge.
Shortly after, the community began to flourish. The area officially became a city 1879 and was named Eagle Rock. In the 1890's Eagle Rock prospered and Taylor's toll bridge was replaced with a public access bridge. Land promoters came to the area and decided it had many possibilities, particularly if the town's name changed to imply an abundance of water. On August 26, 1891 Eagle Rock became Idaho Falls.
At that time there were no falls in Idaho Falls. It wasn't until 1911 that the swirling rapids were changed into white water cataracts, forcing water into the east channel through an electrical powerhouse. The 'Idaho Falls' are one of the few dams in the nation that control the current midstream as opposed to crossing the entire river.
Bonneville County has continued to grow and prosper. The sugar beet industry brought increased prosperity, the Idaho potato added to it, and new farming ideas and productivity, as well as other industries, have continued that growth.
In 1949, thousands of newcomers added to the local labor pool when they moved to Idaho Falls to develop the Department of Energy's nuclear energy complex, located in the Idaho desert. Headquartered in Idaho Falls, with extensive facilities west of the city, the project has enriched area economies and contributed to a widely diversified population growth.
Today, the city continues to grow and diversify. Yet there is still a presence of the past that is highly visible in some of the older areas of town. Historic downtown Idaho Falls is an excellent place to visit if you are interested in seeing relics of the past. You can also take a leisurely stroll on the Greenbelt located in the center of town and see where it all started. Although Taylor's Crossing has changed, you can still imagine what it must have been like so many years ago, and if you close your eyes and concentrate you may just hear the sound of the Eagle Rock Ferry making its way across the 'Great Snake'.
Q: How should I dress in Idaho Falls?
A: Casual and comfortable clothing is recommended while visiting Idaho Falls. A sweater or light jacket is recommended in early spring and fall and possibly some summer evenings. Because we are located on a desert plain, nighttime temperatures can be relatively cool during the summer months. In winter months be sure to check weather conditions and dress accordingly.
Q: How far are Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks from Idaho Falls?
A: You are actually a lot closer than you think. Yellowstone National Park, located in western Wyoming and southwestern Montana, is only 2 hours from Idaho Falls. Idaho Falls is the closest metropolitan area to any of the park's entrances. To get there take Highway 20 North to the West entrance. Grand Teton National Park is also only 2 hours from Idaho Falls. To get there take Highway 26 through Alpine, WY or Highway 22 through Victor, ID to Jackson and continue North from Jackson on Highway 89.
Q: I only have one day in town, what must I see?
A: Well, here's the good news, Idaho Falls offers more than enough to fill up an entire day, however, the bad news is that a day can only cover so much. So here are a few recommendations to get you started. Historic Downtown Idaho Falls is a must see. Here you will find many wonderful shops, coffee houses, antiques shops, art galleries and restaurants. There is even a walking tour of the historic buildings located in downtown, as well as a historic walking tour of some of the first residential homes in the city. The Idaho Falls Art Museum, the Colonial Theater and the Museum of Idaho (the largest in Idaho) will provide you with an entertaining afternoon of arts, culture and history. If you like to shop, you've come to the right place. Idaho Falls is full of shopping opportunities from new age flare to outdoor gear; you can find it all on any side of town.
If you're looking for something a little more rugged, we have that too. Take a day trip on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway and witness the awesome beauty of Upper and Lower Mesa Falls or follow the road east for a nice drive through Grand Teton National Park. On your way back, pick up some square ice cream in Swan Valley and check out some of the best fly fishing waters in North America. Or you can visit areas such as EBR-1, the world's first nuclear plant, Sun Valley, the first ski resort in the United States, or Craters of the Moon National Monument, an 'out of this world' experience. All of these trips will get you back just in time to enjoy a scrumptious meal so be sure to save room for dinner. With over 150 restaurants, Idaho Falls can satisfy any taste.