Fun Facts about Boise and Idaho
Most people do not know much about Idaho past potatoes although many people have heard about the BSU Blue Turf. Past that, most get stumped but here are some fun and interested facts about the area.
Just so you know
- Boise is nicknamed The City of Trees.
- State Motto: "Esto Perpetua" meaning "It is forever."
- The state of Idaho was named after the Indian word 'ídaahę́', meaning "The Land of Many Waters." The total length of Idaho's rivers and waterways (over 107,000 miles) could stretch across the US thirty-eight times. That's a lot of water. Yet, Idaho is also the 5th driest state in the country during the summer.
- Idaho is the 13th largest state, bigger than all of New England combined (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island).
- Idaho's combined wilderness is over 4.7 million acres, which is greater than the US's three smallest states combined. The total land area of Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut is collectively smaller than our state's combined wild, roadless areas.
- 63% of Idaho is public domain. The largest proportion of any state's landmass. Idahoans are very proud of our access to vast amounts of public lands and work hard to keep them pristine and accessible.
- In the 1820s, French Canadian fur trappers set trap lines in the vicinity. Set in a high-desert area, the tree-lined valley of the Boise River became a distinct landmark, an oasis dominated by cottonwood trees. They called this "La rivière boisée", which means "the wooded river."
- The statehouse in Boise is geothermally heated from underground hot springs, pumped from a source 3,000 feet underground
- Idaho's state fruit is the huckleberry. Idaho's state horse is the Appaloosa. Our state fish is the Cutthroat Trout. Idaho's state bird is the Mountain Bluebird.
- The state vegetable is, of course, the potato. Idaho is famous for potatoes, producing more than one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States.
- Idaho is called the "Gem State" because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found in the state of Idaho. More than 72 different precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined from Idaho. Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found in any significant quantities (India is the other).
Things you probably don't need to know
- In Boise, it’s technically illegal to ride a merry-go-round on Sunday. Luckily, it’s an old law that isn’t enforced.
- Idaho law forbids a citizen to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds.
- The first alpine chairlift was used in Sun Valley. In 1936, the fee was 25 cents per ride.
- The deepest river gorge in North America is Idaho's Hells Canyon at 7,900 ft deep.
- In the late 1800s, there were several sightings of strange creatures in Bear Lake (on the Idaho/Utah border). The serpent-like monsters were up to 90 feet in length, could move faster than running horses, and were witnessed by several different people. To this day, there are still those who refuse to night fish on the lake.
- A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face in Pocatello, Idaho.
- In Idaho, it's against the law for anyone over the age of 88 to ride a motorcycle.
- Between 1863 (when Abraham Lincoln signed the bill making Idaho a Territory) and statehood (27 years later), the Idaho Territory had 16 governors, four of whom never set foot in Idaho.
- The Perrine Bridge over the Snake River in Twin Falls is the only man-made structure in the United States where it is legal to BASE jump without a permit.
- Twin Falls is the location of Evel Knievel’s failed Snake River Canyon jump.
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