Hiking among sage, grasses and junipers toward snow-covered peaks
Verdant vistas along the City Creek Trail in the Portneuf Valley
Fertile farmland west of the city
Stopping atop a mountain for an afternoon tea break
Looking over the valley in the evening light
Idaho mule deer roaming among juniper trees in winter
Clear skies on a tranquil day in the mountain landscape
Cozy log cabin on a cold winter day
- Major Airports:
- Salt Lake City (SLC)
Offbeat museums and Western charm make Pocatello a must-see city.
Yes, the Don Aslett Museum of Clean is about cleanliness, and it’s surprisingly entertaining; think exhibits of vacuums, washers, brooms, trash cans and cluttered garages. Take a guided walking tour of Old Town Pocatello and visit buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll find specialty shops selling antiques and other goods, art galleries and restaurants. While there, visit little tucked-away parks and attend special events including concerts, art walks and haunted history tours. While flying in or out of the Pocatello Regional Airport, stop to admire the 100-plus species of plants in the Kizuna Garden. Also worth a tour is the Idaho Museum of Natural History at the Idaho State University campus.
One Stop for History, Animals and Water Fun
The city’s bustling Ross Park is an entertainment hub. The area features an Aquatic Complex, Pocatello Zoo (which features animals native to the West), Fort Hall Replica (learn about 19th-century explorers, trappers, fur traders, Native Americans, pioneers and gold seekers) and Pocatello Junction Town Site (with several replica buildings, including a saloon, bank, church and schoolhouse). Nearby, visit the Bannock County Historical Museum for exhibits covering topics ranging from the railroad to archaeological specimens to Prohibition.
Pocatello is an outdoor oasis. Mountains – most notably the peaks of the Bannock Range – surround the city. The Portneuf River (one of few rivers to flow northward) runs through Pocatello and joins the Snake River (the same one that runs through Oregon and Washington) at the American Falls reservoir north of the city. Pull on hiking shoes and head to the Portneuf Greenway to hike a series of trails (some of them even have map systems to use with your smartphone). Grab binoculars and go bird watching at 45 sites in the area. This outdoor hotspot is perfect in every season – take your pick of skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, golfing, hiking, biking and fishing.
After an especially severe winter in 1948, Pocatello’s mayor passed an ordinance making it illegal to not smile in the city. For a while, the city held an annual Smile Festival.