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Destinations That Are A Days Drive Away From Boise

Last updated May 05, 2022 by Mariah Hebbeln

There’s plenty to do in Boise, but sometimes, there’s nothing like hitting the open road for a quick day-cation. These destinations are the perfect distance to pack up a nice lunch, maybe your hiking shoes or fishing pole, and spend a pleasant afternoon at. They are all close enough that you won’t need to worry about accommodations or filling up the gas tank more than once. 

Below, we’ve shared our favorite day drive destinations that are less than 3 hours from Boise and a few points of interest to explore while you visit. 

East of Boise

There are two routes that take you east out of Boise. Heading east out of Boise via Highway 21, once you pass Lucky Peak reservoir, you’ll quickly begin winding through the mountains and trees. Or, eastbound on I-84 — the main interstate through southern Idaho — efficiently allows you to move to eastern Idaho in no time.

Idaho City - 1 hour

Historic downtown Idaho City

What To Do On A Day Trip To Idaho City

Stanley - 2 hours 50 minutes

Sawtooth Mountains

Redfish Lake

How to Recreate Responsibly in Stanley Idaho This Summer

Mountain Home - 50 minutes

Bruneau Sand Dunes

Twin Falls - 2 hours

Shoshone Falls

Canyon Rim Trail

Malad Gorge 

Sun Valley/Ketchum - 2 hours 45 minutes

Ernest Hemingway’s last home

Ski or snowboard at Sun Valley Resort

West of Boise

Similar to heading east from Boise, take I-84 west to discover what’s just across the border. Only 57 miles from the center of the Treasure Valley, eastern Oregon is a frequently visited location by Idahoans. From this route, you can break off into smaller highways that bring you to quaint, little towns with pioneer history. 

Baker City, Oregon - 2 hours

National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

Sumpter Valley Railroad

North of Boise

To head north out of Boise, take either Highway 55 or 16. If you’re looking to head into the middle of Idaho’s center, both of these roads will take you there, with endless breathtaking views. Much of Idaho’s best outdoor recreation can be easily accessed via this direction.  

Emmett - 50 minutes

3 Horse Vineyard

Fruit picking at a local orchard

Where To Go Apple Picking In The Treasure Valley

Cascade - 1 hour 40 minutes

Lake Cascade

Kelly’s Whitewater Park

Tamarack Resort 

McCall - 2 hours 30 minutes

Payette Lake

Ponderosa State Park

Brundage Mountain Resort

South of Boise

As a high desert area, the southern lands from Boise have some fantastic scenery filled with sagebrush, juniper trees, and evidence of the indigenous peoples and miners that once called that valley home. You won’t need to search hard for proof of the former inhabitants, and usually, a hand roadside sign will share the history of the native tribes, Basque people, or other settlers who left their mark (literally). 

Marsing - 45 minutes

Sunnyslope Wine Trail

Explore Southern Idaho Wineries with Idaho Wine Tours

Swan Falls Dam

Celebration Park

Where to find Stocked Fishing Holes in the Treasure Valley

Jordan Valley, Oregon - 1 hour 30 minutes

Leslie Gulch

Pelota Fronton

St. Bernard Church

More Scenic Drives in Southern Idaho

All year round, Idaho has some stunning landscapes and vistas to behold, many of which are easily accessible by car, trail, boat, or plane. By far one of the most striking times to take a scenic adventure in Idaho is in the fall when the deciduous trees are shedding their leaves, and their color contrasts loudly against the deep, emerald pines. 

Check out our blog on the best scenic drives in the fall here,

6 Scenic Drives in Idaho to Take This Fall





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