National Parks of Idaho

There is currently six National Park Service Site in Idaho and 3 associated sites.

Official National Parks of Idaho

  • City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument
  • Craters of the Moon National Preserve
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park
    • Ant and Yellowjacket
    • Asa Smith Mission
    • Camas Meadows Skirmish Site
    • Camas Prairie
    • Canoe Camp
    • Clearwater Battlefield
    • Confluence Overlook
    • Cottonwood Skirmishes
    • Coyote’s Fishnet
    • Craig Donation Land Claim
    • Fort Lapwai
    • Hasotino
    • Heart of the Monster
    • Lenore
    • Lewis and Clark Long Camp
    • Lolo Pass and Trail
    • Looking Glass’ 1877 Campsite
    • McBeth House
    • Musselshell Meadow
    • Northern Idaho Indian Agency
    • Pierce Court House
    • Spalding Sites
    • St. Joseph’s Mission
    • Tolo Lake
    • Weippe Prairie
    • Weis Rockshelter
    • White Bird Battlefield
  • Yellowstone National Park

Associated sites of Idaho

  • California National Historic Trail
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
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Idaho

Idaho National Parks

City of Rocks National Reserve

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Preserve

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

Minidoka National Historic Site

Nez Perce National Historical Park

The Nez Perce National Historical Park follows the Nez Perce people’s traditional lands and history and their resistance to the United States government’s forced relocation.  The park contains 38 sites in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

The park is headquartered in Spalding, Idaho.  It was created on May 15, 1965.  Management of the 38 sites is split between NPS and several other federal and state agencies.

There are twenty-seven sites in Idaho.  These are Ant and Yellowjacket, Asa Smith Mission, Camas Meadows Skirmish Site, Camas Prairie, Canoe Camp, Clearwater BattlefieldConfluence Overlook, Cottonwood Skirmishes, Coyote’s Fishnet, Craig Donation Land Claim, Fort Lapwai, Hasotino, Heart of the Monster, Lenore, Lewis and Clark Long Camp, Lolo Pass and Trail, Looking Glass’ 1877 Campsite, McBeth House, Musselshell Meadow, Northern Idaho Indian Agency, Pierce Court House, Spalding Sites, St. Joseph’s Mission, Tolo Lake, Weippe Prairie, Weis Rockshelter, White Bird Battlefield.

Credit: NPS Photo

Yellowstone National Park

California National Historic Trail

The California National Historic Trail is a massive 5,000 mile trail and runs thru 10 different states.  This trail retraces the overland routes over 250,000 emigrants took to reach the fertile farmlands and famed gold fields of California in the 1840’s and 1850’s.

Unlike some of the other trails of the National Trails System, the California Trail isn’t a single hiking trail. It is a disconnected series of hiking trails, roads, and sites.  Many of the US highways follow the wagon trail the settlers created as they rushed to California.  Emigrants had a choice of routes across the United States.  These trails start in Missouri and Nebraska. The then run thru Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming before splitting into Idaho and Utah.  They go thru Nevada and into California and Oregon.

Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Management

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail will massive auto/hiking trail that follows the geological effects of the last ice age.  The trail branches out and sections run thru the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The trail was designated in 2009 and much of the trail is still being formally developed.

At the end of the last ice age, a sheet of ice blocked several important rivers such as Clark Fork and the Columbia.  These ice dams caused the water to back-up and created massive flooding. The effect of this flooding can be seen in massive canyons such as Columbia River Gorge and Wallula Gap.

Current stops on the trail include Multnomah Falls, Farragut State Park, Beacon Rock State Park, and Dry Falls/Sun Lakes State Park.

Photo Credit – Ken Lund 

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park preserves the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s 1805-1806 winter encampment site.  The area protects a replica of Fort Clatsop and other sites associated with the encampment.  These sites include the Fort to Sea Trail, Clark’s Dismal Nitch, Netul Landing, Saltworks, and Station Camp.

This site celebrated the completion of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery.  They reached their goal of reaching the Pacific Ocean.  Once here, they spent the winter before heading home to share their discoveries.  They built a small fort called Fort Clatsop for the winter.  While there, they developed relationships with the indigenous people before heading back east.  When they left Fort Clatsop, they turned the fort over to the local tribe.

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park was established on May 29, 1958, as Fort Clatsop National Memorial.  On October 20, 2004, the park was expanded and renamed Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and includes sites in both Oregon and Washington.

Photo Credit – NPS

Oregon National Historic Trail

The Oregon National Historic Trail is often called the Oregon Trail.  This 2,170-mile trail was used to travel from Independence, Missouri to Oregon Territory.  These men and women headed west to fertile farmlands. The first half of the trail was used by travelers on the California National Historic Trail and the Mormon National Historic Trail.

Roughly 400,000 people packed up their lives into covered wagons to follow the Oregon Trail.  Several stops along the Oregon Trail are their own national park sites such as Scotts Bluff National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.  Many other sites are within a couple hours drive of the trail.

Today, the trail runs thru Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.  The Oregon National Historic Trail is mostly an autoroute.

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Photo Credit – Rick Obst

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