wide road with few cars and traffic lights

Idaho Falls, ID

The bad photo shown here is the only photo I took of Idaho Falls. Why? It is not a bad town, but not what I would call beautiful. First off it is very flat, with foothills to the distant east. These foothills are completely barren. Secondly, aside from the smallish downtown, the commercial areas are primarily fast food stores and chain stores, lining wide rough roads. The ho-hum aesthetics and lack of character gave me little reason to stay here except to eat, wash my car, and use the downtown library free wi-fi.

That said, the town does have a few redeeming qualities:

  • According to Forbes magazine, it is a great place to do business, presumably due to low corporate taxes. (Employee wages are pretty low, too).
  • Housing here is really cheap.
  • Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are about 75-100 miles away, which isn’t really all that close but also not too far away.
  • Summers can be very warm during the day (sometimes 90s) but not overbearingly hot. (Nights are typically always cold, however, since the arid air has little heat capacity.)
  • There is a nice farmer’s market downtown on Saturdays.
  • The public library is nice.
  • People seemed friendly. There is even some diversity here, as there is a significant hispanic population (well, 8% or so…)

The town does come across as “too small” with little to do here, not to mention it is basically in the middle of nowhere. I was happy to take off for Yellowstone and start seeing a lot of trees again.

wide road with few cars and traffic lights
One of the few photos I took of Idaho Falls.