What Is the Capital of Idaho?

The state flag of Idaho.

The state of Idaho is situated in the northwestern part of the United States. It occupies an area of 83,797 square miles, making it the 14th largest state in the US. Idaho is known for its Rocky Mountains and beautiful forests. The state has a population of approximately 1.6 million people. Situated on the shores of the Boise River, Boise is the capital and most populated city of Idaho.

The Capital of Idaho: Boise

Boise is a major city in Ada County. In addition to being Idaho’s capital, the city also accommodates the county offices of Ada County. Boise is home to approximately 600,000 residents, including its metropolitan area. The city covers an area of 82 square miles. Boise is fondly referred to as the "City of Trees" due to the many trees found in the city. The majestic Boise River passes through the city.

History of the Capital City of Idaho

The city is said to have been named by French-Canadian fur traders who visited the area in the early 19th century. The French-Canadians referred to the place as ‘Les Bois,’ which translates to ‘the wood,’ due to the numerous cottonwood trees in the area. In 1830, a private defense structure known as Fort Boise was established close to the Boise River. The fort was abandoned in 1854 due to frequent raids by Indians, but the United States army re-created another Fort Boise close to the Oregon Trail in 1863. The city of Boise developed near the newly established Fort, and experienced rapid growth due to its proximity to the Oregon Trail, as well as the gold rush in the region during the mid-19th century.

Establishment of Boise as State Capital

Idaho’s first capital was Lewiston, located in the northern region of the state. Lewiston was established as Idaho’s capital in 1863, and was the most populated community at the time. The city remained as Idaho’s capital for three years. In 1866, Idaho's territorial court decided to move the state capital from Lewiston to Boise.

Cultural Significance of Boise

The city is home to the largest community of Basques in the United States. Boise celebrates Jaialdi, a famous Basque festival, every five years. Boise is popular with musicians, comedians, film producers and other artists due to its numerous theatres. The city has many museums that showcase Idaho’s art, culture, and history. Additionally, the city has world class sporting facilities, and hosted the 2009 Special Winter Olympics. The famous Idaho Potato Bowl is another prominent cultural event that takes place in the beautiful city of Boise.

Notable Sites in Boise

The Boise River, which runs through the capital city of Idaho, is a favorite swimming, fishing and rafting site for local and international tourists. Boise also hosts the famous Idaho Aquarium. Additionally, the World Center for Birds of Prey, which cares for endangered bird species, is located on the outskirts of Boise. The city is also home to the only human rights memorial in the entire United States. The memorial center is referred to as the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.


More in World Facts