Pocatello, Idaho

Situated in the southeastern portion of Idaho, the city of Pocatello has the motto: "Gateway to the Northwest." A town forged by mining prospectors and traders, it has been a critical route for business since the birth of the township. This fifth-largest city in Idaho has endless trails, over a hundred restaurants, and many hotel accommodations that provide a perfect destination for travelers and residents.

Geography And Climate Of Pocatello

A summer time aerial view of the Holt Arena and other buildings that make up the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho
A summertime aerial view of the Holt Arena and other buildings that make up the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. Editorial credit: B Brown / Shutterstock.com

Pocatello encompasses 83.86 sq. km in the valley where the Snake River Basin ends and the mountains of the Bannock Range begin. The city is placed at an elevation of 1,360 meters above sea level, and beautiful peaks line either side of the boundary. One hundred seventy-five kilometers southwest, the fluorescent waters of Bear Lake overlap the Utah and Idaho border. Just over 200 kilometers north, the Rockies divide the treasure state, Montana, from Idaho. The monument representing the Idaho, Nevada, and Utah tri-state marker is reachable by a vehicle in under three hours.

The valley city experiences drastic weather changes between summer and winter. Temperatures can soar up to 35˚C by the end of July, the hottest part of the year. Hot and sunny days appeal to tourists in the area for wandering around the town or heading out on a mountain adventure. The weather cools off by early autumn and can dip below freezing by late October. As the weather cools, snow beings to descend, December is the snowiest month where it could receive over 25 centimeters of snow in a single day. The arrival of spring moves warmer air into the region, and snowfall turns into raindrops. May is the wettest month, and the 19th is the rainiest day, averaging 35 millimeters of precipitation.

History Of Pocatello

Old stone church in a cemetery in Pocatello, Idaho
Old stone church in a cemetery in Pocatello, Idaho. 

The Shoshone and Bannock tribes were native to this land hundreds of years before the great Lewis and Clark expedition passed through Idaho in the early 1800s. Fort Hall was the initial settlement which is 22 kilometers northwest of Pocatello. Nathaniel Wyeth, an entrepreneur from Massachusetts, established the Old Fort Hall in 1834, which became a key trading post on the Oregon Trail. The city's name originated from a Shoshone Chief who approved the railroad construction that passed through Fort Hall Native Reserve. As the Idaho Gold Rush progressed, Pocatello Railroad Junction was a vital transportation route for raw ore from the Bannock Mountains. Once the mining operations decelerated, mineworkers turned to agriculture to provide for their families. The founding of Idaho State University happened in 1901 when it was formerly named the Academy of Idaho and now has over 12,000 students enrolled annually.

The Population And Economy Of Pocatello

Traffic and urban life in the city of Pocatello, Idaho
Traffic and urban life in the city of Pocatello, Idaho. Editorial credit: Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

Being the county seat as well as the biggest city of Bannock County, Pocatello has 56,319 residents living within the city limits. The ratio of men is nearly equal to women, with 50.1% identifying as female and 49.9% as male. Pocatello's population is noticeably very educated as more than half of the citizens have some college education or higher. The median household income is $53,750, and most families' income is devoted to housing, transportation, food and beverages, healthcare, and utilities. Over the past year, Pocatello's unemployment rate dropped from 3.2% to 1.9%. The city employs almost 27,000 people, with the most prominent companies being education, retail, health care, and social services.

Attractions In Pocatello

Pocatello Idaho Temple in Pocatello, Idaho
Pocatello Idaho Temple in Pocatello, Idaho. 

Idaho Museum of Natural History

Passion and collections began at Idaho State University in 1916 when it operated as Idaho Technical Institute. Dating back to 1934, the museum opened to the public on the campus. The Ice Age exhibit is permanent and uncovers the ecology found in Idaho over 200 million years ago. Temporary displays share the state's ecosystems and different wildlife skulls to examine.

Fort Hall Commemorative Trading Post

The original Old Fort Hall serviced the Oregon Trail as a trading post in the early to mid-1800s. Indigenous tribes, nomadic settlers, trappers, and prospectors crossed paths while exchanging goods. Fort Hall was demolished in 1863, resulting in the construction of a cloned structure to remember the significance of this establishment.

The Standrod Mansion

A 16-room stone castle took nine years to complete and opened in 1902. Designed by a Californian architect and constructed for a local judge named D.W. Standrod. At the doorway's top, there is a large S to represent the Judge's surname. Once offering tours, the home is now privately owned and, unfortunately, closed to the public.

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