Rexburg, Idaho

The quaint city of Rexburg is in eastern Idaho and is one of the youngest cities in the United States. Home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, during the football season, this college town fills the bleachers of the local football stadium on Saturday nights. Rexburg is a lively town with easy access to the most scenic parks and some of the country's top hunting and fishing places. Ranked highly as one of the safest, family-friendly, community-driven cities, it is a beautiful place to raise families.

Geography And Climate Of Rexburg

Rexburg, Idaho, cityscape at night
Rexburg, Idaho, cityscape at night. 

Placed next to the Teton River, Rexburg has an elevation of 1,485 meters and is just over 26 Deliberated as the gateway of the Grand Teton National Park, the town is only 110 kilometers east of the scenic mountainous playground. Vehicles can reach the famous geyser, Old Faithful, with a short two-and-a-half-hour drive northwest of Rexburg. Less than 25 kilometers north lies the rare St. Anthony Sand Dunes, everchanging, white sand covering an area of 10,600 acres. One hundred thirty-five kilometers northwest, the Bitterroot Mountain Range encroaches on the Idaho and Montana boundary line. Southwest of Rexburg by 150 kilometers lies the Caribou Mountain range, providing endless mountainous adventures.

The easterly Snake River Basin city of Rexburg has a wide range of temperatures annually. Winter lows can plummet to -20˚C while summer highs climb to 34˚C. The hottest day is July 31st, with average highs of 30˚C; the heat lasts until September, when temperatures finally cool. Daily highs in autumn create warm and comfortable temperatures for outside activities within the city limits. From December until February, winter lows will stay steady at -10˚C. The arid climate keeps rainfall to a minimum; May receives the most rain with an average of 44 millimeters. On the other hand, more than one meter of snowfall can accumulate over five months.

History Of Rexburg

The Rexburg Idaho Temple
The Rexburg Idaho Temple. 

In the 1600s, the Shoshone and Bannock tribes traveled north from Nevada hunting for buffalo, and they settled in this region of Idaho before colonizing settlers voyaged to the west. The area appealed to farmers searching for fertile soil for crop production and raising cattle. Founded in 1883, the town of Rexburg received its name in honor of Mormon settler Thomas E. Ricks. The following year, the formation of Rick's College arose, now the Brigham Young University-Idaho, and 875 inhabitants lived in Rexburg. In 1890, Idaho had become the 43rd state in the United States, and Rexburg was the 2nd largest city at the time. By the early 1900s, the town received its first water line system, pipes made of wood, followed by paved sidewalks and the widest main street in the state of Idaho. In June of 1976, the Teton Dam flooded the entire valley causing houses to flow downstream. The great flood was the most devastating event in the city's history.

Population And Economy Of Rexburg

A view of the Mainstreet in Rexburg, Idaho on a cloudy day
A view of the Mainstreet in Rexburg, Idaho on a cloudy day. Editorial credit: Don Fletcher /

The largest city in Madison County, Rexburg, has a population of 31,602, which has constantly increased since the 1940s. Unfortunately, a third of Rexburg residents live below the poverty line, with the average household income being $46,244. The young town has a median age of 23.2 years old. Rexburg has a low monthly rental rate of roughly $750 and high housing costs of over $220,000. Ethnic groups in the city consist of 90% Caucasian, 3.95% are two or more races, 3.08% are of other races, 1.95% are Asian, 0.25% are African American, and 0.09% are indigenous. Rexburg has an employment rate of over 63% and an unemployment rate of 8.3%. The most prevalent occupations are educational, retail, and hospitality industries. The highest paying careers are utility workers, public administration, and real estate.

Attractions In Rexburg

Legacy Flight Museum

It was established in 2006 by a local pilot named John Bagley to allow guests to have an up-close experience with historical United States Airforce planes from past wars. The museum has eight different jets from wars and descriptions of each aircraft's history. The gallery includes the Mormon Mustang that John, himself, had an emergency landing on a highway in Rexburg.

Rexburg Rapids

Rexburg Rapids is a local water park that opened in 2011 for locals and tourists. The park consists of water slides, swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall, a lazy tubing river, and a children's area. Guests can bring their food or enjoy cooked meals from the concession stand—an excellent place for families to cool down and have fun in the summer heat.

Nature Park

The Nature Park is now a functional green space in the northwest corner of the city limits, which was once unused land. Trails and canals intertwine tennis courts, a skatepark, sports fields, ponds, and a disc golf course. Groups can hide from the weather under a large structure or have barbeque picnics on lovely days.