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Idaho Geography

Literally covered from north to south by the Rocky Mountains, Idaho contains dozens and dozens of individual mountain ranges. The most significant include the Bitterroots which stretch along much of its border with Montana, and the Caribou, Clearwater, Owyhee, Salmon River, Sawtooths and Seven Devils ranges.

The Continental Divide (an imaginary line) indicates the absolute highest points of land, where on either side of same rivers will flow downhill, east or west. That divide runs from northwestern Canada, south along the crests of the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains in Idaho, then south all the way into Mexico, where it follows the peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

The Snake River Plain is a wide and flat lava-based, bow-shaped depression that runs through south-central Idaho. This fertile plain is home to the state's agricultural industries.

Hell's Canyon, dissected by the Snake River on Idaho's border with Oregon, is the deepest gorge in America, with a maximum depth of 7,900 ft. Shoshone Falls located along the Snake River near Twin Falls stands 212 ft. high, which is higher than Niagara Falls.

The moon-like, almost weird-looking Craters of the Moon National Monument, is in essence, a sea of young lava flows, complete with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush.

Idaho's most significant river is the Snake; it rises in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming and flows all the way to the Columbia River in Washington State.

Other rivers of note include the Bear, Bruneau, Kootenai and Salmon. An estimated 16,000 miles of smaller rivers and streams drain the land. Major lakes include the Coeur d'Alene and Pend Oreille.

A closer look at the topography of Idaho on the topographical map.

Idaho Photographs

River Flowing Through Landscape, Bear River, Bannock Range, Cache Valley, Great Basin, Idaho

Idaho landscape...
by Scott T. Smith
Buy This at Allposters.com

Idaho Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Boise Ada 208
Council Adams 208
Pocatello Bannock 208
Montpelier Bear Lake 208
Saint Maries Benewah 208
Blackfoot Bingham 208
Hailey Blaine 208
Garden Valley Boise 208
Sandpoint Bonner 208
Idaho Falls Bonneville 208
Bonners Ferry Boundary 208
Arco Butte 208
Fairfield Camas 208
Nampa Canyon 208
Soda Springs Caribou 208
Burley Cassia 208
Dubois Clark 208
Orofino Clearwater 208
Challis Custer 208
Mountain Home Elmore 208
Preston Franklin 208
Saint Anthony Fremont 208
Emmett Gem 208
Gooding Gooding 208
Grangeville Idaho 208
Rigby Jefferson 208
Jerome Jerome 208
Coeur d Alene Kootenai 208
Moscow Latah 208
Salmon Lemhi 208
Kamiah Lewis 208
Shoshone Lincoln 208
Rexburg Madison 208
Rupert Minidoka 208
Lewiston Nez Perce 208
Malad City Oneida 208
Homedale Owyhee 208
Payette Payette 208
American Falls Power 208
Kellogg Shoshone 208
Victor Teton 208
Twin Falls Twin Falls 208
McCall Valley 208
Weiser Washington 208

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.