Visit and Relocate
With a four-season climate and an almost endless number of opportunities for recreation, the Pocatello area offers more to do and see than most folks can pack into a lifetime. In fact, many Pocatello residents were once vacationers to the area who returned to make Southeastern Idaho home.
So, what’s so special about Pocatello and Southeastern Idaho?
Pocatello is uniquely positioned at a central point between some of the nation’s greatest playgrounds. The city is within a few hours’ drive of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and equally close to world-renowned ski areas like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Sun Valley, Idaho.
A hunting and fishing paradise, residents of Southeastern Idaho may choose to fish year-round from some of the Northwest’s finest mountain lakes, rivers, and crystal clear trout streams. Popular fishing spots include the South Fork of the Snake River, Henry’s Fork, and the Madison and Teton Rivers. Hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts enjoy maintained trails within close proximity of Pocatello’s residential areas, and climbers often travel to Pocatello just to scale the lava cliffs located south of the city.
Sports fans and athletic competitors find the Pocatello area offers quality athletic clubs, outdoor and indoor tennis facilities, local sports leagues, and several annual, timed walk/runs and marathons. Idaho State University sporting events draw devoted fans from throughout Eastern Idaho, with ISU’s Holt Arena also hosting a number of exciting, non-collegiate, spectator events year-round–the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the Simplot Games (the country’s largest indoor, high-school track meet), and the International Folk Dance Festival are just a few examples.
Area golfers have no trouble finding a beautifully groomed course to challenge their game–sunny Pocatello is home to two, 18-hole public courses and a one private membership course.
Pocatello has 13+ mile Greenway trail system along the Portneuf River, through the city, and to public land trailheads. For more information and trail maps visit the Portneuf Greenway Foundation.
Pocatello has 32 parks, many with picnic and playground areas and covered pavilions. Visit Ross Park, the city’s largest park, where you’ll find Pocatello’s aquatic center and the city’s zoo, which features animals native to a natural Rocky Mountain setting.
Visitors and residents alike enjoy relaxing in the steaming, outdoor mineral hot pools at Lava Hot Springs. Just a 35-minute drive south of Pocatello, this small Idaho community is home to a year-round resort/spa complex, which includes a free-form Olympic-size pool with a three-stage 10-meter diving tower, four outdoor mineral water pools, and three private, whirlpool-equipped indoor pools. The pools are filled from natural hot water springs that are sulfur-free, odor-free, and chlorine-free.
The Bannock County Event Center is situated on approximately 160 acres overlooking the cities of Pocatello & Chubbuck, as well as the surrounding areas. It is dedicated to promoting health and wellness, in addition to providing multipurpose facilities for public use. The Event Center will provide leisure and recreational amenities and promote a family atmosphere while stimulating the economic vitality of the community. This will be accomplished by a work force that values and represents the diversity of the community and strives for excellence.
In September 2015 the Portneuf Health Trust donated an 80 acre state-of-the-art facility to Bannock County. It was designed to enhance and improve the health of Southeast Idaho. It includes 11 full size multi-use sports fields, a championship field, 2 basketball courts and sand volleyball. It also includes an amphitheater that seats 11,000, a 7-acre lake with a swimming beach and access to fishing. The complex is looped by a bike/walking path and the complex will include a mountain bike park in the near future. Along with the facilities available at the Event Center, Bannock County has something for everyone.
Visit Old Town Pocatello – From specialty shops to fine dining, Old Town is a magnet for people looking for a unique experience. Clothing, antiques, housewares, sporting goods, art galleries and other stores make Historic Old Town a destination for shoppers. Places to eat, serving everything from subs to fine international dishes, stand side-by-side with bars, coffee shops and bakeries. For those who want to be pampered, there are day spas, beauty salons and candy treats to ease the hustle-and-bustle of 21st century life. Banks, architects, lawyers, accountants, and doctors round-out Old Town’s business community. All this amongst the beautiful historic buildings that speak of the past and create the perfect ambiance for a unique experience.
Other area attractions:
- Bear Lake. This blue 209-foot deep lake is 20 miles long and eight miles wide. Located approximately 130 miles from Pocatello, it boasts sandy beaches, campgrounds, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, sailing and wind surfing.
- Copper Basin. About three hours northwest of Idaho Falls, Copper Basin contains the headwaters of the Big Lost River and offers excellent trout fishing in the river, its tributaries, and in the high mountain lakes surrounding the area.
- Craters of the Moon National Monument and preserve encompass three major lava fields and 250,000 acres of sagebrush steppe grasslands. The Craters of the Moon lava field spreads across 618 square miles and is the largest young basaltic lava field in the lower 48 states. The Monument and Preserve contain more than 25 volcanic cones including outstanding examples of spatter cones. The rugged landscape of Craters of the Moon remains remote and undeveloped with only one paved road across the northern end.
Fort Hall. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are located on the Fort Hall Reservation in Southeastern Idaho, between the cities of Pocatello, American Falls, and Blackfoot. The Reservation is divided into five districts: Fort Hall, Lincoln Creek, Ross Fork, Gibson, and Bannock Creek. Currently, 97% of the Reservation lands are owned by the Tribes and individual Indian ownership.
The Tribes are composed of several Shoshone and Bannock bands that were forced to the Fort Hall Reservation, which eventually became the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. There are approximately 5,681 enrolled tribal members with a majority living on or near the Fort Hall Reservation. Through its self-governing rights afforded under the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868 and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Tribes manages its own schools, post office, grocery store, waste disposal, agriculture and commercial businesses, rural transits, casinos, and more.
The tribal government offices and most tribal business enterprises are located eight miles north of Pocatello in Fort Hall. A recent economic impact study found that the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes government, businesses, support agencies and lands generate more than 4,000 jobs and add $330 million annually to the eastern Idaho economy.
- Grand Targhee Ski Resort. About 135 miles from Pocatello, Grand Targhee Ski Resort has the best powder skiing in North America, according to Ski magazine. The resort proudly records approximately 500 inches of powder a year, and new lifts have expanded the area to 2000 acres. Summer activities at the resort, coupled with privacy, a spa, and ample lodging make Grand Targhee a popular getaway year-round.
- Grand Teton National Park. Just 180 miles northeast of Pocatello, this is one of America’s most beautiful national parks. Visitors can enjoy canoeing, mountain climbing, float trips and scenic walks. Lodging is also available inside the park.
- Jackson/Jackson Hole, Wyoming. About 140 miles northeast of Pocatello, the Jackson Hole area includes two ski areas and several galleries, shops, theaters, motels and resorts. The nearby historic National Elk Refuge allows visitors to view winter feeding of migrating elk.
- Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. Kelly Canyon Ski Resort is located in the Targhee National Forest near the South Fork of the Snake River and is one of the most beautiful and historic river valleys of Eastern Idaho. In addition to skiing, the region is rich in recreational activities, including swimming, hiking, fishing, hunting, boating, and snowmobiling.
- Mackay, Idaho. Often referred to as “Idaho’s Best Kept Secret,” the Mackay area is famous for trout fishing on the Big Lost River and ice fishing on the Mackay Reservoir. Climbing Mt. Borah–the highest peak in Idaho–is a popular attraction, while the Lost River Valley is becoming increasingly popular for hang gliding. Mackay, a town that still feels like the Old West, also boasts “Idaho’s Wildest Rodeo!”
- Pebble Creek Ski Area. Located south of Pocatello, Pebble Creek has some of the state’s most challenging ski runs. Travel a few miles south of Pocatello, and take I-15 exit #57 near Inkom. Pebble Creek offers one double and two triple chair lifts that serve 45 runs on 650 acres. The base area lodge includes a restaurant/cafeteria, lounge, and rental shop.
- Sun Valley. Sun Valley Ski Resort is rated the USA’s #1 ski resort by Ski magazine. Drawing people from around the world, the ski area offers 16 lifts and 66 runs. The resort is located in the Sawtooth Wilderness, about 170 miles west of Idaho Falls. The wilderness area is home to more than 300 alpine lakes and provides excellent opportunities for fishing, hiking and backpacking. Area accommodations in Sun Valley include guest ranches, motels, and resorts.
- Yellowstone National Park. America’s oldest and largest national park is located approximately 165 miles north of Pocatello. Yellowstone encompasses 2.2 million acres of scenic beauty. It includes sites such as hot springs, paint pots, geysers, canyons, rivers, waterfalls and Old Faithful.