A popular outdoors magazine recently compiled a list of the best park in each state, choosing ones it felt exemplified each region.
Outside magazine published the article last Thursday. According to journalist Alison Van Houton, when curating the list she looked at “what an outdoor recreation area should do: get you away from the hoi polloi and immerse you in the landscape.”
That wiped city parks — like Boise’s highly praised ones — off the list. It also nixed popular sites like the Grand Canyon and Zion national parks, where you’ll find hordes of visitors.
In Idaho, Van Houton awarded the title of best park to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, a 650,000-acre stretch of rugged backcountry carved by the Snake River.
“At nearly a mile and a half tall, Hells Canyon is taller than even Grand Canyon by almost 50 percent,” the article says.
It touts the area’s diverse recreation options: backpacking, camping and whitewater rafting, to name just a few.
“The 8,000-foot Seven Devils Mountains tower above Class II–IV whitewater and plenty of developed campgrounds,” the article says.
Jet boating, horseback riding, hunting and fishing are also popular in the area.
The rest of the list includes sites that are similarly low-key. In Idaho’s neighboring states, many of which boast high-traffic national parks, the Outside ranking offered alternatives such as Flathead National Forest in Montana, Great Basin National Park in Utah and Oswald West State Park in Oregon.