Why the Mountains of Idaho Are the Worst

Known for its natural beauty, Idaho has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. The canyon, craters, gems, and mountains all make the state beautiful, and when many think of Idaho, they think of the mountains in the state. The northern part of the state is mostly mountainous and one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and while many people travel here to spend time hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and camping in these beautiful mountains, they can be overrated and the worst good. Here are some reasons Idaho’s mountains are at their worst and the problems with them that no one wants to admit.

The mountains are too cold

Photo credit: Thom Holmes on Unsplash

Photo credit: Thom Holmes on Unsplash

Idaho is already a fairly cold weather state. For the past week there have been parts of the state that have been below zero, some even in double digits. Go to the mountains where the elevation is even higher and the weather is even colder and that’s too cold for me or most people. It doesn’t matter how many layers you wear, there comes a certain point when it’s too cold, and in winter the mountains of Idaho find that temperature. It’s pretty cold in the Magic Valley, you don’t need to go to a part where it’s even further below zero.

It’s too hard to get to the top

While many people dream of trekking to the top of Mount Everest or any other mountain, not everyone will achieve that goal. The mountains in Idaho aren’t nearly that high, but reaching the top would offer a beautiful view and a feat to brag about. The problem is that the ski lifts usually only go so high and won’t take you to the top, and for those who aren’t in shape and aren’t avid hikers like me, this makes reaching the top a bit more difficult and a task that seems like a chore being a bit too much work. If anyone makes it to the top of a mountain this winter, make sure to email your pictures so those of us who didn’t make it can enjoy the view too.

It’s also not easy to get down a mountain

Photo credit: Chris Biron on Unsplash

Photo credit: Chris Biron on Unsplash

While the ascent is tough and discourages us from shapers, the descent is not an easy task either. Many chairlifts won’t let you go down, snowboarding and skiing are hard and expensive, and not everyone knows how to do it. Yes, you could roll down the mountain, but that sounds painful and would take far too long. Where is the escalator or elevator that allows a person to go up, enjoy the view, and then come back down without much effort or danger?

Going around a mountain takes too long

Photo credit: averie Woodard on Unsplash

Photo credit: averie Woodard on Unsplash

If driving into Utah from Twin Falls, the quickest way is to take the Interstate through Burley and Rupert and then eventually head south. The reason this is the best route is because the South Hills get in the way. Imagine there is a road running diagonally from Twin Falls to the Utah border on a map, where it meets the Interstate. It would save a good hour if not more when heading to Salt Lake City. While the South Hills are great, they block the quickest path, and so do other mountains. Roads have to meander and wind through the mountains or go all the way around them, and that makes long drives even longer. We either need tunnels or need to move the mountains to a more convenient location.

There is too much snow in the mountains

Photo credit: Adam Chang on Unsplash

Photo credit: Adam Chang on Unsplash

While many of us visit the mountains in the winter to enjoy the snow, either to ski, snowboard, sled or play, sometimes it can be a bit too much. Last year some cars were buried for weeks and months because of the heavy snowfall and that’s not ok. There is such a thing as too much snow, and the mountains of Idaho are proof of that. When a child can step into a weak spot and disappear entirely, that’s funny, but it’s also a sign that there’s too much snow in that area. If you want to get to your toboggan run, or to your car and back again, it’s like walking through a cold white swamp, with snow up to your knees, then you’ve reached the point of too much powdery goodness, and it is time for some of it to start melting.

Not enough wildlife in the mountains

Herd of moose on a mountain meadow in winter

Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of the perks of living in Idaho is that there is plenty of wildlife in the area, and there are animals that you can’t see elsewhere in the country such as moose, wolves, and bears. On a day or weekend trip to the mountains, many families hope to see a moose, a moose, maybe a wolf or a bear, from a safe distance and in their vehicle of course. The problem is that this is not a guarantee and that is why the mountains can disappoint and are the worst. Discovery Channel and Travel Channel present mountain animals in a way that’s easy to discover and enjoy, like a free zoo. So when the mountains don’t produce, it’s extremely disappointing.

Paths in the mountains are not paved or marked

Photo credit: Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

Photo credit: Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

Hiking the mountains of Idaho in the summer is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and see the beautiful natural scenery the state has to offer and is also great exercise. The problem is that most if not all of the trails are dirt and unpaved. This means shoes get dirty, it’s easy to lose a track and get lost, and it can be less level and more difficult to walk and hike. Also, many trails are unmarked and have no markers as you hike up and down them, making it difficult to know how far you’ve walked and how far still is back to your car or destination. Someone needs to pave and mark these trails to make it easy for less experienced hikers.

Driving through the mountains can be life threatening

Photo credit: Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash

Photo credit: Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash

While driving around mountains can be long and tiring, driving through them can be dangerous and an experience. Many mountain roads are too twisty and winding and can cause car sickness, and if someone throws up in the car, it can trickle and make the car smelly. If you are towing a trailer, these roads are even more dangerous and you will have to slow down, angering those behind you who are not towing a trailer. Also, many of these roads don’t have side guardrails, meaning a wrong turn could be your last, and that’s frightening. Perhaps it’s best not to drive through the mountains at all, sticking to flat, straight roads instead.

While the mountains of Idaho have many flaws, they are beautiful and there is no argument for that. Driving home and seeing the white peaks in the distance can make a bad day seem better in a second. Driving the roads can be dangerous, but once you reach your destination, it’s worth it. Driving around the mountains can take a while, but the views surpass the flat nothingness of a desert. Hiking trails should not be marked at times and are part of the adventure and fun of hiking. If wildlife were always visible, it wouldn’t be so special when you catch a glimpse of a majestic animal in its natural habitat. While there can be too much snow at times, that snow is part of the appeal of winter and makes going to the mountains so fun. Reaching the top of a mountain is a goal and if it were easy anyone could do it and it wouldn’t make the feeling of doing it that great. Getting down can be tricky, but if you stand and roll, you’ll eventually find the bottom. As for the cold, pack it up and deal with it. It’s getting cold, but you already knew that. Don’t take the mountains in Idaho for granted, enjoy them and have fun if you visit them this winter or whenever you go.

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