5 Best Idaho Family Vacations For The Adventurous Family

My mom often asks us, grown-up kids, what our favorite family vacation was. Was it Disney World? What about Christmas in Hawaii? Lake Michigan? And while I have had a lifetime of great family vacations, I never have to think twice before I say, “Idaho was my favorite.” 

There’s something about Idaho family vacations that captivates, inspires, and causes the whole family to run around like their wildest dreams are possible. That’s one of my favorite things about Idaho. Itineraries get thrown in the trash when a glance is taken in the direction of Idaho’s vast wilderness. 

Idaho has a lot to offer to families, even if your family prefers a more low-key vacation. Below you will find our 5 Idaho Family Vacations for the Adventurous Family.

5 Idaho Family Vacations For The Adventurous Family.

  1. Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting
  2. McCall, Idaho
  3. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  4. Hiawatha Trail
  5. Stanely, Idaho

1. Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting


Salmon River rafting trips

Some vacations are filled with amusement parks and itineraries with elaborate expectations and to-do lists. Other vacations are filled with time with loved ones, grandma’s signature meals, and visits to hometowns. And then there are some family vacations that are especially good for your soul. Abundant time in the wilderness, days filled with fishing and rafting, and evenings filled with gourmet riverside meals and soaking in the best hot springs in Idaho. 

If the latter explanation describes you and your family, you would thoroughly love the time spent on a 6-day, all-inclusive, rafting trip with Idaho River Adventures. I mean, what’s better than days spent rafting and exploring with your family, late afternoon soaks in natural hot springs, and nights cozied up in a tent? The answer:  nothing. Nothing is better than family time on the river. 

If you book a trip with Idaho River Adventures, you can customize your trip based on the specific needs and desires of your family. You can choose from a Classic Rafting Experience,  Fly Fishing Trip, Musical Rafting Trip, and a Boutique Wine Rafting Trip for the older families.


2.Nordic Skiing in McCall, Idaho

Nordic skiing in McCall, ID Photo Credit: Visit McCall

If you and your family are looking to enjoy a winter vacation, look no further than McCall, Idaho, and make sure nordic skiing is on the agenda. McCall has all that you could dream of, as far as nordic trails go. Miles and miles of unique terrain and epic views, all the while welcoming all skill and comfortability levels. 

Nordic skiing is especially fun to do as a family because it’s safe, a great exercise, and a go-at-your-own-pace activity.


3. Visit Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Vacation in Coeur d'Alene Photo Credit: www.coeurdalene.org

Coeur d’Alene is easily one of the best overall spots in Idaho. The combination of its supreme location, exciting food scene, and proximity to water and trail systems, can’t be beaten. Coeur d’Alene is known for its water sports on the lake, and if your family loves the water, you will keep busy for the duration of your stay. 

If you’re like me and don’t like spending vacation driving to a bunch of different locations, Coeur d’Alene’s proximity to Lakes and hikes and other full-day activities will be perfect for you and your family.


4. Bike the Hiawatha Trail

family biking idaho's hiawatha trail

Photo Credit: www.ridethehiawatha.com

I’m a sucker for a good trail to pedal and the Hiawatha is fun, family-friendly, and worth the effort. The trail is rich in history, abundant in views, and filled with exciting tunnels to bike through and add to the family adventure. 

According to the Hiawatha Trail website, completing the trail takes around 2.5 hours. However, I would suggest factoring in the age and ability of your family members as well as allowing some flexibility.

How to prepare: bring appropriate clothing for the weather (take note of the cooler temperatures in the tunnels), bring snacks and water, and make sure everyone has a headlamp for venturing through the tunnels. 

*important to note that the trail is only open from late May to early September. Check out www.ridethehiawatha.com for more details.


5. Horseback riding at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch in Stanley, Idaho

A guided horseback ride through the sawtooth mountains in idaho during an idaho family vacation Photo Credit: Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch

Horses are hit or miss for families, but normally you know that going into the situation. If your family is willing and excited to try something new (or old) exploring the beautiful Idaho scenery on horseback is the kind of joy you’ll never forget. 

Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch offers a variety of experiences including full day, 3 hour, or 1.5-hour rides. All trail rides are guided by knowledgeable and entertaining wranglers. If desired, fishing can be included in the day's activity as well as the experience as a whole has the flexibility to be customizable.

Children 6 and older are welcome for this adventure. Pony rides can be arranged by those who are younger than 6.


We hope you'll consider joining Idaho River Adventures on your family or group vacation. Our diverse Middle Fork Salmon River rafting trips and Lower Salmon River rafting trips are tailored to you in order to provide the most premium experience. Reach out today to inquire about the adventure of a lifetime on Idaho's most prestigious rivers.

Emily Knittel is a Montana based writer, mountain biker, and self-proclaimed professional hype girl. With a degree in Journalism, and an unshakable love for the outdoors, Emily writes to encourage a life of whimsy and adventure.

Lower Salmon River

Lower Salmon River

The Lower Salmon River, where the water is warm & the weather is sunny. If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly river trip featuring fun Class III whitewater and camping on huge white sand beaches, look no further than the trip.

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