Car Hire Idaho

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Hertz Car Hire in Idaho

Opinions vary as to exactly why the state of Idaho was given the nickname ‘The Gem State’. Perhaps its for its abundance of natural riches, or maybe the minerals that can be found in the many mountains. Whichever it is, take a trip to this wild and rugged north-western state and you’ll be captivated by its outdoor charms.

And when we say ‘many mountains’, we mean it: there are 114 mountain ranges here, and a huge section of the Rockies runs through it. Those with a love of outdoor terrain flock from around the world to visit.

When you join them, we’ll make your life easier at our numerous branches in convenient locations all across Idaho. Browse our range of cars and opt for something slim and streamline or something more rugged for those mountain roads. We hope this is a gem of a visit for you.

Driving in and around Idaho

One of the first things you’ll notice about Idaho is how unspoiled it is. This is a state with over 60% of the land reserved for the public, with huge parks, forests, protected wilderness and the aforementioned mountains. All of which means it’s a delight to drive through, with vistas of staggering beauty.

Many visitors start in the south of the state, where the busiest towns and cities are. That includes state capital Boise in the south-west, which is linked to Twin Falls by the I-84, which exists the state west to Oregon and South to Utah. Driving east from Twin Falls you can leave the I-84 and join the I-86 for American Falls and Pocatello.

At the latter, you’ll find the I-15 interstate which runs south to north through the east of the state. Again, to the south it leads to Utah but follow it north for Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Dubois and onwards to Montana.

Speed limits in Idaho vary by area, with limits of 20mph in school zones moving up to 80mph on rural stretches of interstates. Freeways in urban areas have a limit of 65mph. You’ll be driving on the right, overtaking on the left and seatbelt use is compulsory for all. Our branch teams can answer any other specific questions you may have.

There are plenty of stunning scenic drives to enjoy in Idaho, most notably along US93. Here you’ll skirt the banks of the Salmon river, past endless mountains until you reach Sun Valley, a popular ski resort. Along the way you’ll pass small towns full of local charm. Alternatively, explore the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, a three-hour drive along the Idaho 75 road.

From Shoshone in south of the state you’ll head into the Sawtooth National Forest, past Cathedral Pines and on to Stanley. There are myriad places to park up and camp, hike, fish, ski and raft. There are lots of hot springs to relax in too, plus ranches and log cabins serving up barbecue all year round.

A quick guide to Idaho

This state’s natural beauty means it’s a place for those with a love of wilderness, of bracing air and outdoor activity. Hundreds of miles of mountain make it a popular ski location, while the forests and parks will truly leave you with a sense of a majestic American state stretching towards the clear sky.

Go Basque in Boise

The state’s largest city – and its capital – Boise is something of an outlier in Idaho. Whereas pretty much every other town feels rustic and happily lost in time, Boise is definitely modern and buzzing. The downtown has fine restaurants and pedestrianised areas to explore on foot, while its position next to some of the ubiquitous mountains means it’s a fabulous base for hikers to set off from.

In summer, float down the Greenbelt River in a tube, close to Julia Davis Park which hosts some fine museums. Boise also has a large Basque population, many of whose ancestors arrived in the early 20th century to be shepherds here. Their pride is encapsulated in the Basque Museum, but also in superb ethnic restaurants such as the highly rated Bar Gernika, the perfect place for chorizo, beef tongue and croquetas.

The force of Falls

Where’s the mountains and water, there’s also waterfalls, and many of the state’s most beautiful areas are located close to these. Idaho Falls is quite a large town, with zoos and museums, great cafes proximity to brilliant outdoor activities. From here you can access Yellowstone National Park and the Craters of the Moon monument and lava fields.

Twin Falls sits on the Snake River, perfect for kayaking. Cross the canyon on the incredible Perrine Bridge then gasp in awe at the Shoshone Falls. At 212 feet high they dwarf even Niagara Falls.

The not-so-wild West

Idaho has played its part in the grander tapestry of American history, with Lewis and Clark exploring here, key parts of the Oregon Trail and the gold rush running through here too. The neighbouring towns of Sun Valley and Ketchum simultaneously embrace that past while attracting tourists for their modern offerings too.

The Dollar and Bald mountains cast a shadow over both, which is why these are some of the most popular skiing and winter sports destinations in the entire US. Snowboarding, heli-skiing, snowmobiling and more beckon, while you can also go rock-climbing, skating, fish or just relax in the hot springs. There’s history here too, with museums shedding light on the town’s mining origins, with original ore wagons on display.

From marvellous mountains to bubbling hot springs, handsome towns to dramatic waterfalls, car hire in Idaho is your key to unlock this naturally beautiful state.