Boise, Idaho

Boise (/ˈbɔɪsi/ (listen)[4]) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, and is the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, the population of Boise at the 2010 Census was 205,671, the 99th largest in the United States. Its estimated population in 2016 was 223,154.[5]

Boise, idaho
Downtown Boise in the fall of 2013

The Boise-Nampa metropolitan area, also known as the Treasure Valley, includes five counties with a combined population of 709,845, the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho. It contains the state's three largest cities; Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. Boise is the 80th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

Boise, Idaho
Idaho Capitol Building
Boise US Bank Building
Zions Bank Building in Boise
Clearwater Analytics Boise
Jack's Urban Meeting Place and the JR Simplot World Headquarters
Bronco Stadium September 25 2010
Clockwise from top:
Idaho State Capitol, Eighth & Main, Jack's Urban Meeting Place, a football game at Albertsons Stadium, Clearwater Analytics, US Bank Plaza
Flag of Boise, Idaho
Official seal of Boise, Idaho
The City of Trees
Energy Peril Success
Location within Ada County
Location within Ada County
Boise is located in Idaho
Location within Idaho
Boise is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 43°37′N 116°12′W / 43.617°N 116.200°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeStrong-mayor
 • BodyBoise City Council
 • MayorDave Bieter (D)
 • Council PresidentElaine Clegg
 • State capital city82.80 sq mi (214.45 km2)
 • Land82.09 sq mi (212.60 km2)
 • Water0.71 sq mi (1.85 km2)
2,730 ft (830 m)
 • State capital city205,671 (99th)
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,718.54/sq mi (1,049.64/km2)
 • Urban
349,684 (US: 108th)
 • Metro
709,845 (US: 80th)
 • Demonym
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)208, 986
FIPS code16-08830
GNIS feature ID400590
Interstate(s)I-84.svg I-184.svg
U.S. Route(s)link = U.S. Route 20 in Idaho link = U.S. Route 26 in Idaho link = U.S. Route 30 in Idaho



Tubers Float the Boise River
Floating the Boise River

Accounts differ regarding the name's origin. One account credits Capt. B.L.E. Bonneville of the U.S. Army as its source. After trekking for weeks through dry and rough terrain, his exploration party reached an overlook with a view of the Boise River Valley. The place where they stood is called Bonneville Point, located on the Oregon Trail east of the city. According to the story, a French-speaking guide, overwhelmed by the sight of the verdant river, yelled "Les bois! Les bois!" ("The woods! The woods!")—and the name stuck.

The name may instead derive from earlier mountain men who named the river that flows through it. In the 1820s, French Canadian fur trappers set trap lines in the vicinity. Set in a high-desert area, the tree-lined valley of the Boise River became a distinct landmark, an oasis dominated by cottonwood trees. They called this "La rivière boisée", which means "the wooded river."[6]

Main Street, Looking East, Boise, ID
Main Street in 1911

The area was called Boise long before the establishment of Fort Boise by the federal government. The original Fort Boise was 40 miles (64 km) west, near Parma, down the Boise River near its confluence with the Snake River at the Oregon border. This private sector defense was erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1830s. It was abandoned in the 1850s, but massacres along the Oregon Trail prompted the U.S. Army to re-establish a fort in the area in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War.

The new location was selected because it was near the intersection of the Oregon Trail with a major road connecting the Boise Basin (Idaho City) and the Owyhee (Silver City) mining areas, both of which were booming. During the mid-1860s, Idaho City was the largest city in the Northwest, and as a staging area, Fort Boise grew rapidly; Boise was incorporated as a city 156 years ago in 1863. The first capital of the Idaho Territory was Lewiston in north central Idaho, which in 1863 was the largest community, exceeding the populations of Olympia and Seattle, Washington Territory and Portland, Oregon combined. The original territory was larger than Texas. But following the creation of Montana Territory, Boise was made the territorial capital of a much reduced Idaho in a controversial decision which overturned a district court ruling by a one-vote majority in the territorial supreme court along geographic lines in 1866.

Designed by Alfred B. Mullett, the U.S. Assay Office at 210 Main Street was built in 1871 and today is a National Historic Landmark.


Most native and longtime residents use the pronunciation /ˈbɔɪsiː/ (BOY-see),[7] as given on the city's website.[4] The pronunciation is sometimes used as a shibboleth, as outsiders (and newcomers) tend to pronounce the city's name as /ˈbɔɪziː/ (BOY-zee).[8]


Boise Idaho from space
Astronaut photography of Boise, taken from the International Space Station in 2009
Ann Morrison Park
Ann Morrison Park in spring

Boise is in southwestern Idaho, about 41 miles (66 km) east of the Oregon border, and 110 miles (177 km) north of the Nevada border. The downtown area's elevation is 2,704 feet (824 m) above sea level.

Most of the metropolitan area lies on a broad, flat plain, descending to the west. Mountains rise to the northeast, stretching from the far southeastern tip of the Boise city limits to nearby Eagle. These mountains are known to locals as the Boise foothills and are sometimes described as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. About 34 miles (55 km) southwest of Boise, and about 26 miles (42 km) southwest of Nampa, the Owyhee Mountains lie entirely in neighboring Owyhee County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 80.05 square miles (207.33 km2), of which, 79.36 square miles (205.54 km2) is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.[9] The city is drained by the Boise River. The City of Boise is considered part of the Treasure Valley.

Parts of the city

Boise occupies a large area — 64 sq mi (170 km2) according to the United States Census Bureau. Like all major cities, it has several neighborhoods, including the Bench, the North End, West Boise and Downtown. In January 2014, the Boise Police Department (BPD) partnered with the folksonomic neighborhood blogging site Nextdoor, the first city in the Northwest and the 137th city in the U.S. to do so.[10] Since the app, which enables the city's police, fire, and parks departments to post to self-selected, highly localized areas, first became available in October 2011,[11] 101 neighborhoods and sections of neighborhoods have joined.[12]

Downtown Boise

Downtown Boise is Boise's cultural center and home to many small businesses and a few mid-rises. While downtown Boise lacks a major retail/dining focus like Seattle and Portland, the area has a variety of shops and growing option for dining choices. Centrally, 8th Street contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The neighborhood has many local restaurants, bars and boutiques and supports a vibrant nightlife. The area contains the Basque Block, which gives visitors a chance to learn about and enjoy Boise's Basque heritage. Downtown Boise's main attractions include the Idaho State Capitol, the classic Egyptian Theatre on the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Main Street, the Boise Art Museum[13] on Capitol in front of Julia Davis Park, and Zoo Boise on the grounds of Julia Davis Park.[14]

Boise's economy was threatened in the late 1990s by commercial development at locations away from the downtown center, such as Boise Towne Square Mall and at shopping centers near new housing developments.[15]

Cultural events in Downtown Boise include Alive after Five[16] and First Thursday.[17]

Boise State University

To the south of downtown Boise is Boise State University and its surrounding environs. The area is dominated by residential neighborhoods and businesses catering to the student population. The unique blue playing field at the 37,000-seat Albertsons Stadium on the BSU campus, home to the Boise State Broncos football team, is a major city landmark. The campus is also home to the Benjamin Victor Gallery and Studio.[18] Other cultural and sports centers in the area include the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and Taco Bell Arena. Broadway Avenue to the east and south of the Boise State campus features many college-themed bars and restaurants.

The North End

Hyde Park Boise
Hyde Park

The North End, generally defined as the part of Boise north of State Street, contains many of the city's older homes.[19] It is known for its tree-lined drives such as Harrison Boulevard, and for its quiet neighborhoods near the downtown area. Downtown Boise is visible from Camel's Back Park.[20] On 13th Street, Hyde Park[21] is home to restaurants and other businesses. The North End also hosts events such as the annual Hyde Park Street Fair. In 2008, the American Planning Association designated Boise's North End one of 10 Great Neighborhoods.[22]

Boise Highlands

The Boise Highlands is just north of the North End. Its location is generally defined as north of Hill Road, East of Bogus Basin Road. Its neighborhood is mostly filled with homes constructed in the 1970s, as well as a golf course/country club known as Crane Creek.

Southwest Boise

Southwest Boise contains sparsely populated neighborhoods built from the 1960s to the early 1980s. Many include acre-sized plots and the occasional farmhouse and pasture. In the 1980s, growth in the area was stunted to prevent urban sprawl. Since this has been lifted, there has been widespread growth of new homes and neighborhoods. The area lies near Interstate 84, theaters, shopping, the airport, golf and the Boise Bench area.

Northwest Boise

Northwest Boise lies against the Boise Foothills to the north, State Street to the south, the city of Eagle to the west, and downtown Boise to the east. It contains a mix of old and new neighborhoods, including Lakeharbor, which features the private Silver Lake, a reclaimed quarry. Northwest Boise has some pockets of older homes with a similar aesthetic to the North End. Downtown is minutes away, as is Veteran's Memorial Park[20] and easy access to the Boise Greenbelt. Across the river sits the Boise Bench and to the west are the bedroom communities of Eagle, Star, and Middleton.

Warm Springs and East End

Warm Springs is centered on the tree-lined Warm Springs Avenue and contains some of Boise's largest and most expensive homes (many of which were erected by wealthy miners and businessmen around the turn of the 20th century; Victorian styles feature prominently). The area gets its name from the natural hot springs that flow from Boise's fault line and warm many of the area's homes. The Natotorium public swim center is here.

East Boise and Harris Ranch

The far-east end of Warm Springs was once known as Barber Town, featuring a hotel with hot springs nestled into the foothills. It now has some new residential developments, with easy access to Highway 21, which leads to the south-central Idaho mountains, the Boise River, the Boise Foothills, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

Southeast Boise

The newest[23] Boise Public Library branch[24] branch at Bown Crossing.

Southeast Boise spans from Boise State University to Micron Technology – all areas between Federal Way and the Boise River. The older area just south of the university can be described as a cross between the North End and the Boise bench. The rest of Southeast Boise was developed in the last thirty years with suburban-style homes.

Columbia Village subdivision and the older Oregon Trail Heights were the first major planned communities in Southeast Boise with an elementary and middle school all within walking distance from all homes. The subdivision is at the intersections of Interstate 84, Idaho 21, and Federal Way (former U.S. Highway), which are all major arteries to get anywhere in Boise. The subdivision, a baseball complex, and swimming pools were developed around the Simplot Sports complex. The fields are built over an old landfill and dump, and the fields and gravel parking lot allow radon gases to escape through the ground. The most recent planned community is the 35 acre Bown Crossing which has easy access to the Boise Greenbelt.[25]

On August 25, 2008 at about 7:00 pm, a fire started near Amity and Holcomb during a major windstorm. It destroyed ten houses and damaged nine. One person died in the fire.[26]

Boise Bench

The Bench, generally bounded by Federal Way to the east, Cole Road to the west and Garden City to the north, sits on an elevation approximately 60 feet (18 m) higher than downtown Boise to its northeast. Orchard Street is a major north-south thoroughfare in the neighborhood. The Bench is so named because this sudden rise, giving the appearance of a step, or bench. The Bench (or Benches, there are three actual benches in the Boise Valley) was created as an ancient shoreline to the old river channel. The Bench is home to the Boise Union Pacific Depot. Like the North End, the Bench has older residential areas such as the Central Rim, Morris Hill, and Depot Bench neighborhoods. Due south of the Bench is the Boise Airport.[27]

West Boise

West Boise is home to Boise Towne Square Mall, the largest in the state, as well as many restaurants, strip malls, and residential developments ranging from new subdivisions to apartment complexes. The Ada County jail and Hewlett Packard's printing division are also here. It is relatively the flattest section of Boise, with sweeping views of the Boise Front. West Boise also borders the city of Meridian.


Boise, Idaho from the Aspen Condos and Lofts
Boise, Idaho from the Aspen Condos and Lofts
Downtown Boise as seen from the Boise Bench
Downtown Boise as seen from the Boise Bench


Boise, Idaho
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Boise has a semi-arid continental climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with four distinct seasons. Boise experiences hot and dry summers with highs reaching 100 °F (38 °C) eight days in a typical year and 90 °F (32 °C) on 51 days.[28] Yet because of the aridity, average diurnal temperature variation exceeds 30 °F (17 °C) in summer. Winters are moderately cold, with a December average of 26.7 °F (−2.9 °C), and lows falling to 0 °F (−18 °C) or below on around three nights per year.[28] Snowfall averages 35.2 inches (89 cm), but typically falls in bouts of 3 inches (8 cm) or less.[29] Spring and fall are mild. Autumn is brief; spring is gradual. Extremes have ranged from −30 °F (−34 °C) on January 16, 1888 to 111 °F (44 °C), as recently as July 19, 1960;[28] temperatures have reached −27 °F (−33 °C) and 110 °F (43 °C) as recently as December 22, 1990 and June 28, 2015, respectively. Precipitation is usually infrequent and light, especially so during the summer months. It averages approximately 13 inches annually.

Tornadoes are rare in Ada County and the Boise area. Since 1950, only twelve tornadoes have been documented within the county, and four of those were during the same storm on August 3, 2000, which is also the most recent date a tornado was documented in the area. None of the tornadoes have been ranked higher than an "F1" on the Fujita scale, and no injuries or fatalities were ever documented.[30]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2017226,570[3]10.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[35]

2010 census

As of the census[36] of 2010, there were 205,671 people, 85,704 households, and 50,647 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,591.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,000.6/km2). There were 92,700 housing units at an average density of 1,168.1 per square mile (451.0/km2). The city's racial makeup was 89.0% White, 1.5% African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 7.1% of the population.

There were 85,704 households, of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44% were married couples living together, 10% had a woman householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a man householder with no wife present, and 41% were non-families. 31% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.

The median age in the city was 35. 23% of residents were under the age of 18; 11% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29% were from 25 to 44; 26% were from 45 to 64; and 11% were 65 years of age or older. The city's gender makeup was 49% men and 51% women.


Boise is the headquarters for several major companies, such as Boise Cascade LLC, Albertsons, J.R. Simplot Company, Idaho Pacific Lumber Company, Idaho Timber, WinCo Foods,, and Clearwater Analytics. Other major industries are headquartered in Boise or have large manufacturing facilities present. The state government is one of the city's largest employers.

The area's largest private, locally based, publicly traded employer is Micron Technology.[37] Others include IDACORP, Inc., the parent company of Idaho Power, Idaho Bancorp, Boise, Inc., American Ecology Corp., and PCS Inc.

Technology investment and the high-tech industry have become increasingly important to the city, with businesses including Hewlett Packard, Healthwise,, CradlePoint,, ClickBank, MetaGeek, MobileDataForce, MarkMonitor, Sybase, Balihoo, Intracon NA,[38] Wire Stone, and Microsoft. The call center industry is also a major source of employment; there are over 20 call centers in the city employing more than 7,000 people, including WDSGlobal (a Xerox company), EDS, Teleperformance, DIRECTV, Taos and T-Mobile.[39]

Varney Air Lines, founded by Walter Varney in 1926, was formed in Boise, though headquartered at Pasco, Washington. The original airmail contract was from Pasco to Elko, Nevada, with stops in Boise in both directions. Varney Air Lines is the original predecessor company of present-day United Airlines, which still serves the city at the newly renovated and upgraded Boise Airport.

Top employers

According to Boise Valley Economic Partnership,[40] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer Employees
1 St Lukes Health Systems (total Ada County) 8,400–8,499
2 Micron Technology 6,700–6,799
3 Boise State University 4,700–4,799
4 West Ada School District #2 4,300–4,399
5 Independent School District Boise City #1 3,800–3,899
6 Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center 3,400–3,499
7 Wal-Mart Associates Inc 2,500–2,599
8 Hewlett-Packard 2,000–2,099
9 Simplot 2,000–2,099
10 Albertsons Inc 2,000–2,099


Boise Art Museum
Boise Art Museum

Boise is a regional hub for jazz, theater, and indie music. The Gene Harris Jazz Festival is hosted in Boise each spring. Several theater groups operate in the city, including the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise Little Theatre, Boise Contemporary Theater, and ComedySportz Boise, among others. The Treefort Music Fest in late March features emerging bands, as well as many other artistic endeavors,[41] and has perforce "morphed from quirky music festival to consuming community event,"[42] and the HomeGrown Theatre is notable for continuing the avant garde satirical tradition of puppetry for millennials.[43][44] The renovated Egyptian Theatre hosts national and regional music acts, comedians, and special film screenings .

Idaho's ethnic Basque community is one of the largest in the United States, on the order of nearly 7,000 people in 2000, many of whom live in Boise.[45] A large Basque festival known as Jaialdi is held once every five years (next in 2020). Downtown Boise features a vibrant section known as the "Basque Block". Boise's mayor, David H. Bieter, is of Basque descent. Boise is also a sister region of the Basque communities.

Boise is home to several museums, including the Boise Art Museum,[46] Idaho Historical Museum, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, Idaho Black History Museum, Boise WaterShed and the Discovery Center of Idaho. On the first Thursday of each month, a gallery stroll known as First Thursday is hosted in the city's core business district by the Downtown Boise Association.

Boise also has a thriving performing arts community. The Boise Philharmonic,[47] now in its 49th season, under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Robert Franz continues to grow musically, and introduces excellent guest artists and composers year after year. The dance community is represented by the resurgent Ballet Idaho[48] under artistic director Peter Anastos, and the nationally known and critically acclaimed[49] Trey McIntyre Project[50] also make their home in Boise. All of these perform at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts,[51] on the Boise State University campus. The Morrison Center also hosts local and national fine arts performances. Rounding out the classical performing arts is Opera Idaho,[52] under the direction of Mark Junkert, which brings grand Opera to various venues throughout the Treasure Valley.

The Boise City Department of Arts and History was created in 2008 with the goal of promoting the arts, culture, and history of the city among its residents and visitors.[53] Since 1978 Boise had a public arts commission like many cities to promote public art and education. The Arts Commission provided expert advice on public art installations to the city and private groups, as well as to develop many educational programs within the city promoting the arts. In 2008 the city and the Arts Commission made the decision to introduce history into the scope of the art commission and rename this new commission the Boise City Department of Arts and History.[54]

The Boise City Department of Arts and History oversees several ongoing projects and programs related to art, culture, and history, and a number of short-term projects at any given time. Ongoing projects include maintenance of a public art collection valued at over $3 million,[54] creation and maintenance of city historical and art walks and tours,[55] maintenance of a city historical research collection,[56] artists in residence,[57] and the Fettuccine Forum.[58]

In 2013, Boise celebrated its sesquicentennial, the commemoration was also known as the Boise 150. The commemoration was led by the City of Boise's Department of Arts & History. The Department of Arts & History focused the commemoration on the themes of Enterprise, Community, and Environment. For the sesquicentennial year, the Department of Arts and History inhabited a storefront at 1008 Main St. This Boise 150 headquarters, also known as the Sesqui-Shop operated as a store, exhibit space, and event venue. Local merchants produced authentic local products as part of the sesquicentennial. Sesquicentennial events included Thinking 150, Anniversary Weekend, Re-Art Children's Program, Sesqui-Speaks, and Walk 150. Legacy pieces of the sesquicentennial included the Share Your Story Program, a Commemorative book featuring local writers, and a commemorative CD featuring local musicians. As part of the sesquicentennial, the Department of Arts & History also awarded a Legacy Grant to the Shoshone-Bannock Culture Committee, as well as 36 smaller community grants.

According to a 2012 study performed by Americans for the Arts, arts, both public and private, in Boise is a forty-eight million dollar per year industry.[59] The same study also cited the arts in and around Boise as a supplier of jobs for about 1600 people and producer of roughly $4.4 million in revenue to state and local government.

The Boise Centre on the Grove is an 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) convention center that hosts a variety of events, including international, national, and regional conventions, conferences, banquets, and consumer shows. It is in the heart of downtown Boise and borders the Grove Plaza, which hosts many outdoor functions throughout the year including the New Year's Eve celebration, the Idaho Potato Drop[60] hosted by the Idaho New Year's Commission.

The Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center offers a streamwalk with water features and wildlife experiences just east of downtown. It is next to Municipal Park.[20] It features live fish and wildlife exhibits, viewing areas into the water, bird and butterfly gardens, waterfalls and a free visitor's center.

Boise has diverse and vibrant religious communities. The Jewish community's Ahavath Beth Israel Temple, completed 1896, is the nation's oldest continually used temple west of the Mississippi. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated a temple there in 1984. The Boise Hare Krishna Temple opened in August 1999.[61]

Boise (along with Valley and Boise Counties) hosted the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. More than 2,500 athletes from over 85 countries participated.[62]

In 1972, John Waters set the final scene of his film Pink Flamingos in Boise.[63]

Boise's sister cities are Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia and Gernika, Spain.[64]

Major attractions

Boise Capitol
Capitol in July

Boise offers many recreational opportunities, including extensive hiking and biking in the foothills to the immediate north of downtown. Much of this trail network is part of Hull's Gulch and can be accessed by 8th street. An extensive urban trail system called the Boise River Greenbelt runs along the river and through Pierce Park. The Boise River is a common destination for fishing, swimming and rafting.

In Julia Davis Park is Zoo Boise, which has over 200 animals representing over 80 species from around the world. An Africa exhibit, completed in 2008, is the most recent addition.[65] Boise is also home to the Idaho Aquarium.

The Bogus Basin ski area opened in 1942 and hosts multiple winter activities, primarily alpine skiing and snowboarding, but also cross-country skiing and snow tubing. "Bogus" is 16 mi (26 km) from the city limits (less than an hour drive from downtown) on a twisty paved road which climbs 3400 vertical feet (1036 m) through sagebrush and forest.

Professional sports teams in Boise include the Boise Hawks of the short-season Class A Northwest League (minor league baseball), the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL (minor league hockey), and the Treasure Valley Spartans (semi-pro football) of the (Rocky Mountain Football League). An arenafootball2 franchise, the Boise Burn, began play in 2007 but is now defunct.

On the sports entertainment front, Boise is home to an all-female, DIY, flat track roller derby league, the Treasure Valley Rollergirls, which beginning on Labor Day Weekend 2010 hosted an international, two-day, double elimination tournament, the first Spudtown Knockdown,[66][67] featuring eight teams from throughout the American West and Canada.[68][69]

The Boise State University campus is home to Albertsons Stadium, the 36,800 seat[70] football stadium known for its blue Field Turf field; and Taco Bell Arena, a 12,000 seat basketball and entertainment venue which opened in 1982 as the BSU Pavilion. Boise State University is known primarily for the recent successes of its football team.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl football game (formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl and the MPC Computers Bowl) is held in late December each year, and pairs a team from the Mountain West Conference with a Mid-American Conference team.

Boise is the site of the only human rights memorial in the U.S., the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, located next to its main library.[71]

The World Center for Birds of Prey is just outside city, and is a key part of the re-establishment of the peregrine falcon and the subsequent removal from the endangered species list. The center is breeding the rare California condor, among many other rare and endangered species.

Publications such as Forbes, Fortune and Sunset have cited the city for its quality of life. An article published by Forbes in 2018 named Boise the fastest-growing city in America. Its population of around 220,000 grew 3.08% in 2017, as well as employment by 30.58%.

The cornerstone mall in Boise, Boise Towne Square Mall, is also a major shopping attraction for Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, and surrounding areas. The mall received upgrades and added several new retailers in 1998 and 2006. Home prices, a proxy for wealth, increased 11.58%--number four in the U.S.

The state's largest giant sequoia can be found near St. Luke's Hospital.[72]

Professional sports

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Boise Hawks Northwest League Baseball Memorial Stadium 1987 6
Idaho Steelheads ECHL Ice hockey CenturyLink Arena Boise 1997 2


Violent crimes dropped from 775 incidences in 2006 to 586 in 2007, but murders increased from 2004 to 2007. In 2007, there were 3,211 crimes per 100,000 residents.[73] Despite population growth, violent crime has remained much the same as of 2013, with 600 incidents of violent crime in that year.[74]


The Boise School District includes 31 elementary schools, eight junior high schools, five high schools, and two specialty schools.[75] Part of the West Ada School District (now the largest in Idaho) is within the Boise city limits, and the city is therefore home to six public high schools: Boise, Borah, Capital, Timberline, the alternative Frank Church, and the West Ada School district's Centennial. Boise's private schools include the Catholic Bishop Kelly, Foothills School of Arts and Sciences, One Stone High School and the International Baccalaureate-accredited Riverstone International School.

Post-secondary educational options in Boise include Boise State University (BSU) and a wide range of technical schools. The University of Idaho (UI) and Idaho State University (ISU) each maintain a satellite campus in Boise. As of 2014, the city has two law school programs. The Concordia University School of Law opened in 2012,[76] and the University of Idaho College of Law now hosts second and third year students at its Boise Campus.[77] Boise is home to Boise Bible College, an undergraduate degree-granting college that exists to train leaders for churches as well as missionaries for the world.

Boiseko Ikastola is the only Basque pre-school outside of the Basque Country.[78][79]


The greater-Boise area is served by two daily newspapers, The Idaho Statesman and the Idaho Press-Tribune; a free alternative newsweekly, Boise Weekly; a weekly business news publication, Idaho Business Review, and a quarterly lifestyle magazine, Boise Magazine. In addition to numerous radio stations, Boise has five major commercial television stations that serve the greater Boise area. There are four major news outlets, KTVB (NBC), KBOI-TV (CBS), KIVI-TV (American Broadcasting Company; sister Fox station KNIN-TV airs additional KIVI newscasts), and Idaho Public Television.


The major Interstate serving Boise is I-84, which connects Boise with Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, residents in the Boise area are served with Interstate 184 (locally known as "The Connector"), a nearly 5-mile (8 km) stretch of freeway connecting I-84 with the downtown Boise area. Highway 55 branches outward northeast. There is a network of bike paths, such as the Boise River Greenbelt, throughout the city and surrounding region. Among US cities, Boise has the seventh highest amount of bicycle commuters per capita with 3.9% of commuters riding to work.[80]

Public transportation includes a series of bus lines operated by ValleyRide. In addition, the Downtown Circulator, a proposed streetcar system, is in its planning stage.[81] The construction of the underground public transportation hub (UPT Hub) in Boise in the parking lot site near the intersection of W Main Street and N 8th Street was completed in 2016.[82]

Commercial air service is provided at the Boise Airport. The terminal was recently renovated to accommodate the growing number of passengers flying in and out of Boise. It is served by Allegiant Air, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. The airport's east end is home to the National Interagency Fire Center. The Gowen Field Air National Guard Base occupies the south side of the field.

Amtrak passenger train service was available in Boise until May 10, 1997, when Amtrak discontinued the service.[83][84] Previously, since 1977,[85] the Pioneer had twice-daily service through Boise as the train made its way between Seattle and Chicago (via Salt Lake City/Ogden and Denver). A short line railroad (Boise Valley Railroad) serves industries in Boise.

Notable people

BoDo[86] district in Downtown
Boise, Idaho Carnegie library
Boise's Carnegie Public Library opened in 1905 on Washington St. and remained at that site until the library moved in 1973.[87]

Photo gallery

Zions Bank Building Before Dawn

Zions Bank Building, completed in early 2014, is the tallest building in Boise.

Downtown Boise 2013

Foothills view of Boise, fall 2013

North View from BODO

Looking north from 8th/Broad St intersection in August 2013

Downtown Boise Midnight Skyline 2013

Downtown Boise skyline at midnight


Downtown in 2006

Boise aerial 2007

Bird's-eye view in 2007

Boise City Horizon

Boise Metropolitan Area, as seen from foothills above city


City Christmas tree in front of the Capitol Building in 2010


The Ridenbaugh Canal, constructed in 1878, provides for leisurely recreational activities in SE Boise for most if not all of its route; the median S. Federal Way is on the upper left.


  1. ^ Official records have been kept at downtown Boise from January 1875 to December 1939, and at Boise Air Terminal (Airport) since January 1940. For more information, see ThreadEx.[31]


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Further reading

External links

External video
[5] A cinéma vérité view of the redevelopment of downtown Boise in 1988

Coordinates: 43°37′0″N 116°12′0″W / 43.61667°N 116.20000°W

Boise State Public Radio

Boise State Public Radio is a broadcast service of Boise State University, which operates four programming services on several radio stations throughout central and southern Idaho and northern Nevada.

Boise State University

Boise State University (BSU) is a public research university in Boise, Idaho. Founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, it became an independent junior college in 1934, and has been awarding baccalaureate and master's degrees since 1965.

Boise State offers more than 100 graduate programs, including the MBA and MAcc programs in the College of Business and Economics; Masters and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; and the MPA program in the School of Public Service. Boise State has invested in the future over the past decade, including spending over $300 million since 2003 on academic, residential, and athletics facilities across campus.The university's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Broncos, have participated in NCAA Division I since 1978; the football program moved up to FBS in 1996.

CenturyLink Arena

CenturyLink Arena (formerly Qwest Arena, originally Bank of America Centre) is a multi-purpose arena in the western United States, located in Boise, Idaho. Its seating capacity is 5,002 for ice hockey, 5,300 for basketball, 5,732 for end-stage concerts, 6,400 for boxing, and up to 6,800 for center-stage concerts. With 4,508 permanent seats, it was built for $50 million. In downtown Boise, its street level elevation is approximately 2,700 feet (825 m) above sea level.

Opened 22 years ago, it has been the home arena of the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL since 1997. Other tenants include the Boise Stallions of the Indoor Professional Football League in 2000 and 2001, the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League from 2005 to 2016, and the Boise Burn of the af2 from 2007 to 2009.

With CenturyLink's takeover of Qwest Communications in 2011, the venue was renamed CenturyLink Arena Boise on August 18. Originally the Bank of America Centre, it became Qwest Arena in 2005.

Fort Boise

Fort Boise is either of two different locations in the western United States, both in southwestern Idaho. The first was a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post near the Snake River on what is now the Oregon border (in present-day Canyon County, Idaho), dating from the era when Idaho was included in the British fur company's Columbia District. After several rebuilds, the fort was ultimately abandoned in 1854, after it had become part of United States territory following settlement in 1846 of the northern boundary dispute.

The second was established by the U.S. government in 1863 as a military post located fifty miles (80 km) to the east up the Boise River. It developed as Boise, which became the capital city of Idaho.

Garfield School (Boise, Idaho)

Garfield School in Boise, Idaho, is a 2-story, flat roof brick building designed by Tourtellotte & Hummel and constructed in 1929. The 1929 facade is symmetrical and shows a Tudor Revival influence, and shallow arch entries at north and south ends of the building are prominent features of the Broadway Avenue exposure. The brick cornice is inset with a diamond pattern. In 1949 the elementary school was expanded with north and south wings containing additional classrooms and an auditorium. The expansion is compatible with the original structure, and the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Statesman is the daily newspaper of Boise, Idaho, in the western United States. It is owned by The McClatchy Company.

Judge Charles P. McCarthy House

The Judge Charles P. McCarthy House is a two-story Prairie school duplex which was constructed in Boise, Idaho in 1913. It was adapted from a Frank Lloyd Wright design published in the April 1907 edition of Ladies Home Journal Magazine, where readers could purchase plans for a flat rate, or have them customized by Wright's office for a 10% premium. It appears as a classic prairie-style design with horizontal design elements, including a low-pitch roof with deep hipped roof overhangs.The house was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was included as a contributing property in the Hays Street Historic District in 1982.


KCIX (105.9 FM) is a commercial radio station located in Garden City, Idaho, broadcasting to the Boise, Idaho, area. KCIX airs a hot adult contemporary music format.


KIZN is a commercial radio station located in Boise, Idaho, broadcasting on 92.3 FM. KIZN airs a HOT Country Music format branded as "Idaho Country - KIZN KISSIN 92.3". The call letter K I Z N means Kissing.


KKGL (96.9 FM, "The Eagle") is a commercial radio station located in Nampa, Idaho that serves the Boise area. KKGL airs a classic rock format. This station is also an affiliate for the Bob and Tom Show.


KQFC is a commercial radio station located in Boise, Idaho, broadcasting on 97.9 FM. KQFC airs a Traditional/Classic Country music format and is owned by Cumulus Media, which also owns fellow country sister station KIZN.


KSAS-FM (103.5 FM, "Kiss-FM") is a commercial radio station located in Caldwell, Idaho, broadcasting to the Boise, Idaho area. KSAS-FM airs a Top 40 (CHR) music format.

The station made headlines in April 2008 when its afternoon disc jockey, Steve "KeKe Luv" Kicklighter, set an unofficial world record by going 175 consecutive hours without sleep, on the air. The stunt was timed to the start of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, in order to bring attention to that cause. In April 2009, Keke Luv ran 7 marathons in 7 days to raise awareness to child abuse.


KTIK-FM (93.1 FM) is a commercial radio station located in New Plymouth, Idaho, broadcasting to the Boise, Idaho area. KTIK-FM airs a sports format branded as "93.1 The Ticket" and is under ownership of Cumulus Media.


KTIK (1350 AM, "The Ticket") is a commercial radio station located in Boise, Idaho, United States. KTIK airs sports/talk programming as an CBS Sports Radio affiliate and is under ownership of Cumulus Media.

On January 26, 2011, KTIK began simulcasting on KZMG 93.1 FM, which was subsequently renamed KTIK-FM.

List of tallest buildings in Boise

The following table shows the fourteen tallest buildings in Boise, Idaho. The tallest building in Boise and the state of Idaho since 2013 is the 8th & Main Building at 18 floors and 323 feet (278 feet without the spire) in height.

M. J. Marks House

The M.J. Marks House in Boise, Idaho, is a ​2 1⁄2-story Colonial Revival house with "bungaloid features" designed by Tourtellotte & Hummel and constructed in 1911. The house includes random course sandstone veneer on first-story walls with flared second-story walls veneered with square shingles under a low pitch hip roof. Room sized porches are a prominent feature of the design.


ProClarity Corporation was a software company specializing in business intelligence and data analysis applications.

The company was founded in 1995 as Knosys Inc. in Boise, Idaho. The company was renamed ProClarity after its primary commercial software product, "ProClarity", in 2001.

ProClarity's software products integrated tightly with Microsoft Analysis Services.

Among ProClarity's more than 2,000 global clients were AT&T, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, Pennzoil QuakerState, Reckitt Benckiser, Roche, Siemens, USDA, Verizon, and Wells Fargo.

On April 3, 2006, Microsoft announced the acquisition of ProClarity. The company was gradually folded into Microsoft's Business Division while a final update to the software product, version 6.3, was released in 2007. Additional business intelligence components, such as PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint 2010, and business intelligence improvements in Excel were released by the division in subsequent years.

WinCo Foods

WinCo Foods, Inc. is a privately held, majority employee-owned American supermarket chain based in Boise, Idaho with retail stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. It previously operated stores as Waremart Food Centers and Cub Foods (under a franchise agreement) until 1999. WinCo foods began reestablishing Waremart Foods in 2017. WinCo has 122 retail stores and six distribution centers with over 18,000 employees.

Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Climate data for Boise Airport, Idaho (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1875–present)[a]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 61
Average high °F (°C) 33.8
Daily mean °F (°C) 27.3
Average low °F (°C) 20.7
Record low °F (°C) −30
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.24
Average snowfall inches (cm) 9.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.5 9.0 10.0 8.8 7.7 5.0 2.6 2.4 3.7 5.5 10.6 11.8 87.6
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 8.3 6.2 3.7 1.4 0 0 0 0 0 1.1 4.7 7.3 32.7
Average relative humidity (%) 75.0 69.9 59.5 52.3 48.7 44.7 36.1 37.2 45.1 53.6 68.5 74.6 55.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 109.3 151.9 238.6 281.4 335.5 351.6 399.8 358.8 303.6 238.1 119.6 105.2 2,993.4
Percent possible sunshine 38 52 64 70 74 76 86 83 81 70 41 38 67
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)[32][33][34]
Articles relating to Boise, Idaho

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