Southwestern Idaho

Southwestern Idaho is a geographical term for the area along the U.S. state of Idaho's borders with Oregon and Nevada. It includes the populous areas of the Boise metropolitan area and Treasure Valley.

Map of Idaho highlighting Southwest Idaho
Southwestern Idaho highlighted in red on a map of Idaho.


Ada | Adams | Boise | Canyon | Elmore | Gem | Owyhee | Payette | Valley | Washington

Cities and towns

Atlanta (Historic) | Boise | Bruneau | Caldwell | Cambridge | Cascade | Council | Donnelly | Eagle | Emmett | Fall Creek | Featherville | Fruitland | Garden Valley | Glenns Ferry | Grand View | Greenleaf | Homedale | Horseshoe Bend | Idaho City | Kuna | Lowman | Marsing | McCall | Melba | Meridian | Midvale | Mountain Home | Murphy | Nampa | New Meadows | New Plymouth | Notus | Parma | Payette | Silver City | Weiser | Wilder | Yellow Pine

External links

Coordinates: 43°30′N 116°30′W / 43.500°N 116.500°W

Big Jacks Creek Wilderness

The Big Jacks Creek Wilderness is located on the high basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. Little Jacks Creek Wilderness is on its northwest border. About 35 miles (56 km) of Big Jacks Creek is classified as a wild river.

Boise River

The Boise River is a 102-mile-long (164 km) tributary of the Snake River in the northwestern United States. It drains a rugged portion of the Sawtooth Range in southwestern Idaho northeast of Boise, as well as part of the western Snake River Plain. The watershed encompasses approximately 4,100 square miles (11,000 km2) of highly diverse habitats, including alpine canyons, forest, rangeland, agricultural lands, and urban areas.

Boise Weekly

Boise Weekly is a newspaper in Boise, Idaho, United States. It was founded in 1992 by Andy and Debi Hedden-Nicely and Larry Regan.

It is owned by Adams Publishing Group and is part of the Idaho Press.

It has an unaudited circulation of 35,000 and is published weekly on Wednesday. Its market is southwestern Idaho from McCall on the northwest to Sun Valley to the east.

In February 2000, the paper was sold to the Portland, Oregon-based City of Roses Newspaper Company, which also owns two other alt-weekly newspapers, Willamette Week and the Santa Fe Reporter, but only a year and a half later, in August 2001, City of Roses sold the Boise Weekly to Mark ("Bingo") Barnes and Sally Barnes (nee Freeman). Bingo Barnes became its publisher and editor-in-chief. The Barneses were married, but they later divorced and Sally Barnes resumed using her unmarried name of Sally Freeman. In 2007, Bingo Barnes left to become publisher of the Anchorage Press and in 2013 became the editor of Kuna Melba News in Kuna, Idaho. Freeman became full owner of the Boise Weekly, also remaining its publisher.

Boise metropolitan area

The Boise City–Nampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (commonly known as the Boise Metropolitan Area or the Treasure Valley) is an area that encompasses Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem, and Owyhee counties in southwestern Idaho. It is distinct from the wider Boise City–Mountain Home–Ontario, ID–OR Combined Statistical Area, an area consisting of seven counties in southwestern Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon anchored by the cities of Boise and Nampa. It is the state's largest officially designated metropolitan area and includes Idaho's three largest cities – Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. Nearly 40 percent of Idaho's total population lives in the area.

As of the 2017 estimate, the Boise City–Nampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a population of 709,845., while the larger Boise City–Mountain Home–Ontario, ID–OR Combined Statistical Area (CSA) had a population of 756,061. The metro area is currently the third largest in the US section of the Pacific Northwest after Seattle and Portland, and has replaced Akron, OH as the 80th largest metropolitan area in the United States.

Bruneau River

The Bruneau River is a 153-mile-long (246 km) tributary of the Snake River, in the U.S. states of Idaho and Nevada. It runs through a narrow canyon cut into ancient lava flows in southwestern Idaho. The Bruneau Canyon, which is up to 1,200 feet (370 m) deep and 40 miles (64 km) long, features rapids and hot springs, making it a popular whitewater trip.

The Bruneau River's drainage basin is bounded by the Jarbidge Mountains to the southeast, the Owyhee Mountains and Chalk Hills to the west, and the Bruneau Plateau to the east.

Bruneau–Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness

The Bruneau – Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness is located on the high basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. The wilderness area is named after and protects much of the Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers and their canyons. Whitewater rafting is a popular recreational activity in this wilderness area, which has rivers up to Class V. About 40 miles (64 km) of the Bruneau River and about 28.8 miles (46.3 km) of the Jarbidge River are classified as a wild river.

Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe

The Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone peoples, whose reservation Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation spans the Nevada and Oregon border next to Idaho. The reservation has 16,354 acres in Nevada and 19,000 acres in Oregon.

Peoples from these two tribes have historically also lived in what is now defined as southwestern Idaho. They are close culturally and linguistically to the Bannock people and various other Shoshone-language peoples. Peoples of these tribes are members of other federally recognized tribes in Nevada and Idaho.

In October 2016 a federal law was passed to put approximately 19,094 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land into trust for the Tribe in order to expand their reservation; this was done under the Nevada Native Nations Land Act. Gaming is prohibited on the new lands.

Francois Payette

Francois Payette (b.1793 – d. post 1844) was a North American fur trader. Born near Montreal, he began his career as a canoeman, was hired by John Jacob Astor and shipped to the Oregon Country aboard the SS Beaver, entering the mouth of the Columbia River on May 9, 1812. With the sale of Astor's Pacific Fur Company to the North West Company in 1813, Payette joined the NWC, "accompanying numerous expeditions into the interior." When the Hudson's Bay Company absorbed the North West Company in 1821, Payette transferred allegiance to the HBC. He took part in notable fur gathering-trading expeditions throughout the upper Rockies and was an occasional interpreter, sometimes second in command of brigades, and clerk.

He was stationed at old Fort Boise (near present-day Parma) for his last years with the company, retiring June 1, 1844. While in the Northwest, Payette had at least one child by a Flathead woman. The child was named Baptiste who spent the winter of 1833–1834 studying in Boston.After this, there are two known stories. The first is that he returned to Montreal, and nothing more is known of him. The second is the account of George Goodhart, who claims he died in Idaho, either in 1854 or 1855 and was buried in the area now known as Washoe, looking over the Snake and Payette rivers.

He was one of the more able and worthy HBC men in the interior of the Northwest. In southwestern Idaho, a river, county, city, and a national forest are named for him.

Canadian former astronaut Julie Payette claimed him to be an ancestor, during her inaugural speech as Governor General of Canada on October 2, 2017.

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area located on the borders of the U.S. states of Oregon and Idaho. The recreation area, which is managed by the United States Forest Service as part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, was established by U.S. Congress in 1975 to protect the historic and archaeological values of the Hells Canyon area and the area of the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and the Oregon-Washington border.

Roughly 215,000 acres (900 km2) of the recreation area are designated the Hells Canyon Wilderness. There are nearly 900 miles (1,400 km) of hiking trails in the recreation area. The largest portion of the area lies in eastern Wallowa County, Oregon. Smaller portions lie in southwestern Idaho County, Idaho, northwestern Adams County, Idaho, and northeastern Baker County, Oregon.


KBOI is a commercial AM radio station in the western United States, located in Boise, Idaho, broadcasting on 670 kHz under ownership of Cumulus Media. KBOI airs news/talk programming. Studios are located on Bannock Street in downtown Boise, while it transmits from a six-tower facility southeast of Nampa.

KBOI is Idaho's most powerful AM station, broadcasting with 50,000 watts around the clock. During the day, a single tower beams the station's full power to southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon by day. At night, power is fed to all six towers in a directional pattern to avoid interfering with WSCR in Chicago, the Clear-channel station on 670 kHz. Even though it must direct its signal north-south as a result, KBOI can still be heard across most of western North America at night.

KBOI is licensed by the FCC to broadcast in the HD (hybrid digital) format, although it currently does not have HD turned on as of 7 March 2018.

Little Jacks Creek Wilderness

The Little Jacks Creek Wilderness is located on the high basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. Big Jacks Creek Wilderness is on its southeast border. About 12.4 miles (20.0 km) of Little Jacks Creek is classified as a wild river.

Nevada State Route 225

State Route 225 (SR 225) is a state highway in Elko County, Nevada, United States. Known as the Mountain City Highway, it connects the city of Elko to the town of Owyhee near the southwestern Idaho border via Mountain City. The route provides connections to Mountain Home, Idaho and Interstate 84 via Idaho State Highway 51.

North Fork Owyhee Wilderness

The North Fork Owyhee Wilderness is on the high basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. The rivers within it offer whitewater rapids up to Class IV. The upper 20.8 miles (33.5 km) of the North Fork Owyhee River, from the Idaho–Oregon border to the upstream boundary of the wilderness, are part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Of this total, 15.1 miles (24.3 km) are classified as wild and the remaining 5.7 miles (9.2 km) are classified "recreational".

Owyhee Reservoir

Owyhee Reservoir or Owyhee Lake is a reservoir on the Owyhee River in Malheur County, Oregon, United States. Located in far Eastern Oregon near the Idaho border, the reservoir is Oregon's longest at 52 miles (84 km). The 13,900-acre (56 km2) lake is home to several species of fish, including crappie, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead. An artificial lake, it was created in 1932 with the completion of the Owyhee Dam. The lake supplies water for irrigation for 1,800 farms covering 118,000 acres of land in Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho. Seasonal Lake Owyhee State Park is located on the northeast shore and includes a boat ramp.

Owyhee River

The Owyhee River is a tributary of the Snake River located in northern Nevada, southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon in the United States. It is 346 miles (557 km) long. The river's drainage basin is 11,049 square miles (28,620 km2) in area, one of the largest subbasins of the Columbia Basin. The mean annual discharge is 995 cubic feet per second (28.2 m3/s), with a maximum of 50,000 cu ft/s (1,400 m3/s) recorded in 1993 and a minimum of 42 cu ft/s (1.2 m3/s) in 1954.The Owyhee drains a remote area of the arid plateau region on the north edge of the Great Basin, rising in northeastern Nevada and flowing generally northward near the Oregon-Idaho border to the Snake River. Its watershed is very sparsely populated. The Owyhee River and its tributaries flow through the Owyhee Plateau, cutting deep canyons, often with vertical walls and in some places over 1,000 feet (300 m) deep.

Owyhee River Wilderness

The Owyhee River Wilderness is located on the high basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. The wilderness area is named after and protects the upper Owyhee River, its tributaries, and the surrounding desert canyon landscape. Whitewater rafting is a popular recreational activity in this wilderness area. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, it is the second-largest U.S. Wilderness Area that is not located within a National Forest, National Park, or National Wildlife Refuge. The BLM's Black Rock Desert Wilderness, located within Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, is larger. About 67.3 miles (108.3 km) of the Owyhee River is classified as a wild river.

Pole Creek Wilderness

The Pole Creek Wilderness is located on the high rhyolite and basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. Its whitewater rapids are a popular attraction.

Snake River Valley AVA

The Snake River Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area that encompasses an area in Southwestern Idaho and two counties in eastern Oregon. The Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission and the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor filed the petition to recognize the AVA, and it was granted in 2007.

For wines to bear the Snake River Valley AVA label, at least 85% of the grapes used for production must be grown in the designated area, which includes the Southwestern Idaho counties of Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls, and Washington, and the Eastern Oregon counties of Malheur and Baker.

The AVA encompasses 15 wineries, 46 vineyards, and 1,800 acres (728 ha) of commercial vineyard production.

Treasure Valley

The Treasure Valley is a valley in the western United States, primarily in southwestern Idaho, where the Payette, Boise, Weiser, Malheur, Owyhee, and Burnt rivers drain into the Snake River. It includes all the lowland areas from Vale in rural eastern Oregon to Boise, and is the most populated area in Idaho.

Historically, the valley had been known as the Lower Snake River Valley or the Boise River Valley. Pete Olesen, president of the valley's association of local Chambers of Commerce, coined the name "Treasure Valley" in 1959 to reflect the treasure chest of resources and opportunities that the region offered.


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