The Pocatello metropolitan area is home to approximately 65,000 people. With Idaho State University and several large industries, Pocatello serves as the educational and commercial center for Eastern Idaho. As a University town the population shows a wide cultural diversity. There are active and welcoming congregations serving all the major religious denominations.
Pocatello offers shopping, theatre, movies, museums, parks, golf courses and a zoo, as well as a hot springs resort and ski area within 1/2 hour drives. The Fort Hall Reservation, home to the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, houses a tribal museum. Pocatello is the annual host to numerous national events and touring performances.
Pocatello: Gate City
Named for Chief Pocatello with a history rich in Native American culture, the area became popular with fur trappers and traders once Lewis and Clark sent back reports of the many riches in the region. In 1832 the Hudson Bay Company established a permanent settlement at nearby Fort Hall, which later became a supply point for immigrants traveling the Oregon Trail. Known as the "Gate City" due to its strategic location at a natural break in the mountains, Pocatello has long been a natural transportation center for Western settlement, for the railroad, and as a highway crossroads.
Dry Mountain Climate
Pocatello is at an elevation of 4,450 feet in the moderately broad valley of the Portneuf River, a tributary of the Snake River. Rolling hills bordering Pocatello rise approximately 1,000 feet above the valley, while mountains within a few miles to the south reach elevations of 9,260 feet.
Pocatello has a dry climate, with the cool winters and mild summers that are typical of the Intermountain West. Average annual precipitation is 10-12 inches with 42.7 inches of snowfall.
Outdoor Recreation Paradise
At an elevation of 4,450 feet, Pocatello's setting among unspoiled mountains and streams is an outdoorsman's paradise. Abounding with mountains, cliffs, lakes, rivers, and natural hot springs, the Pocatello region offers endless recreational adventures such as hunting, rock climbing, water skiing, rafting, hot tubbing in natural springs, swimming, snow skiing, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and horse riding. Fishing opportunities abound among the dozens of reservoirs, ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers that cover SE Idaho.
What can I do on my day off?
- Farmers Market
- Art Walk
- Revive @ 5 Wednesday concerts
- Westside Players Dinner Theater
- Zoo Events
- Ross Water Park
- Sagebrush Arts Fest
- Wildflower Festival
- Bannock County Bluegrass Festival
- Shoshone-Bannock Festival Pow-Wow
- Pocaroo Music Festival
- Grapes & Hops on the Greenway
- Pioneer Day Celebration
- Oktoberfest at the Brewery
Stephens Arts Performing Center
- Dance / Ballet
Idaho State University
- Summer Concert Series
- International Dinners & Festival
- Sports Events
- Natural History Museum
- Craft Shop
- Outdoor Adventure Center (outdoor info & gear rentals)
- Movie theater
- Game Center
- Pebble Creek Ski Area: Pebble Creek has year-round activities. Ski or snowboard in the winter and then go again in the summer for the Wildflower Festival.
- Mink Creek Area with Winter Nordic Center: The Mink Creek area has year-round access for camping, hiking, and off-roading in the summer. The Nordic Center has a full service rental center for cross-county skiing and snow shoeing.
- Gate City Grays BaseBall Team: Our local semi-professional baseball team. Enjoy a great summer's evening!
- Lava Hot Springs: Take a soothing plunge in Idaho's World Famous Hot Springs. These 110-degree natural hot water springs are sulfur-free, odor-free and chlorine-free. Enjoy the Olympic-size swimming and diving pool or rent some tubes and float down the Portneuf River through town.
What can I do on my weekend off?
Bear Lake has some of the bluest water in Idaho with sandy beaches, campgrounds, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, sailing and wind surfing. Just west of the Bear Lake community of St. Charles is the incredible Minnetonka Cave.
Craters of the Moon National Park
Craters of the Moon is a volcanic wonderland that is fun to explore. An ocean of unearthly landscapes and lava tube cave exploration for almost everyone.
Sun Valley is located in the Sawtooth Wilderness. The wilderness is home to more than 300 alpine lakes, which provide ample opportunities for fishing and hiking. It is a premier ski resort which draws people from around the world. Secluded guest ranches, motels, resorts and gift shops are plentiful.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson is a historic town that will simply amaze you. It includes two ski areas and several galleries, shops, theaters, motels and resorts. The nearby historic Elk refuge allows visitors to view winter feeding of migrating elk.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is America's oldest and largest national park. Camp, backpack, hike or bicycle while you enjoy the wildlife, hot springs, paint pots, geysers, canyons, rivers, waterfalls and, of course, Old Faithful.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in all of North America. This park includes 10 mountain summits which tower more than a vertical mile above the flat valley floor. Glaciers cling to mountain faces and jewel-like lakes sparkle in the bright alpine sun. Elk, bison, moose, bald eagles, and trumpeter swans can be seen. Canoe rentals, mountain climbing classes, float trips and scenic walks are all offered at the park.