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Geography of Idhaho

Idaho has a total area of 83,574 square miles, making it the 14th largest state in the country.
Area 83,574 square miles
Land Area 82,751 square miles
Water Area 823 square miles
Highest point Borah Peak at 12,662 feet above sea level
Lowest point Snake River at 710 feet above sea level
Highest temperature 118 degrees Fahrenheit
Lowest temperature -60 degrees Fahrenheit
Geographic Center Custer County, southwest of Challis

General Features

Idaho is located in Northwestern region of United States. It is bordered by Washington and Oregon to the west, Nevada and Utah to the south, Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, and Wyoming and Montana to the east. It has the most rugged terrain in the country, with around 80 recognized mountain ranges.

Geographically, the state can be divided into three regions:

  • Rocky Mountains: The Rocky Mountain region extends from the Idaho Panhandle and along the Wyoming border. Home to the deepest gorge in North America, Hells Canyon, the topography of this region is characterized by steep gorges, deep canyons and swift streams and rivers. The Continental Divided runs through the state in the Bitterroots Mountain Ranges. The highest mountain in the state, the Borah Peak, is located in the Lost River Range which extends 70 miles.
    • Columbian Plateau: The Columbia Plateau enters the state at the base of the Idaho Panhandle, and follows the Snake River across southern Idaho. The Snake River Plain extends over a strip of land 20-40 miles on both sides of the Snake River. Potato and sugar beets are grown on this plain.
    • Basin and Range Region: Basin and Range Region is in the southeastern region of the state. In the mountainous section of this region, the topography is characterized by deep valleys and grassy plateaus.
    Climate

    The climate of Idaho is greatly influenced by Pacific weather patterns and is diverse. During winters the humidity and precipitation are at the highest. The climate of this region is diverse, with maritime influence being lowest in the southeastern region of the state. Southeastern region has wet summers and dry winters. It is cooler than the west and drier than the north. Tornadoes are very rare and the average annual rainfall varies from region to region.

    Mountains

    Idaho has more than 75 mountain ranges, with fifty mountain peaks having an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level. Some of the mountains in this region are Clearwater Mountains, Seven Devils Mountains, Sawtooth Mountains, Black Pine Mountains, and Bald Mountains.

    Rivers

    Major rivers in Idaho are Snake River, the Clearwater River, the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, and the Salmon River.

    Lakes

    Lake Cascade is situated on the North Fork of the Payette River. It is the fourth largest lake in the state. Other important lakes are Hayden Lake, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Bear Lake, Stanley Lake, and Warm Lake.