Geographical Facts About Idaho
|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 of Idaho Geography
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 of Idaho
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.
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.
Major rivers in Idaho are Snake River, the Clearwater River, the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, and the Salmon River.
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.