A happy town nestled near the banks of the Snake River, Pocatello, Idaho stakes its claim in southeastern Idaho as the “U.S. Smile Capital,” and once you spend some time here you’ll begin to understand why. Back in the mid-1800s at the height of Manifest Destiny, the famed Oregon Trail passed just south of modern-day Pocatello. So, it’s no surprise that the town of Pocatello, about 50 miles south of Idaho Falls, sprung up in 1889 and has continued to grow, recently being named as one of the best towns in the U.S.A. to start a business. Nowadays, people travel to Pocatello, the “Gateway to the Northwest,” for adventuring, exploration, and a way to retreat from the hectic world we live in.
When you rent an RV in Pocatello, planning on doing most of the driving. While there is a bus service in Pocatello run by the Pocatello Regional Transit, there are five routes that run during the weekdays with no weekend or evening operative times.
After you book an RV in Bannock County, the wild world of northwest America will open up to you. You’ll be able to go to hiking up the Rocky Mountains, backpacking through the various forests, and explore the all-smiles town of Pocatello.
The Great Outdoors
If you want to feel as though you’ve traveled to a distant planet, look no further than the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Just to the west of town, this otherworldly landscape is just waiting to be explored. The site of a now dormant volcano, Craters is made up of ancient, hardened lava flows of blacks and dark reds that completely take over the landscape. You can go hiking through ancient cave systems and marvel in the geologic features all around you. The International Dark Sky Association has given International Dark Sky Park status to the park, meaning that the park not only has some of the darkest skies, thus allowing you to see so much of the night sky, but that they strive to spread awareness of the harmful effects of light pollution.
Even farther west of Pocatello is Sawtooth National Forest. In the heart of Idaho, you’ll be able to hike along one of the countless trails that wind their way through the park. You’ll be treated to mountain views, stunning wildflowers, and crystal clear lakes. If you feel like challenging yourself, you can hike up, or even climb, some of these sturdy peaks and get one-of-a-kind views of Sawtooth Range and Boulder Range. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, you can spread out on the shores of Redfish Lake and soak up some sun or try your hand at some fishing or sailing.
If you’re willing to leave the Gem State and give your Pocatello motorhome rental a little bit of road time, about two and a half hours away is Grand Teton National Park. With dramatic, high-reaching peaks, strong rivers, and roaming wildlife, Grand Teton is the wilderness of the American West left perfectly untouched. With almost 200 miles of trails, you can hike for a day, for a weekend, or for a week as you explore this dramatic landscape. Or, if you want a more relaxing way to reconnect with nature, you can go tubing down Snake River in the summer or find a prime campsite in the winter and enjoy some cross country skiing along the base of the mountains and curl up with some hot chocolate by the campfire at night.
After exploring the Gem State, you’re going to need to find a place to park your Pocatello RV rental by owner for the night so you can recharge before conquering another mountain or two.
On the northern side of town, near the banks of the Portneuf River, Batise Springs RV Park invites RV adventurers to relax in the fresh air and enjoy some local bird watching. Batise Springs offers full hookups, bathrooms with showers, and laundry facilities to make your home away from home even more comfortable.
In the northeast corner of town sits Pocatello KOA. Here, they have full hookups, bathrooms with showers, WiFi, an on-site convenience store, and laundry facilities. You’ll enjoy your mountain views as you sit by the fire and reminisce about your day.
Explore the City
After you finish exploring southern Idaho, turn your Pocatello camper rental back to town. There is a lot to see and do in the “U.S. Smile Capital”.
If you want to learn more about the area around you, spend your day at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. You can get up close and personal to displays of replicas from the Ice Age, such as saber-tooth cats and giant ground sloths and imagine yourself coming face to face with one of these hulking megafauna. On top of this permanent exhibit, there are always rotating exhibits making their way through the museum, so no matter how many times you come back to Pocatello, you’ll be able to see something new.
Maybe you didn’t get enough of the Idahoan wildlife and you want to see a little more. Then look no further than Zoo Idaho. Showcasing dozens of species local to the American West, you’ll be amazed by the impressive animals that call American home. You can watch black bears at play, grizzlies napping in the sun, bison meandering through their enclosure, and try to figure out if you’re observing the mountain lion or if it is observing you.
If you were amazed by Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, then you are going to love the Hot Pools at Lava Hot Springs. Only about 30 minutes southeast in the Pocatello, ID RV rental, you can spend the day relaxing and unwinding in the natural, geothermal hot springs.
After a day of hiking over mountains and through valleys, you’re going to want to refuel. There’s no better way to refuel in Idaho than treating yourself to a hearty bison burger or a heaping scoop of huckleberry ice cream.
Pocatello, ID is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Pocatello. Outdoorsy's Pocatello RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.