Blackfoot is a small city in Bingham County, Idaho, with a little less than 12,000 population. Blackfoot was founded in 1878 as a station on the Utah and Northern Railroad, which was later acquired by the Oregon Short Line.
The city’s name, Blackfoot, is derived from the Blackfoot Native American tribe. While the city is not located within the traditional territory of the Blackfoot tribe, it serves as a reminder of the region’s Native American heritage.
This picturesque city has the largest potato industry in the United States and one of the most fertile soils in the country. Blackfoot is also known as the Potato Capital of the world and has many things to offer its locals and tourists.
The Russet Burbank potato, one of the most popular varieties of potatoes in the United States and the preferred choice for making French fries, was first cultivated in Blackfoot by Luther Burbank in the late 1800s.
The city was named after the nearby Blackfoot River, which was so named because of the dark-colored soil along its banks.
Blackfoot is situated along Interstate 15, making it accessible to travelers. It’s approximately 20 miles north of Pocatello, another major city in Idaho.
Let’s explore together the best 15 things to do in Blackfoot, ID:
Things to Do in Blackfoot, Idaho
1. Learn all about potatoes at the Idaho Potato Museum
Since Blackfoot is the Potato Capital, it also makes sense to find the Idaho Potato Museum here. The museum is located in a railroad depot since 1913, making it even more worth visiting.
Here you will find all the potato strains grown in Idaho and their origin and cultivation needs. There is also a history of potato consumption in the states and the importance of these veggies in the local industry. But one of the most exciting items is the world’s largest potato chip, 25 inches by 14 inches.
You can end your visit to the Potato Museum by stopping at the cafe and enjoying some potato specialties. Besides the most popular potato dishes, you will also find potato ice cream and cupcakes here.
2. Attend a concert at Idaho State Fair
Another popular attraction in the area is the Idaho State Fair. This fair opens each year on Labor Day in the Main Street area of the city. Everything can be found at Idaho State Fair, from horseracing to bull riding and demolition derby. Influential artists also join the event with exquisite concerts.
The fair hosts plenty of talent shows and competitions, including animal displays and contests to entertain visitors.
Such a fair would only be complete with food. The best chefs from the region will spoil you with delicious dishes, from the most common ones to exquisite recipes. In a city with such a well-developed potato industry, potato specialties will also be an essential part of the menu.
3. Experience Blackfoot Movie Mill
You don’t need to come to Blackfoot to see a good movie, but you must go here to have an exciting movie experience. The movie center is located in the downtown area, a historic building from 1932.
Kent and Ingrid Lott are the couple who manages the Centre Twin Theatre and Paramount Triplex in Idaho Falls and also created the multiplex movie theater in Blackfoot.
The theater was created in the Blackfoot Motors building with seven screens and 1,035 seats. The movie theater opened in November 2018 and has the newest releases and the best movies of all time!
4. Admire nature at Blackfoot Green Belt
For those who love spending time outdoors and enjoying the beauty of nature, the Blackfoot Green Belt is a great area to spend the afternoon.
The Blackfoot Green Belt is 6.5 miles long and goes right along the bank of the Snake River. While the trail is a beautiful area to take a walk, it also connects other spots and parks in the region. The trail starts at Jensen Grove Park and goes to Airport Park and the Cannon Bridge.
If you have a free day to explore the recreation areas in Blackfoot, start at Blackfoot Green Belt, which will lead you to several exciting places.
5. Immerse in the Bingham County Historical Museum
The Bingham County Historical Museum is around the downtown area of Blackfoot. You will be able to notice the beautiful building that seems to be a well-developed mansion.
The building was made out of lava rock in 1905, and it hosts many artifacts representing the area. Among the exhibitions you can admire here are the Native American one, a military display, musical instruments, and even dolls.
There are also a collection of photographs representing the critical moments in local history, as well as a collection of clothes.
You can visit this museum from April 15 to October on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Thursdays from 9 AM to 2 PM.
6. Learn to play golf at Blackfoot Golf Course
If you like golf, you will find one of the best golf courses in Blackfoot. This course is near the Snake River, and it is fully functional and even has a shop where you can purchase all the necessary equipment. The front nine was landscaped in 1950, while the bank nine was completed in 1980.
This golf course is one of the most appreciated in the state of Idaho, and it is run by Mike Daley, a professional in this sport.
7. Enjoy a picnic at the Jensen Grove Park
If you like to spend time outdoors, Jensen Grove Park is the ideal place for you. The park is perfect for picnics, and there are regions dedicated mainly to kids if you want to bring the little ones with you for a family afternoon.
Inside the park, you will also find the 55-acre pond, one of its most outstanding features. Plus, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in the area, such as boating, swimming, and jet skiing.
8. Try paddleboarding at the Snake River
Blackfoot is right next to the Snake River, which opens the door to plenty of possibilities when it comes to water sports. If you catch a summer day when the river is calm, paddleboarding could be a great activity.
You can still try this out even if you are a beginner, as the river is typically slow water.
9. Have fun at Go Bowling
Going bowling is excellent to do with your friends, and Blackfoot has the right place at the Pindale Lanes. This is the best place for competitive bowling as well, and it is very family-friendly.
Every Saturday night, they have cosmic bowling, which can be an exquisite experience for everyone!
And if you want to meet some locals and have a great time, the Pindale Lanes are precisely where you should go. There is also a restaurant so you can have a delicious meal during your bowling breaks.
10. Appreciate natural beauty at the Butterfly Haven
The Butterfly Heaven in Idaho is as beautiful as it sounds. This butterfly house is outside Blackfoot on the west side, just 20 minutes of driving, and it exposes the most beautiful types of butterflies in the area. It is also the largest butterfly house in Idaho and one of the biggest local attractions.
The greenhouse is full of butterflies, giving each visitor a unique and colorful experience. There are more than 30 species of butterflies, among which enthusiasts will find red admirals, monarchs, buckeyes, and mourning cloaks.
11. Learn some history at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum is just a 15 to 18 minutes drive outside Blackfoot, in the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. These tribes are some federally recognized tribes and leave an excellent history for museum visitors.
If you like art and history, here you will find the best combination. The museum has artifacts used by the tribes and utensils and textiles. Every object has a beautiful description that gives you all the answers you need to understand its history and utility.
There are also artistic pictures to provide a better image of tribal people and how they used to live.
Before you end your visit, stop by the gift shop, where you can find unique souvenirs to bring home with you.
12. Admire a lava field at Hell’s Half Acre
The Hell’s Half Acre is an impressive lava field that spreads over the surface of 150 square miles. This lava formation is said to date from 3250 BCE, and the lava erupted from 50 miles beneath the earth’s surface.
The cracks in the cooled lava gave the name Hell’s Half Acre to this area. You can have a picnic here and even take a tour of the site in the regions that are accessible. You will find the Hell’s Half Acre north of the Snake River’s plain.
13. Enjoy nature at the Wolverine Canyon
Situated approximately 30 miles southwest of Blackfoot City it offers a scenic natural setting and the opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to explore its rugged beauty.
The Wolverine Canyon is the perfect place for those looking for an adventure. During winter, this is the area for snowboarding, and if you visit during the summer, you can enjoy mountain biking, camping, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities.
The Wolverine Canyon also offers sights of impressive animals, such as bald eagles, mountain lions, bears, and red deer. And if you decide to explore this area, check out the night sky, as the stars can be impressive from here.
14. Visit the Blackfoot Reservoir
Covering over 18,000 acres, the reservoir offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, including boating, fishing, camping, and hiking.
This is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee salmon, making it a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts.
Here you can go fishing and enjoy a picnic by the water’s edge, or camp at one of the many campgrounds in the area.
15. Attend a rodeo at the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds
This is a popular annual event in Blackfoot, Idaho taking place annually usually during the first full week of September. The rodeo is a showcase of the town’s Western heritage, with many of the participants and attendees dressed in traditional Western attire.
In addition to the rodeo itself, the fairgrounds offer a range of other activities and attractions, including carnival rides, food vendors, and live music. Make sure you do not miss it if you happen to be here during that time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Blackfoot Idaho known for?
Blackfoot, Idaho, is renowned as the ‘Potato Capital of the World’ due to its thriving potato industry supported by fertile soil and a favorable climate.
Is Blackfoot a good place to live?
Blackfoot’s suitability as a place to live depends on personal preferences and priorities. It offers a strong sense of community, a lower cost of living, and connections to agriculture. However, factors like job opportunities, education, and healthcare should be considered before making a decision.
What country is Blackfoot Idaho in?
Blackfoot, Idaho is located in the United States.
What is the history of Blackfoot Idaho?
Blackfoot, Idaho has a rich history tied to its agricultural roots and Native American heritage. The region’s fertile land attracted settlers in the late 1800s, leading to the establishment of the town. The town’s name references the Blackfoot Confederacy of Native American tribes.
Over the years, Blackfoot has developed as a center for potato farming and processing, earning it the nickname “Potato Capital of the World.” The town’s history is celebrated through landmarks like the Idaho Potato Museum and the annual Eastern Idaho State Fair.