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Cyber-trip pioneer towns and mountains in southeast Idaho

SHARE Cyber-trip pioneer towns and mountains in southeast Idaho

You could be sitting in a boat right now, trying to outwit a trophy-size cutthroat trout or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery surrounding mile-high Bear Lake in Idaho's southeast corner. It's just one of the many attractions in an area that some travelers might overlook on their dash to more northerly parts.

Bear Lake — www.bearlake.org — offers a little of everything — from fishing and sailing in the summer to skiing in the winter. Click on "Spring/Summer/Fall Activities" to look up fishing and see just how big those trout can get, and check out hiking trails, caves, camping and water sports. We're too late for Raspberry Days, Aug. 3-5, but you could file it away for next summer. And whether you travel with a tent and sleeping bag, a camper trailer or just suitcases, there are plenty of places around the lake to spend your nights.

Pick up more details from the Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce — www.bearlakechamber.org — (with bear sound effects) including a link to "Untraveled Road" for photos, or the Bear Lake Rendezvous CofC — www.bearlakechamber.com — which covers the Utah side of the lake.

Only have time for a road trip through the area? Try the Pioneer Historic Byway — www.pioneerhistoricbyway.org — which wanders through this corner of Idaho from Franklin, the state's oldest town, on the Utah state line and ends up at Freedom, Wyo. If you're heading north from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park, you could stay on I-15 and branch off on U.S. 20 toward the park entrance in Montana, but they claim this scenic route provides the shortest traveling distance.

If you only followed that route, you could miss a lot of this corner of the state. Look at the Pioneer Country Travel Guide — www.seidaho.org — and take the "City Tour" for links to info on Pocatello, Lava Hot Springs and Blackfoot. Feeling tired and achy after a long hiking trip? Consider their "Hot Pool Tour" for the local natural hot springs. Follow the "Pioneer Tour," the "Oregon Trail" or one of several "Scenic Tours."

Just to the north is the tourism region they call Yellowstone-Teton Territory — www.yellowstoneteton.org — where the emphasis is more on wild rivers, thick forests and mountains. This is the sort of country where you might want to consult the directory of outfitters for a hunting or fishing trip, or consider a guest ranch instead of a motel. Look under "Things to Do" to learn where you can go rock climbing or biking, do some more fishing, watch wildlife or just take a scenic drive. That's also where you'll find the link to the Idaho Centennial Carousel, a lovingly restored antique.

Don't overlook Idaho Parks and Recreation — www.idahoparks.org — which has a map where you can click on the region's highlights including Harriman State Park, which boasts eight miles of fly-fishing on Henry's Fork.

And if you're going after the trout in Henry's Fork or Bear Lake, Idaho Fish and Game — fishandgame.idaho.gov/fish/ — has license information and regulations, as well as helpful regional fishing information.

Take the time to expand your travel horizons around the rest of the state with the help of the official Idaho Travel and Tourism Guide — www.visitid.org — where you can browse through "Attractions" from the Craters of the Moon to the Idaho Potato Expo, or sample the suggestions under "Vacation Ideas."