Idaho’s claim to fame lies in potatoes, however, the first potato in America was planted in New Hampshire in 1719. Potatoes didn’t even reach Idaho until 1836. Still, Idaho produces approximately one-third of the potatoes in the United States. As a state, though, Idaho has much more to offer. The Idaho landscape is rugged and can be wild. It’s home to the deepest river gorge in North America: Hells Canyon. At 7,993 feet deep, Hells Canyon beats even the 6,000 foot depth of the Grand Canyon. In 1805-1806, while still a part of the Oregon country and jointly owned by the United States and Great Britain, this region was explored by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Idaho is known as the Gem State; as nearly every type of gemstone and more than seventy-two types of precious and semi- precious stones are mined there. Idaho is also one of only two places on the planet to find star garnets -- India is the other. Idaho even derives its name from a mining lie. A mining lobbyist named George M. Willing presented the name to Congress claiming that it was a Shoshone word meaning “Gem of the Mountains” and by the time they found out that it was an invented word “Idaho” had already stuck.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
Weiser, Idaho was named after Peter Weiser, an American soldier and member of the Corps of Discovery on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Weiser is the county seat of Washington County in southwest Idaho. Weiser’s community motto is “We Love Our Kids” which shows faith in their future, however, they’re equally proud of their past. Many of the town’s buildings, including the Galloway House, Pythian Castle, and the Union Pacific Train Depot, are now on the Historic Register. The town is also home to several parks and the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest and Festival.
Yellowstone and Teton National Parks are within an hour’s drive of Rexburg; outdoor recreational activities like fishing, hunting, and camping are common throughout all four seasons. The city founders recognized education and commerce as essential to building a strong community; in 1883, the first year of Rexburg’s settlement, they organized Bannock Stake Academy, the first primary school in the area. In 1888, just five years later, Ricks Academy was founded (eventually becoming Ricks College and, in 2001, became Brigham Young University-Idaho). With a student to teacher ratio of 15:1 in public schools, Rexburg is an ideal location to educate your children.
3. SODA SPRINGS
Soda Springs is home to the Soda Springs Geyser. The geyser was discovered in 1937 while a drilling operation was preparing to build a natural hot springs swimming pool. They struck the geyser and it shot 100 feet into the air. Now a timer activates it once an hour. It’s the only captive geyser in the United States. Soda Springs reported 3 violent crimes and 21 property crimes.
Challis is located in central Idaho next to the Salmon/Challis National Forest and on the Salmon River. In 1876, Alvah Challis saw the area’s growing ranch and mining industries and knew there was a need for a supply depot. The Challis economy is still supported by active mines and many of its original buildings still exist along Main Street. Despite being a small, relatively isolated town in the Idaho mountains, Challis is the seat of Custer County. Challis had 2 violent crimes and 6 property crimes.
Sacajawea (the Shoshone woman who acted as a guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition) was born near present-day Salmon, Idaho. Salmon is home to the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, and Educational Center; their mission statement being, “...to foster the knowledge and appreciation of the Agai’dika Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Western frontier life, and the natural environment.” Salmon reported 3 violent crimes and 24 property crimes.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Idaho, 2017
3. Soda Springs
44. Idaho Falls
25. Mountain Home
16. St. Anthony
36. Priest River
27. St. Maries
47. Coeur d'Alene
8. Spirit Lake
48. Twin Falls
19. Sun Valley
10. American Falls
40. Post Falls
To identify the safest cities in Idaho, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.