Mountain Home AFB, ID Image 1
    Mountain Home AFB, ID Image 2

    Mountain Home AFB, ID Museums

    Mountain Home

    Mountain Home is a bit remote, and finding the more interesting parts of Idaho may involve a road trip.

    This area of Idaho once had a silver mining boom, and Silver City, Idaho, about two hours west of base, was one of the most prosperous towns around until the mines played out. Today, Silver City is a living ghost town, with a few residents remaining and a lot of abandoned buildings. They'd love to show you around.

    Idaho has some interesting geology, for those interested, and one of the interesting sites is Crater Rings National Natural Monument, only about 9 miles due north of base. These two craters are all that's left of the mouth of a long extinct shield volcano. There's no interpretive center, and no park, but this is one of the few places in the world you can stand in the mouth of a volcano. To get there, take Grand View Road to Simco Road, turn right, follow to Carl Hickey Road, turn right, and stop before you fall in the crater. This is a rough road, not for your average small compact.


    The Boise area has a lot to offer; this is the third largest city in the Northwest, largest city of Idaho, and the state capitol.

    The Idaho State Capitol Building is in Boise, and can be toured with a self-guided tour or with a pre-arranged guided tour.

    Idaho has a historic Basque population (they're from the south of France-north of Spain border region; but they're not French or Spanish. They're sort of the original natives), who settled here to raise sheep; Boise has a famous -sort of- ethnic neighborhood, the Basque Block, where you can enjoy excellent Basque food and shop for some Basque crafts, or just enjoy the atmosphere. Try the lamb.

    The Boise Egyptian Theatre is a classic 1920s era theater and venue for film, and live music, drama, opera and other shows. The theater is decorated in a 1920s-Ancient Egyptian theme - Egypt was hugely popular at the time, and has seen some of the greatest performers of their time walk its boards.

    Museum District - Not officially, but several of the local museums and display collections are in the same area, including major art museums, the science museum, and zoo.

    The Boise Art Museum (known as BAM!) has an extensive permanent collection, regular touring exhibits, and educational programs including art classes for children and adults and school visits.

    The Discovery Center of Idaho is the local science museum, with daily science demonstrations, day camps, Science Saturdays, adult science programs, and lots of exhibits and activities.

    The Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology showcases mining history and technology, and geology in general. Mining was, and is, very important to Idaho (The "Gem State"), and the state has a geology of great interest to any professional or amateur geologist, mineralogist, or rock hound. The museum has a number of exhibits, including a deep geologic time, erosion, glowing rocks, a mining camp and tunnel, and a lot of cool rocks.

    The Boise Union Pacific Depot is a railroad museum in a converted Union Pacific station.
    Further Afield

    Not near base, but interesting to some, is the Idaho Potato Museum, dedicated to the humble potato and its many forms and cooking methods. Potatoes are an important crop in Idaho (State Motto: Great Potatoes) and pretty important food for most people. If you have some time and are in eastern Idaho, roll by Blackfoot Idaho - it's about 3 and a half hours from base.