Despite being inland, Idaho weather is largely influenced by climate from the Pacific Ocean. In general, the southern portion of the state is warmer, while the northern region gets more precipitation. In winter, this means lots of snow in the north, where up to 500 inches have accumulated in one season in years past. While Boise gets an average of 21 inches of snow each winter, Coeur d’Alene averages at 52 inches every year, and the mountains get significantly more still. Winter temperatures average around 34°F December through February throughout most of the state, with nightly lows dropping well below freezing.
Summers bring warm daytime highs around 90°F in Boise and 83°F in Sun Valley. Most of the state falls somewhere in between, with cooler temperatures in the mountains and up north, and warmer weather along the southern plains. Thunderstorms are common across Idaho during the summer months, which are relatively brief (late June to late August). Visitors can expect sunshine 80 percent of the time during the summer and about 50 percent of the time in winter
Best Time to Visit Idaho
There really is no bad time for a trip to Idaho; it just depends on your agenda. For skiers, the latter part of the winter brings the deepest snowpack to the mountain resorts. February and March are typically incredible months for skiing at Sun Valley and Silver Mountain. Summers are equally magical as the mountains burst into wildflowers and greenery. Temperatures are just about perfect and most resort towns like Sun Valley and Coeur d’Alene have lots of festivals and special events planned.
Winter and summer are peak tourism seasons in Idaho, but the weather in fall is arguably the best of all. Blue skies, refreshingly cool temperatures in the upper 60’s (°F), and the change leaves make Idaho beautiful from late September through the end of October. This is a great season for deals on hotel rooms, as well because it’s a shoulder season between boating season and the start of skiing in late November. Travelers can also find deals on rooms in the spring months of late April and May, after the ski resorts have closed.