A Perfect Weekend in Pocatello, Idaho

Enjoy the great outdoors around "Poky." In-town lures include antique stores and unusual museums.

A woman tries on a hat in the Vain & Vintage store in Pocatello, Idaho
Browse Vain & Vintage for housewares and clothes from the past.
Nicole Morgenthau

Once a gateway for fur trappers and gold miners heading west, “Poky” today lures powder hounds and fans of vintage treasure to the state’s southeast corner.

Sights and Events in Pocatello

Idaho Museum of Natural History
Gawk at more than 500,000 natural and cultural objects, including the massive bones of Bison latifrons, which stood eight feet at the shoulder, and the giant sloth, which used its sickle-shaped claws to snag leaves. Sound like a local with a copy of the Pronunciation Guide for the State of Idaho from the gift shop.

The Museum of Clean
Celebrate the art of neatness at this 75,000-square-foot temple of tidiness, home to a spotless collection of antique vacuum cleaners, ornate chamber pots, and other quirky implements.

Old Town Pocatello
For a glimpse of the storied railroad town’s past, stroll the historic district and appreciate the area’s numerous “ghost signs” advertising defunct businesses as they cling to the century-old buildings. On First Fridays, many businesses open their doors for an evening of refreshments and local art.

Where to Shop

Vain & Vintage
Deal seekers head here for the assemblage of treasures, including Pyrex bowls and midcentury frocks.

Walrus & Carpenter Books
It’s a pleasure getting lost in this bibliophile’s paradise of new and used titles.


Where to Eat in Pocatello

El Herradero
Tortilla chips and fresh salsa verde accompany tasty staples such as carnitas tacos, pork tamales, and cheese-draped enchiladas at this low-key Mexican cantina. 445 N. Arthur Ave. 

Portneuf Valley Brewing
Slinging suds with names such as Twisted Stick Amber Ale and Ligertown Lager, the microbrewery also serves salads and handcrafted pizzas. Grab a pint and head upstairs for live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 615 S. First Ave. 

Sumisu Asian Fusion and Sushi
Fans of raw fish will find a selection of sashimi and nigiri at this contemporary spot, along with bento boxes neatly packed with tonkatsu pork and teriyaki salmon. 309 E. Center St.

Outdoor Activities

City Creek Management Area Trail System
During mild winters, mountain and wide-tire bike riders roam the 50-mile network of hiking and riding trails dotted with bridges, all within Pocatello’s city limits. 

East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center
Along with classic and skate-style cross-country ski trails, the sports hub features separate snowshoe trails, a sledding hill, and a 30-foot warming yurt that doubles as an overnight rental. Wildlife lovers will enjoy touring the relatively flat Creekside Loop, where they’ll have chances to spot beavers, deer, and moose.

Lava Hot Springs
Outside of the city, escape winter’s chill in this resort town that’s home to outdoor rock- and gravel-bottomed geothermal pools connected by heated walkways.

Pebble Creek Ski Area
Twenty miles southeast of Pocatello atop Bonneville Peak, the highest point in the Portneuf Range, Pebble Creek attracts skiers and boarders with its 1,100 acres of steep terrain.