10/07/2011 05:51 pm ET Updated Nov 28, 2011

Idaho Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide

Idaho fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Idaho fall foliage. — Nick Romano

Sandpoint, Idaho

Situated just south of the Canadian border -- and a stop on the International Selkirk Loop -- the Idaho town of Sandpoint boasts an eclectic mixture of plant life and landscapes. North Idaho radio host Gary Lirette boasts that the town’s fall foliage is “the myriad of the rainbow, with buckthorn, larch and maple turning yellow [and] hawthorn going from deep crimson to purple-red.” Sandpoint is also on 43-mile Lake Pend Oreille, which the New York Times noted was "lined with birch, aspen and tamaracks."

Visitor's Center, 231 N. Third Ave., Sandpoint, ID | Get Directions

Teton Scenic Byway

Teton Scenic Byway is the 70-mile, tree-lined pass that runs along the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. There, visitors can experience the golden aspens that contrast the evergreen pines and firs, all set against the backdrop of the Teton Mountains. Most drivers on this road make their way toward the town of Driggs, where the Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival is held every August.

1405 Hollipark Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83401 | Get Directions

Boise, Idaho

What better place to take in fall foliage than the northwest state capital dubbed the “City of Trees”? Boise earned its nickname due in large part to the pioneers who planted trees here in order to combat the unforgiving desert environment. Today’s citizens celebrate this nickname by continuing to add to the thousands of European beech, sugar maples, mountain alders and dozens of others that currently stand. Ann Morrison, Barber and Hyde Parks are just some of the spots that help Boise visitors take in the full effect of Idaho's trees and fall foliage. And though it's not a fall-foliage tree, make sure you take in the giant sequoia near Saint Luke's Hospital -- a Boise landmark.

Giant sequoia near Saint Luke's Hospital, East Fort Street, Boise, ID 83712 | Get Directions

Fall colors in Idaho.

Did we miss an Idaho fall-foliage spot? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.