Potatoes, Mountains, and apparently the Moon.
April 6, 2007 1:34 PM   Subscribe

What's it like to live in Idaho Falls?

I have recently accepted a position in Idaho falls. I have loved similar threads where people give their experiences living in specific places. So I'm looking for something similar here.

About me:

I'll be working in high tech. If you know about the area, you probably know where. I really enjoy the outdoors, and have wanted to live in/near the mountains my entire life. I can take a hard winter (you wouldn't believe me if I told you how much snow we get here).

I'm kind of a loner sometimes, and I do best with a few good friends. I don't need an entourage around all the time, and I'm in no hurry to find "the one" or anything crazy like that.

I am not religious, although I am very tolerant of religious people. Something I am wondering about, considering the data seems to say the area is 50% LDS, is this: How insular is the LDS community? Will I be able to make LDS friends even though I am not associated, or is there a distinct separation between LDS and non-LDS? Please don't use this thread as an LDS bashing thread. I'm not into that sort of thing.

I'm kind of assuming rents are reasonable and cost of living is low. Is this a good assumption?

I have never fly-fished, but it looks like something I might really enjoy. I hear there is a lot of good fishing around there.

Overall, how did you like Idaho Falls?
posted by zhivota to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
I can't help you with Idaho Falls specific info, but as a non-mormon who grew up in a largely Mormon California county, I can tell you they make great friends and neighbors as a group. Don't fall for stereotype representation of LDS. You'll find they hold diverse political views and are fairly tolerant of others views and beliefs.
posted by buggzzee23 at 2:10 PM on April 6, 2007

I've heard, too, that cost of living is low in Idaho Falls. I helped someone find a place up there and when looking through their want ads I couldn't believe how inexpensive rent was!

As for the LDS thing - I am LDS and to most LDS people, it doesn't matter if you're associated with the religion or not. Of course you'll run across LDS people that are stuck-up about that sort of thing. Buggzzee23 has it right - LDS people are diverse!

I'd love to live in the Idaho Falls area just for all of the reasons you listed - outdoors, mountains, fly-fishing, nice neighbors.
posted by Sassyfras at 2:36 PM on April 6, 2007

I live in Boise, ID and have visited Idaho Falls many times, and we also have an office there.

Environment: Windy. It is incredibly windy there, I'm not sure why. It is also dry.

The Mormons. Of course, no group of people can truly be stereotyped. However, I think you'll find Mormons to be genuinely kind and friendly people. However, in my experience Mormons have been reticent to get close to people. And dating practicing Mormons is essentially a no-go. I'm sure you know this, but Mormons don't drink. So, it may limit the number of drinking buddies if you are into that sort of thing.

There is a lot of good fishing there, unfortunately I'm not a fisherman so I can't comment other than I know it exists. Skiing and biking opportunities are good. Also, if you are a runner there are some amazing places to run (scenery wise).
posted by nameless.k at 2:55 PM on April 6, 2007

If you enjoy the outdoors -- especially winter sports -- you will like it. You will be surrounded by Mormons (I don't know about that 50% number -- it always seemed like I.F. was 90% LDS) but if you smile and nod and make it clear you're happy the way you are, they'll mostly tolerate you. They really are very nice people (as long as you stay away from religion or women's rights).

A really nice thing about I.F. is that Pomerelle (ski resort) is very close and it's a nice low-key area. For more deluxe skiing, Sun Valley is just a short drive across the Snake River Plain. There's also the spectacular Snake River gorge that's very close to town.; don't miss the raptor wildlie preserves. (Sounds like something you'd spread on toast.) I'm not a fly fisherman but I had lots of friends who were, and raved about all of southern Idaho.

And of course Boise and SLC aren't too far, if you start to thirst for some good sin like bars, coffee shops, colleges, etc. (For a different kind of sin, Jackpot Nevada is even closer.) And I have a special fondness for Pocatello which is also very close. (I used to live in Pocatello.)
posted by phliar at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2007

I've met a surprising number of Mormons since moving to Montana several years ago, and have generally found them to be very kind, mature, and generally upbeat. They also seem to be -- again, generally speaking -- somewhat more prone to abiding by their religious principles than other Christian denominations, which I find rather admirable (and I'm an atheist!).

And I know that Idaho isn't quite Montana, but the two states do share similar characteristics, and I would speculate that you will be happy with your decision: the outdoors (even if you're not into it) is refreshing and beautiful, the people are decent, honest, and friendly, etc, etc.
posted by davidmsc at 6:56 PM on April 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I'm quite encouraged by all the good comments about Mormons especially.

And yeah, I love to run, and cycle, so good scenery for that is fantastic. My version of good scenery right now is a few hills and the rare sunny day. I'm looking forward to the Grand Tetons as a backdrop.

I don't do a lot of the typical winter sports as it is, because I just don't have the time or money to do so right now, and the local area almost has an anti-sport attitude. I won't mind having lots of open space to play in, that's for sure.

The 50% number for LDS was just generally what various "city data" websites were saying. I don't know for sure by any means.
posted by zhivota at 8:23 PM on April 6, 2007

D'oh! In my message I described Twin Falls, not Idaho Falls. I lived in Pocatello and even when I lived there I could never keep the names straight. The towns are very similar, but Idaho Falls is better situated.

From Idaho Falls, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are only a couple of hours away. The Grand Targhee ski area (better than Jackson Hole) is even closer. If you like backcountry skiing, Teton Pass has the best snow, even in bad snow years, and it's right next to the road. (Friends of mine used to "car-lift" -- one person shuttles up and down, picking up the skiers at the bottom and dropping them off at the top.) Wyoming's beautiful Star Valley (home of Aviat Aircraft, who build bush planes) is pretty close. The gorge the Snake goes through on its way from Wyoming is spectacular. The Island Park caldera is where the Henry's Fork of the Snake River comes down, that's the world-famous fly-fishing. If you like mountains, rivers, and snow, the Idaho/Wyoming border area is heaven.

And just a few miles south of IF is Blackfoot, home of the "Idaho's World of The Potato" Expo. "Free Taters To Out-Of-Staters" is their motto.
posted by phliar at 9:52 PM on April 6, 2007

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