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Pocatello, founded in 1889 has the nickname of the "Gateway to the Northwest". As it was a popular stop for travelers of the 19th century pioneers, gold miners and settlers as they traveled the Oregon Trail. It’s name is borrowed from the Shoshone Tribe chief of the same name who granted the railroad a right-of-way through the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Shoshone and Bannock Indian tribes inhabited this part of southeastern Idaho for hundreds of years prior to the well-known expedition of Lewis and Clark across Idaho in 1805.

The Pocatello area is now home to approximately 75,000 people. Pocatello serves as an educational (Idaho State University) and commercial center for farming, manufacturing and the Union Pacific Railroad in Eastern Idaho. As a University town the population shows a wide cultural diversity. There is a variety of entertainment opportunities including, outdoor recreation, shopping, theatre, movies, museums, parks, golf courses, a zoo, natural hot springs resort and a ski area within a 1/2 hour drive. The city of Pocatello also host numerous festivals, national events and touring performances.

Pocatello is set among mountains and streams and is an outdoorsman's paradise. The surrounding area of Pocatello offers endless recreational adventures such as hunting, fishing, rock climbing, water skiing, rafting, hot tubbing in natural springs, swimming, snow skiing, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and horse riding. It has a dry climate, with cool winters and mild summers that are typical of the Intermountain West. Average annual precipitation is 10-12 inches with 42.7 inches of snowfall.

Downtown Pocatello

  • Farmers Market
  • Art Walk
  • Revive @ 5 Wednesday concerts
  • Westside Players Dinner Theater
  • Zoo Events
  • Ross Water Park

Stephens Performing Arts Center

  • Theater
  • Symphony
  • Concerts
  • Dance / Ballet


  • Sagebrush Arts Fest (Idaho State University)
  • Wildflower Festival (May, June Pebble Creek Ski Area)
  • Bannock County Bluegrass Festival (August Bannock County Event Center)

  • Shoshone-Bannock Festival Pow-Wow (August Fort Hall Indian Reservation)
  • Portneuf Greenway Foundation: Dueling Pianos, Grapes & Hops on the Greenway 
  • RiverFest
  • Pioneer Day Celebration (July)
  • Oktoberfest: Portneuf Valley Brewery

Idaho State University

  • Summer Concert Series
  • International Dinners & Festivals
  • Sports Events
  • Natural History Museum
  • Craft Shop
  • Outdoor Adventure Center (outdoor info & gear rentals)
  • Movie theater
  • Game Center
  • Lectures

Pocatello Area (within 30 minutes)

  • Pebble Creek Ski Area: Pebble Creek has year-round activities. Ski or snowboard in the winter and then go again in the summer for the Wildflower Festival.
  • Mink Creek Area with Winter Nordic Center: Mink Creek has year-round access for camping, hiking, and off-roading in the summer and cross-county skiing and snowshoeing with available rental service.
  • Idaho Falls Chuckars Baseball: Pioneer League Professional affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
  • Lava Hot Springs: Idaho's World Famous Hot Springs that are natural hot water springs and are sulfur-free, odor-free and chlorine-free. There is also an Olympic-size swimming and diving pool or take a float down the Portneuf River.

Craters of the Moon National Park (1.5 hours)

Craters of the Moon is a volcanic lava field with unique landscapes and lava tube cave exploration. Whose geothermic hotspot is now under Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Teton National Park (2 hours)

Beautiful scenery, 10 mountain summits, pristine mountain lakes and glaciers with opportunities for wild animal sightings including: elk, bison, moose, bald eagles, trumpeter swans and more which can be seen on hikes, mountain climbs or floating the rivers.

Bear Lake (2 hours)

On the border of Utah and Idaho, it is known as the closest beach to either with blue water and sandy beaches for camping, fishing, swimming, waterskiing or even scuba diving.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming (2.5 hours)

Jackson is a historic town that will simply amaze you. It includes two ski areas and several galleries, shops, theaters, motels and resorts. The nearby historic Elk refuge allows visitors to view winter feeding of migrating elk.

Yellowstone National Park (2.5 hours)

Yellowstone National Park is America's oldest and largest national park. Camp, backpack, hike or bicycle while you enjoy the wildlife, hot springs, paint pots, geysers, canyons, rivers, waterfalls and, of course, Old Faithful.

Sun Valley (3 hours)

Sun Valley is located in the Sawtooth Wilderness. The wilderness is home to more than 300 alpine lakes, which provide ample opportunities for fishing and hiking. It is a premier ski resort which draws people from around the world. Secluded guest ranches, motels, resorts and gift shops are plentiful.

Elizabeth Botts, MD

Assistant Professor (Clinical) of Psychiatry

Training Director, Idaho Rural Track

Daisha Orchard, MD

Chief Resident, Idaho Rural Track

Contact Us

Kristine Force
Idaho Track Residency Coordinator
Phone: 208-282-5000


Rich Segura 
Academic Program Manager
Phone: 801-585-0895

Watch this video to learn more about the program!

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