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Pocatello is a college town in Southeastern Idaho. About 57,000 people lived there in 2021.


Named after a noted 19th-century Shoshoni chief, Pocatello is a working-class town with a strong railroad and trade union heritage. As such it has more of a blue-collar feel to it than the other major Idaho cities. At one time the city boasted the largest rail yard west of the Mississippi River. The city has a reputation for being a (slightly) more progressive enclave in otherwise conservative, Mormon-dominated Eastern Idaho.

Although the presence of Idaho State University in Pocatello unquestionably makes it a college town as well, student life is somewhat more sedate than in other college towns in the region such as Moscow, Idaho, or Missoula, Montana. The bar scene can be lively on the weekends, but don't expect to find too many raging frat house keggers here.

Get in[edit]

  • 1 Pocatello Regional Airport (PIH  IATA), 1950 Airport Way. Is served by regular flights from Salt Lake City on SkyWest Airlines. There are no scheduled commercial flights to or from other locations in Idaho. The airport in Idaho Falls, 45 minutes away, offers a more robust schedule. Pocatello Regional Airport (Q8190680) on Wikidata Pocatello Regional Airport on Wikipedia
  • Pocatello can be accessed by car via Interstate 15 from Idaho Falls in the north and Salt Lake City in the south. Pocatello is the eastern terminus of Interstate 86, which connects the city to the Twin Falls area in the west.
  • Intercity bus service is provided by Salt Lake Express and Greyhound.
  • Despite its railroad heritage, Pocatello now has no passenger rail service. For decades the railroad tracks have been used only for freight trains.

Get around[edit]

Pocatello Regional Transit offers limited bus service.


  • 1 Idaho Museum of Natural History, +1 208 282-3168. Idaho Museum of Natural History (Q5987387) on Wikidata Idaho Museum of Natural History on Wikipedia
  • 2 St. Joseph's Chapel, 455 N. Hayes. Built in 1897, it is the oldest surviving church and is a rare 19th-century example of a church built of stone. St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Pocatello, Idaho) (Q14687318) on Wikidata St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Pocatello, Idaho) on Wikipedia
  • Museum of Clean, 711 South 2nd Avenue, +1 208 236 6906. Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm. Founded by Donald Andrew Aslett, notable sights include a dog treadmill-powered washing machine from the late 1800s. 6 USD for adults and 5 USD for children aged 3 to 15.


Deleta - A rollerskating rink open at nights and during the day on non school days. Also has laser tag, a play area, video games, and a food court.

Outer Limits - Video games, small indoor roller coaster, laser tag, food and a play area.

McKee's - A pet store that also has an outdoor petting zoo. One can pet goats, sheep, pigs, llamas, donkeys, turtles, see ostriches, emus, miniature horses, and even a deer along with lots of chickens.

Fort Hall Casino - Owned and operated by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and located on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation north of Pocatello, Fort Hall Casino is the only legal gaming facility in southern Idaho. Unlike in many Nevada casinos, where a minimum age of 21 is strictly enforced, 18-year-olds are allowed to gamble (but not drink) here.


Idaho State University is an important part of Pocatello.




  • First National Bar, +1 208 233-1516. In downtown Pocatello, this is a perennial favorite among ISU students and locals alike. Known locally as simply the "First Nash," the bar often features live blues music on the weekends.
  • Goody's, 5th Avenue (directly across from the ISU campus), +1 208 233-9210. Doubles as a deli in the front and the bar in the back, both student favorites. If someone says they're going to the "Hindenburg," (the bar's former name), they certainly mean here.


Most national chains available.


  • KOA-Pocatello, 9815 W Pocatello Creek Rd, +1 208-233-6851. Easy access to interstate. Only 30 amp service available; otherwise full hookups. Cook-to-order breakfast for purchase by the park staff, very good food.


Stay safe[edit]

Pocatello tends to have more snow and more severe snowstorms than the other major cities in Idaho (although not as severe as places like Stanley). Given that and the city's hilly landscape, driving can be a challenge in the winter.

The Pocatello area is also subject to inversions in the winter months. This, combined with the output of nearby fertilizer plants, can make air quality an issue.


Go next[edit]

Surrounded by mountains, Pocatello has many hiking trails and ski areas.

  • Cherry Springs Nature Area within Caribou-Targhee National Forest for excellent birding and wildlife viewing
Routes through Pocatello
Idaho FallsShelley  N  S  Brigham CitySalt Lake City
Twin FallsBurley ← merges onto  W  E  END
Twin FallsBurley  W  E  Lava Hot SpringsRock Springs
Idaho FallsShelley  N  S  LoganBrigham City

This city travel guide to Pocatello is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.