Seniors Stop in Pocatello

Pocatello, Idaho is another one of those towns that rate up there with the best.  Forbes rated it (#6) as one of the best places to live cheaply in the country. It has events going on all year long. Not only can you ski and go snowmobiling and play golf, but birding, fishing, biking and just strolling though the park keep seniors wanting to come back again and again.

Pocatello is known as the “Gateway to the Northwest” (or “Gate City” by the locals). Pioneers, gold miners and settlers who traveled the Oregon Trail passed through these gates. Stage and freight lines and the railroad soon followed, turning the community into the trade center and transportation junction it is today.

At one time the city boasted the largest rail yard west of the Mississippi River. Incidentally there is a law that goes back to 1948 that makes it illegal to frown or grimace within the city limits. As a result, the town is now known as the U.S. Smile Capital and is famous for its hospitality. The local philosophy is to make every visitor’s stay memorable and fun whether you’re staying the night, a few days or a few weeks.

Pocatello was named after a Chief of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who donated land the city now occupies to the Railroad. Pronouncing the name is easier than you think; try poke-uh-tello. Pocatello has a population of approximately 54,000 and Chubbuck which is separated only by a city limits sign, has a population of approximately 14,000.

Hiking Biking Trails Invite Seniors

The Portneuf River joins the more famous Snake River at American Falls reservoir just north of  the city. Unlike most rivers in the United States, the Portneuf flows to the north. The Portneuf Greenway has nature filled trails at either end of the community and islands of green for pedestrians in the Historic Old Town area. It includes 13+ miles of walking and biking paths along the river. It is open to bikers with a courtesy eye out for runners and walkers.

Above all, Pocatello is famous for its pristine wilderness and numerous snow/winter activities. Pocatello hosts Benny the Bengal who is the mascot for Idaho State University with its 15,500 students.

Pocatello and Southeast Idaho have a story to tell. It is a story of one of the most thrilling periods of American history, when a young nation full of adventure and wanting new lands began the trek Westward, first in trickles, then in swarms, growing into the greatest, voluntary migration that any nation had known.

The Fort Hall Replica visit is to enter the 19th Century world of explorers, trappers, fur traders, Native Americans, pioneers, gold seekers, historic figures, and common folk; all of whom visited the place called Fort Hall on the banks of the Snake River in what is now Southeast Idaho.

Pocatello seems to have it all together and is just waiting for your visit. jeb


  1. Birgitta says:

    Thank you for the wonderful article on Pocatello. We were also recently listed as one of the the top 5 places to retire in the U.S. by AARP. We look forward to hosting visitors and showing them some of that Pocatello hospitality!

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