For the second year in a row, we’re scratching our heads wondering how this beach received the title of “Best Beach in Idaho.”
Idaho (mainly Northern Idaho) may be considered part of the Pacific Northwest, but we lack something that our neighbors Washington and Oregon have a lot of - beaches that border the Pacific Ocean. However, we are home to some pretty spectacular bodies of water that have caught the attention of travel publications all over the country.
For example, when Fodors Travel put together its list of the “15 Best Lake Beaches in the USA,” they chose North Beach, a mile-long stretch of beach on Idaho’s side of Bear Lake, as one of the absolute best freshwater beaches. Part of the draw of Bear Lake is the fact that the water there is absolutely jaw-dropping. It’s long been nicknamed the “Caribbean of the Rockies” because of the blue-green color the water puts off. That has to do with microscopic particles of white-colored limestone in the water reflecting back the water’s natural color toward the surface.
Thrillist also put together a list of “America’s 22 Greatest Summertime Lake Towns.” Priest Lake found itself on that list thanks to the 70 miles of shoreline offering you dozens of places to lay down your towels, pop open the umbrella and relax for the day. We’d argue that the beach at Redfish Lake is equally as beautiful.
Yet somehow, a beach just minutes from Downtown Boise was named the best in Idaho when Reader’s Digest updated their list titled “The Best Beach in Every State.” The title went to get this…Sandy Point at Lucky Peak State Park!
Don’t get us wrong. When we do a 10-mile out-and-back long run from Lucky 13 to Lucky Peak, seeing the fountain at Sandy Point is like seeing an oasis in the desert. Dipping your feet in the water at that halfway point is almost a requirement…but you’ll want to be careful where you step! Anyone who’s actually been to Sandy Point knows that the beach, as well as the grassy areas in the park and the water itself, is notorious for attracting a disgustingly large amount of goose poop.
In fact, when Reader’s Digest “updated” their list on June 21, 2023, you couldn’t even get in the water at Sandy Point. The water had been under an E. coli advisory since June 2. According to the advisory, high counts of E. coli mean there’s human or animal waste and pathogens that can make you sick to your stomach in the water. They said it’s possible that the pond wasn’t circulating properly because of this season’s high river levels. That advisory was FINALLY lifted on June 26.
We do love a day at Sandy Point and we’re so lucky to have it such a short drive from the heart of Boise. We go there a lot to take our inflatable flamingo out on the water somewhere that it's not going to get torn up by rocks and tree branches. But...we go there prepared to deal with the goose poop!
To give Sandy Point the title of “Best Beach in Idaho” when it's well known for the amount of goose poop that accumulates there? That just seems deceitful! We think most Idahoans would agree there are some stronger contenders. Then again, maybe this was Reader's Digest's way of trying to slow the growth in Idaho. In that case, well done!