Moving from California to Idaho

Moving from California to Idaho

Whether you are moving by yourself or with your family, for work or love, to go to school, or find a new calling, moving signifies a major life change. Moving from California to Idaho is a life change we want to get you excited about. Known for its wild-west feel and vast uninhabited forests and mountains, Idaho will be a breath of fresh air literally and figuratively. You’ll find various benefits to moving from California to Idaho, such as low cost of living, amazing outdoor activities, an abundance of national parks, and fully marked seasonal changes. Here, we will go into detail about the wonderful natural and economic advantages Idaho has to offer. We will also explore the costs and protocol for making the move from California to Idaho.

Benefits of moving from California to Idaho

Low Cost of Living

Five general criteria comprise the cost of living in any given location: utilities, housing, healthcare, food, and transportation. We analyzed the overall cost of living considering these factors and compared the cost of living in Idaho to the national average and California’s living cost. Keep in mind urban centers tend to have higher costs of living than rural communities and small towns. The cost of living in Idaho is at least 5% below the national average in the biggest cities and over 10% below the national average in smaller towns. On the other hand, California is one of the most expensive states in the U.S., with nearly all small towns and rural communities being above the national average and big cities having a cost of living up to 90% over the national average. Needless to say, moving to Idaho will cut your cost of living in half or even one-fourth of what it was back in California.

Beautiful Seasons

While it may be hard to beat California’s year-round moderate and sunny climate, Idaho’s varied climate will enchant you with all four seasons. Plus, summers are quite dry and sunny, which keeps summer days from getting too hot. Winters can bring on major snowstorms, but maritime air currents from the Pacific Ocean moderate winter temperatures with humidity so that temperatures don’t plummet as much as they do in other northern states. You’ll enjoy sunny and moderate summers and white winter wonderlands that are cold, but not too cold and generally last a maximum of four months. Fall and spring are markedly beautiful as Idaho has ample forests, lakes, and mountains in all regions of the state that turn colors and blossom beautifully before your eyes.

Outdoor Adventures

The options for outdoor activities in Idaho are as varied as the weather is. No matter the season, there are plenty of things to do outside. In the summer, Idaho’s many lakes and rivers offer water sports like skiing, boating, and fishing. There are countless national parks and recreation areas for camping and picnicking. Trails abound in Idaho for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. In the winter, there are tons of places to ski, cross country ski, and snowshoe. Larger cities and suburbs have plenty of golf and archery courses with incredible backdrops of the Rockies.

World-Class National Parks

Idaho’s rugged and wild landscape comprises one of the largest untouched natural areas in the United States. It also borders 6 of the most beautiful states (and Canadian provinces) in the U.S., whose national parks often overlap. Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is the biggest protected natural reserve in the United States. Furthermore, Idaho lies along the great Rocky Mountain chain replete with rushing rivers, enormous lakes, snow-capped mountains, and the country’s deepest canyon, Hells Canyon. With spectacular mountainous geography comes incredible wildlife of all kinds that you’re sure to witness during your trip to the wilderness.

There are more than fifty national parks, forests, and recreation areas to explore in Idaho, most of them with campsites and epic hiking trails. Some of our favorites include Bruneau Dunes State Park, Castle Rocks State Park, Ponderosa State Park, and Lake Cascade State Park, but the list goes on.

Easy Weekend Getaways

Wherever you live in Idaho, you’re never too far away from a stunning state park or recreation area or the quaintest old western town you´ve ever encountered. There are so many places for exciting, relaxing, and refreshing weekend getaways with a mix of wilderness and cute, homey, hospitable towns. Coeur d’Alene is one such town nestled amongst 55 different lakes where you can enjoy all the water sports your heart desires. There’s even a giant waterpark, Silverwood Theme Park, with over 70 rides.

If you’re looking for an authentic Old West experience, Lewiston sits on the convergence of two large rivers with extreme white-water rafting trips through Hells Canyon. You can also find ancient Native American carvings along the canyon’s walls. Idaho Falls is another cute city along the Snake River with a great hike and bike trail and a great downtown cultural scene. Lastly, Mountain Home is a quaint rural town bordering Bruneau Dunes State Park with great food and serene nights, not to mention a striking view of the dunes.

Most Popular Cities in Idaho


Boise is the capital of Idaho and its most populous city with nearly 230,000 people. It’s an incredibly picturesque city, located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in a lush, green valley. It’s home to Boise State University, a walkable downtown with great restaurants, clubs, and galleries, and several world-class art and history museums. Boise has a large zoo and an extensive greenbelt featuring beautiful views, swimming holes, and great hike and bike trails.


Located 20 miles from Boise, Nampa has a population of nearly 100,000 people and is one of Idaho’s fastest-growing cities. Nampa is part of Idaho’s wine country, offering wineries and vineyards to tour with fun tastings. There is a historic downtown with shops and art galleries galore and a large city park, known as Celebration Park, that is Nampa’s pride and joy. It also lies at the banks of Lake Lowell and the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.

Cost of Moving from California to Idaho

The average line haul cost of a move from California to Idaho with North American is $4,500. As you can imagine, there are multiple aspects to consider when calculating moving costs. The size of your household, the amount of boxes, furniture, and personal items you want to move, the distance and gas expenditure between your old and new residents, among many other things, goes into the cost of moving from California to Idaho. We recommend using the Quote on Demand tool above to give you the most accurate calculation of moving costs.

Average cost to move: $4,500

How to Move from California to Idaho

At North American, we rely on over 88 years of moving experience to make your move from California to Idaho as smooth and effortless as possible. We will do the leg work of mapping out the fastest route so your belongings make it to their new home as quickly as possible. Our expertise is in packing and organizing your home efficiently into moving trucks so that we can just as quickly unpack them into your new home without you having to lift a finger.

Call today to find out how North American can customize the right moving package for you!

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