So close to metropolitan Boise, yet seemingly away from it all, Emmett offers a step back in time to a simpler lifestyle, charming surroundings and a vast array of activities and events.
Emmett, the county seat, is the hub of activity in Gem County which includes growing communities, Letha and Montour as well as the delightful mountain communities, Sweet and Ola.
Emmett and Gem County enjoy all four fabulous seasons. Early settlers found the fertile soil and favorable climate ideal for growing crops and fruit. Today, many superb orchards still embellish the countryside bringing delicious fresh cherries, peaches, apples, plums, grapes and more to eager residents and visitors every year. Many orchards sell their fresh bounty on-site along with homemade delights. U-Pick Orchards invite visitors to wander among the fruit-laden trees, pick your own fresh fruit and perhaps you might enjoy a picnic amid the Norman Rockwell-like setting.
Cutting through the valley, the Payette River provides water to the many farms as well as terrific water activities including great fishing, canoeing, kayaking and a summer favorite, tubing. Feeding the Payette River is Black Canyon Reservoir where boaters can fish, water-ski and campout in the rough or in one of the many peaceful beautifully-maintained camping areas. For 75 years, friends, families and visitors flock to Emmett every second full week in June for The Emmett Cherry Festival. The largest on-going festival of its kind in Idaho, over 40,000 attend four days of fabulous activities, carnival rides, free entertainment and kids activities, a Cherry Pie Eating Contest, Cherry Pit Spitting Contest, great food, terrific Arts & Crafts and more fun than you can imagine.
Other annual must-see activities include the Harvest Festival Street Fair (October), River Through Time (Pioneer & Civil War enactment), Gem/Boise County Fair, Pari-mutuel Horse Racing, Emmett’s Most Excellent Triathlon, Cruise Night (50’s style), Archery Shoots, Motocross Racing and so many more there is always something going on for folks of every age and interest.
Gem Island Sports Complex, Historic Downtown Emmett, lovely Emmett City Park and the 9-hole Emmett Golf Course offer additional activities that are sure to please. The Emmett Airport provides an opportunity to fly-in and discover this wondrous vast valley.
The mountains supply ample opportunity for horseback riding, hiking, 4-wheeling or biking. The many trails have become a favorite “stomping” ground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts including snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter. Above Ola in the Boise National Forest lies the fishing-favorite Sage Hen Reservoir with many groomed campsites, a boat ramp and lots of marked trails. Hunting and fishing sportsmen will find Gem County’s upland game habitats abundant with Quail, Pheasant and Chukar, perhaps the best in Idaho.