Way Out West


This exhibit, the centerpiece of the museum, immerses visitors in the human and the environmental story of our region, Idaho, and the West, from its first inhabitants through today. Featuring significant artifacts and fun interactive elements spread across seven themed galleries:

Idaho Origins

Join the first inhabitants of ancient Idaho as they followed big game, seasonal plants, and water. Compare fossils and try your hand at bringing down a 14-foot-tall Columbian mammoth using an augmented-reality atlatl.

Out of the Rocks

Trace the path of the seething Yellowstone Hotspot as it shaped the Snake River Plain and America's first national park, and see for yourself why Idaho is called the "Gem State."

Into Nature

Get up-close and personal with formidable beasts against the backdrop of some of the country's most pristine untouched wilderness, and learn how humans work to manage the land and its resources now.

Regional Roots

Saunter along the stocked storefronts of a late-19th century town and meet the intrepid pioneers who transformed it from Wild West to cultured community.

People and Place

From the Shoshone and Bannock to trappers, miners, and homesteaders, learn what brought people to Idaho, see how they survived, and interact with the objects they carried on their way.

A Complex State

Come face to face with stories of progressive inclusion and oppressive exclusion, and the complicated path of a strangely shaped state both difficult to traverse and difficult to govern.

Idaho Impact

Confront the ideas that have defined Idaho's image and the innovations have challenged it, create chain reactions on a massive "ball wall," and gaze out into the future.

MOI would like to thank the following organizations for their generous contributions to the Way Out West exhibit: