Survive and Thrive: Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho

Do you have orders to Mountain Home Air Force Base? No worries, it will be your best duty station yet! Mountain Home is America’s best kept secret with a side of fries! Here are some things to remember if you find yourself PCSing here:

What about the potatoes?

Idaho is known for its potatoes, and I can personally say they are the best tasting potatoes I’ve ever eaten, but you won’t find any in Mountain Home unless it’s in the produce section at the commissary! What you will find in Mountain Home are tumbleweeds, and plenty of them! Mountain Home is located in the northwestern part of the United States, considered a desert area. As you drive towards the base, all you will see are tumbleweeds. You may even hit a few along the way. Before moving here, I had been forewarned about the Tumbleweeds, but I never gave it much thought until we arrived and saw them for myself. Tumbleweeds are everywhere!

Diamond in the Rough

The Air Force Base is located eight miles east of the small town of Mountain Home. The town may be a little old and a bit run down, but what makes it a diamond in the rough are the people who live here. They love the military as many of them are retired military, so they understand and appreciate what we do. They even throw an annual parade just for military families–the Air Force Appreciation Day Parade. Local businesses join the parade to show their love and support for the military. It is a daylong event full of food and fun!

Bonkers for Boise

If you prefer a big city, Boise is only 40 miles away. There is a lot to do in Boise! Boise State University Broncos football team (famous for their blue turf) is the major team here. If you’re not a fan, you will become one, Broncos flags are everywhere. The team does quite well in their Division and they should because they have dedicated fans to support them. This fall, catch a game, be a part of a tailgate party, and have a blast cheering the Broncos on. You may even catch a Boise vs Air Force game, and then you may have some serious confusion because here in Boise everyone loves the Air Force, too.

If you are not a football fan, there’s still plenty to do in Boise. Go shopping at The Village located in Meridian, an extension of Boise, with beautiful shops and restaurants and even an eat ‘n’ dine movie theater. There is even a pretty large mall that will surely have your favorite stores.  If you want to try something new, head to Rocky Diner, Big Juds, or the Flying Pie and try the Man vs Food challenges. All three are great local restaurants.

If you are more the outdoorsy type, there are some great local parks, like the Julia Davis and Toni Morrison Park in Boise. You can walk trails for miles or take in the local scene of many art gallery vendors and food trucks. Biking is the Boise way and you can bike for miles. The Greenbelt is a trail that starts in Boise and goes at least 50 miles north to Eagle State Park.

Home Sweet Home

And back at the base you have your usual necessities; a large commissary, AAFES/BX, a bowling alley, movie theatre showing new releases, mini golf, a dog park, a marina and outdoor rec to rent fishing supplies, boating and much more. Mountain Home is great and I love to sit back and relax and look at the beautiful scenic views of the mountains. I hope you find it your new home sweet home, just like many others have!

Posted by Tanya Roldan, NMFA Volunteer, Idaho


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  1. 2
    Richard Janulewicz

    I was stationed in Mt. Home from March 57 to March 61. Best time I ever had in my life. There are a thousand thing to do around Mt. Home. Fishing, hunting, mountian climbing, girls and old fashion hospitality among the towns businesses. The town has dramatically changes since 61, but it us still a memorable place.

  2. 3
    Steven Robert Bacci

    You forgot to mention the 6 feet of snow every winter and the subzero temperature. No, the best US Air Force base is Rimini AB, Rimini, Italy

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