If you’ve ever had guests visit Boise from out of town, chances are they’ve remarked on how odd it is to see the sun so late in the day. It turns out, they’re right! Out of a collection of 77 capitol and populous cities in the U.S., Boise has the third latest sunset beaten only by Juneau, AK and Bismarck, ND.
Idaho is one of 13 states to have more than one time zone. We’re split by the Salmon River between north and south Idaho, which makes traveling through highway 95 fun for everyone when they cross the ”Time Zone Bridge.” Because we’re an hour ahead of the folks north of us and are still pretty west, we’ve got some advantages.
During summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Boise’s sunset is at 9:29 p.m. It doesn’t get “dark” until 10:52 (Nautical Twilight).
Let’s compare that with some neighboring cities in the west:
- Moscow, ID sunset is 8:45 p.m.
- Salt Lake City, UT sunset is 9:02 p.m.
- Portland, OR sunset is at 9:03 p.m.
- Eugene, OR sunset is 8:58 p.m.
- Reno, NV sunset is 8:29 p.m.
- Los Angeles, CA sunset is 8:07 p.m.
Having more sunlight at night gives us more time to be outdoors, have late BBQs, and take day trips that normally wouldn’t be possible.
But what good is a late sunset if the days aren’t even sunny? Well, we’ve got that too.
On average, Boise gets 210 sunny days a year (sunny and partly cloudy days combined). Compared to other cities in the U.S. that measure it, Boise is in the top 16. Boise is also in the top 12 cities with the highest total hours of sun (for cities that measure sunshine), and clear days (less than 30% cloud cover). Tucson, AZ has the most clear days with 193, Boise has 120, while Seattle, WA has the least with only 58.
So don’t forget to take advantage of our unique situation and enjoy these long, sunny, summer nights.
By Mike Taylor