Courtesy of thebannockalternative.wordpress.com

Pocatello is the perfect place for those who love the outdoors! Close to Idaho State University, there are two wonderful opportunities to go outside and see the beauty that Poky has to offer. Even if you’re not the most outdoor loving person, they are a “must do” in order to have the complete Bengal experience!  

Red Hill Trail
Finalized in 2008, this trail begins at Idaho State University, just across the Student Union Building. It continues alongside the Red Hill, overlooking Bud Davis field, the Mountain View Cemetery, and links up to another trail, for those who are itching to go exploring! This trail also leads up to the ISU pillars, which is has an incredible view of both the university and Pocatello.

The ISU Pillars
The pillars have become a key part of the Bengal experience, but you might wonder where exactly they came from! Originally, the Red Hill Pillars were part of a funeral home. In 1966, the funeral home was relocated and the pillars were donated to Idaho State University as a gift by Jack Henderson.

Installation of the ISU Pillars    Courtesy of Idaho State Journal

For some time, the pillars sat behind ISU collecting dust until, finally, the university decided to put the pillars on top of Red Hill. It was during ISU’s Homecoming in the 1970s that people decided this was the perfect place to show the world the newest additions to Idaho State University.

Alumni Director at the time, John Korbis, tried to exacerbate symbolism behind the columns. One suggestion was that the three connected columns represent college students surrounded by friends and classmates. The last column, represents the student after graduation, standing alone but ready to take on the “real” world with their ISU diploma. As the years pass, many more theories have come up, such as each pillar represents a class standing and the disconnected one stands for the graduating class, who no longer needs support from ISU.

The pillars will be something incoming Bengals recognize immediately. In fact, it is tradition for students to hike up to the pillars during New Student Orientation and take a new student picture. As your time at Idaho State University goes by, it’ll be interesting to look back at this picture and realizing how much has changed!

Beyond NSO, the pillars play an important role in Homecoming. “True Bengal” is a homecoming tradition where students hike to the pillars just before midnight with a significant other or friend. At midnight, the two sweethearts share a kiss, making them each other’s True Bengal.

Whether it’s through True Bengal, or just looking for something to do on a late night, Red Hill and the ISU pillars are waiting to be checked off your college bucket list.