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Wore) and Picture 

From the collection of the 

r, n 
^ m 

^ Jjibrary 

San Francisco, California 

The American Guide Series 





a ^u ide 
in l^ord and Picture 

iPrepared oy 

the CJeaeral Vi/riters [Projects 

of the Vi/orfts IProgress 


VARDIS FISHER, State Director 
The Library Edition 




First printing, January, 1937 
Second printing, June, 1937 







Sponsored by the Secretary of State 

Printed, lithographed, and bound in the United States of America by 


Caldwell, Idaho 





GETTING out a book of this sort proved to be an un- 
usually difficult task because on so many matters, 
such as flora and fauna, there was little published infor- 
mation, and on still other matters much of what had been 
published was inaccurate. It is quite beyond reason to ex- 
pect that no inaccuracies exist herein, but it is hoped that 
the number is few. In some instances statements may be 
challenged by persons who are unaware that a good many 
of the traditional notions about Idaho are not supported 
by fact. 

To the hundreds of Idahoans who gave willingly of their 
information and time, acknowledgment is now made, and 
it is regretted that their names cannot be appropriately 
recorded here. The Guide is indebted more especially to 
J. A. Harrington, Harry Shellworth, Ben Oppenheim, Ans- 
gar Johnson, and Dr. A. E. Weaver for their assistance in 
many matters ; to members of the University faculties at 
both Moscow and Pocatello for their reading of certain 
chapters; to Altha E. Fouch and Esther Hanifen of the 
State Historical Society, who not only gave invaluable 
assistance in many matters but also made office space 
available in their already crowded quarters ; to the super- 
visors of all the National Forests of the State for their 
willing aid ; and above all to M. S. Benedict, whose gener- 
osity in placing his skill as a photographer at the service 
of Idaho knew no limits. 

The Pocatello copy was written by businessmen of 


that city, and the two essays on Indians by Ruth E. Lyon. 
The maps are the work of F. M. Tarr. It will be noted, of 
course, that much interesting material, and notably in 
the categories of social and cultural development, has 
been omitted because of limitations of space. These and 
many other items will be covered in the atlas and encyclo- 
pedia which will follow the Guide. 

Vardis Fisher 


Foreword 7 


I. An Essay in Idaho History 17 

11. History of Idaho Indians 41 

III. Anthropology of Idaho Indians 55 

IV. Idaho from the Air 73 

V. Flora 93 

VI. Fauna 119 

VII. Hunting and Fishing 153 

VIII. Resources and Products 165 

IX. Emerging from the Frontier 183 

I. Tours 193 

General Information for Tourists 194 

Idaho's Major Points of Interest 195 

Tour 1 

Section a, U S 191, Montana Line to Idaho 

Falls 197 

Section b, U S 91, Idaho Falls to Utah Line... .210 

Tour 2, U S 91, Montana Line to Idaho Falls....216 

Tour 3 

Section a, U S 30 N, Wyoming Line to 
Pocatello 218 


I. Tours — (Continued) Page 

Section b, U S 30 N and U S 30, Pocatello 

to Boise 230 

Section c, U S 30, Boise to Weiser 253 

Tour 4, State 27, Blackfoot to Junction with 

U S 93 2 m south of Challis 265 

Tour 5 

Section a, U S 93, Montana Line to Hailey....273 

Section b, U S 93, Hailey to Nevada Line 285 

Tour 6, State 15 and 44, New Meadows to 
Boise 293 


Section a, U S 95, Canadian Line to Lewis- 
ton 300 

Section b, U S 95, Lewiston to Weiser 308 

Tour 8, State 9 and 7, Spalding to Grange- 

ville 319 

Tour 9, U S 95 Alt., Coeur d'Alene to Pot- 
latch 325 

Tour 10, U S 10, Montana Line to Washing- 
ton Line 331 

Tour 11, State 3 and U S 195, Montana Line 

to Washington Line 337 

II. The Primitive Area 345 

III. A Trip into the Area 353 

IV. Buried Treasures 365 

V. Ghost Towns 379 

VI. A Few Tall Tales 393 

VII. Origins of Names 405 

A Selected Bibliography 415 

Acknowledgments 419 

Index 423 



Idaho State Flag Frontispiece 

Jim Marshall of Fort Hall 

Fort Hall Indian 

Fort Hall Indian 

Fort Hall Indian 64 

A lava field near the Craters of the Moon 

Sawtooth Mountains west of Stanley 

An aerial view of Boise 80 

Bayview on Lake Pend d'Oreille 


Looking northeast toward Atlanta from Arrowrock Dam 

The Seven Devils 88 

White pine and cedar 

Matured yellow pine 

White bark pine : two grotesques 

Tag alder; aspen 96 

Mountain ash; elderberry 

Colorado blue columbine; kinnikinnick 

Syringa: Idaho State Flower 

Sego lily: Utah State Flower 104 

Indian paintbrush ; marsh marigold 

Balsam and lupine ...., 114 

Bear up a tree ; come on down 

Elk in winter 

Deer on Moore Creek 

Antelope in flight 120 

Mountain goat 

Rocky Mountain sheep : beginning of a battle 

Elk: finish of a fight 126 


Hunting is good in Idaho 
The limit: cutthroat and rainbow 
Snake River sturgeon 
Wild geese and ducks 156 

Power plant at Moyie Falls 



Sluicing logs; trainload of logs 166 

Panning for gold 

Idaho's big potatoes 

A row of onions 

A lettuce patch I'O 

Upper Mesa Falls 

Teton Peaks 200 

Crystal Falls Cave: Crystal Falls 

Crystal Falls Cave: a backdrop 

Crystal Falls Cave: a corridor 

Crystal Falls Cave: a ceiling 204 

Corridor of the Kings 

Cavern of the Idols 

The Bride 220 

Snake River Gorge : the footprints of time 

Perrine Coulee Falls 

Twin Falls 

Shoshone Falls : 240 

Balanced Rock 

Phantom Walls 

Icicle Cove 

Snowbank Falls at Blue Lakes 244 

Thousand Springs 

Malad Gorge 

Bruneau Canyon 

Map of the United States— in Middle Fork of Boise River 248 

A Boise sky 

A view of Boise 

Arrowrock Dam 

Historic Table Rock 256 

Jump Creek Canyon 

A profile in Sucker Creek 260 

Monoliths at sunset and Volcanic Crater — Craters of the Moon 
Cave Mouth and formation of cave interior — Craters of the 

Indian Tunnel: entrance and corridor — Craters of the Moon 
Lava flow and impression of charred log in lava — Craters of 

the Moon 266 

Natural bridge near Arco 

Mount Borah 268 


The Sawtooth Mountains east of Stanley 
The outlet of Redfish Lake 
Stanley Lake 
Roaring Lake 278 

Pettit Lake 

Alice Lake 

Imogene Lake 

Galena Summit 282 

Dog team on Wood River, near Hailey 

Trail Creek near Ketchum 284 

Middle and third chambers, Shoshone Ice Caves 

Gooding City of Rocks 

Salmon Dam 

Twin Falls-Jerome Bridge 288 

South Fork of Payette River 

Payette Lake 294 

Spirit Lake 

Forest trail from Hayden Lake to North Fork 

Hayden Lake 

Surf-riding on Lake Coeur d'Alene 302 

Coeur d'Alene 

U S 95 through the pines of northern Idaho 

A campus view 

The Lewiston Hill 304 

White pine lumber 

Winchester Hill 

Along the Salmon River 

The Salmon River from the North-and-South Highway 312 

Typical National Forest lookout 

Rapid River Falls 314 

The Lochsa River 

Pierce City 

Through the Clearwater National Forest 

Government pack string on the Selway River 320 

Marble Creek 

The St. Joe River 

Beauty Bay, Lake Coeur d'A'ene 

Sunset on Lake Coeur d'Alene 328 

The Sunshine Mine 

Coeur d'Alene National Forest 

The Mullan Tree 

Fernan Lake and beyond 334 

Lake Pend d'Oreille 

Priest River country 

Priest Lake 

Chimney Rock near Priest Lake 340 


Middle Fork of Salmon River 
Junction of Middle Fork and main Salmon 
Submerged town of Roosevelt — Thunder Mountain area 
A monument on Monumental Creek 348 

Packing in 

Mountain goat country 

Cougar Dave and his dogs 

Journey's end 356 

The old hotel at Florence 

Grave of an old-timer 380 



History Map 17 

Relief Map 73 

Fish and Game Map 153 

Resources Map 165 

Products Map 177 

Transportation Map 183 

Key Map to Sections and Tours 193 

Section I 

Section VI 

Section II 

Section III following 196 

Map of Boise 253 

Section IV 

Section V following 292 

Recreation Map 353 

Highway Map following Index 



9 N I lAJ O A /V\ 


NOX9 N IH SVm -^P^ 

i ^iii 

-_^:^ZKr§ I 


A FTER three centuries of adventurous seeking, the 
-^^ American continent has been explored and settled, 
and the last frontier is gone. The lusty and profane ex- 
tremes of it still live nebulously in the gaudy imbecilities 
of newsstand pulp magazines and in cheap novels, wherein 
to appease the hunger of human beings for drama and 
spectacle, heroines distressingly invulnerable are fought 
over by villains and heroes and restored to their rich 
properties of mine or cattle ranch ; and the villain, if left 
unslain, passes out of the story sulking darkly; and the 
hero, without cracking a smile, stands up with the heroine 
clinging to his breast and addresses the reader with plati- 
tudes that would slay any ordinary man. But these villains 
with their Wild Bill mustaches, these apple-cheeked hero- 
ines agog with virtue, and these broad adolescent heroes 
who say "gosh ding it" and shoot with deadly accuracy 
from either hand are remote in both temper and character 
from the persons who built the West. They are shoddy 
sawdust counterfeits who would have been as much out of 
place in the old West as Chief Nampuh with his huge feet 
would have been among the theatrical ineptitudes of a 
Victorian tea. 

It is a little strange, therefore, that many of the recent 
books about frontiersmen have been so painstakingly 
off the track. It is unfortunate that opinion runs 
to one of two extremes. There are, on the one hand, those 
writers who declare solemnly that the men and women 


I 3 


A FTER three centuries of adventurous seeking, the 
-^^ American continent has been explored and settled, 
and the last frontier is gone. The lusty and profane ex- 
tremes of it still live nebulously in the gaudy imbecilities 
of newsstand pulp magazines and in cheap novels, wherein 
to appease the hunger of human beings for drama and 
spectacle, heroines distressingly invulnerable are fought 
over by villains and heroes and restored to their rich 
properties of mine or cattle ranch ; and the villain, if left 
unslain, passes out of the story sulking darkly; and the 
hero, without cracking a smile, stands up with the heroine 
clinging to his breast and addresses the reader with plati- 
tudes that would slay any ordinary man. But these villains 
with their Wild Bill mustaches, these apple-cheeked hero- 
ines agog with virtue, and these broad adolescent heroes 
who say "gosh ding it" and shoot with deadly accuracy 
from either hand are remote in both temper and character 
from the persons who built the West. They are shoddy 
sawdust counterfeits who would have been as much out of 
place in the old West as Chief Nampuh with his huge feet 
would have been among the theatrical ineptitudes of a 
Victorian tea. 

It is a little strange, therefore, that many of the recent 
books about frontiersmen have been so painstakingly 
off the track. It is unfortunate that opinion runs 
to one of two extremes. There are, on the one hand, those 
writers who declare solemnly that the men and women 


who moved westward, conquering the last reaches of 
wilderness and danger, were either morons who had no 
notion of what they were doing or low-browed rascals 
fleeing from the law. Those who argue, as some have, 
that the frontiers were settled largely by vagrant shy- 
sters must be overwhelmed by distaste for their own 
anemic and stultified lives; and doubtless seek through 
perversity a restoration to their self-esteem. Nor is the 
matter improved, on the other hand, by those who, lost 
in glorification of ancestors, declare that nearly all of the 
pioneers were lords of foresight and courage, shepherded 
by wives whose gaze was everlastingly full of visions. 
The fable here is especially absurd when those writing of 
pioneers are themselves the sons and daughters or the 

Most happily, as a matter of fact, the frontiers were 
conquered by neither saint nor villain. The men and 
women who pushed by thousands into the West were 
quite like the people of this generation from whom all 
physical frontiers have been taken. A few of the old- 
timers came because they were unusually adventurous in 
spirit; a larger number came because they were shoved 
out to new anchors by privation and want; and others 
came as crusaders to preach the particular creeds they 
were trying to live by. It is quite pointless for us today 
to extol those generations which moved westward, laying 
resources in waste or building their empires: they were 
neither villain nor hero except in the way that any 
person may be when driven to face a frontier and try 
to find his meaning in it. They were not, with rare excep- 
tions, even aware that they were laying the foundations 
for the future of a huge territory: they were trying to 
make a living, to survive, quite as these are the matters 
which engage the wits and energies of those who have 
come after them. And it is equally pointless to call them 
marauders and thieves : in a primitive struggle to survive 
there is no time for amenities. The men and women who 
blazed the trails and built forts and laid open the mines 


and the forests had zest and vitality, and there are no 
virtues more indispensable than those. 

Of the persons who penetrated the unknown regions, 
none were more adventurous of spirit or less greedy of 
purpose than the explorers. It was Lewis and Clark and 
their party who were the first white men to enter what is 
now Idaho ; and it seems only plain fact to declare that the 
epic of their journey has hardly been surpassed in Ameri- 
can annals. From the time they left St. Louis with a keel- 
boat and two Mackinaw pirogues until they looked at the 
broad Columbia, they faced perils with resourcefulness 
and courage and with little complaint. Their intrepid 
undertaking is so bright a chapter in history that it needs 
no embellishment with legend, nor does it serve any pur- 
pose to canonize the memory of the Indian woman who 
acted in some small degree as their guide. From Mandan in 
North Dakota they were accompanied by Sacajawea, the 
Shoshoni woman who had long ago been stolen by the 
Crows and taken eastward; and it is from the name of 
her captors and not because she tripped lightly on her 
toes that she has passed into legend as the Bird Woman. 
Sacajawea rendered a service to white men, and has suf- 
fered under quaint indignities ever since. It seems not to 
have occurred to historians that she might have had as 
her only purpose in accompanying the party a wish to be 
restored to her people, and that all of her fabulous escapes 
from grizzlies and rattlesnakes were perhaps not related 
at all to the desire of Captain Lewis to reach the Colum- 
bia. Today she stands bright and terrible in legend as the 
Bird Woman who understood what President Jefferson 
wanted and led the invaders to her homeland so that the 
greed of the Hudson's Bay Company could follow. 

Lewis and Clark saw that fur-bearing animals were 
so thick they were in one another's way, but the fur com- 
panies did not follow at once. Military posts had to be 
built along the explored routes, and a good many Indians 
had to be killed or bribed or driven out. It was David 
Thompson who got there first. He built Kalispel House 


on Lake Pend d'Oreille, the first fort in what was to be- 
come Idaho, and held thriving control over all the animals 
in the Columbia and its tributaries until another English 
company came awake to what it was missing. But the 
North West Company, managed by Donald McKenzie, 
merged with Hudson's Bay in 1821, and together they 
slaughtered the furred beasts and outraged the Indians 
until 1846. After the merger, Hudson's Bay held a 
monopoly for many years on all the trapping trade be- 
tween Puget Sound and the headwaters of the Missouri. 
Its district overlord, now known variously as the Father 
of Oregon, Monarch of the Northwest Country, or plain 
John McLoughlin was as astonishing a mixture of virtue 
and villainy as ever laid an iron hand on everything he 
touched. He was, like Brigham Young, an aggressive and 
somewhat terrifying genius who built empires as easily 
as most men build dreams. If he could not buy his rivals 
out, he exterminated them. And later, after devastating a 
large part of the animals in the north, he smelled profits 
southward and established Fort Boise in 1834. Two years 
later he bought Fort Hall to destroy his competitors 
there. Nathaniel Wyeth, another early Idahoan, says 
McLoughlin had good business methods; and doubtless 
he had, because his trappers took as many as eighty 
thousand beaver pelts from Snake River in a season, and 
his rivals quaked when they heard him speak. 

When Mr. John Jacob Astor decided that he wanted 
some of the profits from fur, he discovered that wanting 
them was one thing and getting them was another. His 
first ship around Cape Horn was wrecked, and the crew 
of the second was set upon by Indians and scalped. After 
an expedition to the Boise River was destroyed, the Astor 
interests — the American Fur Company, of which the 
Pacific Company was a part — refused to compete with 
Hudson's Bay and the Indians and confined their fur trade 
to areas east of the Rocky Mountains. The first successful 
commercial enterprise in what is now Idaho was that of 
the Rocky Mountain Fur Company under General William 


Ashley and Major Andrew Henry; but instead of estab- 
lishing trading posts, this company had an annual ren- 
dezvous at Pierre's Hole (now Teton Basin) to which 
trappers came to barter pelts and gather supplies. This 
rendezvous, like any other in early days, was a carnival of 
drunkenness and brawls and sharp practice. To a Hud- 
son's Bay employee, Wyeth wrote : "I have again to repeat 
to you the advice which I before gave you not to come with 
a small party to the American rendezvous. There are here 
a great collection of scoundrels." There was a still larger 
collection east of the rendezvous, and in 1834 the Astor 
company forced the American out of business here. It 
was this Wyeth himself who organized an expedition in 
Boston and made the first continuous overland trip to 
Vancouver, though his supply ship was wrecked in round- 
ing the Horn. He established Fort Hall and went into 
business for himself, but the competitive emphasis lay 
too much in ambush and guns, and he was forced in 1836 
to sell. The Missouri Company meanwhile had sent 
Andrew Henry to the Snake River country, and there in 
1810 Fort Henry was built near the present town of St. 
Anthony. It was abandoned the next year and this com- 
pany was practically extinct by 1822. Manuel Liza, its 
founder, was accused of enticing Iroquois trappers from 
their employers and persuading them to sell to him, 
though in this matter historians do not agree. It is an 
unimportant matter. No one could ever be credulous 
enough to suppose that these barons of greed and sharp 
wits gave much attention to scrupulous methods. Large 
companies became larger and small companies went out of 
business; and this, here or elsewhere in the West, is the 
history of trapping : there was no time for gentleness and 
there was no place for weaklings. 

These hardy men who followed the explorers and pre- 
ceded the miners were lusty freebooters whose only law 
was the law of survival. As Chittenden points out in 
The American Fur Trader of the Far West, the constant 
study of each group was to forestall and outwit its rival, 


to supplant one another in the good will of the tribes, 
and to annihilate one another's plans or to mislead in 
regard to routes, and to place every possible disadvantage 
in the way of competitors. It was a tremendous epic of 
wits and brawn; and Nature, who abhors a weakling as 
much as a vacuum, had matters quite to her taste. The 
early traders were content to camp along the rivers or 
lakes and remember what they used to be; but after a 
little while they were all bearded savages living close to 
the earth and living mightily. In comparison with them, 
the trappers back along the Missouri were dandified gen- 
tlemen who were getting neurotic from want of profanity 
and hardship, Washington Irving said no class of men 
on earth led lives of more constant exertion and peril or 
were so enamored of their occupation ; and he might have 
added that the Indians were often apt students of the 
profane and indefatigable invaders of their land. 

The trappers were enamored because they were doing 
a man's work in a way that the world is now rapidly for- 
getting. More than half of these hard-fisted freebooters 
were killed, but those who survived went right ahead 
taking life with enormous relish and spending little time 
grieving over what was gone. Many of them married 
Indian maids ; and if the tribe said no, as likely as not the 
girl was abducted and married anyway. And because these 
men trapped only in late fall and early spring in regions 
where the snow was deep, they had much time heavy 
on their hands and no disposition to use it gently; and 
because they usually set their traps with a rifle ready or 
a companion standing guard, they grew accustomed to 
danger and took a narrow escape in a day's stride. Henry 
lost twenty-seven men on his first trip into the wilder- 
ness; and of the two hundred men Wyeth started with, 
only forty were alive at the end of three years. They died 
from Indians, or infrequently from disease, or even from 
starvation; but when not starving or murdering they 
learned they could get a valuable fur for a ten-cent string 
of beads; and with their greed whetted they graduated 


from experimental trickery to bolder methods that more 
expediently served their ends. To call them scoundrels is 
to misunderstand them entirely. They were men fighting 
against death and hunger and they fought with the 
weapons that served them best. And more than that. 
They were men standing four-square upon their ancient 
heritage and their primitive rights, and in their plangent 
power is recorded the early epic of Idaho's emergence 
from a wilderness of Indians and beasts. 

But the story is not alone one of mighty men who slew 
animals by hundreds of thousands. Some of these early 
brigands became as savage as men have ever been, and 
not infrequently betrayed or butchered the red men when 
they approached seeking peace. Captain Bonneville, one 
of the hardiest of the early adventurers, gives instances, 
one of which turns on Jim Bridger, long since a legendary 
hero, who with his party sought trapping grounds in the 
land of Blackfeet. When they came upon the Indians, a 
chief drew near and extended his hand in greeting, but 
Bridger thereupon cocked his rifle and was knocked off 
his horse for his pains. Whether the story is true hardly 
matters: it declares the temper of the times. Another 
instance is a story of brutality on the part of white men 
that many Indians would have been abashed to think of. 
Bonneville sent a scout with twenty men to hunt on the 
margin of the Crow country. The scout and his party 
came to a Crow village, a notorious assortment of rogues 
and horse thieves, and these persuaded most of the 
scout's men to desert him and to sneak off with all the 
horses and equipment. When the scout attempted to 
retake the deserters, he was warned by the Crows that 
the scamps were their friends ; whereupon, with the few 
men who had remained loyal, the scout went to another 
fort. Here, too, he learned, the white men were everlast- 
ingly hotfooting it out of camp with whatever they could 
steal. He went next up the Powder River to trap, and one 
day, while the horses were grazing, two Indians rode into 
camp. While they affected friendliness, the horses dis- 


appeared, and the two Indians were at once made pris- 
oners by the white men and threatened with death. The 
robbers came back to bargain for the release of their 
comrades and offered two horses for each man freed. 
Upon learning that they would have to restore all their 
booty, they deserted the prisoners and moved off with 
most lamentable bowlings, and the prisoners were 
dragged to a pyre and burned to death in plain view of 
the fleeing pirates. 

This story may be an extreme in white brutality, but 
it is understandable inasmuch as these men were isolated 
from the East with their mail going to Vera Cruz and 
across to the Pacific and then out to the Hawaiian Islands 
and then back to Vancouver and from there inland if there 
was anyone to take it. They were men who were more 
solitary by nature, as trappers are today, than any tribe 
who went before them or came after, more courageous 
than any save the explorers, and more resourceful than 
any group that followed them into the forested empires. 
They sank quickly to a rugged elemental level of eating 
and sleeping and slaying their enemies ; and it was inevi- 
table that missionaries should come to rebuke their zest 
and confuse the Indians. 

Missionaries then, as now, were of all kinds. Some of 
them were earnest persons of courage and kindness who 
wanted to convince the lusty trappers that they were 
headed for the devil and to lift the Indians from their 
anthropomorphic level. Many of the explorers and trap- 
pers had already intermarried, and some of the Indians 
had already heard of the Christian religion. Jason Lee 
had accompanied Wyeth on his second journey into the 
West and had held the first religious service (in what was 
to be Idaho) at Fort Hall in 1834. In the next year the Rev- 
erend Samuel Parker, sent out by the Dutch Reformed 
Church of Ithaca, joined Marcus Whitman in St. Louis 
and traveled with members of the American Fur Com- 
pany to Green River. Here the need of the Indians was 
so apparent that they decided to remain in the West. 


Whitman returned to enlist volunteers, and Parker went 
on to the Nez Perce country and thence to Walla Walla 
where he chose a site for the Whitman Mission. While 
traveling across country it is declared that he taught his 
Indian companions the Ten Commandments and per- 
suaded some of them to spurn polygamy and return to 
their first wives. Precisely in what way this settled the 
matter for their second and third wives is not divulged. 
Whitman returned, meanwhile, with his wife and the 
Spaldings, who established themselves at Lapwai Creek a 
few miles above the present site of Lewiston. The Spald- 
ings, husband and wife, were two missionaries who in 
most instances were remarkably tolerant and wise : they 
reached beyond empty ritual and instructed the red men 
in home economics and agriculture and thoughtful living. 
After the Spaldings up north had taught the Indians 
to grow vegetables and fruits and to desert their lusty 
deities, a colony of Mormons pushed northward out of 
Utah and settled in a little valley which they named for 
a king in the Book of Mormon. They built a fort of 
planks and mud and settled down to make their homes. 
Idaho historians usually place this colony among the mis- 
sionaries, but these persons came to homestead and not to 
argue. They were from that larger colony which had es- 
tablished itself in the Salt Lake Valley under that great 
and wise leader of men and movements named Brigham 
Young. But Brigham Young and the Mormons generally 
were not mystics or metaphysicians : they were pioneers 
seeking homes and an opportunity to build a kingdom 
beyond the reach of persecution wherein every man could 
have as many wives as God and his own provisions would 
allow. And it was a Mormon colony that founded Idaho's 
first permanent settlement two years later. These per- 
sons, imagining they were in Utah when they called their 
village Franklin, made irrigation a fact in Idaho by build- 
ing a canal three and a half miles long. They also estab- 
lished in 1860, the year of their arrival, the first school for 
white children within the present boundaries of the State. 


There were other important missionaries in Idaho 
besides the Spaldings. No one can doubt the sincerity of 
most of them, nor, on the other hand, can anyone with 
the welfare of his race at heart beheve that they achieved 
much good. What missionaries did to the Indians, except 
in rare instances, was to befuddle their wits and make them 
more amenable to subsequent degradation. It was not only 
that Father De Smet impressed upon the Flatheads the 
notion that Sunday was a day of rest and so encouraged 
them to greater laziness than they had formerly been dis- 
posed toward. It was not only that Samuel Parker was 
abandoned to the ironic circumstances of seeing his red 
congregation leap up right in the middle of a sermon and 
take to their weapons when an elk came in sight ; and it is 
doubtful if he helped matters later when, after having re- 
buked them for working on Sunday, he sat down with them 
to feed on the beast they had slain. Nor was it only, as the 
shrewd W. A. Goulder points out in his reminiscences, 
that too many of the missionaries "seemed sometimes 
purposely to have placed some pasteboard lions in their 
path for the simple pleasure of kicking them out of the 
way." It may not even be quite enough to add, as he does, 
that we must forgive zeal so fierce that it is not always 
accompanied "by knowledge required to justify and dig- 
nify its workings." 

Matters would have been improved if Protestants, 
Catholics, and Mormons had lived in peace with one an- 
other, all seeking the same ends. But much of their work 
was vitiated by petty suspicions and jealousies, and it 
takes more than pious historians who gloss the facts and 
expand the fictions to make some of these early mission- 
aries look any bigger than the persons they came to in- 
struct. It is the first white child born in what was to be- 
come Idaho, Eliza Spalding Warren herself, who declares 
that her father and Whitman believed that Indians were 
incited to malevolence by Catholic priests ; and even Spald- 
ing, greatest of the lot, recorded the spiritual limits within 
which he worked when he called the baptism by a Jesuit 


priest of "blood-stained" children (after the Whitman 
massacre) one of the vilest deeds in history. It may be true 
that he accused Jesuits of abducting unsuspecting girls for 
their "large and flourishing schools throughout the coun- 
try" ; and it may be, too, that Catholics suspected Protes- 
tants of malpractices equally petty; and both, of course, 
absurdly fancied that Mormons were recruiting girls for 
polygamous harems. It is difl?icult to believe that men so 
far from the meaning of God themselves could have 
brought to the Indians a larger vision of humanity and 

But if, on the whole, they did not, the fault was not 
wholly theirs. These simple-minded red men heard the 
Sermon on the Mount on one day and on the next were 
got drunk or robbed or attacked by persons from that 
race with which the Sermon had been a byword for nine- 
teen centuries. And later, treaties added confusion to 
confusion as the Indians were steadily driven from their 
ancient homes to the poorer lands set aside for them. 
Soldiers were brought in, as in Clearwater district, to 
force them out and subject them; and these soldiers were 
often, as Kate McBeth points out in The Nez Perces Since 
Lewis and Clark, a demoralizing influence and helped to 
bring this tribe to a degradation it had never known be- 
fore. Drinking and gambling and fighting were the rule 
of the day and the night ; and added to these were the 
preachments of brotherhood and good will which made 
incredible ironies of the whole picture. "Such a mix-up 
of heathenism, white men's vices, and religion was per- 
haps never known before." It is folly, on the one hand, to 
grow sentimental over the Indians. They were not noble 
savages. They were not thriftless vagabonds. It is folly, 
on the other hand, to pretend that the early missionaries, 
no matter how well-intentioned, were able to achieve more 
good than harm. 

And it is little wonder that after awhile some of the 
Indians went on the warpath, and it is amusing to read 
what some historians have to say of the matter. An attack 


by Indians, they will tell you, was an outrage, a treachery, 
or a plain and terrible massacre; but attacks by white 
warriors were courageous stands against howling and 
bloodthirsty maniacs. The Indians, fighting to retain 
what they had owned for ages, were unmitigated rascals ; 
but the whites, fighting to possess what did not belong to 
them, were splendid soldiers of God. The Indians, often 
driven to actual starvation, and striking back desperately 
with arrow or tomahawk, the only weapons they knew, 
were yelping and unvarnished assassins ; but the whites, 
eager to lay the camas meadows under agriculture, were 
approved by all the centuries of plunder in which right 
has been on the stronger side. And not only that: those 
Indians who, deserting their own traditions and people, 
came to the aid of the whites are today commemorated in 
monuments; but the few whites who went over to the 
Indians are held in unspeakable infamy. 

The Coeur d'Alenes and Spokanes had boasted for 
years that they had never shed the blood of a white man. 
But they were driven to it by persistent invasions of 
their country, and in one battle they united with the 
Palouse and Yakima tribes and came within an inch 
of exterminating a hundred and fifty-five men under 
Colonel E. J. Steptoe. Then an expedition was sent to 
punish these Indians who had resisted invasion ; and after 
many were killed and wounded at the battle of Four 
Lakes, Colonel George Wright rounded up all the Indians' 
horses and slaughtered the entire herd of eight hundred. 
Thereupon the Indians surrendered and the colonel took 
a chief and several others as hostages and made it plain 
that if the Indians didn't like the ordeal of being civi- 
lized he would return and destroy the tribes. The colonel 
then went to the Palouse country and hanged several 
leaders there, took hostages, and made threats that almost 
shook the Columbian Plateau. It has been declared that the 
colonel was a successful Indian fighter — and there really 
seems to be little reason to doubt it. "Without the loss of a 
man he had defeated the Indians, who sustained heavy 


losses, confiscated their horses and cattle, executed eleven 
murderers, and captured large stores of supplies." 

The Nez Perce Indians had always been friendly to- 
ward the whites. The more, in fact, one reads in the 
shameful history of warfare against Indians, the more 
one is impressed not by the treachery of the red men but 
by their credulity. They were children. They did not 
know that for countless centuries wars and persecutions, 
greed and torture, had masqueraded in the name of civi- 
lization, and they did not foresee that the white men who 
came to convert them would remain to seize their lands. 
After the whites came into the fertile valley of this tribe, 
Indian ponies actually starved to death for want of 
forage. Government agents, meanwhile, had repeatedly 
promised to move settlers out of the Yakima territory, 
and the Yakima tribe strove to enlist the support of other 
tribes in a general war. The Nez Perces refused. The 
chief of the tribe was talked into selling the land of his 
people but later resisted yielding it, and President Grant 
returned it to the Indians. But two years later the White 
Father repudiated his promise, and the Indian Bureau 
tried to force the tribe to move to the Lapwai Reserva- 
tion. The wise and friendly old chieftain, finding himself 
dying, asked his son never to give up the land of his 
birth and home. That son was the famous Chief Joseph. 
He sought, even after one of his subordinates was thrown 
into jail, to restrain his people from violence; but when 
the final day of departure came, some of the more coura- 
geous Indians began what a historian called a "horrible 
series of murders" — by which he doubtless means that 
they were doing their best to slay their enemies. Then a 
Captain Perry marched in with a small army and was 
outsmarted in White Bird Canyon: his detachment was 
cut in two and one part was almost wiped out. "Lieutenant 
Theller and eighteen brave comrades were caught in the 
trap and killed." At this point, Too-lah, the Nez Perce 
traitor, came on the scene and rode twenty-six miles to 
procure aid for some whites awaiting attack in a stockade. 


One historian says it is difficult to imagine how "she 
could suppress her feelings of loyalty to members of her 
own people" — and it does seem difficult. 

General Howard now came with several hundred men. 
He had a job to do, and he learned that it was to be the most 
exciting job in his busy lifetime. One commentator says 
the Indians, now fighting with their backs to the Clear- 
water River, held their ground "with an obstinancy that 
was surprising" — and it seems a pity that they should 
have been so stubborn merely because white men wanted 
their fertile valley. It seems a pity that the bloodcurdling 
rascals did not all jump into the river and drown them- 
selves. But let us suppose for a moment that an Indian 
historian is writing of this desperate battle and this fa- 
mous retreat. 

There was a band of only three hundred Indians, with their 
backs to the Clearwater, with twice that number of well-armed 
soldiers facing them, and with a poor assortment of weapons in 
their hands. They were fighting for their homeland where they 
had lived for centuries and where their dead were buried. They 
had been lied to by the Great Father in Washington; they had 
been robbed and tricked by white men ever since these came to 
their country; and they were now being driven to a cheap and 
barren home that they did not love and did not want. . . . 

The white invaders with their terrible ghostly faces and their 
brutal instruments of death fought with surprising obstinacy and 
strove with all their power to murder us; and though we were 
outnumbered two to one we fought with the courage of a beaten 
people and time after time resisted every bloodthirsty attack. . . . 
And when at last we saw that our cause was hopeless, we slipped 
away and set forth in the night with no home to turn to, no friends 
anywhere. For weeks we fled, and there were three different armies 
of these vengeful white invaders trailing us and trying to trap us; 
but we had a great chief, our Joseph, and for weeks he outwitted 
three armies and made them look like a bunch of lost boys. But in our 
long flight of thirteen hundred miles, barefooted, over rock and stick 
and thorn, ragged and starved and sick, hopelessly outnumbered and 
defeated but never subdued, we had no place to go, no road that 
was ours. Our feet left blood in our tracks, but day after day, 
night after night, we marched, wishing only to be left alone to our 
birthplace and our rights 

And when at last we had to surrender and accept the gall of the 
white man's triumph and the barren land which he himself did not 
want, we went forth in rags and they did not recognize us. But we 
were proud and still unconquered. And as we stood there, the 


skeletons who had survived, our Joseph gave to those unashamed 
assassins of red men the most magnificent rebuke that has ever been 
flung by a defenseless people at their barbarous conquerors : 
From where the sun now stands, I shall fight no more! 

But that would be a very temperate account from the 
pen of an Indian historian. He would see the coming of 
white men as a scourge, a nameless and invincible terror. 
And it is time to admit that Chief Joseph was a great 
soldier and that the Nez Perce Indians gave a lesson to 
their conquerors in heroism and fortitude in conflict, and 
pride and dignity in defeat. 

Idaho had other Indian wars, most important of which 
was with the Bannacks who were guilty of resenting the in- 
vasion of their camas meadows. But meanwhile the gold 
seekers had come in. With few exceptions, the trappers 
were hand-picked and somewhat solitary men who sought 
the farthest reaches of the frontiers and assumed a dan- 
gerous life because they loved it. Quite different from 
them in many respects were the miners. Some of these 
were men not driven by obsessions and fevers, but a lot 
of them were minor rascals of various breeds — nomadic 
knights seeking pots of gold, petty thieves and shysters, 
and restless unfortunates who had succumbed to greed. 
Of the thousands who poured into Idaho after the dis- 
covery of gold, a large part was a feverish and floating 
horde who had already rushed from place to place with a 
vision of wealth bright and terrible in their eyes. Some of 
them, diverted from their quest, organized gangs and 
plundered stages and stores and trains, and others were 
predatory scoundrels who worked darkly and alone. Of 
the banded packs, the Plummer gang in Montana was the 
most dangerous, and typical of such bandits was Cherokee 
Bob. After killing two soldiers in Walla Walla, he fled to 
Lewiston where he became leader of an assortment of cut- 
throats, and then moved to Florence. There one night he 
defended his mistress, a harlot who had been thrown out 
of a hall, and was slain by another bandit as notorious as 
himself. There were hundreds of Cherokee Bobs in Idaho 
seventy years ago. 


It has been said by some Idaho historians that these 
thousands who rushed pell-mell into the State were unusu- 
ally intelligent on the whole, and that many of them were 
educated. One historian even solemnly declares that their 
discussions around campfires would often have been a 
credit to dignified deliberative bodies. But these attempts 
to transform the early miners into a bunch of gentlemen 
who sedately panned their gold and then meditated on 
Aristotle are a gross injustice to an army of hell-roaring 
and money-mad men. With exceptions, they were a rough 
and blasphemous crew who swore like pirates and drank 
whiskey as if they had been nursed on it, though now and 
then one, it is true, got off by himself to brood over such 
trivial matters as destiny and fate, or took to himself a 
wife and minded his own business. But the majority of 
them laid into life with furious appetites, and it is a most 
lugubrious irony to dress up these tough-palmed, unmoral 
roustabouts to look like the men today who fetch the milk 
and play bridge and lead the house dog around the block. 

Some of these miners were, of course, men of prey 
from the time they entered the Western country, and 
others learned to be after they got there. And these grew 
in number until lawlessness in varying degrees prevailed 
in every mining camp, and hardly a man anywhere dared 
venture forth with his bag of gold dust in his hands. 
After awhile the vigilantes came, and scoundrels of all 
kinds were found hanging by their necks from bridge 
beam and tree. Even the farmers in the Boise Basin came 
alive to fury and pursued a gang of marauders clear into 
the Grand Ronde Valley of Oregon; and "if any casu- 
alties occurred, they were all on one side." The outraged 
citizens of the Payette Valley organized and decreed three 
modes of punishment : banishment for the apprentices in 
the trade, flogging for those who had begun to prosper in 
the ways of villainy, and hanging for those who had be- 
come masters of murder. When the Stewart brothers in- 
discreetly published throughout the area the boast that 
there weren't enough vigilantes to chastise them, they 


soon found themselves hanging from a brand-new 

These avengers w^ere chiefly farmers who lived a 
quieter life than that of the miners for whom the brothel 
and gaming table were as familiar as the beds they slept 
in. And the irascible temper of these philosophers is to 
be seen in a desperate war that broke out south of Boise 
between the Ida Elmore and Golden Chariot Companies 
over boundaries of their claims. Scorning compromise, 
the managers of these mines hired a few dozen gentle and 
book-loving thugs to engage in a pitched battle and fight 
it out. The Golden Chariot army stormed their opponents, 
and the owner of this company, while too curiously peek- 
ing at his foe, was shot through the head. During the 
ensuing night these lusty gentlemen blazed away at one 
another and kept it up for three days until a squad of 
cavalry was sent out from Boise. And two days later, 
after hostilities had ceased, one of the survivors was sit- 
ting in front of the Idaho Hotel, doubtless pondering a 
volume of Herbert Spencer, when a feudist from the oppo- 
site camp, one Marion More, accompanied by several gen- 
tlemen who preferred the works of Hume, came up to 
continue the quarrel. More was shot dead, and the man 
who had been sitting in meditation later died of his 
wounds. When even the owners of the mines went on the 
warpath and hired a small army of idle freebooters to 
fight their battles, it seems a little beyond the facts to 
suppose that the common run of miners were gun-shy 
introverts whose learned discussions troubled the Royal 
Society of England. 

They were too busy living to have time for vagaries. 
Perhaps they did read now and then ; and if so, it may be 
that they saw in the Boise Neivs how "Justice Walker 
fined himself five dollars on Thursday for becoming angry 
in court and swearing at an attorney," or perhaps they 
saw that red drawers were only three dollars a pair or 
that Eureka whiskey was only six dollars a gallon where- 
as kerosene was nine. Or perhaps they read in the 


Statesman that General Crook was on his way to Harney 
Lake and "had gobbled a few bucks on the way" but ex- 
pected to find Indians more abundant in a less hunted 
region ; or that the "most jovially reckless gentleman who 
ever sat in a gubernatorial chair" was Governor Bennett, 
who marched into a saloon and turned to those present 

to say, "Is there a here who will take a drink 

with the Governor of Idaho ?" After Idaho Territory had 
rid itself of such a rascal as Brayman, it was inclined to 
look upon Bennett as a man almost scrupulous in his 

Gold was discovered in the Clearwater country in 
1860, and rich strikes followed in the Salmon River and 
Florence areas, in Boise Basin, in the Owyhee terrain, in 
the Coeur d'Alenes, and elsewhere. The wilderness of 
trappers yielded to an era of lusty mining towns, and for 
years the territory knew little more than the feverish 
industry of thousands of men exploring the earth for its 
treasure, and hundreds preying upon them. In 1863 the 
Idaho Territory was created, and the temper of the time 
is to be found summarized in its Governors. The Presi- 
dent, in fact, had difficulty in finding Governors who 
would go to "Idaho," and some of them, like Gilman 
Marston, never appeared at all, "having got lost or stolen 
on the way out. Alexander H. Conner, from the Lord only 
knows where, was the next venture of the President but 
for some unknown reason he, too, failed to appear." 
Former Governor Hawley next surmises that President 
Grant was growing impatient over the vanishing of his 
appointees and insisted that the next one actually reach 
the Territory and look around. This man saw so many 
educated young fellows sitting on their heels that he 
shook the dust of Idaho out of his shoes and disappeared 
in a week. William Wallace, still another, was bolder, but 
is said not to have shown even ordinary cunning in his 
crookedness; and still another, who signed himself as 
Caleb Lyon of Lyonsdale, specialized in ebullient rhetoric 
and died while he was being investigated for misappro- 


priation of funds for the Nez Perce Indians. Of still 
another, David W. Ballard, Hawley says he was a good- 
natured sort of fellow "who drew his salary with com- 
mendable regularity and did little else to inform people 
that he held high office or was alive at all." And while 
the Governors were disappearing or swindling or hiding 
behind their salaries, the legislature was racking its 
brains over the fact that the capital was up in the Pan- 
handle and most of the Territory was lying beyond impas- 
sable regions south of it. Or it was prohibiting marriage 
between whites and Chinese, or it was taxing Chinese four 
dollars a month to live in the Territory or, strangely 
enough, as early as 1885, it was appropriating money for 
an insane asylum. Many things must have happened dur- 
ing those years if so many persons were violently crazy 
that an asylum was needed five years before the Territory 
was admitted to the Union. And many things did happen. 
The lusty ripsnorting extremes of it now lie quietly under 
the almost forgotten graveyards in the dozens of ghost 
towns that are today the decaying monuments to twenty 
violent years. 

History shifted from trapping to boom towns, and 
then came the sheep and cattlemen, and the feuds broke 
upon a new scene. Cattle came first, arriving in herds 
from Utah and Wyoming, and for awhile Idaho was a 
huge cattle ranch. Thousands of beef were driven east- 
ward to Cheyenne and shipped before the railroads came, 
and sheep with them, and another war was on. It is true 
that dead sheepherders were sometimes found in lonely 
places and that cowboys now and then toppled from their 
steeds because of guns fired from ambush ; but even the 
most diligent search has not found a single heroine who 
stood by during these lively times to ride down Goose 
Creek or Rattlesnake Gulch and shoot the horse from 
under the villain and faint in the hero's arms. The women 
of Idaho seem to have missed spectacular opportunities 
here. As a matter of fact, though, there were no villains 
and no heroes: Idaho Territory was a huge pasture, and 


two factions fought to possess it and they fought for 
the love of fighting and with the weapons that served 
them best. 

And besides, Idaho was now growing up and becom- 
ing an empire of its own and lawlessness and exuberance 
were slowly yielding to discipline. For a long while it had 
been known as the Columbia River country and later as 
the Oregon country, of both of which it was a part. Ore- 
gon had been admitted to statehood before Idaho had 
become more than a vague geographical area of Indians 
and trappers, and even when it became a Territory of its 
own it included most of what is now Montana and Wyo- 
ming. It did not become a State until 1890, the forty-third 
of the Union, just after the railroads and ranchers had 
definitely marked its transition from the old West to the 
new. After running through five magnificently vital 
decades of trapping and three of mining, it emerged to 
precise boundaries and comparative serenity and settled 
down to the job of building its kingdom. Most of its val- 
leys were rapidly homesteaded by sturdy stock chiefly 
from the Middle Western States ; its surviving thugs were 
driven out or thrown into jails ; and its great mines and 
forests were laid open. Idaho is no longer a frontier, but 
the frontier still lives in countless ways within its borders. 
It is to be seen modified and disciplined and slowly chang- 
ing in every one of the cities and towns ; and in a few of 
these the old spirit is now and then resurrected and walks 
in thunderous zest down the streets. 

But the frontiers are gone, no matter how vividly they 
still live in memory or how poignant their slow vanishings 
may be from end to end of the State. The building of rail- 
roads, the coming of the cattlemen and sheepmen, and the 
homesteading of the valleys and plains have effected the 
transition from the frontier to the Idaho of today. The 
Northern Pacific laid its rails across the Panhandle in 
1880-82, and the Union Pacific crossed the southern part 
of the State in 1882-84. In the latter year the Coeur 
d'Alene country was the scene of one of the wildest stam- 


pedes in the history of mining, and is still the most impor- 
tant mining area in the State. 

The development of agriculture came later. The north- 
ern half of Idaho has reclaimed much logged-off land to 
become one of the most productive areas in the West, and 
the Snake River Valley and its tributary basins have pros- 
pered under the broad sweep of reclamation projects. In 
1894 the Carey Act gave to each of the States 1,000,000 
acres with the provision that the land was to be irrigated ; 
and those acres Idaho has irrigated together with many 
more. Under the Reclamation Act of 1902 the State has 
developed the Minidoka, King Hill, and Boise Projects. 
Lands too far removed from water or for which water has 
not been available have been cultivated as dry farms, given 
chiefly to wheat and other grains. 

Idaho is still a very young State. Because its social de- 
velopment remains largely in the future, it has little to 
boast of in the arts, in education, and in names of men who 
have made history. Of the latter it has, of course, William 
E. Borah, dean at this writing (1936) of the U. S. Senate, 
and doubtless one of the great statesmen of his time. Since 
that memorable day when Borah opposed Clarence Dar- 
row in an Idaho courtroom, he has become a national 
figure and his name and Idaho have become, in the world . 
at large, almost synonyms. 











LITTLE is known of that legendary period of Indian 
history prior to the coming of the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition to Idaho in 1805. All Indians were steadily 
being pushed westward, and through wars between vari- 
ous tribes had divided the entire Western coast among 
themselves. Those residing in what is now Idaho were 
too much broken into small and scattered groups to act 
as whole tribes or nations, and their history other than 
a few exceptional events relates to petty strifes, local 
disturbances, and the robbing and massacre of white emi- 
grants who were dispossessing them of their lands. These 
make the facts of their history, but the story itself, like 
that of the Indian people as a whole, is the tragic one of 
a race robbed of its birthright. 

When Lewis and Clark made the first historically 
known contact with Indian tribes of this region, the ex- 
plorers were for the most part received in friendly fash- 
ion. It has been said that the Shoshonis were friendly 
because the party was guided by Sacajawea, a Shoshonean 
woman and the sister of their chief, but it is true that 
members of the Nez Perce tribe were also friendly and 
assisted the party in every way possible. Gifts were 
exchanged, feasts given, and the extreme good will of the 
Nez Perces shown by the fact that six chiefs accompanied 
the expedition as far as Riparia, Washington, to protect 
as well as guide the explorers. 

Almost immediately on the trail of Lewis and Clark 


came the fur traders, who in the majority of cases were 
also received with friendliness even though they were 
becoming- rich at the expense of the Indians. The traders 
attempted to promote this friendship because it was to 
their advantage to do so, and the Indians responded be- 
cause they had not yet realized what this invasion was 
to mean to them. Although the tribes were at times 
troublesome, there were few catastrophes at all compa- 
rable to those after the settlers began pouring into the 

It was the trappers and traders who first attempted to 
substitute Christianity for the religions of the red men. 
Although decidedly not a religious group, these adven- 
turers interested the Indians in their religion and paved 
the way for the missionaries, of whom Reverend H. H. 
Spalding was perhaps the most successful. Spalding 
cemented the friendship of the Nez Perces, already dem- 
onstrated in their dealings with the explorers, and taught 
the Indian men to till the soil, while his wife instructed 
the Indian women in the arts of housekeeping. The Catho- 
lics were a strong influence on the religious-minded tribes 
of northern Idaho — so much so that in 1831 four Nez 
Perce Indians made a trip to St. Louis to see the priests 
there and obtain more information on the white man's 
religion. Almost every denomination sent missionaries 
to the Indians of the Idaho territory, their various efforts 
often resulting in confusion because these simple people 
could not understand the differences in creed. Hard, too, 
for them to understand was the apparent lack of co-or- 
dination between the principles preached by the mission- 
aries and the practices carried out by the white settlers. 

It was difficult for the Indians to comprehend why 
these white men and women could come into this land 
which they considered rightfully theirs by heritage, and 
settle on it, usurping their hunting and camas fields. 
Little by little the most fertile valleys and the best graz- 
ing lands were being occupied by the whites, and the 
Indians, while experiencing the pinch of hunger, were 


expected to retire gracefully to barren lands allotted them. 
It is true that there were predatory bands of Indians who 
scalped and raided for the pure love of killing, but for 
the most part the outrages perpetrated upon the whites 
came as a direct result of the Indians' attempt to stop the 
onrushing flood of settlers who were simply moving in 
without asking permission. 

Although all Indian tribes of the Northwest were be- 
coming alarmed at this invasion, the Nez Perces remained 
steadfast friends of the white men. It was only this 
friendly and peaceable attitude that saved the settlers 
from being wiped out in 1855 when the Yakimas tried 
to enlist Nez Perce support in a general uprising of the 
Northwest tribes. This hostility on the part of North- 
west Indians was caused by the Government's attempt to 
arrange a treaty providing for the sale of lands of all 
these tribes. Fighting a losing battle as always, they 
finally agreed to surrender their lands, and two treaties 
were signed in 1855. A treaty with the Kutenai, Pend 
d'Oreille, and Flathead Indians gave them lands in Idaho 
and Montana for a reservation; while one with the Nez 
Perces defined for them a reservation including specified 
lands in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. 

These treaties were negotiated successfully, but 
troubles with the Indians in that region were not at an 
end. In 1858 settlers in the West became apprehensive 
when members of the Coeur d'Alene, Palouse, Spokane, 
and Yakima tribes attacked Colonel Steptoe of the fort 
at Walla Walla after he had set out to investigate the 
murder of two miners by Palouse Indians. Since all these 
tribes had been peaceable in the past, this attack made 
the whites realize the seriousness of the situation. A 
force under the leadership of Colonel George Wright was 
immediately sent out to punish the Indians, and the first 
battle was fought at Four Lakes, about sixteen miles 
southwest of the present Spokane. After routing the In- 
dian band and slaughtering their horses, Colonel Wright 
pressed on to the Coeur d'Alene Mission where the fright- 


ened Coeur d'Alene Indians were forced to agree to terms 
which he set forth. Moving on to the Palouse country, he 
dictated terms to them as well, and returned to Fort 
Walla Walla with such a complete victory that the Gov- 
ernment felt it an opportune time to remove the Indians 
to reservations and so protect the increasing numbers 
of white settlers. 

Steps were first taken to confine the Nez Perces, be- 
cause the treaty of 1855, never satisfactory to the In- 
dians, had become most unsatisfactory to the whites 
after it was learned that gold had been discovered in 
this region. In 1863 the whites accordingly attempted to 
negotiate a treaty by which the Nez Perces would cede 
back these lands and accept a smaller reservation in the 
Lapwai Valley. Old Chief Joseph, their leader, had signed 
the treaty of 1855, but when the Government wished him 
to agree to giving up the fertile Wallowa Valley, he be- 
came less amenable and refused to give up any of his 
lands. A direct result of old Chief Joseph's stand was a 
division in the Nez Perce ranks by which two factions 
sprang up, known as the "Treaty" and "Nontreaty" In- 
dians; but his rebellion against the greediness of the 
whites was later to bring far-reaching and more serious 

Indians everywhere throughout the State were be- 
coming increasingly restless as hordes of white settlers 
began usurping their lands, and Indian outbreaks became 
common, although for the most part they were local in 
character and did not develop into what could be called a 
war. These outrages took the form of massacres of lone 
wagon trains, of which conspicuous in early Idaho history 
is the attack on the Ward party in August of 1854. This 
train of twenty-three members was attacked by a band of 
Snake Indians about twenty-five miles from old Fort 
Boise; all of the men were killed, the children killed or 
captured, and the women taken to the Indian camp a mile 
away. The only survivors of the atrocity were two of the 
Ward boys who succeeded in escaping into the brush even 


though they were wounded and near unconsciousness. A 
rescue party from old Fort Boise reported that the details 
of the crime were most horrifying, and an eye-witness 
tells us that "no pen could describe the fiendish savagery 
displayed in the torture and treatment of the victims." 
Here was an instance of the Indians retaliating in the 
only way known to them. 

Such attacks were common in southern Idaho during 
the years from 1860 to the late 70's, and it became neces- 
sary to provide military protection for the long trains of 
wagons moving westward across the Snake River plains. 
Lone settlements were at the mercy of the Indians, and 
particularly harassed was a small colony of Mormons who 
had made the first permanent settlement in the State at 
Franklin near the southern border of Idaho. Brigham 
Young had tried to achieve friendly relations with the 
Bannacks by feeding them and refusing to quarrel with 
them, but this policy made the warlike tribesmen over- 
bearing, and in the winter of 1862-63 their menace be- 
came so great that the terrified pioneers were forced to 
appeal to Colonel P. E. Connor at Fort Douglas, Utah. In 
January of 1863, troops sent to protect the Franklin 
families found the Indians encamped at Battle Creek, 
near the site of the present town of Oxford, and engaged 
in battle with them. Colonel Connor answered criticisms 
regarding this action by saying that it was impossible to 
surround members of the tribe and capture them without 
bloodshed because of the Indians' strategic position. The 
Bannacks fought with ferocity and desperation, but were 
finally severely defeated with a loss of 224 men. This 
battle was an important one to the State because it put an 
end to severe Indian trouble in that section and was fol- 
lowed in the same year by treaties made in Utah with the 
eastern and western bands of Shoshoni Indians, recogniz- 
ing their claims to lands of which part lay in Idaho. 

At this time all dealings with the Indians were carried 
on by treaty, and each tribe was recognized as an inde- 
pendent nation. These treaties were more often broken 


than not since Washington was far distant and Indian 
Superintendents had too much territory under their juris- 
diction effectively to prevent treaty breaking. With cal- 
lous indifference, more and more white settlers moved 
into lands that were set aside for the red men by treaty, 
and the original owners were helpless to combat peace- 
ably this intrusion when Government agents seemed blind 
to their rights and repeatedly broke promises made. 

In most cases the Government had been successful in 
persuading the Indians to give up their lands and go to 
reservations which had been estabhshed as rapidly as 
possible. In 1869 the Fort Hall Reservation was set aside 
by President Grant for the Indians of southern Idaho 
with especial mention of the Shoshonis and Bannacks. In 
1872 the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington had 
been set aside for the Kutenai, Pend d'Oreille, Colville, 
and Spokane Indians, part of whom had resided in Idaho. 
In 1867 an attempt had been made to provide a reserva- 
tion for the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane Indians, but the 
Coeur d'Alenes refused to accept the reservation as desig- 
nated, and it was not until 1873 that the Coeur d'Alene 
Reservation was officially set aside. In 1875 the Lemhi 
Indian Reservation was set aside for Tendoy's band of 
the Shoshonis, Bannacks, and Tukuarikas, and in 1877 
the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, partly in Nevada 
and partly in Idaho, was set aside for the Shoshonis and 
Paiutes. Successful in the matter of these reservations, 
the authorities were annoyed because they had been un- 
able to persuade the nontreaty Nez Perces to accept the 
treaty of 1863 and settle on the Lapwai Reservation, 
giving up the land previously held by them. 

The reservation was a bone of contention for many 
years. Old Chief Joseph died in 1872, but before his 
death he had made his son Joseph, the new chief, promise 
never to give up the Wallowa. The valley was ceded back 
to the Indians in 1873, but was taken again by the Gov- 
ernment in 1875. In 1877 a final attempt was made to 
force the nontreaty Nez Perces living there to move to 


the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho, surrendering com- 
pletely their rights to the valley of the Wallowa. A three- 
day council was called at Lapwai, the disagreements cul- 
minating in the arrest of the Indians' holy man, who had 
firmly announced that he would not go on the new reser- 
vation. Although the angry Indians wished to make war 
immediately on their oppressors, Chief Joseph restrained 
them and it was agreed that they should move to the res- 
ervation within thirty days. 

Just as Government officials were congratulating 
themselves on their easy victory, and on the last day 
allotted to the Indians before removing to the reservation, 
a number of their band under the leadership of Chief 
Joseph swooped down on the unsuspecting settlers of the 
Salmon River country and began a wholesale butchering 
that was so horrible that protection was asked of United 
States troops stationed at Fort Lapwai. On June 14, 1877, 
Captain Perry was sent out with two cavalry companies 
to quell the disorders, but he was severely defeated and 
had one company almost annihilated in the battle of 
White Bird Canyon on June 17. This crushing defeat 
made General Howard aware that more strenuous meas- 
ures had to be taken. Accordingly, he assembled a force 
of about six hundred, and with himself as leader, set out 
to capture Joseph and his braves. He finally located the 
band camped on the Clearwater River southeast of Kam- 
iah, and after a two-day battle in which there were many 
killed on each side, he managed to dislodge them from 
their strategic position and force their retreat. 

It was Joseph's plan at this time to take members of 
his tribe across the border into Canada, and he began a 
masterly retreat over the Lolo Trail, attempting to shake 
oflf his pursuers while hampered with women, children, 
and the old. He was too clever a man for the white sol- 
diers, and would have been successful in reaching the 
border had not General Howard telegraphed troops in 
Montana to intercept the Indian band. Two battles were 
fought, August 9 and September 13, in both of which 


Joseph outgeneraled the whites and escaped. Finally, on 
September 29 at the battle of Bear Paw Mountain only a 
few miles from the border, Colonel Nelson A. Miles with 
twice as many soldiers as there were Indians defeated the 
indomitable chief and forced his surrender. An agree- 
ment was made whereby the remnant of the band was to 
be returned to the Lapwai Reservation, but the whites, 
still afraid of Joseph's power, refused to keep the agree- 
ment and transferred the band first to Fort Leavenworth 
and later to Indian Territory in the South. This breach of 
faith was not rectified until much later when, after count- 
less petitions to Washington by the homesick band, they 
were returned to the Northwest and placed on the Col- 
ville Reservation. 

This, the Nez Perce War of 1877, was succeeded the 
following year by an uprising of the Bannack Indians, 
who had never really settled on the Fort Hall Reserva- 
tion and who were wandering at will over southern Idaho. 
Primary cause of the war was the Indians' resentment 
because white settlers appropriated the Camas Prairie 
and let their cattle destroy the camas root, which was an 
important article of diet to the Indians. It was their 
custom to migrate each summer to the Camas Prairie, 
and they never intended to give up these lands or this 
privilege to the white man. McConnell, in his history of 
Idaho, advances the interesting theory that this whole 
bloody war was precipitated by the ignorance of some 
Government clerk who in transcribing the treaty replaced 
the unfamiliar name, "Camas Prairie," with "Kansas 
Prairie." Although because of this error there was no 
mention of the Camas Prairie in the treaty, it was under- 
stood that the makers of the treaty intended the Ban- 
nacks should be allowed to harvest their annual crop of 
camas. That was the Indians' understanding, and it is 
little wonder that they were angry when they found the 
cattle of the white men uprooting the food which they 
prized so highly. 

The Bannack chief, Buffalo Horn, was chiefly respon- 


sible for their going on the warpath. Since he had served 
under General Howard in the Nez Perce War and was 
familiar with military tactics, he was a dangerous enemy 
to the whites. The band first attacked settlers on the 
Camas Prairie, and then began a series of murders and 
raids on white persons living in southwestern Idaho. 
They avoided a general engagement with the troops fol- 
lowing them, although they were forced into a few brief 
and bloody battles, in one of which their leader, Buffalo 
Horn, was killed. The loss of their chief did more than 
anything else to break up the war, although some of the 
Indians, hoping to make an alliance with powerful Oregon 
tribes, refused to surrender even though General Howard 
was following them closely. Finally, however, the troops 
succeeded in disorganizing them, and, separating into 
small bands for protection, the Indians made their way 
back to the Fort Hall Reservation. 

Some members of this band along with renegades 
from the Nez Perce and Shoshoni tribes had found pro- 
tection among the Tukuarikas, or Sheepeaters, in the 
Salmon River Mountains. This small band of marauding 
Indians, outlaws expelled from various tribes, had been a 
menace to the whites in that section for some time. They 
were wily and treacherous, though cowardly, and lived 
by stealing the livestock of the settlers and murdering 
and robbing prospectors. Finally, in the summer of 1879, 
they became so bold that it was necessary to take steps to 
punish them. Troops were sent into the rugged mountain 
area to capture them, a difficult task because the Indians 
were too cunning to fight an armed force and kept con- 
stantly on the move. Despite the fact that the Sheep- 
eaters were mountain people and knew the tortuous coun- 
try, they finally became discouraged at being unable to 
shake off the white soldiers and surrendered on Septem- 
ber 1. This game of hide-and-seek was known as the 
Sheepeaters' War and put an end to all Indian trouble in 
Idaho Territory. 

The country was becoming so rapidly settled that the 


Indians had no place to turn were they to become hostile, 
and realizing the futility of continuing this losing fight 
against a force too strong for them, they became re- 
signed to the inevitable and signed treaties greatly reduc- 
ing the size of their reservations. Thus these proud and 
independent peoples who had welcomed the first explorers 
as friends were reduced to little better than charity wards 
of the Government ; and the superficialities of white civi- 
lization, for which they had no liking, were forced on 
them. The wild, free Idaho Indian was no more, and his 
later history must show him as an imperfect replica of 
the white man, deteriorating under his imprisonment, 
a Reservation Indian. 

According to Stephen S. Fenn, delegate from the Idaho 
Territory from 1875 to 1879, in a speech before the second 
session of the Forty-fifth Congress, a great deal of the 
Indian trouble had been caused by the poor choice of 
agents for the reservations, because these agents through 
greed and corruptness robbed both the Government and 
the Indians whom they were selected to protect. The 
policy of farming out reservations to different religious 
denominations bred dissatisfaction and legitimate anger 
because many of these agents designated by the denomi- 
nations were hostile to members of other faiths, and, 
since they were often placed in regions in which the ma- 
jority of the Indians had been Christianized by some 
other church, the good work of the missionaries was de- 
feated and the Indians made even more hostile. Since 
supplies sent by the Government to be issued to the 
Indians never reached them and the agents cared little 
whether the Indians were fed or clothed, a situation had 
arisen which could result in nothing but ill will. 

The Lemhi Reservation, set aside for a band of the 
Shoshonis, Bannacks, and Tukuarikas in 1875, was more 
or less of a cruel jest: the lands designated consisted of 
hills and mountains on which it was impossible for the 
Indians to make a living. However, the Indians on this 
reservation, remnants of other tribes, were always 


friendly to the white men under the leadership of their 
chief, Tendoy. Tendoy was a great statesman and orator 
who was respected and beloved by the whites, so much so 
that in 1880 he was taken to Washington, D. C, to ar- 
range a treaty whereby his band would remove to the 
Fort Hall Reservation. He agreed to this arrangement 
but asked that the tribe not be forced to go there until 
they were willing to do so. Though their reservation was 
barren and unfertile and at times they were miserably 
poor and destitute, the Lemhis did not wish to give up 
their lands and go among the alien tribes of the Fort Hall 
Reservation, and it was not until 1905, twenty-five years 
later, that they agreed to go in answer to a plea from 
Tendoy who was now an old man and in ill-health. The 
remaining members of the tribe did go to Fort Hall in 
1909, but Chief Tendoy was not among them. He had died 
two years before. 

With the transfer of the Lemhi Indians to Fort Hall 
and the establishment of a small reservation for the 
Kutenais in 1894, the entire Idaho Indian population, con- 
sisting of what were once great and powerful tribes, was 
more or less settled within four reservations, and the 
citizens of the State which was now Idaho, having other 
things about which to think, proceeded to forget their 
existence as much as possible. The Indians were left with 
the problem of adjusting themselves to the white man's 
civilization and of combating the diseases brought to 
them through that civilization. 

Today Idaho still has these four reservations : Kutenai 
Public Domain, Coeur d'Alene, Lapwai or Nez Perce, and 
Fort Hall. A fifth, the Duck Valley or Western Shoshoni 
Reservation established in 1877, lies partly in Idaho but 
primarily in Nevada, and is classed as a Nevada reserva- 
tion. These three northern reservations, being small, are 
under the jurisdiction of the Indian agency at Moscow, 
Idaho, but the Fort Hall agency is located on the reser- 
vation of that name. Indian population for Idaho, taken 
from the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior 


for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1935, was 4,195 persons. 
Of these 627 were registered at the Coeur d'Alene Reser- 
vation, 120 at the Kutenai, 1,407 at the Nez Perce, and 
1,841 at the Fort Hall Reservation. 

Such statistics show that the Indians have decreased 
rapidly in numbers, but they do not tell the story of each 
Indian's disintegration under a policy which robbed him 
of incentive ; broke up his institutions, organizations, and 
tribal unity; and left him facing greater poverty each 
year, dependent on the arbitrary rulings of the Office of 
Indian Affairs. 

With the passing of the Indian Reorganization Act in 
June of 1934, a new period in Indian history has begun, 
and the Indian is developing in initiative and resourceful- 
ness as he is offered the opportunity to become self-sup- 
porting. Reorganization is not complete, but progress 
made by the Indians of Fort Hall, Idaho's largest reserva- 
tion, is such that one can look on the Indian scene with a 
spirit of optimism, and can hope that the Indian will yet 
emerge to take his rightful place in the civilization of 





THE EARLIEST Indians of Idaho have left so few 
records of their inhabitance that it is difficult to 
determine just what type of culture was theirs before 
the coming of the contemporary Indian. Archaeologists 
have discovered a number of prehistoric inscriptions on 
rocks and two or three interesting caves containing relics, 
but their findings have been meager in comparison with 
those of other regions. Until more undisturbed material 
has been found, how far back the history of man actually 
extends in Idaho is only conjecture. 

The first important discovery of prehistoric Indians in 
the State was that of a cave near Marsing, on the south 
side of the Snake River below Nampa, in which were 
relics indicating that man lived in caves in southwestern 
Idaho some four thousand years ago. This date was set 
because the types of weaving found in the cave made it 
seem probable that its inhabitants were connected with 
early Pueblo culture, which archaeologists have placed 
at approximately that antiquity. An ingenious fishhook 
leads to the belief that they were fishermen, and the 
finding of a fishing cache points to the theory that al- 
though the cave was not a permanent residence they 
expected to return but for some unknown reason did not. 

Another interesting cave, also believed to have been 
inhabited three or four thousand years ago, was dis- 
covered near the mouth of the Salmon River in 1933. 
Many relics were found in an excellent state of preserva- 


tion under about four feet of dry earth, and from all indi- 
cations the owners were of a race different from those 
living here when the whites first came to the Northwest. 
Much importance has been attached to a brush made of 
butts of coarse, fibrous grass containing a tangled mass of 
red hair, of which some strands were eighteen or twenty 
inches long. Mats or long braids possibly used for floor 
coverings or bedding were artistically woven from a 
coarse grass which is unknown in the region today. Other 
articles found were a two-strand rope, three moccasins 
made of elkhide with the hair on the outside, two elkhorn 
wedges, a half-dozen well-formed arrowheads, a large 
food pestle with either writing or ornament on the handle, 
a bow and arrow, a well-polished wooden needle, and 
twenty-five forked sticks, apparently used for cooking, 
which were made of hard wood not found in the region. 
The walls of the cave are covered with picture writing 
which appears to be of an earlier period than that found 
elsewhere in Idaho and which does not seem to connect 
in any way with present-day Indians living in the North- 

The State Historical Society of Idaho lists sixty-nine 
locations of rock writings in Idaho, about twenty of which 
are found along the Snake River. In most cases they are 
found at the sites of Indian camps along trails, and vary 
in quantity, some being only a few characters on single 
rocks while others contain many writings on numbers of 
rocks. Pictographs, or painted inscriptions, and petro- 
glyphs, or inscriptions carved with a sharp instrument, 
are both found in the State, although neither has been 
"read" satisfactorily and as proof of the general system 
of Indian tribal life are of little importance. Their signifi- 
cance seems to be mostly local, and attempts at interpre- 
tation show them as being records of visits of individuals, 
battles, hunting expeditions, game areas, religion, cere- 
monies, dreams, warnings, and information concerning 
water or trails. Although most of them are very crude, 


they show varying artistic ability and seem to be the 
records of ancient, probably not primitive, man. 

The pictographs are most often found on walls under 
rock shelters or in caves, and some of them have lines so 
neatly executed that it is thought the painting had been 
sketched beforehand. In design the pictographs feature 
curvilinear and geometric elements with numerous dots 
and some triangles being used. The circular figure occurs 
in many combinations with connected, concentric, and 
plain circles as well as some used in series and chains. 
Other representative characters are wavy lines, rakes, 
stars, rain symbols, ladders, deer, mountain sheep, birds, 
lizards, bear tracks and paws, sheep horns, hands, men on 
horses, and the sun. The paints, made by dissolving 
mineral material with gum or resin from pine and fir 
trees, have glazed and become bright in color, mostly red, 
retaining that brightness many years. Most important of 
the pictographs are found in the Salmon River region. 
On cliffs in Birch Creek are scenes of a fight which took 
place between the Lemhi and Bannack Indians, painted 
with red pigment prepared from colored earth which has 
so penetrated the rocks that it can only be removed by 
chipping. The unpublished manuscript of John Rees in 
the files of the Idaho Historical Society states that the 
scenes were near the old Indian Trail and were intended to 
warn passing Indians that the game lands were claimed by 
the Shoshonis. In a cave in Indian Head Gulch, south of 
Nicholia, are drawings representing the "hoop and pole 
game," which was probably a championship game between 
the Shoshoni and Arapahoe tribes. 

Petroglyphs, made by abrasion, were usually placed 
on the southern exposure of the rocks because the other 
sides were more or less prone to be covered with lichen. 
The stones used to "peck" were of a very hard nature, 
often of quartz, and the depth of the incising varies 
probably one sixteenth of an inch. Some marks are barely 
visible, although others are as fresh as though they were 
of recent date. In some instances writings of a later 


period are superimposed upon the first writing, and even 
a third series of marking over has been reported. Most 
important of the petroglyphs occur in southern Idaho. 
Interesting petroglyphs can be seen at Indian Point, near 
Danskin Ranger Station on the South Fork of the Boise 
River, and in Lemhi County, where one announces a hunt- 
ing and fishing party to be held in the Snake River Basin 
and a council to settle disputes on territorial hunting and 
fishing rights. Near Givens Warm Springs is a typical 
example of Shoshonean petroglyphs, locally termed "map 
rock." This primitive topographical map, drawn by the 
Indians without compass, rule, or any kind of guide, is a 
remarkably accurate map of the territory of the Snake 
River and its tributaries showing faunal features of the 
Shoshonean region. It is on a large lava rock weighing 
several tons and resting at the bottom of a talus slope 
with a natural travel route between it and the river. 
Placed correctly on the rock, the direction of all the fea- 
tures, including the various tributaries adjacent to lakes 
and mountains, is accurate. 

These few records and later legends, most of which 
are mythological, are all that exist of Indian history before 
the coming of the explorers to the Northwest in 1805. 
When Lewis and Clark made their way westward they 
found living in what is now northern Idaho the Nez Perces, 
Coeur d'Alenes, Pend d'Oreilles, and Kutenais ; and in the 
southern part of the State the Shoshonis proper or 
"Snakes," the Bannacks, and later the Sheepeaters and the 

The Nez Perces, purest and strongest of the Shahap- 
tian family, lived chiefly along the valleys of the Clear- 
water River and its tributaries and in the lower Salmon 
River country. They were named Nez Perces or "pierced 
noses" by the French, although as far as is known they 
were never given to the practice of piercing their noses. 
They were closely related to the treacherous and warlike 
Cayuses by intermarriage and by the absence of difficult 
natural barriers between them, but the Nez Perce tribe 


was in most cases friendly to the whites. War and hunt- 
ing were their chief occupations, and salmon their most 
important food in earlier times although they frequently 
resorted to camas roots, berries, and mosses for prov- 
ender. Lewis and Clark narratives tell us that the Nez 
Perce population was about six thousand people living in 
bands or villages named according to the place of their 
permanent winter camp, and that their houses, made of 
straw and mats, were closed at the ends and had doors. 
Each tribe had several chiefs with one considered the 
leader, but there were no signs of a clan system in their 
social organization. The introduction of horses had fa- 
cilitated hunting expeditions to the neighboring moun- 
tains, and the Nez Perces became skillful horsemen with 
more and better stock than any of the nations. Certain 
ceremonial rites formed an important part of their lives, 
and a large dancing house was built at each permanent 
camp. It was the custom of early Nez Perce Indians to 
overcome the spirit of fatigue by a ceremony, supposed 
to confer great endurance, which lasted from three to 
seven days and was repeated yearly from the ages of 
eighteen to forty. Medicine men were supposed to acquire 
wonderful powers and become invulnerable by retiring to 
the mountains to confer with the medicine wolf. Their 
religion consisted of a belief in any number of spirits, 
and steam baths and sweat houses were used for the pur- 
pose of purification in their religious rites. 

The Kutenais (Kootenae, Kootenai), originally living 
in the northern portions of what are now Idaho and Mon- 
tana and in British Columbia, were a relatively small and 
unimportant tribe, although they formed one of the fifty- 
nine distinct linguistic famihes in the United States. 
They were the most northern tribe accustomed to the 
horse, supposedly introduced by the Shoshonis, and lived 
chiefly by hunting, fishing, and root gathering. As they 
were few in numbers and unusually well behaved, history 
records little of their doings. 

The Pend d'Oreilles or "Earbobs," first called Kully- 


spell, inhabited the region around the lake of that name 
and along the river now called Clark Fork. They were 
never an important or numerous tribe and lived chiefly 
on roots and venison, accompanying the Flatheads on 
their annual buffalo hunt. The men were of good phy- 
sique, skilled warriors, hunters, and fishermen, but the 
women, according to De Smet, were "untidy even for 
savages." Their religion was characteristic of other tribes 
of this region although they had a peculiar custom of 
sending the young Fend d'Oreille, as he approached his 
majority, to a high mountain where he remained until 
he dreamed of some animal, bird, or fish which was there- 
after to be his medicine. A claw, tooth, or feather from 
the object of his dream was worn as his perpetual charm 
to protect him through his lifetime from all evil. Another 
custom which seems to apply to this tribe of Indians when 
reduced to severe straits was that of burying alive the 
very old and very young. 

The Coeur d'Alenes were members of the Salishan 
family who lived in the region around Lake Coeur 
d'Alene. The Bureau of Ethnology gives the Indian name 
of this tribe as the Skitswish, frequently written "Ski- 
zoo-mish," and Lewis and Clark called them the "Skeet-so- 
mish." They were never very warlike or unfriendly to the 
whites and were quickly subdued after a mild uprising 
in 1858. They have been termed "industrious, self-re- 
specting, and docile," although early French voyageurs 
named them Coeur d'Alene or "Heart of an Awl" and de- 
scribed them as being people "having spirits that were 
small and hard and being particularly shrewd in trade." 

Various tribes of the Shoshonean family, third largest 
of the linguistic stocks of the United States in extent of 
territory occupied, were found in the upper Snake River 
Valley and the major part of what is now southern Idaho. 
Principal members of the Shoshonean family living in 
Idaho were the Shoshonis proper and the Bannacks, al- 
though the cognate Paiutes, Sheepeaters, and Lemhis 
figured in Idaho history. 


The Shoshoni or Snake Indians, supposedly of Cali- 
fornia origin, were marked by more pretentiousness in 
dress and ornamentation than were the tribes farther 
south, and their dwellings were superior to those of the 
Utahs. They showed some facility in the manufacturing 
of cruder forms of pottery and were also grass weavers. 
It is thought that they were named Snakes because they 
replied to early traders' requests for their name by making 
peculiar snakelike motions with the index finger to reveal 
the art of weaving. Their apparent timidity and grave 
and reserved habits gave the white settlers the erroneous 
idea that they were rather stupid, but closer observance 
showed them to be intelligent and lively. They were es- 
sentially buffalo hunters, and the unfruitful nature of 
much of their country compelled them to lead a wander- 
ing life. In common with other tribes, they believed in 
spirits and laid any ills that befell them to such evil 

The culturally low "Digger branch of the family," 
called Paiutes, lived in sagebrush huts on the desert or 
in the mountains, and by the barrenness of the country 
they occupied had been led into humble methods of sub- 
sistence on small game, fish, roots, and seeds. These In- 
dians owned no horses and although they manufactured 
pottery to a limited extent, practiced a rude agriculture 
in certain districts, and lived under a somewhat complex 
social system, they were considered the most degraded of 
the race in the United States and were scorned by the 
Bannacks and Shoshonis. 

More belligerent, sly, cunning, and restless than the 
Shoshonis were the Bannacks, a brave and warlike race, 
probably the most warlike of the Shoshonean family. 
Their name, Bannack, refers to the manner in which 
members of the tribe wore a tuft of hair thrown backward 
from the forehead, and should not have been corrupted 
into the Scotch word Bannock. They were tall, straight, 
athletically built, and were always willing to engage in 
open combat with the whites, by whom they were termed 


traitorous and hostile. As their territory lay across the 
Oregon and California trails and the route that connected 
Salt Lake City with the Salmon River mines, they in- 
fested the highways and committed robberies and mur- 
ders of passing emigrants. They roamed through this 
country at will and even after being officially placed on 
the Fort Hall Reservation refused to give up their migra- 
tory habits until after their defeat in the Bannack War. 

The Sheepeaters or Tukuarikas were formed from 
outlaws of the Shoshoni and Bannack tribes who lived in 
the mountainous Salmon River country. Because of the 
barren hilly nature of this region, they were not as well 
off as other tribes and lived by stealing the livestock of 
the settlers as well as by murdering and robbing lone 
prospectors. These cunning and treacherous renegades 
caused serious trouble until they were finally defeated 
by the whites. 

Certain scattered members of the Shoshoni, Bannack, 
and Sheepeater tribes placed themselves under the pro- 
tection of Chief Tendoy, a Shoshoni Indian, intermarried, 
and formed mixed stock later known as the Lemhis. The 
name Lemhi, not an Indian word, was applied to them 
because they lived in the vicinity of the fort of that name, 
and they were often called simply "Tendoy's Band." Their 
land was unusually unproductive, but although they were 
probably the most poverty-stricken of all the Indians of 
Idaho, they were well behaved and under the leadership 
of Tendoy were always friendly to the white men. 

Most of these tribes other than the Nez Perces and 
Shoshonis were relatively unimportant and their culture 
similar to the two more important groups. For this 
reason, discussion of the customs, legends, clothing, and 
handicraft of Idaho Indians will be limited to the Nez 
Perce and Shoshoni tribes. 

When the first traders came to Idaho the dress of the 
Indians was somewhat varied. Nez Perce men dressed as 
nearly as they could like white men, wore their hair short, 
and looked like Spanish-speaking inhabitants of Arizona. 


The women had long hair, sometimes banged in front 
and sometimes tied at the back with bits of ribbon. Their 
skirts were never short, and they liked bright shawls, 
wearing them pulled over their heads so their faces were 
half hidden. The Shoshonis were rather well dressed in 
typical plains fashion. Their blankets, made of buffalo, 
antelope, or deerskin dressed with the hair, were the same 
for both sexes, except that the women's were smaller. In 
summer they used elkskins without hair. The blanket 
was thrown loosely over the shoulders and drawn to- 
gether by the hands or held by a girdle. Moccasins, made 
of one piece, were of deer, elk, or buffalo skin dressed 
with hair ; in winter moccasins the buffalo skin was fixed 
with the hair inside. The Shoshoni tippet is described by 
Lewis as the most elegant Indian garment he saw, its 
collar being a strip of otter skin with the head, tail, and 
from one hundred to two hundred and fifty small rolls of 
ermine skin attached. At that time only children wore 
beads, but today necklaces are very popular among the 
men and women. Working clothes of the Indians today 
are much the same as those of the white men, although 
they still make some clothing of buckskin and have tra- 
ditional costumes for ceremonies. 

At Fort Hall bead weaving of belts, armlets, hat 
bands, purses, bags, and numerous other articles is done 
on a crude bow or loom made of native timber with strong 
cotton threads for the warp.^ The older Indians, espe- 
cially the Bannacks and some Shoshonis, use seed beads 
and geometric designs while the Bannack Creek Indians 
and those living along the Portneuf River use more floral 
designs and brighter colors of glass beads. The Washakie 
or Portage Shoshonis make the floral designs with one 
beadwork like the outline stitch and do beautiful work in 
embroidery and other sewing. The men on the reserva- 
tion make hackamores, bridles, reins, and the like of 

1 For much of the following information credit is due Mrs. Min- 
nie Y. LeSieur, a part-Indian woman of the Fort Hall Reservation. 


rawhide; twist hair lines or ropes; and make bows and 
arrows. They use Indian hemp to make fish nets and to 
wrap and fasten the hooks of the fishing spears. 

The principal material for useful and ornamental 
work is buckskin, which is tanned by the Fort Hall In- 
dians in the old way. The tedious process includes the 
soaking, scraping, and fleshing of the hide; the applica- 
tion of the tanning preparation of brains and liver boiled 
and mashed into a soft mixture ; and the continued soak- 
ing, pulling, rubbing, and stretching of the raw stuff until 
it is soft and pliable. When it is finished it is snow white 
and can be used in that natural color for dresses, vests, 
gloves, or purses. If a shade of yellow, orange, or darker 
yellow is desired, a white tanned hide is made airtight and 
strung over a shallow hole in which a fire has been made 
of white pine or some other kind of wood which gives a 
yellow color. The right side being next to the smoke, any 
shade can be obtained by a briefer or longer time over the 
smothered smoke, and the process is doubly valuable since 
it prevents buckskin from hardening as it would do if wet 
in the raw state. 

Baskets, which are still used by the older Indians for 
various purposes, are made from twigs or slender sprouts 
of certain willows. Favorite material is taken from a 
squat variety of willow called the "frog willow" ("Yah- 
gwa-tsa-seeve"), although the "Coo-sie-seeve" and pussy 
willow are used at certain times. In making the baskets 
the sap wood is separated from the heart by splitting the 
willow into three parts and trimming to the desired size. 
The older women are more skilled and artistic in making 
the design work, which is often bicolored, the colors be- 
ing obtained by dye from roots, bark, or berries or by 
using wilted and discolored willows for brown and tan 
shades of geometric designs. They make long baskets 
with wide tops for berry picking, carrying baskets, or 
receptacles for food, shovel-shaped fans to clean seeds 
and grains, and closely coiled water-jar baskets coated 
inside with pitch from the pine or piiion pine. 

Jim Marshall of Fort Hall 

^^^ ^K 

Fort Hall Indian 


The Indians of Fort Hall make a little money by selling 
these articles of handicraft from booths during county 
fairs and through stores the year around. All of the 
stores at Fort Hall sell Indian goods, as well as several in 
Pocatello. The northern tribes have almost no income from 
this source. They make a few articles such as moccasins, 
gloves, cornhusk bags, and beaded purses, but sales are 
mostly individual and articles are found only in small 
quantities in the towns on and adjacent to the reserva- 
tions. The primary source of income and the chief occu- 
pation of all Indians in Idaho is agriculture, and persons 
interested in the Indian today feel that his salvation lies 
in persuading him to cultivate his lands instead of leasing 
them. The Indians of Fort Hall use and rent their lands, 
own stock ranches, and have co-operative cattle associa- 
tions. Potatoes have been supplied to various nonreserva- 
tion schools such as the Haskell Institute in Kansas and 
the Sherman Institute in California, and various agricul- 
tural products have been marketed within the State, al- 
though crops are not abundant because the climate and 
fertility of the valley are spoiled by the scarcity of water. 

Since food is never plentiful because of this shortage 
of water, the Indians residing on the Fort Hall Reserva- 
tion feel the need of utilizing every available food supply. 
Wild berries such as chokecherries, serviceberries, goose- 
berries, and currants, some years abundant, are dried by 
the older Indians and canned by the younger educated 
women. The old people dry the ground roots they get 
from Camas Prairie and gather sunflower seeds or grains 
to be made into sunflower porridge by the old methods. 
Chokecherries are still crushed or ground with seed 
grinders of stone by the older Indians who scorn modern 
methods, preferring to boil or roast their meats over a 
campfire and bake their unleavened bread in a bed of hot 
ashes or a Dutch oven. Occasionally an Indian gets a 
deer in this limited area, spears or catches a fish, or 
joins in a rabbit drive, the obtaining of meat being so 


important that any surplus is dried and made into pem- 
mican as was the custom long ago. 

Most of the old Indians cling to tribal traditions and 
practices, and the clan has survived as it always was. The 
office of chief continues to be hereditary or elective ac- 
cording to the members of a tribe, the present hereditary 
chief being assisted by a tribal business council and an 
advisory council set up by the Indian Reorganization Act. 
There is still functional ownership of tepee or other 
articles by the woman who made them, and an ownership 
of rituals and songs. The older Indians are true to their 
primitive religion, have medicine men and women, and 
continue to use the sweat house, their religious cere- 
monies being accompanied by traditional music which is 
kept secret from the white man. Marriage is allowed be- 
tween opposite clans of the Shoshoni or between Ban- 
nacks and Shoshonis, but there is a strict rule against 
intermarriage within a clan even though the tribal mar- 
riage ceremony is disappearing. At a funeral it is the 
custom to give such articles as clothing, blankets, buck- 
skin, and money to those who have recently buried some 
one ; but as the old Indians die, many of these ancient and 
interesting customs are changing. 

Indian music is, as it was in the past, significantly 
linked with Indian life. Every public ceremony and every 
important act in the career of an individual has its ac- 
companiment of song with a rhythm always peculiar to 
the occasion. Some songs have no words, but their ab- 
sence does not impair the definite meaning, since vocables 
are used which once set to melody are never changed. 
Each ceremonial dance has its own songs and drumbeats, 
with rhythm even in the throb of the drum, although it 
is erroneously thought that these dances are accompanied 
only by vocal "ki-yis." Most important of the Shoshoni 
ceremonials is the Fort Hall Sun Dance, which is held 
about the twenty-fourth of July each year in an enclosure 
usually built of willows three or four miles west of the 


agency. Not far from American Falls is a worn circle 
which marks the spot of the rites which were held there 
until 1917. The Sun Dance, a supplication to the Great 
Spirit for health and strength, lasts two days and three 
nights, followed by pleasure dances called variously the 
War, Owl, Rabbit, and Grass Dances. The latter part of 
January or the first part of February a rehgious recrea- 
tional dance known as the Warm Dance is held to hasten 
a thaw or "breaking up of winter," and later there is an 
Easter Dance and egg feast. 

Most important of the Nez Perce celebrations is the 
Ka-oo-yit, a formal feast held annually in Lewiston at the 
time of the white townspeople's Cherry Blossom Festival 
in May. The name signifies "eaten for the first time," in 
reference to the first food supply of the year, and its pur- 
pose is thanksgiving to the Great Spirit as the source of 
the power that produces food supplies. The older Nez 
Perces say that it was an ancient custom originally cele- 
brated in a simple and quiet manner within a family circle 
or small group family, but as time passed it became a 
feast ritual in which all members of the tribe joined. 
James Mallikan, Nez Perce Indian living near Kamiah, 
says of the Ka-oo-yit: "In recent periods, intertribal 
celebrations have been inaugurated and the ceremonies 
have been highly festive and picturesque, carried out with 
pomp, featured with a magnificent display of regalia and 
dresses worn by the participants. Today it is a large day 
on the calendar of the Indians of the Northwest." 

Of the more private religious ceremonies kept sacred 
to the Indian, of many of his folkways, and of the ma- 
jority of his legends, white persons have learned little. 
Shoshoni mythology as a whole seems to lack a system- 
atic cosmogony and a migration legend, and is coarser, 
more primitive, and more humorous than the Nez Perce 
collection. The role of the creator is sometimes assigned 
to A'po, the Father, or No' mono A'po, the Indians' Fath- 
er, a deity that some informants identify with either 


Coyote or Wolf, chief figures in Shoshoni mythology. Ac- 
cording to Clark, the Bannacks considered Gray Wolf 
their creator, and the Shoshonis Coyote as theirs. In ad- 
dition to the Coyote cycle, there seems to be a group of 
native stories which deal with the Dzo' avits, a race of 
gigantic ogres dwelling in stone houses, as well as others 
telling of apparently anthropomorphic cannibals. 

The Shoshonis at Fort Hall tell of their belief in Nin- 
num-bees or "Small People," some asserting that they are 
spirits of departed warriors since they have an arrow- 
case slung on their backs and carry a bow. According 
to legend they are seen or heard only late in the evenings 
or very early in the mornings, singing, and fortunate is 
the patiently waiting warrior who sees them and learns 
the Nin-num-bees' song. He will then be victorious in 
battle, but if he tells of this vision it will never be re- 
peated, and he will lose the power imparted. The chil- 
dren's story is a little different. "Hush," the mother 
tells her children when encamped in this vicinity, "this 
is where the Nin-num-bees live. Do not play near the 
large rocks or caves ; the small people will take you away. 
Once a young girl while picking berries fell in love with 
one and followed him away and was never seen again." 

Many legends were told to explain habits and char- 
acteristics of animals or birds, such as this one which 
tells why turtle doves mourn. "Long ago they were 
called Co-ah-wee-haw, derived from the cry of the bird 
which is similar in sound. They were also called 'rattle- 
snake's brother-in-law' (Toag'-go-in-dayts) because of a 
strange belief that whenever an Indian mocks one of 
these birds or kills its mate it tells a rattlesnake which 
way he is going and asks the snake to place himself by 
the Indian's path to bite him as he passes by. In this 
way the wrong is avenged. If an Indian kills one of these 
reptiles, the doves sit on a tree and weep, lamenting over 
the departed snake by reiterating their mournful cry. 
Because of these things, the Indians have a strange 
superstition against mocking or killing this bird." 


The Nez Perces in legend explain why coyotes howl 
at the stars. "Coyote had become great. He had done 
many wonderful things such as stealing fire for men and 
giving fish to the Indians, so he came to think great of 
his powers and lived apart on a high mountain top. He 
wished to travel in the sky-world with the star which 
every night came close to his mountain top. Every night 
he begged star to take him on a journey, but star 
would only laugh at him. Then Coyote would shake with 
anger. At last star grew tired of Coyote's pleadings and 
said, 'Come to me tomorrow night and I will take you to 
the star sky.' The next night star came very near to 
Coyote and he sprang far up into the air to catch hold 
of star. Star turned and they climbed high into the sky. 
Beside them shone the moon. Below them the tallest 
pines looked like tiny spears of grass. The frost spirits 
lived in the sky and Coyote grew very cold as he traveled 
upward. Star too was cold, and moon. Coyote became 
colder and colder until his paws were stiff and he could 
not hold on. He slipped and fell. When he struck the 
earth he was crushed flat. He lay very still as his broth- 
ers crowded around him and howled in anger at the 
treacherous star. In this way great Coyote was killed, 
and that is why each night other coyotes point their 
noses toward the sky and howl in sorrow for his death." 

The Shoshoni Indians have a charming legend telling 
the story of the Indian Spirit at Mesa Falls. "Many 
moons ago when the members of the tribe came to these 
falls to fish, a lovely maiden was helping her lover. He 
gracefully threw his spear ; she quietly gathered the fish 
as he caught them and threw them on the bank. Be- 
coming bold, he waded into the deeper water, but he lost 
his footing and the swift stream swept him down. She 
followed him; the boiling waters caught her, and she 
lost her life. Her lover swam out and was filled with 
sorrow at learning his sweetheart had drowned. Each 
year since then the Indians have watched in the falls for 
the mist-look of the maiden. At times she appears to 


them clad in white, smiling, with her long hair floating 
gently in the wind and spray. Sometimes when the wind 
is blowing softly her voice can be heard calling, 'Do not 
long for me, for I am happy here guarding these falls 
and watching over you.* " 


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TOPOGRAPHICALLY, Idaho is one of the strangest 
States in the Union. At the beginning of the last 
century it was part of that indefinite geographic area 
known as the Columbia River country. After 1820 it be- 
longed to the Oregon country, which roughly included the 
present States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well 
as what is now western Montana and western Wyoming 
and a large part of the present British Columbia. In 
1846 the British Columbia area was withdrawn by treaty 
with England, and in 1848 the Oregon Territory was es- 
tablished. In the next two decades, Idaho's territorial 
boundaries were changed five times. In 1853 the region 
was divided, and the northern half was called Washing- 
ton Territory; and when, in 1859, Oregon was admitted 
to the Union, Idaho became a part of the Washington area 
with its eastern boundary lying upon what were to be- 
come Montana and Wyoming. In March of 1863 Idaho 
was declared a Territory, and then included a large sec- 
tion of country lying east of the Bitterroot and Rocky 
Mountains. In 1864 a portion of it was withdrawn to 
Montana ; in 1868 the remaining area east of the moun- 
tains was given to Wyoming. Idaho, in consequence, was 
reduced to its present strange shape, and all attempts to 
alter its boundaries since that time have failed. In con- 
sequence, too, it has no logic in its present boundaries 
except the Bitterroot Mountains and the Continental Di- 
vide between it and Montana, and the Snake River be- 
tween a part of it and Oregon. 






TOPOGRAPHICALLY, Idaho is one of the strangest 
States in the Union. At the beginning of the last 
century it was part of that indefinite geographic area 
known as the Columbia River country. After 1820 it be- 
longed to the Oregon country, which roughly included the 
present States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well 
as what is now western Montana and western Wyoming 
and a large part of the present British Columbia. In 
1846 the British Columbia area was withdrawn by treaty 
with England, and in 1848 the Oregon Territory was es- 
tablished. In the next two decades, Idaho's territorial 
boundaries were changed five times. In 1853 the region 
was divided, and the northern half was called Washing- 
ton Territory; and when, in 1859, Oregon was admitted 
to the Union, Idaho became a part of the Washington area 
with its eastern boundary lying upon what were to be- 
come Montana and Wyoming. In March of 1863 Idaho 
was declared a Territory, and then included a large sec- 
tion of country lying east of the Bitterroot and Rocky 
Mountains. In 1864 a portion of it was withdrawn to 
Montana ; in 1868 the remaining area east of the moun- 
tains was given to Wyoming. Idaho, in consequence, was 
reduced to its present strange shape, and all attempts to 
alter its boundaries since that time have failed. In con- 
sequence, too, it has no logic in its present boundaries 
except the Bitterroot Mountains and the Continental Di- 
vide between it and Montana, and the Snake River be- 
tween a part of it and Oregon. 


It is little wonder then that no other State in the Union 
has a topographical structure so varied and sometimes so 
appalling. Idaho lies among a group of States each of 
which has a more definite geological integrity and a more 
connatural face, mountainous though they may be ; and is 
homologous in the north with Washington or western 
Montana, in the far south with Nevada, in the southeast 
with Utah, and upon its eastern boundary with Wyoming. 
It is, in consequence, a State that seems to have been 
parceled from many, and offers not only unusual and dra- 
matic changes in scenery but also remarkable shifts in 
altitude. From the east, down through the great Snake 
River Valley, it drops in a long broad incline from almost 
six thousand feet to a little more than two thousand; 
and from here, in the western part, it lifts over mountain 
ranges and drops two thousand feet into Lewiston, the 
lowest point in the State. And lying, as Idaho does, from 
Canada to the temperate Cache Valley in Utah, and from 
the frozen Teton Peaks to warm Pacific winds, it perhaps 
offers, too, more extremes in temperature and weather, 
ranging from freezing altitudes to the mild climate of 
its southwestern valleys. Upon parts of Idaho very Httle 
snow falls and the little that falls rarely remains long; 
and upon other parts, even along rivers where farms are 
many, the snow in February may lie eight feet deep. The 
streets of Boise may lie bare when thirty miles north- 
ward a town is buried to its gables. Parts of the State 
harvest full crops under rainfall and with no irrigation; 
and other parts, with little rain and no irrigation, lie 
brown and barren through the summer months. In parts 
of Idaho even deer, exhausted by want of forage, may 
freeze to death; in another part, at the same time, the 
largest privately owned orchard in the world may be get- 
ting ready to blossom. Within southern caves in January 
wild animals may lie indolently fat in warm chambers; 
and in the same hour mountain goats, standing upon the 
great watersheds, look across deserts of snow that have 
completely buried evergreens thirty feet in height. 



Idaho has huge semiarid reaches, but it also probably 
has more running water than any other State. It has flat 
formidable tablelands that defeat everything but sage- 
brush and coyote, but it also has more lakes than have 
ever been counted and nobody quite knows how many 
remain undiscovered and unexplored. It has broad benches 
slabbed out of basalt that reach like vast gray pavement 
from county to county ; but it also has, one upon its bor- 
der and two within it, the deepest canyons in the United 
States. It has alpine pinnacles where the ice never melts, 
but it also has so many hot springs that som^e cities pipe 
the water into their homes for heat. It has two of the 
largest remaining herds of antelope, one of which forages 
upon a mighty landscape that rolls away into the desolate 
reaches of northern Nevada, the other of which grazes in 
pocketed mountain valleys high against the timber line. 
Upon one part trees may be drenched with blossom while 
less than a hundred miles away the boughs of the alpine 
larch are breaking under their burden of snow. So diver- 
sified, indeed, is the State in its physical aspects that no 
one has ever tried to summarize it in one comprehensive 

Almost from boundary to boundary across southern 
Idaho falls the broad sweep of the Snake River Valley. It 
has a rolling and often impassably rugged floor of lava 
bed laid upon Tertiary sediments hundreds of feet deep. 
Southward are, from east to west, the Caribou, Bear 
River, Portneuf, Bannock, Sublette, Albion, and Owyhee 
Ranges, with the vast Bruneau Plateau lying between the 
last two. Northward are the Lemhi, Sawtooth, Boise, and 
Seven Devils Ranges, with the deepest gorge on the North 
American Continent dropping almost eight thousand feet 
in the latter. In the center of the State, north of Snake 
River and running from Wood River northeast past the 
porous volcanic terrain where two rivers vanish, is a mag- 
nificently desolate steppe of thirty-four hundred square 
miles. From its northern edge, two rivers and several 
creeks enter this area and lose themselves in the holes and 


fissures and all but vanish from sight; and lakes form 
here in the spring and disappear in the fall. Lying under 
this steppe is nobody knows what; but far underground 
the rivers must take their journey along subterranean 
beds to burst forth at last upon the wall of the Snake 
River Gorge. Upon these solidified sheets, interbedded 
with the sediment of what was once a great lake, are 
countless vents and cones, recently extinct craters, caves 
filled with ice, and superchilled springs. The dominant 
rock structure here is the Idaho batholith, a great dome 
with a north-south axis two hundred and fifty miles long 
and an extreme width of a hundred miles. In late Jurassic 
time occurred this uplift beneath sedimentary beds of 
limestones, sandstones, and shales ; and some of the beds, 
folded down and protected from erosion, now appear as 
schists and ridges and dikes; but elsewhere streams and 
glaciers have cut intricate weird patterns on the batho- 
lith top. 

These corrugated lava flows of a former time have left 
phenomena called sinks, and it is into these that rivers 
disappear to emerge at last far away into hundreds of 
thousands of springs with innumerable ones gushing from 
walls of stone and with others to rise high to tumble in 
waterfalls. Snake River (Mad River the French Cana- 
dians called it) has cut a gorge across most of the State, 
and across the southern flank of this lava steppe it has 
eroded a stupendous path. Sometimes it lies hundreds of 
feet under its walls of stone and pours over cascades or 
flows through shadow under the outpouring of buried 
rivers ; and farther in its journey, upon the Oregon-Idaho 
line, it has cut through lava and flows upon a bed of 
granite seventy-nine hundred feet below He Devil Peak. 

The reaches of rock in this part of the State include 
granite and syenites and schists, quartzites and lime- 
stones, and calcareous and noncalcareous shales. The 
granite farther north, once thought to be of Archean Age 
but now regarded as younger, is a coarse texture of feld- 
spar and mica and quartz. This enormous rugged pave- 


ment of stone is a geologic continuity that has intruded in 
innumerable places, and unfolds, in consequence, into a 
panorama of faults and gorges, corrugated ridges and 
black caverns and basaltic buttes. There are huge bodies 
of pink and white quartzites, deep-bedded, hard, and uni- 
form; there is pink quartzite resting upon granite and 
overlaid by dark blue and black calcareous slates ; and on 
the northern border, next to the watersheds of the Wood 
and Salmon and Lost Rivers, slates and shales and lime- 
stones rest upon granite to a depth of thousands of feet. 
Mount Borah, highest point in the State, carries coral 
limestone on its very crest, lifted from the sea bottom 
that was once three miles below. Southward the eruptive 
volcanic rocks lie in superimposed flows, including the 
basaltic sculpturings in the Craters of the Moon. Big 
Butte and East Butte are extinct volcanoes that antedate 
the Snake River basalts, and stood Hke islands long ago 
amid the encroaching boiling floods of stone. 

Such briefly is one part of Idaho as geologists see it. 
From automobile or train window it is a rolling mass of 
loneliness and waste, with the integrity of granite and the 
changelessness of time. From the air it is much the same, 
with its hard and formidable surface lying endlessly upon 
the miles. A more impervious area it would be diiflcult to 
find, or one more inviolable within its empire of aridity 
and stone. Most of it can never be used, save for grazing, 
and must lie here forever as it is now under the journey 
of trains and the desolation of its sky. But for those who 
know it and have stood within its strength, it is a splendid 
and timeless area upon which a thousand centuries will 
leave almost no mark of change ; and they love its caves 
and craters and the weird terracing of its scene. This part 
of Idaho, looking as if the sky had poured boulders upon 
it, or looking as if it harbored a vegetation of rock ; this 
toothed steppe, furrowed and gouged and spilled in pyra- 
mids, is not for persons whose homes are in tropical 
growth under cloudy skies. This is the last frontier, de- 


livered to rock and desolation and set apart as a monu- 
ment of its own. 

But it is chiefly this part of Idaho which persons see 
who travel across the State to the Pacific Northwest. 
They come in from the humid Middle West or the indus- 
trial East, where landscape seldom breaks into rugged 
and terrifying extremes ; and they find this region awful 
in its aloofness and inexplicable in its calm. There is no 
shadow in its bald glare and no witchery in its horizons : 
it is candid in sunlight and alien and ageless in its mood. 
Persons entering the State by a valley in the southeast, 
and then reaching and gazing upon this rocky subterrane 
north and south, and then coming to and soon passing 
beyond the Boise Valley, doubtless think of Idaho as an 
appalling desert with an oasis at either end. But this 
region is only a very minor part of the State. 

Eastward from it lie the upper reaches of the Snake 
River Valley, famous for its potatoes; and here, under 
irrigation, what was once loosely called a desert of sage- 
brush without exposed rock is now one of the most fer- 
tile and productive areas in the West. It runs from the 
western entrance of Yellowstone to the city of Pocatello ; 
and from the sky it is discovered to be a network of canals 
upon the river's lower drainage basin, with farms cover- 
ing it in June like a great green blanket. In October it is 
landscaped in hundreds of thousands of bags of potatoes 
standing in endless rows ; in trainloads of sugar beets that 
almost reach across the cities; and in stacks of alfalfa 
hay. A desert here has been reclaimed. For half a cen- 
tury the earth has been excavated in hundreds of canals 
and ditches ; and the waters of the Snake, pouring down 
from the mountains standing against Wyoming, have 
been diverted to these canals. Much of this land, once 
regarded as worthless for all but grazing, has changed 
hands at $300 an acre. Besides potatoes and beets and 
hay, orchards are here, too, and fields of peas ; and herds 
of cattle and sheep. Upon the foothills flanking the moun- 
tains in the east and reaching down into the valley in long 


rolling prairies are the unirrigated wheatlands. These 
areas, also, once bedded with sagebrush and greasewood, 
wild grasses, and wild flowers, were regarded as worth- 
less; and less than twenty-five years ago a man was 
thought to be out of his wits when he went experimentally 
to one of these arid hills to plant wheat and learn if it 
would grow. Now nearly every available acre has been 
plowed; and farms here, as in eastern Oregon and else- 
where, literally hang from mountainsides like pictures, 
green in June and golden in August. Seen from above, 
these rolling hills and these less precipitous mountain 
backbones are alive with tractors that look like huge in- 
sects turning the furrows or dragging the harvesters; 
and in August and September the highways show cara- 
vans of trucks hauling the grain. The two forks of Snake 
River come down out of subalpine valleys and pour their 
waters through headgates and into canals ; and the whole 
view, when seen from far up, is one of shimmering lines 
of silver in the valley and shimmering fields of gold upon 
the hills. 

A great chain of mountains, standing upon the Idaho- 
Wyoming boundary, fences this valley in the east. Upon 
the north it is rimmed by the Continental Divide. And in 
the west, more remotely, far over the arid steppe which 
water will never reclaim, is the magnificent Sawtooth 
Range. Here are peaks reaching altitudes of more than 
twelve thousand feet, among which are many tiny valleys, 
some holding lakes, some fertile, tilled basins, and all of 
them walled in by the forested slopes of other ranges. A 
larger basin, holding smaller ones within its area, is that 
in which the Salmon River and its tributaries lie. It has 
an area of about fourteen thousand square miles. Bounded 
on the west by the wild Seven Devils area, on the north 
by the Clearwater Mountains, on the east by the Beaver- 
head Mountains, it looks southward to the Sawtooth and 
Salmon Ranges. At no point does this elevation fall 
below four thousand feet, and in most of it the altitude is 
considerably more than a mile. Westward is the Primitive 


Area. Eastward, looking across at one another, are Mount 
Hyndman and Mount Borah, the two highest reaches in 
the State. 

Under its surface, this area is quite unlike that of the 
desolate steppe south of it. The underlying formation, 
dating from the Pre-Cambrian to the Mississippian Ages, 
is granite overlaid by sedimentary beds, folded and eroded. 
Possibly the lower stratum ranges from basalts to rhyo- 
lites ; the middle is of volcanic ash and sandstones ; and the 
two are capped by rhyolitic flows. The eroded alluvial de- 
posits have left high level terraces of sand and gravel. And 
on their surface, this alpine region and the steppe south are 
sharp and complete in their contrast. One is a black and 
gray area of impregnable stone. The other is a region of 
tumultuous rivers and tiny sheltered basins, of a vast 
rolling acreage of high meadows and forested canyons and 
white zeniths. And yet upon a part of their boundaries 
these two areas touch. 

The Salmon River here, often called the River of No 
Return, is a physical phenomenon in itself. It is the 
headlong and furious stream that Clark entered in 1805 
only to turn back after he had followed it fifty miles ; and 
it is the river that a few others, since that day, have 
ventured to navigate, some to emerge with their hair 
standing on end and others never to emerge at all. "The 
boat trip from Salmon to Lewiston through three hun- 
dred and ten miles of the Salmon River and lower Snake 
River Canyons is a scenic and sporting event without 
equal. "^ The river rises in the eastern slopes of the 
Sawtooth Range near Galena Summit among the lovely 
lakes of Alturas, Redfish, and Stanley, all of glacial origin, 
and flows northwest for thirty miles. Then it abruptly 
turns eastward through a canyon, finds a small valley and 
picks up the East Fork, and swings into the north. For 
about a hundred miles it flows northward, gathering to its 
breast two more rivers and several creeks; meets and 

1 U. S. Department of Interior, Geological Survey of Water- 
Supply Paper 657, p. 23. 

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** - 


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possesses the North Fork which has come down out of 
the Bitterroot Range; and turns suddenly westward. 
After about thirty miles it gathers the Middle Fork and 
has now traveled two hundred miles without getting any 
closer to Snake River, its point of delivery, than it was at 
its source. But now, as if having learned by trial and 
error, it plunges into its deep gorge, picks up two more 
rivers, and takes its cold subterranean way down its 
canyon for two hundred miles to its outlet. It hunts its 
sunless way from cascade to cascade, and churns so furi- 
ously that long stretches of its journey are rimmed with 
froth and foam. 

And the country around it is no less magnificent than 
the river itself. Its mountainous breadth is the home of 
hundreds of peaks, many of them unnamed, and of more 
lovely lakes than have been named and explored, and of 
millions of feet of timber in which there has never been 
the sound of an axe. This is in many parts of it an un- 
discovered forested wilderness and presents, when seen 
from the air or from its own altitudes, some quite over- 
whelming contrasts. It has many a broad sweep of ragged 
peaks and high almost inaccessible pockets where moun- 
tain sheep live; but adjacent to any of these more formi- 
dable reaches, and in almost any direction, there are lakes 
of utmost loveliness and serenity, or impassable jungles 
of fir and lodgepole and pine, or meadows where wild 
flowers grow dense and knee-deep, or river gorges drop- 
ping sharp and sudden to the white-capped waters below. 
There are innumerable smaller streams hidden by shadow 
and jungle growth where the fish have never seen an 
angler. There are little mining towns dropped down into 
the mountainous pockets, or little hamlets like Stanley 
in Stanley Basin, like Cape Horn, where the frontier still 
lives almost isolated from the world, and mountaineers 
are still a law unto themselves. 

From the tallest peaks here there is a drop of more 
than ten thousand feet to Boise which, from the head- 
waters of the Salmon River, is less than eighty miles 


into the southwest. Here, in western Idaho, are several 
valleys upon the gently rolling watersheds of several 
rivers, the largest of which, the Snake, lies for a thousand 
miles within Idaho or upon its boundary. Falling within 
the belt of prevailing westerly winds and subjected to 
the ameliorating influence of the Pacific Ocean, these 
valleys lying from the Sawtooth foothills to the Oregon 
line have an unusually mild climate for this latitude. The 
winters are temperate, with zero weather rare, and with 
the snowfall for the most part little more than a sleety 
mist of rain. The summers are long and cloudless, and 
irrigation here is necessary, as in all of Idaho elsewhere 
save in the northern part. Upon these separate adjacent 
valleys there are more than a half million acres under 
irrigation, much of which is given to alfalfa and clover, 
to fruit orchards, and to celery and lettuce fields. There 
are also dairy herds, potatoes and onions, beans and peas ; 
but the personality of this part of the State is to be found 
in its gentle climate with its not infrequent Indian sum- 
mer in midwinter, and in its thousands of acres of or- 
chards, white with bloom in springtime and memorialized 
in festivals, and blue and red and purple with fruit in late 
summer and early fall. Some of these single fruit gardens 
show long corridors of blossom or fruit running for miles. 
When, in late spring, the westerly winds come across Ore- 
gon, the fragrance from these orchards and fields is in 
the air and the sky is swept clean to its deepest 
blue, with the cool northern background nebulous in white 
or purple mist. The reach of these valleys is about a 
hundred miles. In climate, in personality, and mood, they 
are quite unlike any other part of the State. 

Three hundred miles north of them is a region wholly 
different. Here, in the upper Panhandle, is an area of 
surpassingly lovely lakes and of great evergreen forests, 
with cities standing literally within the shadow of larch 
and hemlock and pine. Some of these cities are on the 
margins of lakes against great forested backdrops; and 
some, built within the forests themselves, look from a 


distance as if the trees had grown up through sidewalk 
and pavement and every front yard. And again, when 
seen at a distance and against twilight, some of these 
towns look like nothing so much as a half a million lighted 
Christmas trees. They are all drenched with the smell of 
conifers and fresh-water lakes and cool mountainous 
reaches. After the central steppe, or the valley of po- 
tatoes, or the valleys of vegetables and fruits, it is diffi- 
cult to think of this American Switzerland as a part of 
Idaho. Formerly this region was a huge lake, from which 
there still remain Pend d'Oreille, one of the largest fresh- 
water lakes wholly within the United States, and Coeur 
d'Alene, besides many others. The Kootenai River and the 
Clark Fork of the Columbia, entering from north and east, 
flow across the State here ; the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe 
Rivers flow into Lake Coeur d'Alene, and the Spokane 
River flows out of it; and besides these rivers there are 
the Priest, Palouse, and Potlatch, and farther south the 
St. Maries, Clearwater, and Lochsa. This area, seen from 
the air, is one of rivers and mountain streams, of almost 
countless lakes, and of great dark blankets of forest. Lake 
Coeur d'Alene has the nebulous reputation of being the 
fifth loveliest lake in the world: along its shores, as well 
as upon the shores of other lakes here, are some superbly 
scenic highways ; the summer homes of wealthy persons ; 
and the downsweeping backdrops of timber so dense that 
it is almost blue-black. More rain falls here than over 
most of Idaho ; and even at lower altitudes where cities 
lie, snow sometimes reaches a depth of eight or ten feet. 
But this region, nevertheless, lying as it does within 
western winds, has a surprisingly mild climate for its 
latitude, and often is neither so hot nor so cold as parts 
of the State six hundred miles south. This small scenic 
wonderland belongs topographically to eastern Washing- 
ton and is much closer in kinship with Spokane than with 
Boise. It is, indeed, so remote in both interests and distance 
from the great bulk of Idaho that a resident of the Snake 
River Valley feels less at home, upon coming here, than 


he would have felt if he had gone into Montana, Wyoming, 
or Utah. 

And far south, against the Nevada line, is to be found 
another remarkable contrast. Here, within one county, is 
a great region larger than the two smallest Eastern States 
put together, and so barren and bleak and terrify- 
ing in most of it that even sagebrush and greasewood 
grow precariously, and what was supposed to have been 
in part an ancient lake bed is an overwhelming waste. 
Snake River cuts across its northern extremity, but even 
here, in bizarre desolation, with black basalt towering in 
vivid bluffs against pale-colored sediments, very little 
grass grows and only a few stunted trees. Much of 
Owyhee County is an area of ghost towns. Largest of 
these is Silver City, six thousand feet up, and citadel of 
this overwhelming homelessness, where snow, hurried by 
terrific freezing winds, is heaped into drifts large enough 
to bury a town. 

But this northern stretch of Nevada, lying strangely 
within the boundaries of Idaho, is not a level tableland 
of desert. It is anything but that. Channeled and gouged 
and eroded, scabrous and cragged, it is a huge area of 
materials for a steppe that have never been ordered and 
flattened out. Snake River, rising in its South Fork at 
the base of the mighty Teton Peaks, crosses Idaho for 
hundreds of miles down a valley that is from 35 to 125 
miles wide. It comes through silted regions and lava 
plains, over great waterfalls and down sunken gorges; 
and this southwestern part of Idaho looks as if the river 
for countless centuries had deposited its cargoes here. 
The flanks of the Owyhee Range, long ago, were flooded 
with rhyolitic outpourings and topped with enormous 
basaltic masses. An accumulation of these dammed the 
middle drainage basin of the river; a depression was 
formed and then filled with sediments from the eroded 
areas; and after the first immense outbursts came the 
lake beds and continued eruptions. The climate here was 
mild and moist then, and a huge lake is thought to have 


been formed that soon reached its upper levels and then 
broke and poured into lower Snake River Canyon which 
had already cut deep upon its path. This whole region, laid 
under the dramatic sculpturing of turmoil for a long 
period, is today one of the most picturesque terrains in the 
West ; and it is because of the enormous shifting of valleys 
and mountains ages ago that the whole area now presents 
such terrifying aspects. 

Today, in this region, granitic scarps and ledges are 
exposed for long distances, or the rock lies in long back- 
bones that are cut across by deep and narrow gorges. 
War Eagle Mountain is diked and veined with the records 
of a once turbulent time. On the plateaus falling away 
from the range are old lake beds laid down on granite 
foundations and covered now with tremendous avalanches 
of basalt; and in other areas are shales and limestones, 
compact clays of fluviatile gravels, and irregularly eroded 
bluffs, all of which, in their arid colors, give to the region 
an unusual picturesqueness. There are solid rock dikes 
ten feet wide and hundreds of feet long. There are deep 
trenches in the ancient beds with barren mesas between. 
And under it all is not only the Owyhee batholith, still 
masked and disguised on its surface with overlapping 
volcanics, or faulted and folded into an overwhelming 
panorama of monuments and terraces and deep river 
tunnels; under it there is nobody knows how much im- 
prisoned water lying in lakes below the lava a thousand 
feet or more in depth. 

This Owyhee country, summarized here as a desert, 
is less a desert than a great natural monument of rivers 
bedded in stone. Besides three rivers that drain it, there 
are several large creeks, and all of these for the most part 
lie deep in their narrow sunless canyons sculptured out 
of rock. Of very narrow gorges, that of the Bruneau 
River is said to be one of the deepest on earth. A person 
can stand and look out over the torn miles and believe 
there is no water anywhere within the sky line; and he 


can go to what seemed to be only a broken path of 
shadow and look down a thousand feet to foaming tor- 
rents in river beds where the sun never strikes. Or a 
person can stand on the eminence of Sugarloaf Butte and 
realize that no one lives east, south, north, or west as far 
as he can see. 

Just east of Owyhee County lies one of Idaho's four 
principal valleys, and this, too, not long ago, was a prairie 
of sagebrush and buffalo grass, coyotes and rattlesnakes 
and horned toads. Here is the State's most dramatic 
chapter in reclamation, and a valley now no less fertile 
and productive than the one famous for its potatoes or 
the other for its prunes. Far at its eastern end, the 
engineering feat of the American Falls Reservoir, largest 
in the State, and impounding one million and seven hun- 
dred thousand acre-feet of water, was more than ordi- 
narily spectacular; but one reservoir was not enough. 
The Milner Dam, undertaken and completed through pri- 
vate initiative, diverted water to almost a quarter of a 
million acres in the areas north and south of Twin Falls ; 
and the Minidoka Dam added another fifty thousand to 
make the largest contiguous irrigated area in the United 
States. Of this region Washington Irving once wrote: 

"It is a land where no man permanently resides; a vast, unin- 
habited solitude, with precipitous cliffs and yawning ravines, look- 
ing like the ruins of a world; vast desert tracts that must ever 
defy cultivation and interpose dreary and thirsty wilds between 
the habitations of man." 

He could hardly be expected to know this country if he 
were to rise today and look around him. And yet he 
might, too, for this Twin Falls section of Idaho has many 
remarkable features of its own. It was here that Snake 
River, before reclamation broke its might, poured its flood 
over cascade after cascade, the deepest of which, the 
Shoshone, has been called the Niagara of the West. No 
less impressive are two cities of rock, one of them volcanic 
in origin, the other of granite and calcareous limestone 
shaped by wind and water and sand, and both of them 


looking like an assortment of Gothic cathedrals that have 
fallen into ruins. 

Three hundred miles on a beeline into the northwest 
from this valley of dairy herds and beans and potatoes, 
hay and fruit, is perhaps the most nearly unique spot in 
Idaho. From the mountain rim north of it, a person's gaze 
goes westward over Washington to a broad and apparent- 
ly limitless sweep of rolling distance that Irvin Cobb 
declared to be the most breath-taking vision of his jour- 
ney through the Northwest. Still from this rim, the gaze 
turns southward and drops two thousand feet to the junc- 
tion of two great rivers, the Snake and the Clearwater, 
and to what is strangely and most unmistakably a city. 
Lewiston is one of the largest cities in Idaho, walled in by 
great mountains save for the slender valleys down which 
the rivers come. It is a city almost entirely of one long 
street, and a river running parallel on the north and a 
mountain abutting the buildings on the south. And at 
first glance there seem to be only mountains and two 
rivers and a city. There is much more. The industrial 
life of this place swings out and around in concentric arcs 
of increasing size. The shorter radii reach out and touch 
the business district and the homes ; and within the next 
circular segment are to be found one of the world's largest 
sawmills, and fruit orchards so vast that more than two 
thousand persons live within their area ; and in the next 
wide swing are to be found the Clearwater forests and 
the valley farms; and within the last huge arc are the 
mines. This city, the lowest point in Idaho, is spoken of 
as the State's only seaport because ships come up the 
Columbia and the Snake to its door. Together with its 
long narrow valleys, it is protected from extremes of 
climate and from winds; and because it is so sheltered 
and because it is flanked by huge orchards and forests, it 
smells like a garden in springtime, and like a harvest of 
fruit and mountain water and pine boughs in the fall. 

Such briefly in word and picture, presented candidly 
in sharp panoramic contrasts, is the State which in Indian 


language means sunrise. It is geographically so dis- 
parate that persons living in one part of it are less fa- 
miliar with much of the remainder than they are with 
States contiguous to their position. If Spokane in Wash- 
ington is in some respects the cultural center of northern 
Idaho, Salt Lake City, a thousand miles away, is the 
cultural center of the southeast and east. For Idaho is a 
State which is divided in many ways against itself; and 
if it gains thereupon in diversity of picturesqueness and 
in sharp differences in grandeur and scene, it loses in in- 
dustrial and cultural integrity. Without homologous 
structure and centralization of interests, it spreads dif- 
fusely into all the States roundabout, and has, more than 
many others, an obscure indecision within the symbolism 
of its name. Idaho for some may mean chiefly the mag- 
nificent forested areas and the subalpine lakes from which 
one of the chief agricultural regions is twice as remote in 
distance and interests as Seattle or Portland. Or for some 
it may mean chiefly the thousands of bags of potatoes 
that are standing row on row in the fields when the 
distant mountain maple is scarlet and the cottonwoods 
along the river bottoms are like piles of yellow bloom. 
For others Idaho may mean chiefly the small towns iso- 
lated in the tops of mountains to which in wintertime the 
only means of travel is by airplane. In these subalpine 
basins persons live throughout the year within the smell 
of high white peaks and pine and spruce, and within reach 
of thousands of wild animals of many kinds. For others 
Idaho may mean the rolling unirrigated grainlands where 
the summers are hot and too often rainless, and water, 
in a State that has so much, has to be hauled for both man 
and beast. Here there is quietness like that on grave- 
yards. Or Idaho may have meaning chiefly in wetness and 
sound where one fall after another takes the mighty 
pouring of the Mad River through its canyon or where 
thousands of springs burst from the walls of stone. Or 
Idaho may mean the hushed desolation of ghost towns 
where cities that once housed thousands of persons are 





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now only the forsaken quiet of a few shacks. Many of 
these towns, now given over to decay and specters, were 
among the dramatic spots on the last frontiers. And 
Idaho may, for still fewer persons, mean chiefly that deep- 
est and in some respects most awful gorge on this con- 
tinent. And this, the Grand Canyon or the Seven Devils 
Gorge, is only one of the many phenomenal spots to which 
Idaho highways lead. 





THE DOUGLAS FIR (not a fir at all, and often known 
as Douglas spruce, red pine, Oregon pine) is fourth 
in size of the trees of earth but does not in Idaho reach 
the proportions found on the Pacific Coast. It is one of 
the stateliest of trees, with a straight tapering shaft and 
a magnificent bulk of foliage; and in nurseries it is the 
fastest growing of all evergreens. Its wood is the tough- 
est of all American conifers. In Idaho it is one of the 
commonest and commercially one of the most valuable 
trees, growing at medium elevations with white fir, lodge- 
pole, and yellow pine. Its rich green foliage, pointed buds, 
and beautiful pendant cones distinguish it from all other 
trees. Like it, the western larch is, in point of size and 
height, among the seven most majestic trees on earth, but 
this one is not common in Idaho. The larch may reach 
a height of 250 feet, the fir 300, but such heights are 
unusual. The larch is unlike any other conifer in having 
almost no foliage after it reaches some size and in drop- 
ping its leaves when winter comes. A mature tree has in 
summertime a bushy top high in the air and a mighty 
spire of trunk as straight as a lodgepole. Very slow in 
growth, a larch only nine inches in diameter may have 
been standing for fifty years : one tree examined was only 
eighteen inches in diameter but had been a tree for a 
quarter of a millennium and had taken eight years to 
gather its last inch. It is this tree that gives the parklike 
grandeur of ancient estates to the forest in which it is 


found. Limned against light, its foliage has a silken 
spidery loveliness because its unsheathed needles grow 
in tufts or tiny spray brooms. 

Even slower in growth is the Rocky Mountain red 
cedar, a patriarch of the American forest and very similar 
to the red cedar of the East. One of these in Logan Canyon 
in Utah is three thousand years old, perhaps the oldest tree 
in the intermountain area. A favorite with John Muir, 
who made a study of it, this lonely baron, he said, wastes 
out of existence when killed about as slowly as granite. 
"Even when overthrown by avalanches, they refuse to lie 

at rest, leaning stubbornly on their big elbows " Often 

this tree is an ancient and windswept titan standing alone 
on dry soil or rocky mountainside. The Giant Arborvitae 
(giant cedar, canoe cedar) favors moist bottomlands in 
the upper Clearwater and northern lakes region. It grows 
to such mammoth size that it often outtops the sur- 
rounding forest ; and was a favorite with Indians who ate 
its fruit, used its soft wood for totem poles, or excavated 
its huge trunks for canoes. Its lovely evergreen robing, 
hanging in lacy sleeves, is much daintier than that of pine 
or fir. The dwarf or mountain juniper is widely distributed 
on upper mountain slopes and rocky ledges. More of a bush 
than a tree, it is loaded with blue-gray berrylike cones in 
wintertime, and these are a favorite with wild birds. 

Of the several pines found in Idaho, two species are 
unusual. Western yellow pine is another titan of the 
Western forests and one of the most beautiful trees, with 
its golden bark, its deep black seams, and its straight 
stateliness. The most extensive pine forests in the world 
are of yellow pine in the Northwest, wherein the bulk is 
estimated at two hundred and fifty billions of feet. 
Hardier than most trees and amazingly adaptable to 
rigorous conditions, this tree grows to great size in arid 
foothills of volcanic origin, or on mesas of the Southwest, 
where it is the chief source of lumber, or in the compara- 
tively rainless area of western Nebraska, or on swampy 
slopes of the Cascades, or high in mountains against the 


timber line. Because it is a huge tree at maturity, it was 
called bull pine by frontiersmen; because it is so heavy 
it will barely float in water, it has been called ponderosa 
by lumbermen. Ponderosa pine is its trade name over 
the Nation. In even greater favor for lumber is white 
pine, a much smaller tree. Because its lower limbs die so 
young that the lower trunk is almost without knots, the 
wood of this tree with its white soft texture has been 
eagerly sought. It is now planned to preserve areas for 
the study of hydrophytic and mesophytic growths of 
western white pine, western cedar, and western hemlock. 
One such area, the Roosevelt Grove of gigantic cedars, 
has already been set aside in northern Idaho. Here are 
magnificent trees a thousand years old bedded down in 
alpine flora of mosses, lycopods, ferns, and evergreens. 
The white pine is found only in the northern part of the 
State and is perhaps the commonest tree seen from the 

Lodgepole pine is the commonest evergreen tree in 
Idaho and one of the most uniformly straight of all trees 
that grow. And because it tapers so little, it has long 
been in favor for the building of mountain cabins, many 
of the most unusual of which are to be seen in Yellow- 
stone Park. In Idaho this tree grows in dense stands in 
flat and protected areas and forms many a beautiful cor- 
ridor along the scenic highways. A strange tree, and 
one of the most unconquerable of alpine conifers, is the 
white bark pine which occurs only in the north part of 
central Idaho and in western Wyoming. It grows high, 
often rimming the world and often getting flattened into 
a mass of boughs and ice ; and even at lower levels moun- 
taineers sometimes build their beds on the wide flat 
branches lying on the earth. At their topmost elevations 
these hardy trees are dwarfed and beaten down but sel- 
dom killed and they often look like young trees when in 
fact they are remarkably old. Muir says he measured 
one that was only three feet high but had been a tree for 
four hundred and twenty-six years: one of its supple 


twigs was only one eighth of an inch in diameter but 
was seventy-five years old and so tough that Muir tied 
it into knots. Usually found with it is limber pine, a 
crooked stunted tree that seeks dry rocky hillsides and 
other severe sites. There are two species of pifion pine 
found only in the extreme southern part of the State: 
both are small round-topped dwarfs at dry low elevations, 
and though of little commercial value, their seeds are 
edible and are sometimes marketed. 

Pines are identified by their needles gathered at the 
base in bunches of from one to five and by the thick 
woody scales on their cones ; spruces by their sharp point- 
ed single needles and by cones with parchmentlike scales. 
The most beautiful spruce in Idaho is the Engelmann, the 
white spruce of the Rocky Mountains. It grows at high 
levels and sometimes is mantled with snow during most 
of the year ; but in late spring it is lovely in bluish-green 
foliage, and in autumn its showy brown cones scatter 
their black-winged seeds. It shares in some degree the 
popularity of the blue spruce as an ornamental tree and in 
Idaho is fairly common within its range. The blue spruce 
is found only in the extreme southeastern part of the 

Firs are identified by their blunt grooved needles and 
by their almost invisible cones that stand erect on the 
upper branches of the tree. The balsam fir is when found 
in its native area a beautiful tree, broad and symmetri- 
cally branched, and sometimes running to more than a 
hundred and fifty feet in height. The bluish-green foliage 
is often intensified by the bright indigo of the flowers; 
and the purple cones complete the striking picture of this 
fir when left standing alone by loggers to reseed the half 
acre of its home. At lower elevations is the white fir, 
usually close by streams, upon which it often forms beau- 
tiful borders. This tree is called black balsam in Utah ; its 
bark is darker in color than that of balsam fir, and its 
foliage is a dark blue-green. Both of these firs, but espe- 
cially the balsam or alpine, yield a thick juice that In- 







S s\ 

White pine and cedar 






Matured yellow pine 

White bark pine: two grotesques 



dians and old-timers used for the healing of bruises and 
cuts. Lowland white fir is found in the intermountain 
region only in western Idaho, in the Weiser, Payette, and 
Idaho National Forests, from which it has spread far to 
the north and west. It is difficult to tell from alpine fir 
but it grows at lower elevations, has a wider crown, and 
usually a broad spread in its limbs. 

The alpine larch scorns low altitudes and prefers the 
highest tablelands, where it chooses the most bleak and 
windswept ledges and exposes itself to every peril of tem- 
perature and storm. Often close by is the mountain hem- 
lock, sometimes called black hemlock, or even spruce or 
fir or pine, the tree which Sargent declared to be the 
loveliest of the cone bearers in American forests. A 
mature tree may be four feet in diameter and a hundred 
feet in height, with gracefully drooping branches, each 
with a feathery sheath of gently arching evergreen 
needles, and beautifully colored cones. This tree grows 
"along the margins of alpine meadows in groves of ex- 
quisite beauty, pushing the advance guard of the forest 
to the edge of living glaciers." In Idaho it is found only 
in the north and chiefly at the upper tree limits of the 
Clearwater area. Transplanted to Eastern States, this 
lovely tree withers to the size of a dwarf and loses all its 
grace. The western hemlock is also a tall tree with lacy 
branches. Its shorter needles do not clothe the limbs in 
a tight sheath but spray out in tufts. This tree has been 
known to reach two hundred feet in height and nine feet 
in diameter. 

For some persons the loveliest of all evergreens is the 
mountain laurel, though in Idaho the species is usually only 
a low shrub. When a tree, it has a dense round head, red or 
yellow bark, flowers in large compound corymbs; and in 
June and July may hide its brilliant leaves with clusters of 
flowers spreading in masses often a foot across. But this 
beautiful heath is being stripped from its native hills by 
nurserymen and collectors, as well as by vandals who 
gather masses of loveliness to wither in heated homes. The 


Pacific yew, commonly called mountain mahogany, covers 
thousands of hillsides in Idaho and forms a favorite feed- 
ing ground for deer in late spring. The Indians of Alaska 
cut paddles and bows out of it, but today it is valuable only 
as coverage for watersheds, though in autumn its brilliant 
berries are the banquet of birds. 

Shrubs: Of deciduous trees the Rocky Mountain ash 
is a hardy wanderer but almost dainty in appearance, 
with its graceful elderlike foliage and its tropical aspect. 
It has remarkably showy flowers and fruit clusters, and 
after its leaves are gone the broad disks of scarlet berries 
cling until winter is almost done. This tree is not an ash 
but belongs to the apple family and is sometimes called 
apple chokecherry. Its buds are cream-colored before 
they open, and its small white flowers are of exquisite 
fragrance. All of Idaho's native deciduous trees are small 
except the aspen and cottonwood, the latter of which is 
found in pine belts of the north along streams, and in 
southern and eastern Idaho along rivers and upon moist 
bottom lands. There are several species but it is difficult 
to tell them apart. From a distance, and against the sky 
in autumn, the foliage of the cottonwood looks like great 
masses of yellow sunset. 

Commoner is the quaking aspen, which grows in dense 
jungles upon thousands of semiarid hills and upon lower 
mountain elevations facing the sun. Some horticulturists 
say it is the most widely distributed of North American 
trees. It thrives equally well in Chihuahua and Alberta ; 
and throughout the Rocky Mountains it now covers great 
areas that were once swept by fire; and over the entire 
West has been the most important tree in determining the 
kinds and distribution of evergreens. In springtime its 
foliage is such a delicate green that it looks rain- washed ; 
and in autumn, after the frosts, it covers countless hills 
and mountains with clearest lemon yellow. But most gor- 
geous of all Idaho trees in autumn coloring is the mountain 
maple. Sometimes a tree, often a shrub only, especially 
when growing on rocky slopes facing the sun, this maple 


ranges widely and thrives in the shade of evergreens. It 
fills ravines with dense growth and after the first frosts it 
stands in fields of brilliant scarlet. 

There are numerous species of willow, including the 
western black, the diamond, the mountain, and the sand- 
bar, of which the latter is probably commonest. It grows 
in thickets along streams, delays erosion, often prevents 
the cutting of new channels, and helps to hold floods in 
check. Found often with it is the white (tag) alder, an 
impressive tree in later winter when it hangs its yellow 
catkins while other deciduous trees are still asleep. Usu- 
ally in company with it is the red or river birch with its 
dotted bronzed bark and its fountain of leafy spray. 
Nothing about the red birch is more noteworthy than the 
speed with which it grows. In drier locations are the 
serviceberry and chokecherry, both of them widely dis- 
tributed throughout America. In Idaho the jungles of 
both in late spring are gardens of blossom and fragrance ; 
and in late summer (if the season has not been too arid) 
they hang with fruit. Some botanists have said that the 
chokecherry, once tasted, is forever scorned, even though 
birds and Indians are fond of it; but many Idahoans 
know better than that. They know that it makes jelly 
second to none in its pungent and exotic flavor, and years 
ago they learned, too, that wine made of it is, when prop- 
erly aged, very rich and heady. Persons along the St. 
Lawrence River must have discovered its uses also be- 
cause it is earnestly cultivated there. The serviceberry, 
too, is a favorite in Idaho. It is lovely in bloom, and its 
fruit, a large, juicy, and full-flavored berry, eagerly 
sought by Indians and birds and by early settlers, is still 
preserved today. The Indians used to dry the berries for 
winter use, or they pounded masses together into loaves 
weighing fifteen pounds, which they later ate by breaking 
off chunks and soaking them in water. A third fruit used 
by pioneers is that of the hawthorn. This short tree or big 
shrub with its great spread of branches and its deadly 
thorns grows equally well on dry hillsides or along 

100 IDAHO 

streams. It is a flowering bush in late spring and is lovely 
again after frost has turned its foliage into burnished 

Of smaller shrubs, none are more striking than those 
which produce both flowers and fruit. Growing high in 
moist subalpine slopes and meadows among the Douglas 
fir, is the thimbleberry with its large five-lobed leaves and 
its perfect roselike blossom which measures two inches 
across. Sometimes it is found in company with syringa 
and ocean spray and spiraea and snowberry ; and all these, 
with a wealth of flora tangled in thickets around them, 
make gorgeous gardens in higher altitudes. The berry is 
about the size of and in flavor is much like the red rasp- 
berry, though some find the fruit thin and dry. And per- 
haps it is, in comparison with that fruit which some de- 
clare to be the most luscious wild berry that grows. The 
huckleberry (and it is not the insipid blueberry which 
east of the Rocky Mountains is usually called huckle- 
berry) grows in patches of hundreds, often thousands, of 
acres on high cool mountainsides. Usually it yields 
abundantly though the fruit hangs singly and not in 
clusters; and countless Westerners make pilgrimages in 
August to gather the berries for preserving and for wine. 
The shrub that bears this fruit is widely scattered in the 
forests of the State and is so highly regarded along Ditch 
Creek in the Salmon River country that this area is pro- 
tected from grazing. The dwarf bilberry (or low whortle- 
berry) is common in the central mountains and the north- 
ern lakes region. It is a small shrub from three to seven 
inches tall, hidden in the grass in meadows or on gentle 
slopes, with the small green leaves bunched near the top. 
In springtime lovely little pink-and-white bells appear 
among the leaves and later become blue berries covered 
with an attractive bloom. In autumn the leaves of this 
shrub turn a deep red. The grouseberry or grouse whortle- 
berry is found on higher slopes of the Western mountains 
just below the tree line. These dwarfed bushes are less 
than a foot in height but often cover their favorite alti- 

FLORA 101 

tudes with great patches and sometimes grow rampantly- 
even in deep forests. Its leaves are small and finely- 
toothed, and its flowers are tiny red goblets of single 
bloom. By the middle of August the plant is dotted with 
bright red berries of pleasant flavor which are held in 
high esteem by grouse. 

Of a different sort is the devil's club, a stalwart shrub 
four or five feet tall with spiked stalks. The maplelike 
leaves sprout from the stalk on a long stem about twelve 
inches below the red berries and form a dense coverage 
upon the ground. In the Selkirk Mountains the thickets are 
almost impenetrable. The ivory baneberry prefers humus 
soil by mountain streams in shady locations. The white 
flowers appear in two-inch racemes at the top of slender 
stems and are of sweet odor. When the berries ripen and 
become heavy they overwhelm the stems supporting them 
and soon fall. They are said to be poisonous like the seeds 
of other members of the buttercup genus to which this 
baneberry belongs. The red-osier dogwood, widely dis- 
tributed along streams in both open and wooded areas, is 
a pleasant shrub both in bloom and in fruit. In early fall, 
spherical clusters of bluish-white berries show against 
leaves turned scarlet, golden, or purple. To this shrub the 
Indians gave the name kinnikinnick, the bark of which 
they smoked in preference to that of any other plant. This 
shrub seems also to go under the name of bearberry. 

The twinberry, a famous little trailing evergreen of 
the honeysuckle tribe and a delicate relative of the elder, 
has a botanical name that honors the great Carolus 
Linnaeus who always wore a sprig of it in his lapel when 
he sat for a painting. Loving cool woods and moun- 
tainous marshes of both hemispheres, it is found in Idaho 
chiefly in the Seven Devils area and northward in the 
cool forests. Pairs of pink bells sway at the tip of long 
slender stalks and are much in favor for the delicacy and 
charm of their fragrance. Its berries are of purple-black 
color and are bitter to the taste. Quite different are the 
two species of elderberry, found at lower elevations on 

102 IDAHO 

dry slopes and growing in single or multistemmed shrubs. 
The bright red or black berries are widely used, and 
especially in Utah, in the making of preserves and pies 
and wines. The elderberry is a low shrub with opposite 
compound leaves, flowers in clusters, and typical pithy 
twigs. For California Indians the elder was the tree of 
music because the straight young stems easily accommo- 
dated themselves to the flute makers. 

Snowberry, sometimes called corralberry or wolfberry, 
is also widely scattered. An erect shrub from one to four 
feet tall, and with slim glabrous branches, it grows 
along streams and in less densely wooded areas. The 
mountain snowberry is a southwestern shrub that follows 
more arid hillsides, but the creeping snowberry with its 
pungently delicious fruit prefers the wetter region of the 
northern lakes. The salmonberry, too, grows in moist 
woodlands. It has solitary and perfect reddish-purple 
flowers and a golden fruit much like the raspberry. This 
shrub grows from two to five feet in height. The small 
cranberry favors bogs in the northern lakes region. It 
is a typical boreal plant, and upon the retreat of glaciers 
it migrated from its high refuge to the swamps formed 
by the damming of streams. It now ranges throughout 
the glaciated territory of the northern hemisphere. It 
has feathery green mats of foliage that hug the ground, 
tiny reddish-pink flowers at the end of threadlike red- 
dish stems, and curling elongated sheaths on the ground 

The swamp black currant (prickly currant) is a very 
beautiful bush in blossom. Dainty racemes of yellowish 
flowers shaded with red are the center of scattered color 
among the dainty leaves. In full sunlight this shrub is 
so attractive as to command instant attention. Found in 
Idaho in moist woods and along streams, it has small dark 
berries that are in favor as a sauce with venison. The 
hackberry grows on arid rocky bluffs or in low hot valleys, 
particularly along the Snake and Salmon River Canyons. 
It is a low shrub with drooping branches and a reddish- 

FLORA 103 

brown berry of thin sweet meat. The wood of this plant 
is so tough that the breaking of even a small twig is diffi- 
cult. There are also wild currants with their piquantly 
flavored yellow or black fruit, and wild gooseberries, both 
of which were in favor with frontiersmen. 

The Pacific flowering dogwood, discovered as recently 
as 1902, inhabits the woods of the upper Clearwater 
region. In spring it is a glorious vision of white bloom, 
and it escaped attention for so long only because it grows 
in remote places. The beauty of this shrub is less in its 
small tubelike flowers than in the four large petallike 
scales or bracts that surround them. In the Eastern spe- 
cies, these bracts inclose the flowers during the winter, 
but in the Western species the bracts instead of embrac- 
ing the flowers are borne beneath them. This shrub in 
autumn is covered with crimson berries. The burning 
bush (wahoo, prickwood, spindletree) , a close relative of 
the climbing false bittersweet, is a curious little tree that 
looks much like the wild plum except for its bark. Its 
flowers are in purple petals of four ; and its fruit of four 
flat lobes in a purple husk that opens to show a scarlet 
interior, together with colored twigs and leaves, gives to 
this bush its name. In midwinter there is no more vivid 
spot of color in the landscape. 

The purple heather is one of the principal charms of 
mountain meadows and upper crests in the central part of 
the State and in the Bitterroot Mountains. A low evergreen 
shrub, often growing in clumps several feet in width, it has 
numerous alternate leaves minutely serrated that crowd 
the branches and are so nearly stemless that they seem to 
sprout from the limbs themselves. The flowers are usually 
magenta pink, though variations occur. The lovely white 
heather was named Cassiope by Muir, with whom it was a 
favorite. Found on high summits, this low-branching ever- 
green with slim ascending stems often less than a foot high 
is cloaked in an overlapping sheath of leaves arranged in 
fours. From the axils of the leaves, tiny bowls of white 
bloom, sometimes gently flushed like a pale pink lily of 

104 IDAHO 

the valley, nod on graceful threadlike stems. The twin- 
flower, found from the Seven Devils area northward, is a 
dainty trailing evergreen vine unsurpassed in its demure 
loveliness. This member of the honeysuckle family has 
tiny pinkish flower bells that droop at half-mast and are 
of such sweetly penetrating fragrance that the smell of 
their bloom is often evident in trains passing along moun- 
tains where the plant is found. The American vetch is 
another graceful and lovely vine found in moist woods and 
thickets. It clings tenaciously to any available support 
and sprouts in vivacious green leaves and in washed pur- 
ple flowers in clusters of long slender bloom. 

Moss and Ferns: The flora of Idaho, especially in much 
of the forested area, is a dense undergrowth of moss and 
fern. Of the latter the running pine is common in shady 
places. In Europe the spores of this strikingly denticulated 
prostrate creeper are gathered for lycopodium powder. 
The ground cedar is another creeper with a wide geograph- 
ical range. It creeps, or thrusts upright branches that 
spread in fans, with the inner row of leaves along the stems 
looking like the tips of leaves only. Less lovely but more 
widely distributed in Idaho is the scouring-brush, one of 
the commonest of the large horsetails. Its rough silicious 
fiber used to be widely favored in the scouring of pots and 
pans and it is still put to such uses in remoter places. 
Known variously as scrub-grass, snake-rush, gun-bright, 
snake-grass, and winter-rush, it is used in Holland to 
prevent erosion, and was shipped to England as scouring 
material and took the name of Dutch clean-rush. Swamp 
horsetail flourishes in marshes and along streams. In 
Sweden it is fed to cows to increase their butterfat, and in 
Lapland it is one of the chief foods of reindeer. In parts 
of America it is sometimes cut for hay, and in Idaho cat- 
tle are said to prefer it to grass, and in the menu of musk- 
rats it is a favorite. 

Much lovelier, perhaps loveliest of all grape ferns, is 
the Virginia, often called rattlesnake fern because its 
spored tips resemble the tail of a rattler, or "sang sign" in 

> ■ •■■■t^.. 




^ -fi" 

"^ --^*^^.|^. 





Mountain ash 




W '■Wis 


m i 

, 'V^ 




Syrlnga: Idaho Sfafe Flower 

« ViX, 


Sego lily: Utah State Flower 

FLORA 105 

Kentucky, where it is declared to keep the tip of its leaf for- 
ever pointing at a ginseng plant. Of another sort is the 
brake (bracken) which grows in rank abundance and is es- 
pecially common in the northern part of the State. It has 
enormous leaves, sometimes, as in New Zealand, twenty 
feet long, and often fourteen feet long in the Northwest. 
Eaten only by goats, impervious to drouth, and growing to 
a height of six or seven feet, this fern makes parts of Idaho 
look densely tropical. Indians used its rhizomes for food, 
and in parts of the world it is still eaten as asparagus, but 
what with one plant sometimes covering an area of eighty 
square feet, it is often an unconquerable pest now on 
logged-off lands. Hunters and trappers formerly used 
these plants as a mattress. 

Quite different is the common maidenhair, a graceful 
fern with very thin leaves which Indians laid upon strips 
of cedar to make beds for drying wild berries. This fern 
prefers shady banks with water seeping out of the soil. 
Still more delicate in its tracery and more widely dis- 
tributed in Idaho is the Rocky Mountain Woodsia, a 
long, slender, and remarkably symmetrical fern. The 
male fern is found in Idaho, too, and the lady fern as 
well : long ago, herbalists thought these two represented 
the sexes somehow, though precisely in what manner, 
inasmuch as the two ferns live side by side in peace, is 
not known. Their sex, one authority declared, was "just 
figurative." In Idaho the lady fern grows high in the 
mountains, as on Packsaddle Peak, and looks out from 
under boulders. Of another species is the clover fern, a 
small and lovely plant that folds up at night and goes to 

There are countless other ferns which help to make 
undergrowth jungles in forests. Alaskan club moss, a 
creeping plant with erect tufted branches, grows at great 
altitudes, even reaching above the timber line. Leathery 
grape fern is remarkable because of its size: it often 
looks more like a tree and is found over much of the 
Northwest. The spinulose woodfern is the kind that helps 

106 IDAHO 

to give loveliness to wooded regions, together with fir club 
moss, bladder fern, wood fern, and oak fern. Historically 
interesting is the parasitic licorice fern which grows on 
maples and red alders. Some early settlers used it to 
flavor tobacco, and children today like to chew the rhizome 
for its licorice. The sword fern is a handsome plant that 
looks vaguely like fifty or sixty knife blades with their 
handles buried in a single shaft. A favorite for decora- 
tion, carloads of it are shipped annually from the North- 
west to be used in the East in the making of wreaths. 

Flowers: Because so much of Idaho visible from rail- 
way coaches and highways seems to be arid region save 
where irrigated, it may not uncommonly be supposed that 
the State is relatively flowerless. This is by no means true. 
Many States, especially in the Middle West, are almost 
wholly under cultivation, and the wild flowers they once 
had have been driven to corner copses and ditchbanks and 
roadsides. In Idaho, where so extremely small a part of 
the area is under cultivation, wild flowers have suffered 
from no enemy except human beings and cattle and sheep. 
From intensively grazed sections most of the wild flowers 
have largely disappeared, but in other sections, and par- 
ticularly in the north, there are huge gardens of thou- 
sands of acres of almost continuous bloom. The varieties, 
too, are so many that it would take a small book merely 
to list their names. In the following pages only a selected 
list is given, and chiefly those that are commonest or 
rarest or loveliest. 

The State flower of Idaho is the syringa, a native 
variety of mock orange that was discovered by Captain 
Lewis. It is a tall bush from six to twelve feet in height 
that is found on mountainsides, forest borders, and along 
streams; and in parts of the state, especially the north- 
ern, its white bloom in June and July sometimes reaches 
for unbroken miles. The stems of this shrub the Indians 
used for bows, and the macerated leaves they used for 
soap. The squaws used the stems to cradle their infants. 
These stems were also used by Indians for tobacco pipes, 

FLORA 107 

and to excavate the pith they cannily allowed grubs of 
beetles to eat their way from end to end. A more famous 
flower in the records and legends of early explorers, and 
an important food of Western Indians, was the camas, 
which made many a meadow blue. Its blossoms spread in 
dense gardens in wetter places, and these from a distance 
look like lakes of blue water. Its liliaceous edible bulb 
was steamed for twenty-four hours or longer in a kind 
of fireless cooker of heated stones. Indians fought wars 
for possession of camas meadows ; and the Bannack War 
itself was caused in part at least by white invasion of 
camas fields. The flowers, from a dozen to thirty on a 
pedicel, are blue or white and bloom from April to July. 
Idaho has memorialized this flower in the name of a 
prairie and a town. 

Of other flowers chiefly affecting mountain meadows 
none is lovelier than the columbine, which blooms from 
May to August. Erect, with branching stalks three feet 
tall, its flowers are to be found in scarlet, yellow, blue, or 
white, sometimes looking, when thrust up from a tangle 
of ferns, as if they were disembodied loveliness growing 
on the air. There are several species of beardtongue or 
blue pentstemon, slender flowers of remarkably delicate 
beauty with their crowded whorls of blue petals. Those in 
high meadows bloom in July and August, and those along 
streams earlier. The western buttercup may also grow in 
fields or even among sagebrush. Especially striking is a 
meadow when the golden buttercup and the blue camas 
carpet the earth. The tall larkspur is usually from two 
to four feet in height, and if not crowded its basal leaves 
form a green bower from which rise long spikes of stalk 
with rich purple-blue flowers poised on the stems like 
so many floral butterflies. Linnaeus gave it the name of 
Delphinium because he fancied a resemblance to a 

The mountain daisy (also called fleabane) , a compound 
flower of striking size and coloring, is one of the most 
conspicuous in high valleys. The large golden-yellow cen- 

108 IDAHO 

ters are surrounded by graceful purple rays of varying 
tints. Much smaller, and always closed on cloudy days, is 
the blue gentian: the moment the sun strikes them, the 
petals, hardly more than scallops at the top of a deep 
flower goblet, open and flare out to show their regal 
purple. The alpine Androsace is a tiny member of the 
primrose family, so daintily inconspicuous in both size 
and coloring that it often escapes notice. The small nar- 
row leaves clump thickly against the ground in a rosette 
of green from which rise tendril stems almost as fine as 
hairs, supporting the tiny five-petaled white blossoms. 
The peacock sego grows twelve or fourteen inches high 
and has purple spots on the broad petals of the white 
bloom. Common in meadows, too, is blue-eyed grass with 
its tiny flowers fading in a day and with its buds forever 
opening to bloom again. 

Deep in the forests are several species of orchid, 
rarest of which is the phantom, a waxy white plant in stem 
and leaf and petal, save for a golden spot within the 
flower's throat. Blooming in May and June, and spectral 
in its loveliness, its fragrance is as unusual as the flower 
itself. Spotted coral root belongs to the parasitic orchids, 
of which three species are found deep in moist woods in 
the northern lakes region. The flowers are brownish pur- 
ple, and the root resembles a branch of coral. Latest of 
the orchids to bloom is the hooded tresses with its twisted 
bloom that looks vaguely like a braid of hair. The flowers 
are white or yellowish and are easily identified by the 
dense curved line of blossom on the spike. 

In comparison with the delicate sorrel of the East, the 
mountain sorrel is a titan, with its heart-shaped leaves 
bursting into huge showers of foliage. It prefers the 
depths of forests but often is found on shaded mountain- 
sides and along streams, blooming in May and June. It is 
a menace to cattle because of their fondness for its lush 
and succulent foliage. 

Found in moist thickets is another group of lovely 
plants. The wild lily of the valley, found in Idaho only 

FLORA 109 

or chiefly in wet shade in the northern lakes region, has 
very small white blooms on stems eight to sixteen inches 
high, and a red berry. False Solomon's-seal is a graceful 
decorative plant. Each stem, terminating in a pyramid 
of waxy bloom, rises in a curve from the earth. The 
blooming period is April and May, and late in the sum- 
mer the flowers produce an edible red berry. A single 
lovely rose-purple bloom hanging at the end of a rosy 
stem gives to calypso its common name of fairy slipper. 
The tiny slipper-shaped flower, two of its petals forming 
an upward-flaring ribbon at the back and with the toe 
decorated with yellow fuzz, has been long fancied as a 
fairy's foot. 

If it were not for its sharply penetrating fragrance, 
wood nymph (one-flowered wintergreen) would escape 
notice. It belongs to the Pyrola family and is a genus of 
its own. The leafless stems, rising from green rosettes 
and hidden by moss, support five-petaled yellowish-white 
flowers which against contrasting background look like 
five deep scallops drawn together and closed. Mourning 
groundsel was named because of the massacre in the 
Yukon of a party of Eskimos, but is called black-tipped 
groundsel by St. John. The plant is one of central stalk 
about a foot in height, sprouting from a rosette of long 
streamerlike leaves, and putting forth an irregular spray 
of six spidery yellow flowers which bud out from as many 
slender stems. A deep chalice of green sepals holds a big 
orange-yellow center, and from this radiate pale yellow 
rays like so many insect legs at loose ends. 

The alpine beauty has drooped under the names given 
to it. Called CHntonia by some after a New York politician 
named Clinton, and queencup by a Canadian royalist, it 
suffers in Oregon under the name of alpine beauty. Its 
commonest name in Idaho has not been learned. It grows 
abundantly in Idaho and often covers the earth with its 
remarkably beautiful leaves and its solitary lilylike 
flower. Called western bluebell by Walcott and languid 
lady by St. John, the martensia, a cousin of the forget- 

110 IDAHO 

me-not and the heliotrope, grows in large clumps under 
favorable conditions. The leaves are stemless, two or 
more cupping together at a single place in the stalk to 
curve outward and downward in a sort of pointed horse's 
ear. From the juncture of leaves and stalk droops the long 
pendulous blossom on slender curved stems as if the in- 
verted bell were emptying itself of fragrance. 

Scattered more widely are many submontane species. 
Named horrendously avalanche lily by some, lamb's 
tongue by others, easter bells in Utah, dog-toothed violet 
in the East (against which Burroughs revolted, only to 
suggest nothing better than fawn hly) , and trout lily by 
fishermen who have seen it blooming at the opening of the 
season, this flower is, in spite of the many folknames 
it has suffered, one of the commonest and loveliest in 
Idaho. It pushes up at the edge of melting snow, rarely 
at altitudes below four thousand feet, and flowers into 
yellow blooms of exquisite fragrance. Sometimes it is 
found in company with violets, buttercups, and spring 
beauties (queencups). The smooth yellow violet is a 
charming golden flower that is found chiefly in central 
and northern Idaho, but the yellow bell (yellow fritil- 
laria) is found in Snake River Canyon as well. Its flowers, 
yellow or orange tinged with purple, nod on stems four 
to six inches high. The wild hyacinth, also found through- 
out the State, has blue funnel-shaped flowers in clusters, 
and edible bulbs that were used by Indians for bread. The 
white or Rocky Mountain rhododendron is a beautiful 
plant which does not have, like the Eastern species, 
a glossy evergreen foliage. Its leaves are deciduous. Its 
flowers are bunched along the leafy twigs instead of being 
concentrated at the ends of branches in clusters. These 
are fragrant and creamy, suffused with pink, and recall 
the waxen charm of orange blossoms. 

The showy fleabane is one of a large number of flowers 
that achieve fullest development in Western States ; and in 
Idaho this brilliant member of the aster family gives a gay 
attire to lower slopes in June and July. The flowers thrust 

FLORA 111 

up in groups with one central perfect bloom surrounded by 
half -open buds, with daisylike yellow centers in the laven- 
der blossoms. The wake robin or western trillium, a mem- 
ber of the lily family with its pure white bloom darkening 
to deep purple, is especially abundant under the big cedars 
on Pine Creek. The Clarkia, named for the explorer and 
first found along the Clearwater River, is a low annual 
with slender racemes of lilac flowers that deepen to rose. 
After being discovered it was introduced into Europe and 
has been widely cultivated there; and what was once 
almost a botanical anomaly now has several varieties and 
is known from London to Moscow, with ranges in color 
through salmon pink and magenta to purple. The wild 
hollyhock is a tall stately flower that sometimes covers 
whole mountainsides and drenches the air with fragrance. 
It is especially abundant in Wyoming on the eastern slope 
of Teton Pass, and in northern Idaho. 

Among aquatic or semiaquatic flowers are several 
lilies. The tiger lily, blooming in June, prefers wet rich 
soil and can be found in valleys at high elevations. It is 
strikingly handsome with its orange blooms spotted brown 
and borne in spreading panicles of as many as twenty 
flowers. The water or yellow pond lily grows along lakes, 
where its huge leaves float on the water and its sohtary 
yellow flowers bloom from May to August. Wokash is the 
Indian name. Some tribes made flour of the seed; and 
with the Klamaths the gathering of the wokash was 
preceded by a harvest dance. Almost a hundred years ago 
observers reported having seen hundreds of bushels of 
lily seed stored along marshes in tule sacks. The umbrella 
plant, growing along streams or in wet rocky areas, is 
named for a leaf so large that it can almost be used for a 
parasol. It gives forth blossoms in early spring. More 
lovely are its leaves, which were sometimes eaten by In- 
dians, a circumstance from which it takes its common 
name of Indian rhubarb. The crimson monkey flower is 
another that borders streams. It blooms in July and 
August. The flowers are in pairs on tall graceful pedicels, 

112 IDAHO 

and the color is usually rose red. Its succulent stems have 
been used as a substitute for lettuce. 

Water plantain, common on shores in the Palouse coun- 
try, is a perennial with small white or pale pink flowers. 
The twisted-stalk, a member of the lily-of-the-valley fami- 
ly, is a tall branched plant with greenish- white flowers and 
bright red oval berries which hang singly from fine arching 
stems. The giant hellebore is still larger. A member of 
the lily family, it has very showy green flowers that 
strongly resemble the lady's slipper. The lower portion 
hangs as if on a hinge and moves easily, and so gives to 
the plant its folkname of chatterbox. Out of mud and 
muck the arrowhead sends up large vividly green leaves 
shaped like an arrow, and delicate whitish blossoms 
sketchily petaled with yellow centers. The buckbean 
(bogbean) has a genuinely beautiful blossom which, like 
the forget-me-not, has a stem and foliage incapable of 
setting it off as it deserves. The flowers are white with 
pink and purple shadings and have a cut-petaled loveliness 
rivaling that of the bog orchid. In full bloom they re- 
semble tiny stars with all points curved down. This plant 
grows in lakes and ponds ; the skunk cabbage in swamps. 

Of green and golden beauty with a heavy sweet fra- 
grance like that of tube roses, the skunk cabbage has done 
well to survive under its name, or under an Indian legend 
that gives to it a war club and an elkskin blanket. The 
wapatoo is an edible tuber growing in mud of the northern 
lakes, above which it lifts arrow-shaped leaves and curious 
waxy white spikes. The history of the Northwest gives the 
wapatoo root as the principal food, during a terrible winter 
on the Oregon coast, of those wanderers who followed an- 
other man's dream of empire (and an Indian girl) to the 
sea. Indian pipe (ghost plant) has weird flowers that de- 
velop in warm midsummer after rains. When most plants 
have done blooming, the flowers of this one rise from the 
forest floor, living on decaying vegetable matter and look- 
ing ghostly white. As the seeds mature, the flowers turn 
upward and blacken. The plant gets its name from the 

FLORA 113 

way the petals of the long blossoms shutter so closely to- 
gether as to seem like layers on a small cylinder and in 
appearance quite like the bowl of a pipe. 

Of flowers of hill and mountainside a considerable 
number deserve mention. Some say the fireweed was 
named because it springs up quickly in burnt-over areas, 
and some because a patch of it sets a hillside aflame. It 
grows three to six feet in height, and is often found with 
the paintbrush, a bushy blossom that looks as if it had 
been washed in crimson. Often in company with them 
is the goldenrod, which, Muir declared, is enough to cure 
unbehef and spiritual aches ; but on dry farms in south- 
ern Idaho it is an unmitigated pest. It thrives luxuriantly 
in earth so parched that grain withers, and after an un- 
usually arid summer turns many a hillside golden. Va- 
rieties of lupine are found with these tenants, each a 
bunched plant topped with blue clusters that fill the rain- 
less air with fragrance ; but these, like the goldenrod, are 
sometimes an ineradicable pest. The golden cinquefoil, 
with petals resembling in form but not in substance those 
of the wild strawberry, is often found in sagebrush areas, 
where it looks almost as much out of place as the lilies ; 
but the harebell prefers shady hillsides, especially in 
aspen groves. Drooping in frail melancholy loveliness on 
its slender stalk, it is often hidden by grass and fern or 
is rendered inconspicuous by its showier neighbors. 

Ranging far and wide are the lilylike fairy bells, a 
flower with berries of golden or orange that give to the 
plant its f olkname of gold-drops. It bears its flowers singly 
or in clusters of two or three, and these are bell-shaped and 
white and sometimes quite hidden under broad leaves. 
It blooms in April and May. The Oregon grape is not a 
grape but a barberry, though jelly made from its fruit 
has the flavor of grape. It has evergreen leaves, used 
much in decoration; numerous yellow flowers that bloom 
from April into May ; and clusters of dark blue fruit. Its 
root has medicinal value and in the Northwest is dug 
and shipped by the ton. This barberry, the State flower 

114 IDAHO 

of Oregon, grows in Idaho in woodlands or on rocky low 
mountainsides or even under high cool banks where the 
sun seldom shines. First found in Siberia, but common 
along the American coast line from Alaska to California, 
Siberian miner's lettuce got its name because it is some- 
times used in salads. Its flowers grow on long pedicels 
and are white or pink and bloom from March to June in 
open woods. It also grows luxuriantly along the shaded 
banks of streams. The buckbrush (sticky laurel), really 
a shrub, grows on wooded hillsides, sometimes in thickets 
that stretch for miles. It has gorgeous white blossoms 
that hang with the profusion of lilacs. In some places it 
is called wild lilac, in some, chaparral, and either name 
is more appropriate than the one by which it is usually 
called in Idaho. Slender shooting star (bird bill) is wide- 
ly distributed in Idaho. It is a flower of bizarre delicacy, 
so frail in appearance that it is a wonder how it survives 
in the situations it chooses. It has leafless threadlike 
stems that support rose-pink flowers shaped much like a 
bird's bill, with downsweeping petals that leave the cen- 
ter. The flower is commonly known as shooting star. 
Buff pussytoes (rush everlasting: either name is silly), 
a member of the aster family, has a great many varie- 
ties. In most of the species the plant has a long slender 
shoot that spreads in leafy runners over the earth to 
form dense foliage. The compound flower heads bloom 
upright and are supposed to suggest pussy toes in their 
soft lobed form. Another beautiful flower, unimagina- 
tively named, is the pearly (or pearl) everlasting. It has 
clusters of small white flowers with large yellow centers, 
long and narrow and lazily tapering leaves, and the plant 
contour of the aster family to which it belongs. The 
flowers are often gathered and dyed to use as Christmas 
wreaths. Found chiefly in Owyhee County, the mountain 
lily is a pure white and very fragrant flower that blooms 
in early spring. 

It belongs to more arid regions, as do several others of 
exceptional loveliness. The desert lily, most beautiful of 

FLORA 115 

all the Mariposas, is so close in appearance to the Eastern 
lily as to deceive all but trained observers. But it forms an 
exquisite picture and may be found blooming in the most 
arid places, its peacock hues sometimes hiding under the 
dry hot sage. If there is enough rainfall it will put forth 
from ten to twenty blooms, each expanding in twos and 
threes. There are few more incongruous sights than a 
garden of these incomparable flowers right in the bleakest 
wastes of sagebrush country where nobody would expect 
to find anything but the horned lizard and the coyote. Some 
think that the loveliest of the Mariposa tulips is the sego 
lily, which, too, is found on dry hillsides as well as in 
meadows. It blooms in May and June; and on its stalk a 
foot and a half high it looks in a wind like a gorgeous white 
butterfly held by its feet. This is the State flower of Utah 
and was one of the most welcome sights to greet the Mor- 
mons when they emerged, almost a century ago, into the 
arid desolation of Salt Lake Valley. But the Mormons 
did more than to look at it and marvel. Sego (seego) is a 
Shoshoni name for food ; and the edible bulb of this flower 
the Mormons ate and found good. The graceful sego lily 
has petals softly fuzzed toward the center, and some have 
given to it the odious name of cat's ear or pussy ear. The 
violet-shaded tripetaled desert lily has the light poised 
grace of three butterflies resting with closed wings. The 
purple hly grows on dry hillsides in Owyhee County and 
on the lower reaches of mountains in the center of the 
State. The flowers of this fritillaria are of dark purple 
mottled with yellowish green and are very slender on 
comparatively leafless stems. 

Another desert dweller, the stonecrop, gets its unlovely 
name from its habit of growing among rocks in tiny 
pockets of soil. Its leaves in bushy rosettes and its 
flowers in yellow clusters are striking in May against 
their background of dry earth and gray stone. Called 
variously soap grass, squaw grass, and elk grass, the gor- 
geous plant which is more commonly known as bear grass 
is a thorough rebuke to the unimaginativeness of the 

116 IDAHO 

human mind. The foliage itself is remarkable, growing in 
dense hummocks; and when the plant sets up its huge 
creamy plumes, it is, from June until August, one of the 
most unusual visions in semiarid places. This tall flower 
has received its unlovely names because bears eat its 
roots, because some persons have used its roots for soap, 
because squaws used the plant for basketry, and because 
elk eat its leafage. It is abundant along the Lolo Trail 
where it was first discovered by Lewis and Clark. 

Old maid's hair, owl-clover, and balsamroot are three 
others unfelicitously named. The first, also called prairie 
smoke, is typical of the great prairie regions of the United 
States. Its red, budlike flowers sprout in groups from a 
crimson stalk, and in late summer the silky plumed heads 
shimmer like pale purple mist in the distance. Owl-clover, 
a member of the figwort and not of the clover family, is also 
widely distributed. It lifts in great patches of pink color 
among the grasses, and though different from the paint- 
brush in its manner of growth, like the paintbrush it 
blooms in bracts which flower at the tops of long wiry 
stems. The lean spidery foliage streams upward close to 
the stems, giving to the latter the appearance of being 
sheathed. Balsamroot grows on dry hillsides and in Idaho 
is abundant on the Snake River plains. The large leaves, 
blue green on top and white underneath, have the shape of 
arrowheads; and flaunting above them are the vivid 
yellow flowers. The roots were eaten by Indians, as well 
as by early Mormons, and in Utah the plant is sometimes 
called Mormon biscuit. One of the commonest of the cacti, 
the prickly pear is found on arid slopes, its large multi- 
petaled flowers of light sulphur yellow rising above the 
green shining discs of the plant. In late afternoon sun the 
flowers fade to salmon. The stamens, which may be either 
yellow or red, are so sensitive that when a bee settles on 
them they curl inward and downward, at once enclosing 
the insect. The plants with red stamens are by far the 
most striking. 





THE WILD life of Idaho, like that of any Western State, 
is so various that only the more important or inter- 
esting or destructive species can be covered here, and 
these only briefly. In its high mountains, and in less de- 
gree in its semiarid regions, Idaho has thousands of wild 
animals, both herbivorous and predatory ; in its marshes 
and along its innumerable streams it has hundreds of 
thousands of small animals and wild fowl ; and in areas 
affected by such creatures it has many varieties of reptile 
and amphibian. According to the State Game Department, 
those beasts and birds which are italicized ought to be 
exterminated if Idaho is to realize its possibilities as a 
hunting and fishing playground. 

For some persons who have studied him, the grizzly is 
the most splendid of all the wild animals of earth. A 
large beast of prodigious strength, this bear sometimes 
weighs a thousand pounds but in Idaho probably averages 
about six hundred. The number of grizzlies in the world 
is not large, because few animals are so remorselessly 
tracked to their death ; and in Idaho, when signs of one 
are discovered, word usually goes forth to some big game 
hunter who at once comes in to hunt the big shy fellow 
to his death. Though supposed by some to be a menace 
to deer and elk and sheep, the best authority declares that 
he is a solitary baron who lives almost entirely on mice 

1 Fish and wild game fowl will be found in Chapter VTI. 

120 IDAHO 

and rats and rabbits and wild fruits. This pilgrim of 
remote places, long a subject of romantic legend, would, 
if allowed to, go his calm and powerful way alone ; for he 
is of gentle rather than ferocious nature and will often 
sit for a long while to meditate on the beaver or the water 
ouzels at play. 

The black (or brown) bear, too, nearly always minds 
his own business. A lazy and shiftless fellow, he runs 
to quiet blinking indolence and fat. When fleeing from 
danger he is almost as noiseless as a rolling ball of cotton, 
but when gorging on huckleberries he is likely to make a 
great racket. Sometimes, for change of diet, he will lie 
on a log overreaching a stream and drop his paw for an 
unwary salmon or trout. The grizzly will spend time and 
ingenuity in fashioning a winter home to suit his taste, 
but the black bear is content to use any cave or hole he 
can find. He will even crawl under the stumpage of an 
overthrown tree and allow the snow to build a roof over 
him. This animal seems to be an enemy of small cattle 
and sheep, as well, possibly, of smaller wild game, and in 
parts of the country a bounty is laid on his head. Fairly 
common in Idaho, he ranges over practically all of the 
mountainous terrain and is quite frequently seen. 

Of a different sort is the cougar (American panther, 
mountain lion, and in South America the puma). This 
huge cat is an implacable enemy of wild game, especially 
of deer and elk, and in stalking its prey is a beast of 
amazing patience. Often it will lie in wait for twenty- 
four hours or longer, crouched and motionless, until the 
victim comes within forty or fifty feet. The cougar can 
leap a distance of forty feet, and for a short sprint is 
said to be the fastest animal alive. After leaping to a 
deer it drives talons into the flanks and fangs into the 
neck and with one powerful effort twists the head back 
and breaks the spine. How many deer one cougar will kill 
annually, nobody knows, but fifty-two, or one a week, is 
a safe guess. Largest of the cats, and sometimes nine feet 
from tip to tip, the cougar is at home in the jungles of 

Bear up a tree 




Come on down! 


FAUNA 121 

Panama or ten thousand feet above the sea. It is said to 
be able to vanquish the black bear in a struggle, to drive 
the jaguar out of its territory, and to slay a full-grown 
elk. Possibly it has never, except when wounded or 
trapped, attacked a human being. It is a beautiful ani- 
mal, lithe and clean and intelligent. About forty are killed 
annually in Idaho. 

And the timber wolf and the bobcat should go with it. 
The first, often weighing a hundred and fifty pounds, is 
almost the same as the dreaded beast of European folk- 
lore. Formerly on the Western plains in great numbers, 
it has been driven into mountains where it is not often 
seen, and members of the United States Biological Sur- 
vey declare that no wolves remain in Idaho. At this state- 
ment, old-timers, and especially in Owyhee County, look 
down their noses. There are very few, however, and these 
few are infrequently seen. One of the most difficult of all 
animals to trap, the wolf has developed a most uncanny 
knowledge of trappers and their ways and will step warily 
aside from even the most cunning set. It has ferocious 
courage, but its cousin the coyote is a skulking wretch 
that fights, like most human beings, only when he has to. 
The coyote is one of the commonest of wild animals in 
Idaho, and thousands are trapped annually. An old-timer 
in Owyhee County who has taken as many as 724 in a 
single season now prefers to tie a piece of chain to the 
handle of a broom and to overtake them on a fast horse 
in snow a foot deep and to clout them on their skulls. 
Trappers who have devoted years to these noiseless noc- 
turnal wanderers tell amazing stories of the coyote's 

The bobcat or lynx (much the same animal, though 
the former is stockier and less savage) is one of the 
craftiest of hunters. It is about three feet long and may 
weigh twenty-five pounds. A wide ranger in the deep 
forests and along river bottoms, it feeds chiefly on mice 
and rabbits, though it can, when it has a mind to, kill the 
fox and the deer. In Arkansas it is said to have been so 

122 IDAHO 

vicious an enemy of hogs that hog raising in certain parts 
of the State has been abandoned ; and in Idaho it is with 
the cougar the worst enemy of cattle and sheep. It is a 
credulous simpleton that never harms a human being, 
and it is valuable in destroying rodents, but sportsmen de- 
clare it has too much relish for wild game to be tolerated. 

The moose (the name is Indian for twig-eater) is said 
by some to be lord of the American forests. The great 
range belt of this animal is, of course, through Canada 
and Alaska, but many are still found in the States, and 
quite a number in Idaho. It is a large beast that may 
stand, if a bull, almost seven feet to the top of his shoul- 
ders, and ten feet to the top of his antlers, and may 
weigh fourteen hundred pounds, though bulls of this size 
are rare. His antlers are two broad, curved slabs of bone 
with as many as twenty prongs on the two of them. A 
bold and terrible warrior, he will attack anything when 
provoked, using as weapons his antlers and sharp fore- 
feet. He is said to have slain full-grown bears by driving 
the beasts through with one blow of his foreleg. Bulls 
engage one another, too, in the mating season and some- 
times get their antlers inextricably locked and both 
perish. The moose likes to frequent lakes and take a cool 
bath daily and make great noise among the lily pads ; and 
because its neck is so short and its height so great, it has 
to seek these or other propitious places to feed. 

The elk (wapiti) is much commoner in Idaho than the 
moose, and thousands of them range in the high moun- 
tains. The name elk was given by early Virginia colonists, 
who called the beast an olke. Smaller than the moose, a 
bull elk may weigh a thousand pounds, but six hundred 
is an average. This animal, too, is a fearless warrior 
when in mating season he goes bugling through the for- 
ests, and like the bull moose, he often gets his horns in- 
terlocked and dies a prisoner of his own fury. The elk's 
chief enemies besides man and the cougar are the millions 
of insects that assail him, the most deadly of the latter 
being the deer tick (not yet a menace in Idaho) , which 

FAUNA 123 

often SO weakens an animal by bloodsucking that it dies 
in late winter of starvation. Thirty years ago elk ranged 
in great numbers, but they were slain by thousands by 
greedy hunters who were after the two canine teeth, 
which were marketable and are still. 

In Idaho there are about twenty thousand elk and 
about five times as many deer. These, about evenly di- 
vided between blacktail and whitetail, range over all 
the forests of the State, with the former more abundant 
in the south and the latter in the north. During summer 
months many of them leave the mountains for lowlands 
and not uncommonly pasture in wheat fields, leaping the 
tallest fences with ease. Like other wild herbivorous 
mammals, the deer is a creature of amazing vitality and 
may run for a hundred yards after being shot through 
the heart. Like the elk, it is cunning when pursued and 
will enter a river and wade up or down it and perhaps 
swim across and back and again enter the mountains. 
In the rutting season the stag is another fierce warrior, 
but after his antlers fall he is shy and reticent and goes 
off by himself to brood and wait for another set of horns. 

The antelope (pronghorn or prongbuck) is more grace- 
ful than even the deer. The two herds in Idaho, one in the 
Pahsimeroi Valley and the other in Owyhee County, are 
said to be the largest in the world. Of all animals in 
North America, the antelope is said to be the swiftest; 
and so assured of its immunity to capture is this other- 
wise defenseless creature that it will often remain to gaze 
at interlopers when elk or deer would be crashing madly 
through the timber. It has a curious and most enviable 
sign of danger : when alarmed it declares its perturbation 
in a patch of white hair on its rump that stands straight 
up and in bright sunlight shines hke a mirror. But its 
one invincible protection is speed. Adults are said to have 
outdistanced automobiles going forty miles an hour ; and 
fawns only three weeks old can leave coyotes far behind. 
The antelope buck fights when in love, too, but less fierce- 
ly and less fatally than the bulls and stags. Its courtship 

124 IDAHO 

tournament takes the form of massed attack by young 
males on an old and weary leader. 

Ranging much higher than moose, elk, and deer are 
the mountain goats and sheep. These alpine climbers pre- 
fer the windswept altitudes lying between the timber line 
and the perpetual snows; and in those high and remote 
places they have few enemies but themselves. The males 
of these cliff dwellers also fight savagely during mating 
season, sometimes engaging in combat on narrow ledges 
from which the more unfortunate one is hurled to his 
death on the shelves below. It takes quite a fall, however, 
to kill one of these rugged and incredibly nimble crea- 
tures. When pursued they think little of leaping off preci- 
pices twenty feet in height, and have been known to drop 
twenty-five feet and to sprint off unharmed. How many 
wild goats and sheep there are in Idaho it is difficult to 
learn, but there is a fairly large number and the number 
is increasing. 

Smaller Animals: On the streams are several animals 
of unusual value and interest. The beaver, largest of the 
rodents, and formerly so persistently trapped that it is now 
protected in most States, is an engineer and builder of 
dams, a mason, and a feller of trees with no equal except 
man. Once a beaver dam is placed, it is likely to resist flood 
and weather for an indefinite time, even though it may 
be a hundred feet in width and four in height. The 
beaver is a powerful animal for his pounds and will tow 
against a strong current and without apparent effort 
a log weighing a hundred pounds; or two working to- 
gether will maneuver large boulders into place. When 
felling a tree he sits on his broad flat tail or thrusts it 
out behind him as a prop, grasps the trunk with his fore- 
paws, and then bites above and below and pries the chips 
out with strong teeth. These teeth, if unused, grow so 
large that they become intractable and cause the animal to 
starve to death : they have to be whetted constantly and 
kept worn down. The beaver's long ladle of a tail has 
many uses: as a rudder when swimming, as a chair to 

FAUNA 125 

sit on, as a trowel in plastering, and as a mortar board on 
which to carry mud. He uses his paws with the agility 
of a monkey and tunnels, burrows, plasters, or grasps 
sticks. He lives on the inner bark of deciduous or broad- 
leaved trees, preferring aspen, cottonwood, and willow, 
and always stores for winter use much more than he can 
ever eat. Nothing about him is more remarkable than 
his persistence. A person can tear out a section of dam 
every morning for week after week; he can set fire to it 
and burn it to the water and mud ; he can dynamite it and 
blow it over a half acre ; he can even hang a lighted lan- 
tern two feet above the dam — but by daylight of the next 
day the dam will be built again. 

Like the beaver in appearance, save for the tail, 
though much smaller, is the muskrat. This interesting 
creature, more closely related to mice than to rats, is 
aquatic like the beaver and lives in burrows with a sub- 
water tunneled entrance, and feeds chiefly on bark and 
roots. Unusual is his fastidious cleanliness : after choos- 
ing a root he will find a secluded spot and scrupulously 
scrub his food before eating. His pelt, with long overhairs 
and dense underfur, is practically waterproof. Musquash 
is his Indian name. Though known to venture far from 
water, the muskrat is for the most part a solemnly busy 
fellow who sticks to his home and stupidly tunnels into 
dams and releases ponds as much to his regret as to the 
farmer's. For in Idaho this creature is more trouble than 
he is worth. He breeds four or five times a year in litters 
of six or more and raises Cain with many small irriga- 
tion projects. 

A much greater rascal is the otter, which in legend is 
said to be able to kill a deer, and which in water can easily 
capture the fastest fish that swims. When not murdering, 
this bloodthirsty creature likes to build slippery slides on 
clay banks and spend hours tobogganing into the water, 
climbing out and sliding down as if he had nothing else 
in the world to do. Though among aquatic animals, he 
travels far and swiftly, ranging up and down rivers in 

126 IDAHO 

search of prey. The mink, also an enemy of fish, possibly 
in Idaho does more good than harm. He is an amazingly 
quick and relentless killer. More agile on land than the 
otter, the mink can climb trees with the ease of a tim- 
ber squirrel or travel a long reach of shoreland in a night. 
He eats rats, mice, and squirrels, but is also fond of eggs 
of birds and waterfowl. If unable to obtain any of these, 
he will eat salamanders and frogs and snakes. 

The fisher, largest and deadliest member of the weasel 
clan, and the only animal on earth that knows how to 
slay a porcupine without injury to himself, probably no 
longer exists in Idaho. But the weasel is common. If this 
creature were as large as a cougar, nobody would dare to 
venture out-of-doors, because he is second to none, includ- 
ing the badger, in courage, and is possibly the most blood- 
thirsty villain on earth. And except in the matter of 
traps he is as crafty as a fox. Weasels invade many 
a hencoop and leave the hens paralyzed with fright with 
a part of their number slain ; and when cornered they will 
attack any animal and even fly into the face of a human 
being, though they are only a little larger than a squirrel. 
They render some service by preying on mice and rats and 
lizards and insects, but they also prey on songbirds, suck- 
ing the blood of each and demanding that the blood be 
fresh. And when they have a chance they always slay 
from ten to a hundred times as much as they need. The 
fur of this pest is, of course, the commercially valuable 

Like the weasel, the badger has more courage than he 
knows what to do with and will attack anything that an- 
noys him. A chunky, close-to-the-earth fellow, he is a 
tenant of prairies, and here, usually in pursuit of squir- 
rels, he digs with astonishing rapidity, disappearing from 
sight in less than a minute and going as deep as neces- 
sary for his prey. There are few more dramatic spec- 
tacles than a fight between two males. They engage in 
combat with such deadly fury that a human being can 
approach and kick them and they will remain unaware of 


Rocky Mountain sheep: beginning of a battle 

Elk: finish of a fight 

FAUNA 127 

or wholly indifferent to his presence; and now and then 
they get their jaws locked in a death grip and die together. 
A badger is a creature of such enormous vitality that often 
one shot through with a rifle and carried all day behind 
a saddle will crawl off when thrown to the earth. 

Quite unlike him is the skunk, a denizen of wooded 
areas and strangest member of the weasel family. It has a 
defense so effective that safety from its enemies has 
allowed it to grow slothful and fat. A gaudy creature in 
appearance, its colors are intended not to disguise it but 
to warn its enemies of its presence. The skunk is very 
common in Idaho, and aside from the worth of its pelt it 
is valuable in its feeding on grasshoppers and crickets. 
It is also fond of the juicy larvae of bumblebees and 
yellow jackets and will almost demolish a colony in one 
visit; and upon approaching an apiary cautiously and 
scratching on the hive to invite the bees outside, it will, 
indifferent to fury and stings, eat as many as it can pick 
out of its fur and then proceed to the larvae inside. It 
will also eat lizards and earthworms, gophers and mice 
and rats. 

The skunk may be valuable, but the porcupine, which 
inhabits the same areas, is, according to Forest Service of- 
ficials, an unmitigated nuisance. Instead of eating injuri- 
ous insects and rodents and so placing itself in the esteem 
of man, this creature, safe under its bristling armor, feeds 
on succulent plants and on the bark and cambium of 
trees, especially the yellow pine and Douglas fir. Many 
small seedlings are completely devoured, and older trees 
are girdled and killed; and in some areas, heavily in- 
fested, not a single tree has been left undamaged. To 
make matters worse, this dull-witted creature is nomadic 
and wanders far and aimlessly, sometimes stupidly reach- 
ing high altitudes where there is no food at all. It lives 
in great rocky dens when not prowling, and because it has 
no enemies except the fisher (which is rare) it breeds 

The gopher (salamander, camas rat) has, unlike the 

128 IDAHO 

porcupine, a great many enemies, but it multiplies rapidly 
in its burrows and devastates whole areas with its tireless 
industry. Considerably larger than the field mouse, and 
in appearance and habits much like its cousins, the mole 
and shrew and vole (meadow mouse), it lives chiefly 
underground and devotes most of its time to eating. It 
is estimated that a mole will eat fifty pounds of earth- 
worms in a year and will starve to death if denied food 
for forty-eight hours. The gopher also eats worms, but 
it throws up huge mounds in alfalfa fields; destroys 
dams and dikes with its tunneling; and lays countless 
fields open to erosion and flood. The shrew is the smallest 
of all flesh eaters and is a flerce mouselike little fellow 
that lives along streams and lakes and preys on insects 
and fish. Much commoner in Idaho is the gray ground 
squirrel. Though friendly and cheerful, it has enormous 
relish for succulent herbage including wheat and alfalfa, 
and in every year thousands of them are poisoned or shot. 
This is a prairie animal, but the red squirrel (often called 
pine or timber squirrel) lives in the forests. It is a hand- 
some and impudent fellow who noisily resents intrusion 
but is easily tamed and becomes the pet of men in the 
lonely forest lookouts. Just as pertly incredulous, and 
quite as favored in the hearts of those who know and 
love its ways, is the chipmunk. 

More interesting than the gopher or mole because 
more intelligent is the pack rat (trade rat, cave rat, wood 
rat, bush rat, drummer rat, and mound builder). It is 
an erratic nocturnal prowler that always looks astonished 
and guilty and has reason to because it is everlastingly 
up to mischief. Hating famine as much as fire, it lays 
in huge stores not only of food but of everything it can 
carry, including spectacles and clothes and all sorts of 
glittering gadgets. In New Mexico eight carloads of nuts 
were once recovered from pack-rat storehouses. This 
busy pest is sought by nearly every predaceous bird and 
beast in its region because of its tender flesh. Because 
of its foul odor and mousey appearance it is not held 

FAUNA 129 

in esteem in Idaho as a table delicacy, but in parts of the 
world, as in Mexico, the flesh of the pack rat is regarded 
in quality as second to none. Upon entering a house it 
will walk about, thumping the walls and ceiling with its 
right hind foot as if determined to waken every sleeping 
thing; and on being discovered it offers an astonishing 
mien of stupidity and cunning, of apology and insolence. 

Without even a small part of the pack rat's intelli- 
gence is the snowshoe rabbit, whose only defenses are 
fecundity and speed. There are several species of rabbit 
in Idaho, all of them looking equally haunted, and all of 
them forever in flight from their enemies, not the least 
of which are the confusing headlights of automobiles. 
There are thousands of them, and it is remarkable that 
there should be because of all creatures of mountain and 
desert none is so remorselessly sought. Coyotes and 
wolves and weasels overtake them; horned owls and 
hawks pick them up with ease ; reptiles creep up to them 
while they are dozing ; and bot, warble, and fluke, fly and 
louse and tick and tapeworm are all among their deadly 
enemies. These creatures with their big terrified eyes 
and wildly beating hearts are one of the commonest ani- 
mals in the West, even though, in addition to their nat- 
ural enemies, human beings drive them by thousands into 
pens and club them to death. 

The rockchuck (often mistakenly called woodchuck) 
favors as its home piles of slide-rock near succulent mead- 
ows. All three species of marmot are found in Idaho, and 
this is the only State in which all three are found. The 
hoary keeps to the highest peaks ; the brown (woodchuck 
is the common name) prefers deep forests, and is often 
called the thickwood badger; and the yellow (rockchuck) 
chooses the rocky flanks. The woodchuck is the most 
widely distributed of all animals its size, but is much less 
frequently seen in Idaho than the rockchuck, members 
of whose huge clans are often run over by cars. During 
the day a sentinel is placed on a lookout, and at any sign 
of invasion it gives a cry of warning that can be heard 

130 IDAHO 

for a mile. Its chief enemy is the eagle and coyote — and 
man, for more and more commonly the rockchuck dev- 
astates cultivated fields. It shares its castle v^ith others 
vi^ho are too lazy to establish one of their own : with the 
rockchip, for instance, a potbellied little elfin that sits 
humbly at the feast and is content to eat what the lord 
of the manor does not want. It is declared, but some deny, 
that the marmot is the only wild animal that carries in 
all its stages the deadly tick of spotted fever. 

Reptiles: In comparison with Southeastern or South- 
western States Idaho is free of reptiles, and yet it is said 
that rattlesnakes are so numerous in parts of Idaho County 
that a recent expedition into the area had to be recalled. 
Of these, there are the Pacific and the prairie: the two 
are almost indistinguishable, though the former is 
smaller and climbs higher. Both are dangerous and quick 
to strike. The prairie, rarely exceeding six feet in length, 
is rumored to put more energy into a fight than any other 
reptile in North America. Legend, however, exaggerates 
the ferocity and courage of snakes, and of this one it can 
be said that unless stepped on or cornered it will get out 
of sight as quickly as it can. The rubber boa (silver 
snake, worm snake, or two-headed snake because both 
ends are blunted) is a true boa and well named, for rub- 
ber is quite exactly what it looks like. It is a glistening 
and polished and indolent fellow with a gray back and an 
immaculate yellow belly. In disposition it is like the Old 
World sand boa; in eating it constricts its prey in the 
manner of its kind. This snake is shy and is rarely seen. 

The Pacific bull or gopher snake is a handsome viper of 
yellowish brown and splotched black, and is of moderate 
size. In prairies and mountains it grows larger than on 
the coast and may achieve a length of four and a half 
feet. When disturbed it hisses furiously and shakes its 
tail and tries to look as formidable as any bull snake 
should, but it is only eager to get out of sight. This one, 
too, is uncommon in Idaho. The gopher or indigo snake 
preys, as its name declares, chiefly on gophers and mice, 

FAUNA 131 

and is of considerable value. Blue-black in color, it has 
the polish of a new gun barrel and is a prismatic marvel 
as it moves swiftly through shadow and sunlight. Much 
commoner in Idaho and frequenting the same areas is 
the striped racer, a very slender dark brown or black 
reptile with numerous yellow lines on its sides. It is fast, 
either in vaulting bushes or moving over ground. The 
yelloiv -bellied racer (blue or green racer) is olive green 
with a yellow belly, and sometimes reaches a length of 
four and a half feet. It lives among bushes and climbs 
them with ease in search of bird nests. As with other 
racers, folklore invests it with remarkable boldness, but 
the most notable thing about all of these sleek fellows 
is the speed with which they flee from anything larger 
than themselves. Ground snakes in Idaho are rare, but 
ivater snakes of several varieties are common and are 
among the chief enemies of fish. One of these snakes will 
eat as many as fifty rainbow fingerlings at a meal. 

Idaho seems to have no skinks, but there are several 
kinds of swift. The sagebrush swift is small but bril- 
liantly colored and lives on prairies or on mountains to 
an altitude of nine thousand feet. It is much more un- 
common than the western, which prefers arid regions 
and makes frantic haste when discovered. The stansbury 
is larger, attaining a length of six inches. All the swifts 
are terrestrial lizards of remarkable agility that live in 
subarid zones and spend their lives chasing insects. The 
collared lizard is one of Idaho's gaudiest natives : its chief 
color may be yellow or pale gray or bright green, lavishly 
decorated with white or yellow dots. Behind its green 
head and the orange of its throat is a brilliant collar of 
two jet-black bands which are the margins upon a white 
or yellow necklace. Its legs may be dotted red. It is rare, 
and when found is usually sunning itself on a stone. Simi- 
lar in habits and fairly common is the leopard lizard, also 
flamboyant, though his color harmony is of red and 
brown. This cannibal, like the other, rises to his hind 
legs when chasing prey. Of the horned lizard (often 

132 IDAHO 

called the horned toad) there are at least two species. 
These flattened-out creatures with their conical horns and 
formidable spines look much more dangerous than they 
are and frighten by appearance rather than by power. 
They live in areas of lava and seem happy only when the 
heat is intolerable. When captured they feign death; or 
they may puff up prodigiously ; or they may seem to void 
all their organs and be only lidless eyes and horned skin. 
Some of the horned lizards can, Ditmars declares, squirt 
blood from their eyes to a distance of three or four feet, 
though precisely of what value such a spectacular ma- 
neuver is in terrifying their enemies seems not to be 
known. Lizards feed on ants and grubs and grasshoppers 
and crickets. 

Birds: Without birds, authorities declare, humanity 
would perish from the earth and its trees would perish 
with it. Without swallows, purple martins, swifts, and 
nighthawks, not to speak of countless others whose appe- 
tites are less gluttonous, the atmosphere would be a fog of 
midges and mosquitoes and gnats. It would be a dark and 
trembling mass of larger insects without kingbirds, fly- 
catchers, phoebes, and peewees. Trees would wither from 
larvae and plant lice if it were not for the warblers and 
vireos that search every trunk and leaf ; for thrushes and 
orioles and catbirds and wrens that devour caterpillars 
and beetles and locusts and spiders ; for woodpeckers that 
bore for the beetles. The earth would be overrun with 
moths if it were not for the red-eyed vireo and birds like 
it. In meadows and on hillsides human beings would wade 
ankle-deep in chinch bugs and cutworms and wireworms 
and beetles and locusts if it were not for robins and spar- 
rows and larks. The land would be taken by weeds if it 
were not for the finches and doves, any one of which will 
eat almost a thousand weed seeds for breakfast alone. 
We'd need an army of pied pipers if hawks and owls were 
to develop sudden distaste for mice and rats. When, not 
long ago, agriculturists of Hungary persuaded a deluded 
people to exterminate the sparrow, the country was over- 

FAUNA 133 

run with insects. In the island of Bourbon the martin 
was destroyed, and grasshoppers took possession of the 
land. And Utahans still remember when the Salt Lake 
Valley was saved by gulls. Idaho was once a refuge where 
birds were numbered in millions, but cat fanciers, tiring of 
too many pets, now take the beasts on fishing trips and turn 
them loose. The United States Biological Survey says the 
common cat, gone wild, is one of the three most destructive 
animals in Idaho. A domestic cat goes wild in a few 
weeks, and many parts of the State, once ringing with 
birdsong, are now in the possession of English sparrows 
and cats. But the State is still so rich in bird life that a 
few years ago the Cleveland Museum of Natural History 
sent an expedition here to discover how many varieties 
there were. Authorities estimate that there are fifty 
million cats in the United States that kill hundreds of 
millions of birds annually, but parts of Idaho, such as 
the Primitive Area, are still huge bird sanctuaries. 

The bald eagle, emblem of a great Nation, has been 
divested of much of its legendary glory and represented 
for the ineffectual carrion eater that it is. Though a huge 
handsome fellow with in some respects the most impres- 
sive majesty of all things that fly, it is not a fierce lonely 
hermit with the aloofness of distance and altitudes. On 
the contrary it is an unconscionable and lazy rascal that 
lives chiefly by stratagem and theft. When sitting on a 
cliff he looks olympian, but in plain truth is a piratical 
parasite that will even eat the carrion which the vultures 
disgorge. And if, driven to hunt for himself, he goes 
about seeking prey, he prefers, some authorities declare, 
the wounded birds that have gone into hiding to die. Or 
he may skulk around to learn if the osprey has not left 
some of its fish, or he may descend to eat with the ravens 
and crows. The 2var eagle, on the other hand, is a fierce 
creature that rarely touches food that it has not slain. It 
likes lonely inaccessible places, from which it goes on 
marauding expeditions to seek the young of mountain 
goat or sheep, and like the bald eagle, it mates for life. A 

134 IDAHO 

huge folklore has been built around the amorous single- 
mindedness of this aerial wayfarer. It is enough to know 
that where the war eagle has been exterminated, mountain 
sheep and goats rapidly increase. 

The turkey vulture or buzzard has a wing spread of 
six feet. It is a rather ornate scavenger with its black 
and brown plumage, its naked crimson head, its white 
beak, and its flesh-colored feet. Soaring high with im- 
perceptible movement of its wings, falling or rising in 
great effortless arcs, or sailing round and round, it seems 
to float rather than fly, and in grace and majesty of 
flight is the master of all birds. It has been suggested 
that, like the wood ibis, this lord of the air soars inces- 
santly in an effort to digest its gorge. A serene philoso- 
pher that wars with nothing, it eats what most birds 
scorn and has been led by its peaceable nature to have 
distaste for fresh meat. But of carrion it is said to eat 
so gluttonously as to be unable to leave the ground; 
whereupon, philosopher still, it waits calmly until di- 
gestion has diminished its weight. If disturbed while 
feeding it will blow hisses through its nostrils or grunt 
or sometimes resort to the mean trick of disgorging its 
stomach upon the intruder. Its nest is so foul of smell 
that it has rarely been studied. 

Of hawks, Idaho has too few of the right and too 
many of the wrong kind. To the latter belong most of 
the falcons. Swifter than the eagle, swiftest, indeed, of 
all birds that kill, is the falcon, that bird which men have 
observed for ages with envious interest, noting the grace- 
ful certainty with which it achieves what it undertakes. 
No bird that flies is more daring than the peregrine. This 
marauder follows game birds in their flight north or south 
and destroys them in vast numbers, especially ducks, 
which it kills with spectacular deftness. Rising from the 
frantic bird, it folds its wings and drops, striking with 
powerful talons ; and then swoops to catch the dying bird 
in mid-air. Often pigeons will rise swiftly in an attempt 
to elude the peregrine, and both hunter and hunted will 

FAUNA 135 

vanish beyond human sight. The smallest of falcons, the 
sparrow hawk, never eats anything bigger than a grass- 
hopper and is a most valuable bird. 

The marsh or mouse hawk is less spirited in flight 
than some of his kind and is content to skim the earth 
for small mammals and frogs. But in mating time he 
exerts himself and has some tricks of his own. Said to 
mate for life, he goes about the matter with most im- 
pressive earnestness and will fall part way down the sky, 
turning somersaults in his descent; or, failing in this, 
will pursue a long course parallel with the earth, somer- 
saulting again and screeching with fervor. Of a different 
sort is the sharp-shinned haivk, a fierce little edition of 
the Cooper : this fellow's speed and audacity and appetite 
are the terror of songbirds. When birds are seen in des- 
perate flight from a twisting and gyrating and relentless 
predator, most likely this is the hawk in pursuit. His 
large cousin. Cooper's haivk, lives chiefly on small game 
birds and is one of the most villainous rascals in the air. 
A still larger cousin is the goshaivk, or blue hen or par- 
tridge hawk, one of the most destructive creatures on 
wings. Though it eats rodents, it prefers grouse and 
quail and ducks, and is so greedy that it always slays 
more than it eats. It has been known to kill as many as 
five grouse for one meal. It is very common in Idaho. 
Another useless pest is the osprey, which feeds on fish. 
Dropping like a plummet, this hawk strikes the water and 
disappears, and the sound of its vanishing can be heard 
for half a mile. In sharp contrast with this scoundrel is 
a hawk which many Idahoans unwisely kill. This, the 
western redtail, is a large serene bird that lives almost en- 
tirely on mice and squirrels. The pigeon haivk, or Ameri- 
can merlin, lives chiefly on birds. 

Of owls in Idaho, the great horned is the largest ex- 
cept one, and the deadliest. It is two feet in length and 
has tufted ears and yellow eyes. Perhaps not even the 
peregrine falcon is a more remorseless enemy of ducks 
and geese and game fowl, and especially inasmuch as the 

136 IDAHO 

horned owl eats only the brains. Said by some to have 
the most bloodcurdling scream of all wild things, and 
called by others melodramatically, the tiger of the air, this 
voracious fellow is afraid of nothing and will even attack 
a skunk. So bold is it that stories are told of duck hunt- 
ers who, sitting quietly in a bog, have been swooped 
down upon by this creature and almost knocked out. It 
does not, of course, attack human beings, but does some- 
times mistake their head or their hat for an animal of 
smaller size. The snowy owl is a far northern bird that 
sometimes comes to Idaho and adjacent States to engage 
in a meditative butchery of crows. For some unknown 
reason crows regard this white visitor from arctic regions 
as an enemy and attack it in great numbers ; and the owl 
quietly awaits the more indiscreet birds and strikes and 
drops their dead bodies one by one. The snowy owl is 
diurnal and preys largely on smaller birds. The great 
gray or spectral owl is the largest owl in the world. This 
dusky creature, mottled white, is abundant in the far 
north, but in Idaho is rarely seen. Quite common, on 
the other hand, is the American barn or monkey-faced 
owl, which has the face of a toothless old hag with a half- 
witted but strangely sly mien. During the day it has a 
melancholy face full of grief, but when darkness comes it 
gives off its ghastly scream and sallies forth to slay the 
shrews and bats, beetles and frogs. Its favorite delicacy 
is the head of a mouse, and as a destroyer of pests it has 
few equals. The short-eared (marsh, meadow, or prai- 
rie) owl is about the same size as the long-eared and 
barn. Unlike most owls, it does not live in woods, does 
not confine its hunting to the night, and does not nest 
above the ground. Some have said this owl will attack 
a man : the most it will do if disturbed and lifted from its 
roost is to click angrily and try to look much larger than 
it is. The flight of all owls is practically noiseless, and 
this one is perhaps the most uncannily soundless one of 
the tribe. The long-eared (cat) owl is nocturnal ; and in- 
asmuch as it prefers to sleep and hunt and give no time 


FAUNA 137 

to home building, it appropriates the nest of crows. It 
feeds chiefly on mice. The barred (hoot, wood) owl is the 
one that fills the woods with the desolate who-who-too 
which many old-timers believe to be an infallible sign of 
change in weather. This lazy maurader steals the nest 
of hawk or crow and eats more fish and small birds than 
mice. The saw-whet (Acadian) owl is much smaller, 
measuring only about eight inches, and is a handsome 
burnished fellow with a lot of white in his plumage. 
Haunting the deepest forests and feeding almost entirely 
on mice and insects, it is as lazy as its cousins and chooses 
for its home a woodpecker's hole. The screech (mottled, 
red, or little horned) owl is a trifle larger than the saw- 
whet, and though it appears usually in a dress of red 
trimmed in white or buff, it may, for reasons apparently 
unknown, change its colors and wear black and gray. It, 
too, feeds on insects and mice. By day it sleeps and is 
seen only when some mischievous blue jay chases it 
blindly through the daylight for other birds to torment. 

There are other worthless butchers in Idaho, though 
few of them murder with the zestful wantonness of the 
peregrine falcon. Of shrikes the State has, unfortunately, 
two : the white-rumped and the northern. The latter is a 
large bird almost a foot in length with dark wings and 
tail and a barred gray breast. Both of these vandals make 
havoc of songbirds, often gathering many of them and 
impaling them on the thorns of rosebush or haw. Com- 
monest of the cormorants in Idaho is the white-crested, 
which, inasmuch as it is peculiar to America, is not the 
Greek bald raven. Cormorant is a corruption of Latin 
meaning marine crow : the creature was so named because 
of its voracious appetite. Perhaps its only breeding place 
in Idaho is at the head of the American Falls Reservoir, 
where attempts are being made to destroy it; for the 
cormorant feeds on fish and dives with remarkable speed 
and skill. The kingfisher, equally notorious, darts down 
to seize unwary victims and then hammer the life out of 
them on a rock. It thereupon swallows the fish whole and 

138 IDAHO 

headfirst and utters a rattling chuckle that some have 
fancied to be a laugh of exulation. The kingfisher has 
a compact, oily, water-resisting plumage, bluish gray 
above, tipped with white on the wings and tail. It is 
easily recognized by its long crest. The coiubird, often 
called buffalo bird on the plains, and long despised for 
its parasitical insolence, lays its eggs in the nests of 
other birds, chiefly warblers, vireos, and sparrows. 
Though this bird lives chiefly on insects and weed seeds, 
its destruction of other nestlings places it definitely 
among the enemies of humankind. The same fate ought 
to await the sagacious croiv, which preys too much on the 
eggs and young of other birds to be tolerated for the in- 
sects it eats. 

The great blue heron (often called blue or sandhill 
crane) is perhaps of all useless birds the one most ar- 
dently defended. This tall gawky creature stands in a 
river like a grotesque assortment of angles and impales 
fish as they come along, gives them a knock or two to 
finish them off, and then tosses them into the air and 
swallows them headfirst. The black-croivned heron, some- 
what flamboyant and less gawky than its cousin, has an 
ornament of two or three long graceful white feathers 
that reach from its head and across its back like a plume. 
The sandhill crane is, unlike the solemn heron, a clown. 
When the cranes arrive in the spring they indulge in a 
lot of tomfoolery and hop and skip and give off triumph- 
ant croaks, and are said in ardor to be equalled only by 
Indians in a war dance. This is the male's method of 
wooing his tall outlandish bride. These birds prey on 
fish, too, and stand for hours in marshes and bogs with 
their long necks thrust above the foliage to scan the land- 
scape; and if fish are not available they enter fields and 
stand in alert wonder on one leg and wait for moles and 
mice. When cranes migrate, streaking through the sky 
in serpentine fashion, the leader croaks orders that are 
repeated from crane to crane down the line. The ivhite 
pelican breeds in Idaho in huge colonies and feeds glut- 

FAUNA 139 

tonously by scooping up fish as it swims along. In Yel- 
lowstone Park they fish systematically, according to 
Knowlton, and move backward and forward at equal 
distances apart. 

There are five species of grebe in Idaho. These birds, 
closer in evolution than others to the reptiles, are the 
most skillful of all swimmers and divers, having many 
surprising natatorial feats. Holboell's has a red neck; the 
horned gets its name from brown crests; the pied billed 
has a black band around its beak; the eared has black 
head and neck and earlike tufts of golden brown ; and the 
western is easily recognized because it is the largest of 
them all. The pied billed, most abundant of all American 
species, is the one most frequently seen in Idaho; and 
here as elsewhere it is usually known under its folkname 
of helldiver. The grebe's nest is a strange affair of weeds 
and mud and moss built into a floating structure that 
sinks perhaps three feet in depth. Upon this raft the 
mother broods a part of the time, though for the most 
part the eggs are steamed into life by the heat of the 
sun upon the drifting cradle. 

The avocet is a small wader with very long legs and a 
slender body and a long curved bill. Although the best 
swimmer among the waders, it is no less at home on land. 
It pays little heed to man unless he becomes a nuisance, 
and then nonchalantly flies away, trailing its long legs as 
if they were broken. The loon is not half so simple- 
minded as legend declares it to be. Largest and hand- 
somest of the diving birds, it is less aquatic than the 
grebes but is, nevertheless, a remarkable diver, and at 
fifty yards is usually quicker than the gun. The common 
loon, possibly the only one found in Idaho, is a high and 
solitary wanderer that does not often make its presence 
known. The American bittern (marsh hen) is another 
lone nomad which, though often heard is infrequently 
seen. Its love song is quite the sort of dismal lamentation 
that one would expect from so solemn a hermit. Now 
and then this speckled other-world creature is to be seen 

140 IDAHO 

standing in a bog in an apparent state of doleful indeci- 
sion — and for an hour it may be as motionless as a 
stump. But if a person watches long enough he will see 
it suddenly snap and gulp as if swallowing all its pent-up 
morbid reflections and then bellow horribly as if dying of 
nausea and finally go forth with mincing deliberation as 
if stepping off distance. But it is only seeking molluscs 
with its toes, having first gone through contortions to 
rebuke its melancholy and arouse its appetite. The 
racket it makes has been variously compared with that 
of bellowing cattle, with the gurgle of an old wooden 
pump, and with the driving of a peg into a bog; and it 
has passed in folklore under such names as thunder- 
pumper, stake-driver, butter-bump, and bog-bull. Some 
have said that the bittern makes its noise with its bill 
in water, but its horrible croaking is only because it 
must swallow a great deal of air before giving off its 

Of terns or sea-swallows, Idaho has the black, Cas- 
pian, and Forster. Terns usually remain close to the sea 
or lakes but occasionally venture far inland. Among the 
loveliest of birds, they rarely eat fish or anything else 
that human beings think birds should leave alone; and 
their chief enemy seems to be women who like feathers 
in their hats. Both Wilson's and the northern phalarope 
are found here. These sea snipes are smaller than a 
robin, and the most remarkable thing about them, ac- 
cording to one commentator, is the surmise that the phal- 
arope has the "most advanced female among the feath- 
ered tribes." He means that she has stolen the colors, 
does the wooing, and disports herself in various sorts of 
club work while the male sits on the eggs. Laying the 
eggs is, as a matter of fact, the only necessary chore 
which the male does not do. Idaho has the Virginia and 
sora rails, though the latter is not bagged here, as in the 
rice fields, by tens of thousands. Rails are so timid that 
they are said to swoon from fright, or if shot upon water 
sometimes sink from terror never to emerge. As thin as 

FAUNA 141 

a rail is no misnomer: these birds are little more than 
noiseless movement and feathers and legs. The American 
coot (mud hen) is an aquatic bird that likes to show off 
in its diving where water flanks the marshes. It, too, is 
a shy bird, though some say that not even a starving 
beast would eat its flesh, and others argue that the 
coot when fed on wild celery is equal in flavor to the 
canvasback. Gregarious in all but the mating season, 
the coot then attacks trespassers with shrill and chatter- 
ing zeal. 

The black-necked stilt is by some persons called long- 
shanks because of its reedlike legs. It wades like the avo- 
cet, seeking worms and larvae, and in nesting time is as 
nervous as the coot, keeping up a dismal click-clicking 
sound that frightens everything but itself to death. In 
Idaho there are the Bartramian, least, pectoral, spotted, 
western, and solitary sandpipers. These birds, usually 
called woodcocks, are among the most palatable of wild 
fowl, and have in consequence been eagerly sought by hunt- 
ers from the Gulf to Labrador and from coast to coast. 
They feed on worms, declaring their presence by the round 
bored holes they leave; and inasmuch as worms come to 
the surface after dark, these birds are largely nocturnal. 
Like the males of crane, plover, and owl, the woodcock 
makes a clown of himself in mating time and exhausts his 
energy in swift-winged antics. During amours the pec- 
toral can inflate his neck until it bulges like a goitre, and 
the spotted can swell out in his plumage until he is twice 
his customary size. Of plover there are the golden, 
black-bellied, and killdeer. Because they are fearless and 
take a quick sprightly run before flying, they offer an 
easy target and are diminishing in number with the ex- 
ception of the killdeer, whose flesh is musky and insipid. 
In moving over ground, the killdeer has the daintiest 
alacrity of all birds. The bird which is often called upland 
plover is the Bartramian sandpiper. The American or 
Wilson's snipe is another table delicacy and is no longer 
common. The male is amusing when wooing a mate. He 

142 IDAHO 

swoops upward, singing for all he is worth meanwhile, 
and drops and rises again to his former level and drops 
and rises again and again; until at last, as if exhausted 
or discouraged, he comes to the earth through a series of 
collapses and falls and recoveries and short spasmodic 

The great white or American egret has in all seasons 
entirely white plumage that in mating time is a splendor 
of drooping plumes. A large bird, shy, and more taken 
by wanderlust than ever because women seek its beauty, 
the egret is not often seen in Idaho or elsewhere. Nor is 
the ibis, though several species have been observed here. 
The quail, however, is common, as is the long-billed cur- 
lew also, especially on the shores of lakes. Gulls are 
rapidly increasing, and most fortunately, inasmuch as 
they are a deadly enemy of the grasshopper and cricket, 
though of course they prey on fish, too. The western 
herring gull, the only one whose head in winter is 
streaked with dark, is not common in Idaho, nor is the 
Bonaparte, which is perhaps the most elegant of the 
family. But the ring-billed is now to be seen in hundreds 
on the rivers and lakes. Very rare, on the other hand, is 
the common American or whistling swan, though for- 
merly it was in Idaho by thousands, and Swan Valley 
was named for it. Those who years ago saw a flock of 
these great white birds rise from the water say the 
vision is the most memorable one of wild life. Neltje 
Blanchan uses the symbol of a regatta, with the birds 
moving like yachts under full sail ; and she declares that 
the trumpetlike sound of their voices is equalled in power 
only by the French horns "blown by red-faced Germans 
at a Wagner opera." The musical ability of the swan 
seems to be confined entirely to the minds of poets. 

Smaller Birds: Of smaller birds of field and woods, 
some of the commonest will be summarized first, then some 
that favor tree or stream, and then some that are loveliest, 
followed by some that sing most sweetly. 

Of birds here, the western robin is perhaps not most 


FAUNA 143 

frequently seen but is most commonly recognized because 
everyone who knows birds at all is familiar with this bird 
that is not a robin but a thrush. Almost as abundant in 
prairie and field is the mourning dove, whose melancholy 
love notes have long endeared them to distracted lovers. 
Blackbirds, especially the Brewer, were formerly to be 
seen in enormous flocks, but cats have driven them out 
of many parts of the State. The Brewer male is a hand- 
some fellow with a remarkably liquid gurgling in his 
querulous call; but the female looks like a smaller male 
who long ago faded in sun and rain. The female redwing 
also looks like a shoddy edition of her lord. The yellow- 
headed blackbird, rare in the East, is to be found in huge 
colonies in the West. The male is handsome in a dress 
that is lustrous black save for a white patch on the wings, 
and the brilliant yellow of the head, neck, and breast. 
The absurd thing about him is his song: he spreads his 
tail, inflates his throat, and after a harsh and experi- 
mental tuning-up gives a long-drawn choking squeal. His 
attempts are accompanied by contortions that suggest 
anguish — and may be, for possibly he realizes how shame- 
less it is for a lovely bird to sway on a willow and look 
over a beautiful world and summarize his joy in so lam- 
entable a squawk. This bird prefers flag swamps, tule 
beds, and reed brakes. 

Of swallows, there are, of course, several species : the 
bank, smallest of the family, which digs surprisingly deep 
holes in the earth; and the barn with its forked tail and 
iridescent upper parts and sepia breast; the cliff, identified 
by its glossy black back and chestnut rump and by its twit- 
tering as it flies ; and the violet-green, loveliest of the swal- 
low clan, whose metallic green plumage has purple lusters, 
a silky white breast, and a violet-purple tail and nape. 
Found here, too, are the white-bellied and the rough- 
winged. Of sparrows, the most common, unfortunately, is 
the English, a worthless parasite that drives most birds out 
of their sanctuaries. The western vesper, often seen sing- 
ing from post to post, is a common ground bird in sage- 

144 IDAHO 

brush areas, but the western song sparrow keeps close to 
shrubbery. The white-crowned has a head striped black 
and white; Gambel's crown has a delightful whistling 
morning song ; and Brewer's, sometimes called sagebrush 
chippy, is very common in arid regions. Common also are 
chickadees, all varieties of which are easily identified by 
the white stripe above their eye. Of j uncos or snowbirds 
there are several varieties, often in large flocks, and all of 
them very friendly and pert. The song of the Rocky Moun- 
tain junco is a sweet little tinkling trill. The snowflake, 
snow bunting, or snow lark, so named because it often rides 
on the breast of a blizzard, inhabits the Arctic zone but 
comes southward in the fall. Of flycatchers, there are at 
least four varieties, all invaluable, and all covering a wide 
range except possibly the olive-sided, which keeps to the 

Of birds that keep close to trees, there are none in Idaho 
that are better known or more amusing than the red- 
shafted flicker : it differs from Eastern species in having 
scarlet patches on the sides of its head, and brilliant red 
instead of yellow on its tail and shafts. The male has an 
absurdly elaborate courtship. Choosing the most indif- 
ferent female he can find, he hops and bows and prances 
and struts, all the while urging his suit with a hiccough- 
ing song ; and when she takes to wing, he follows and re- 
peats his performance almost without variation again 
and again. The pileated woodpecker is found everywhere 
in northern wooded regions; the hairy, with the scarlet 
patch on the back of its head, in high forested latitudes ; 
and the white-headed among the pines. The latter is a 
Western bird that differs sharply from all other members 
of the family : it is entirely black except for a white wing 
patch, head, and neck, and a red nape. The downy has a 
black back with a white stripe down its center, and the 
male of the Arctic three-toed has white wing dots and a 
yellow crown. 

Rarer, and to many persons of greater interest, is the 
Lewis, a wild and suspicious bird that remains in the 

FAUNA 145 

high forests. It has a blue-gray collar and dark red 
around its bill and eyes. The pigmy nuthatch is abundant 
in ail evergreen forests. These birds herd in flight from 
tree to tree and keep up a rapid-fire call. The slender- 
billed has a wretched song that sounds like hah-hah-hah, 
a nasal exclamation that suggests perpetual astonish- 
ment. In folklore called tree mice because of their dart- 
ing flight, the nuthatches were named for their habit of 
thrusting nuts into cracks and hammering at them with 
their bills. The pine siskin, common in coniferous forests, 
is a member of the finch family and has a call note ex- 
actly like that of the goldfinch. Yellow patches show on 
wings and tail when these are unfurled in flight. The 
brown creeper can be recognized easily in autumn by its 
manner of going nimbly up the trunk of a tree until it 
reaches the first limbs and then flying to the foot of another 
tree and repeating. Clark's nutcracker, the only American 
representative of the European bird, is a high dweller 
among the pines. A large bird with black wings, it is some- 
times mistaken for a crow but its body is of pale gray. The 
red-naped sapsucker is the Western counterpart of the 
eastern yellow-bellied : it has a red patch below the black 
of its head, and under parts tinted yellow. Commoner 
is Williamson's with its yellow belly and narrow scarlet 
throat patch. These rascals delight in the sap of fir and 
pine trees, and any tree they take possession of is 
doomed. The red crossbill is found only in dense ever- 
green growth where, scorning migration, it stays as 
long as there is food. This bird has a plump, dull red 
body, brighter on the head and rump, browner on the 
back with dusky markings, and dusky on the wings and 
tail. In cutting to the seeds of pine cones, it climbs with 
bill, feet, and wings and hangs or swings in every con- 
ceivable position. Two birds with a preference for water 
instead of trees are worthy of mention. The greater 
yellow-legs (called also long-legged tattler, snipe, plov- 
er) is a noisy citizen of marshes and estuaries, but not 
common here. It is more than a foot in length and has 

146 IDAHO 

long, slender, chrome-yellow legs, a black back dusted 
with ash and flecked with white, and a long, thin, green- 
ish-black bill. Much more frequently seen is the water 
ouzel or American dipper, a buoyantly impudent fellow 
with a fine song. Having waterproofed feathers, this bird 
flies easily under water and stays there solely by means 
of its wings; but is quite as interesting when seen bob- 
bing up and down, touching its breast to the water, or 
tripping lightly. 

Most wild birds are lovely but some are more gor- 
geous in their color or pattern, and of these none in Idaho 
is more conspicuous than the scarlet tanager. Infre- 
quently seen, this handsome fellow, dressed in crimson 
and black, olive and green, is, like the phantom orchid, 
all the more impressive for its rareness. The Western 
species was first seen in Idaho by Lewis and Clark in 
1806. In striking contrast is the American raven, rare 
east of the Mississippi but abundant in the West. It is 
a large bird, sometimes more than two feet in length, 
and though often confused with the crow, is larger, has 
a more beautiful flight, and a blacker luster burnished 
with purple. Where the raven is plentiful, the crow is 
seldom found. In sharp contrast again is the ruby- 
crowned kinglet, a lovely little fellow in yellow and white 
and gray with a scarlet crown. Its antics when angered or 
excited are unusually amusing, and its song, a prolonged 
warble punctuated with wrennish chatter, is excellent. 

The black-headed grosbeak, counterpart of the eastern 
rose-breasted, has black head and wings, a tail marked 
with white, a burnt-orange breast, and a horn-colored 
bill. Its song is of bell-like clearness, smooth and mellow, 
with careful high notes. In Idaho are also the western 
evening, and the Rocky Mountain pine at higher eleva- 
tions. In contrast again is the dainty perfection of the 
western bluebird with its rich azure blue of head and 
neck, purplish chestnut on the upper back, bluish-gray 
lower breast, and black bill and feet. It is smaller than 
the Eastern species and, unlike it, does not sing. Similar 

FAUNA 147 

in color, but with more green, and with white on the 
belly, is the mountain bluebird. Exquisite, too, are the 
hummingbirds with their tiny feet, their quick tempers, 
and their busy and fearless dispositions. The black- 
chinned, with its black throat patch, is the nearest West- 
ern relative of the ruby-throated. The male in courtship 
cuts dazzling figure eights above his lady and implores 
her with long windy whistles. The broad-tailed is larger 
but in plumage resembles the ruby-throated. The red- 
backed rufous, commonest in the West, is of cinnamon 
red ; and the calliope, smallest bird in America, is a dainty 
fellow only three inches long with a bronzed-green back 
and a lilac throat patch. Hardly less exquisite is the 
lazuli bunting, a bird only five or six inches in length, 
with a rich lapis-lazuli head and neck, green-blue uppers, 
a chestnut-brown breast, and broad white wing bars. The 
male has a pleasing little song much like that of the 
indigo finch and is common in foothills and canyons. 

Of the same size is the American redstart, found 
chiefly in the East but occasionally seen in Idaho. The 
male is of glossy blue black with white belly and flanks 
and flame-colored sides and under wings. In folklore it 
goes under the names of fire-tail and live coals. The Bo- 
hemian waxwing is slightly larger, as is the cedar also. 
The second of these travels in huge flocks throughout 
the year and is fond of cedar thickets, where it feeds on 
the berries. This bird is immaculately groomed, with a 
pronounced crest tapering back and up from the forehead, 
and with sleek silky feathers. Its song has been compared 
with the pianissimo of the whistle belonging to an Italian 
peanut vendor. The kingbird (bee-bird or bee-martin) is 
of bluish gray with a flaming crown that is seen only 
when the crest is erect. This fiery fellow, only eight 
inches in length, is an inveterate enemy of crows, hawks, 
and owls, all of which it seems to attack for the sheer fun 
of it. On the other hand, it is routed by the tiny hum- 
mingbird. The kingbird, nevertheless, has been known, 
Myers declares, to drive cats and dogs down the street. 

148 IDAHO 

pecking them on the back and tail. The yellow-billed 
cuckoo (rain crow, rain dove, storm crow, chowchow) has 
a black bill with a yellow under mandible, white-tipped 
tail feathers, a satiny olive-gray or lilac back touched 
with iridescent green, and cinnamon rufous wings. His 
song is a succession of spasmodic gurgles. Very common, 
and endeared to all who know him, is the Rocky Mountain 
jay, the most pertly impudent (and yet entirely friendly) 
bird in the forests. He delights in standing on limbs to 
watch campers, eyeing them with astonished interest and 
often coming close for a more thorough scrutiny. In 
Idaho, too, are found the woodhouse, black-headed, and 
pifion jays. Bullock's oriole resembles the eastern Balti- 
more in size and shape but is more prodigal in the orange 
on its head and neck. Like the Baltimore, it is the finest 
staccato singer among the birds, and is rivaled in limpid 
tone only by the thrush. But the Western species is a shy 
hermit, and his clarion song is not often heard. 

Of wild melodists, the rock wren, common in most 
parts of the State, is not least, and is thought by Dawson 
to have the most sprightly and musical tune of any bird 
west of the Mississippi. It is about six inches long, and 
both sexes are of pale brownish gray above with a cinna- 
mon rump and dull white under parts. The canyon wren, 
also common, has a famous clarion song given in a quick 
descending scale and ending in a little upward trill. It is 
brown except for white throat and breast, and is dis- 
tinguished from the rock wren by its clear cinnamon- 
brown tail zigzagged with fine black lines. It is, as its 
name implies, a resident of canyons. The one listed by 
Myers as the western house wren is apparently the one 
given by Coues as Parkman's. The male is worthy of note 
because of his joyful song and his patience: after he has 
sung and labored over a nest, his spouse comes on the 
scene and flies at him angrily and rebuilds the nest to suit 
her fancy; and the male sings almost without pause and 
clearly without resentment as he watches her work. The 
common purple finch warbles like a vireo but his throat is 

FAUNA 149 

larger and his melody fuller. The male house finch has a 
bubbling gurgling canarylike song that he pours forth 
at all seasons of the year. When his lady ignores him he 
sits on a twig above or below her and sings his heart out. 

The pale goldfinch, with his black cap and white mark- 
ings, is peculiar to the Rocky Mountains and is also tire- 
lessly cheerful. His courtship song during short flights is 
in abandon second only to the bobolink's, but not so sweet 
in melody as the song sparrow's. As if suspecting that 
his song is not all that it should be, he will deliver a suc- 
cession of rapid chirps and then deliver his whole being 
into a rhapsodic per-chic-o-ree-per-chic-o-ree. The bob- 
olink, a species of marsh blackbird, occurs chiefly in East- 
ern States and is seen in the West only during migration. 
The breeding plumage of the male during spring and 
summer is a flawless black, white, and buff. Later, it lays 
oif its full dress for a homespun brown and becomes the 
reedbird or ricebird of the South. The bubbling delirious 
ecstasy of its song is heard only in mating season, for the 
song changes with the feathers and becomes a monoto- 
nous syllable. When mating, the male begins with clear 
whistles suggestive of waltz time but presently reaches a 
mad outpouring of irrepressible joy in which the motif 
explodes and is lost in a burst of melodious fireworks. Of 
warblers, there are several species in the State, including 
the orange-crowned, the blue-eyed yellow (wild canary) , 
the Townsend, Audubon's, MacGillivray's, the pileolated, 
the western yellow-throat, and the black-throated green, 
all of which are fairly common and sweetly liquid song- 
sters. The elegantly slender western mockingbird, a scold 
and a mimic, is ash gray above with a shopworn white 
belly, a black tail, and black wings patched with white. 
During mating season the males sing night and day, 
perched high in treetops where they prance along the 
boughs or leap ecstatically into the air. 

But for some, the birds of sweetest song in Idaho are 
the solitaire, thrush, thrasher, and lark. Townsend's 
solitaire is a fly-catching thrush that is found only in 

150 IDAHO 

the Western States and is a bird of mountain solitudes. 
Its strong and beautiful song has about it a freshness and 
a clarion quality as deep and mellow as the sound of a 
bell. The sage thrasher, too, also found only in Western 
States, is a splendid singer ; and often long after dark, or 
like the mockingbird in moonlight, he pours out his 
melody where there are few to hear. This bird can be 
recognized by triangular dusky spots on its grayish- 
brown plumage, strung in such close series that they look 
like chains. The varied thrush is the only representative 
of ground thrushes in the Western Hemisphere. Its upper 
parts are of slate, its under of orange brown fading to 
white. It has a weird and wholly individual song that is 
long drawn out with notes in various keys. Of the song 
of the famous Audubon's hermit thrush, Coues says: 
"Sweet, silvery, bell-like notes which, beginning soft, low, 
and tinkling, rise higher and higher, to end abruptly with 
a clear ringing intonation." Some have said this is the 
sweetest singer on wings. But for those who have lived 
long on the Western prairies there is no song so haunt- 
ing, so invested with all that the prairie means, as that of 
the common meadow lark. Years ago its limpid and 
varied and mellowed refrain rang from every countryside, 
but today it is much less frequently heard, not only be- 
cause it nests on the ground but also because of thousands 
of domestic cats that have been freed to run wild. Ex- 
quisitely liquid, too, is the song of the warbling vireo, 
which used to be almost as common as the lark. 



The Idaho fish and game license carries a long synopsis 
of the fish and game laws of the State. Because conditions 
change from season to season, because areas are opened or 
closed as game and fish become too abundant or too de- 
pleted, no summary given here would be trustworthy six 
months from now. 

Ordinarily there is a long open season on trout in all 
parts of the State, though many streams now closed may 
be opened soon, and others now open may be closed. The 
season on birds is even more variable. Local conditions of 
many kinds affect the production of wild fowl, and often 
it is not known until late in the summer what areas will be 
opened to hunting in the fall, or for how long a season. 
Less variable are the restrictions placed on big game, 
though even in regard to elk and deer, goat and sheep 
and antelope, areas are opened or closed from year to year. 
Antelope, formerly protected, are now available in the 
Pahsimeroi Valley, but will not be, of course, as soon as 
the number has been reduced to the grazing resources. 

In general the bag limit on larger animals is one; on 
fish, from ten to forty pounds per day; and on game birds 
from four to eight per day. Unlawful ways in either hunt- 
ing or fishing also vary somewhat from area to area. In- 
quiry in regard to this as well as all other matters should 
be made of the game warden in the region chosen. 





BIG GAME Bvo.sTRicTs estimated r^^sus 


^^'' ZflOO Purr SHEEP 2.0O0 

^'-** 20^000 COUGAR 1,000 







^^^ BASS ^P^^^H^^^ STURGEON 



'bk.t:- state boundary LINES 







1 1 1 1^1° ^1° t °r "t 

SCALE ^^^^B* ^^^^^ 

1 _0 WYHCE 




'O STATE in the Union is a more undeveloped nat- 
ural playground or has more to offer in hunting and 
fishing and remote primitive areas than Idaho. Most of 
the State is mountainous, almost half of it lies under 
forests and game preserves, and all of it except the few 
cultivated valleys is a huge network of wilderness and 
lakes and streams. Without the funds of some States, its 
game and fish department has been severely handicapped 
in stocking the streams and protecting wild life ; but great 
strides have been made in the last few years, and an am- 
bitious program now could foresee the development of the 
enormous potential resources. In the Stanley Basin area 
alone there are approximately one thousand lakes, and 
at present all but 15 per cent of them are barren ; but it 
is planned to stock all these and barren lakes elsewhere 
just as rapidly as production can be increased. In parts 
of the State it is intended to place different species in 
different lakes so that fishermen can take a weekly trip 
and fish a different lake and a different kind of trout each 
day. Old hatcheries are being modernized, new ones are 
being built, and more determined steps are being taken 
to exterminate the worst of the predatory birds and 
beasts. Millions are spent annually now in Idaho on fish- 
ing and hunting but the present sum is doubtless only a 
small part of what will eventually be spent. Idaho's op- 
portunity to become one of the great playgrounds of the 
Nation is second to no other opportunity facing it today. 

154 IDAHO 

A large and constructive program in Idaho at the 
present time would be especially opportune. All parts of 
the United States, according to recent articles in the Sat- 
urday Evening Post, have been largely depleted, particu- 
larly in regard to fish, of which for the entire country in 
1935 fewer than one hundred millions were put into the 
lakes and streams. In the same year more than fifteen mil- 
lions of fishing licenses were sold. This means only six 
trout to the angler, even if predatory birds and beasts 
were all exterminated ; but as a matter of fact these ene- 
mies take more fish from water than the anglers them- 
selves. The annual fish and game turnover in the United 
States is more than a billion dollars; and that is three 
times the value of its wheat and five times the value of 
its sheep. The average value of a domestic sheep in 
Wyoming, for instance, is five dollars, but this State com- 
putes the value of an elk taken by a nonresident hunter 
at anywhere between five hundred and a thousand dol- 
lars. And not only are anglers and huntsmen among men 
increasing rapidly but women, too, are taking more and 
more to the rod and gun. 

In big game hunting, Idaho is said to have in its 
Chamberlain Basin and Selway the finest area in the 
country. In this vast region deer are especially numer- 
ous, as well as upon the Middle Fork of the Salmon River 
and the headwaters of Payette and Boise Rivers and the 
Kaniksu and Priest River sections in the extreme north. 
But deer are found in all the National Forests, in some of 
which they are now protected throughout the year, and 
are by far the most abundant large animal in the State. 
Moose are largely confined to the Selway and Lochsa 
Rivers in the northern part, and to the Island Park area 
west of Yellowstone. Elk are most numerous in the Clear- 
water, Selway, Lochsa, and St. Joe Rivers in the north, 
and in the Chamberlain Basin. There are some on the 
Boise and Payette Rivers and in the Seven Devils region 
but these areas are closed. The two great herds of ante- 
lope are to be found in the Pahsimeroi Valley and adja- 


cent terrain and in the southwest corner of Owyhee 
County. In the former there is now a short open season 
because of damage to farms and in an effort to scatter the 
herd. Mountain goats are found chiefly between the head 
of Priest Lake and Canada (this region is now closed), in 
the Selway and Lochsa areas, in the Bitterroot Mountains, 
and upon the Middle Fork of Salmon River. Mountain 
sheep cover much the same range with the exception of 
the Priest Lake terrain. Cougar, of which two score or 
more are taken annually, affect chiefly the Priest Lake 
district, the Selway, and the Middle Fork. In the winter 
of 1935-6, twenty-two were taken upon the Payette River. 
George Lowe of Kooskia is now the most successful cou- 
gar hunter in the State. Bear are fairly numerous in all 
the National Forests except those in the extreme south, 
though grizzlies are few, with a small number remaining 
in the Selway and above Priest Lake. The foregoing are 
the principal but by no means the only areas in which the 
larger game animals are to be found. 

Game Fowl: The chief bird is the Chinese (ringnecked) 
pheasant, which is fairly common in nearly all of the val- 
leys. This handsome fellow, invaluable as a destroyer of 
insects, is eagerly sought by sportsmen the world over. Its 
number is being increased in Idaho. Next in abundance is 
blue grouse (Franklin, dusky, gray, pine, or fool hen), 
which is found only in the forests. This bird has back and 
wings of blackish brown, finely zigzagged with slaty 
pencilings, and a yellow comb. It is so indifferent to danger 
that it often passes under the colloquial name of fool hen. 
Of other grouse in Idaho, the Franklin spruce is often mis- 
taken for the other chiefly because of its stupid fool- 
hardiness, though, too, it is like the other in its coniferous 
preferences and in its food. Resembling the blue in ap- 
pearance is Richardson's but the latter is uniformly dark- 
er and has more black on its throat. The pintailed grouse 
(prairie chicken, native pheasant) is rapidly disappearing 
along with the sage hen, the chief enemies of which are 
sheep and coyotes. The sage hen, however, can still be 

156 IDAHO 

found in huge flocks in parts of the State, especially in 
eastern Idaho. This bird, largest of the American grouse 
family, mates in springtime with stentorian hullaballoo, 
walks with an absurdly cocky gait, and flies with swift 
energetic wingbeats or coasts down the wind. Formerly 
on the Western prairies it was numbered in millions. The 
quail or bobwhite is increasing in the State and is now 
fairly numerous in the western counties and in Nez Perce 
and Clearwater Counties up north. The Hungarian par- 
tridge, more widely distributed, seems likely to hold its 
own against hunters, inasmuch as it is easily flushed and 
gets away with astonishing speed. 

The State has tens of thousands of wild ducks, many 
of which do not migrate, and among which the mallard 
is commonest. This handsome bird, easily recognized 
by anyone who knows ducks at all, is the wild parent of 
the barnyard fowl. It is a valuable bird, not only for 
game, especially after a season in the grain fields, but 
for its destruction of insects as well. The green-winged 
teal is distinguished by a rich chestnut head and upper 
neck, broken by a glistening green patch behind either 
eye. The green-winged, only a migrant here, has a 
black-bordered white crescent in front of either eye, and 
wing coverts and outer webs of some of the scapular 
feathers of sky blue. The cinnamon, a South American 
bird, has a black bill, a mauve-chestnut head, neck, and 
under parts, darkening to black on the belly. Teals are 
common in Idaho. Barrow's goldeneye has a pansy-pur- 
ple sheen on his head which lengthens to a fringed crest. 
The white spots in front of each eye are triangular in this 
species, circular in the American golden. This duck is a 
wide ranger. 

The well-known canvasback has a reddish-brown head 
and neck, black crown and chin, and a silvery back. Of 
this famous table delicacy, Coues says there "is little 
reason to squeal in barbaric joy over this overrated and 
generally underdone bird ; for not one person in ten thou- 
sand can tell it from any other duck on the table" unless 

t ? 

Snake River sturgeon 


it has been fattened on celery. The redhead, in fact, is 
often sold for it in the East, a bird smaller but very simi- 
lar in appearance, and hardly distinguishable in flavor. 
This is chiefly a bay or sea duck, though often found in- 
land upon lakes. The male of the shoveller (spoonbill) is 
a jaunty fellow in mating season with a metallic green 
head much like the mallard's, an amethyst abdomen and 
a white breast ; but after wooing he sheds his gay clothes 
and looks much like his wife. He is easily identified by 
his spatulate bill. The ring-necked scaup, first discovered 
by Lewis and Clark in 1806, has a lustrous iridescent 
head above its collar, and lower belly and sides finely 
waved in black. The lesser (or common winter) scaup is, 
like its cousin, the greater, a sea duck but prefers fresh 
lakes and has gone as far inland as the Dakotas. The 
flesh of these scaups is as offensive as their horrible cry ; 
and so is that of the merganser, one of the worst enemies 
of fish. It has a head and neck of burnished mallard 
green, white under parts tinged with salmon, and a shin- 
ing black upper part, graying to ash on the rump and tail. 
Known in Idaho as the common fish duck, and unfortunate- 
ly common, this vandal, fishermen declare, ought to be ex- 
terminated. And with it ought to go the ruddy duck, a bird 
that has survived enough preposterous names to produce 
a civil war : it has been called dumpling, deaf, fool, sleepy, 
butter-bowl, blather-scoot, spine-tail, dopper, mud-dipper, 
paddy-whack, stub-and-twist, and both dinkey and dickey. 
Belonging to the ducks with stiff tail feathers, its upper 
parts are a rich rufous chestnut, with white sides, silken 
white under parts, and a black patch on its head. It is an 
expert underwater bird with the skill of the cormorant 
in using its rudder. The Bufflehead is a small fellow, re- 
lated to but distinguishable from the goldeneye by the 
broad snowy patches behind each eye, running to the 
back of the head and uniting in a nape. The head is an 
iridescent splendor of violet-purple and green. This duck, 
also a survival of a score of names (butter duck, butter- 
ball, woolhead, conjuring duck, spirit duck, butterback). 

158 IDAHO 

has no peer as an expert diver, and vanishes like lightning 
at the spit of a gun. The pintail has also suffered outrage. 
Known variously as sprigtail, piketail, peaktail, spindle- 
tail, litetail, splittail, it ranges widely and is numerous. 
The male has a dark sepia head, a neck glossed with 
green and purple and adorned below with a white and 
above with a black stripe, and long black feathers in the 
center of the tail. The wood duck has almost been shot 
out of existence. The male's plumage is almost spec- 
tacular in its range of colors, with green, purple, and vio- 
let on the head, snowy white embroidery on the wings, 
and a voluptuously lustered black-and-bronzed purple and 
green on the back. 

Those are among the chief species that come to Idaho 
in thousands. The principal spot which they affect is Lake 
Lowell, where often they form a margin of color many 
feet wide for miles; but they are also abundant on the 
lakes of northern Idaho and particularly in the Hoodoo 
region ; on the lakes in southeastern Idaho, chiefly Grays 
and Mud Lakes; and upon Snake River from Milner 
to the Oregon line. In wintertime the ducks on this 
river customarily average fifteen hundred to the mile. 
Geese are not so common by any means but are increas- 
ing. The black brant, distinguished by its clean white 
collar, open only at the back of the neck, and the darker 
under parts, is abundant on the west coast and more and 
more frequently comes inland. The Canada, the common 
wild goose and the best known in North America, has 
become famous for its V-formation in flight and for its 
honk. The head and neck are black with a broad white 
throat strap. This is the commonest species in Idaho. 
Ross's snow goose, all white and only about as large as a 
mallard duck, and the lesser snow goose, a little larger, 
and the greater snow goose with its white plumage 
stained brown on its head, are all seen, but not commonly, 
in migration. 

Fish: To say that fishing in Idaho or anywhere else in 
the United States is excellent upon those streams easily 


reached by highway would probably be a gross misrepre- 
sentation. Fishing here, as elsewhere, ranges from de- 
pleted streams to streams that are heavily stocked and 
rarely visited. Expert anglers can catch their limit nearly 
anywhere in the State, but the less skilled must expect to 
travel the unimproved highways or take mountain trails 
to spots where trout are both abundant and foolish, and 
not fastidious about their food. Such streams and such 
lakes number hundreds in nearly all of the more moun- 
tainous areas. 

The commonest trout in the State is the rainbow, which 
is distinguished (if at all) from the steelhead by its 
smaller size, its brighter coloring, and its larger scales. 
It takes a fly so readily that there is no need to pursue 
grasshoppers over the hillsides or to buy fanciful and 
deceptive gadgets ; and it is so gamey that it will satisfy 
the most exacting angler. Its simple-witted indifference 
to a hook and line make of it delightfully easy prey for 
the inexperienced greenhorn. Its flesh is excellent. The 
rainbow is widely distributed but is especially common 
from Big Springs to the Oregon line in Snake River; in 
Big and Little Lost Rivers; in Silver Creek out from 
Hailey, noted for its fly fishing; in Salmon River and in 
Williams Lake near Salmon City; in Boise River and all 
its tributaries; in the Payette River and Lakes and in 
the whole Payette district ; and in the Clearwater, St. Joe, 
and Coeur d'Alene Rivers in the north. 

Second in abundance is the cutthroat or native trout. 
In color it is of a silvery olivaceous, deepening to dark 
steel, with the upper part of the side and the caudal 
peduncle covered with round black spots, with under parts 
silvery white, and with red blotches of the lower jaw 
usually constant. In general it is to be found in nearly 
all of the rivers and streams but more notably in Snake 
River; in Henrys Lake which for its size contains more 
fish than any other body of water in the State; in all 
branches of the Salmon River but particularly in the 
Middle Fork; in the higher tributaries of the Boise and 

160 IDAHO 

Payette Rivers ; in the St. Joe and Clark Fork Rivers ; and 
in Coeur d'Alene, Pend d'Oreille, and Priest Lakes and all 
their feeders. 

The eastern brook or speckled trout is third, the fish 
most in demand by Eastern anglers. This fish likes quiet 
waters and is at its best in high mountain lakes. It takes 
a fly readily and is a vigorous if not spectacular fighter; 
and if taken from cold water its flesh is excellent, though 
owing to its large amount of oil it does not remain firm 
as long as the meat of other trout. In Idaho it is to be 
found chiefly in Buffalo River and in a private pond there 
which contains some extremely large specimens; near 
Big Springs, though this is not a brook-trout area ; in the 
Sawtooth region and especially in Redfish and other lakes ; 
in the higher lakes of the Grangeville district; in a few 
tributary streams and in the higher lakes in the Clear- 
water area ; and from Coeur d'Alene northward, wherein 
is the heaviest planting in both lakes and streams. This 
is a more cannibalistic trout than either rainbow or cut- 
throat and does not in Idaho enjoy the same esteem. 

Fourth in abundance is the Dolly Varden or bull trout, 
a voracious and cannibalistic lout that is not reared in 
Idaho hatcheries and is not introduced into any of the 
barren lakes that are being stocked. Its fiesh is not so 
good as that of other trout, it is an erratic and annoying 
feeder that often scorns even salmon eggs, its favorite 
bait, and it raises havoc with salmon spawning. It is a 
native to nearly all the mountain streams and to many 
of the lakes. 

Probably next in order are bass, catfish, and perch. 
The first is found in the warmer waters of the Boise 
Valley and westward, especially in Lake Lowell ; in Snake 
River along the Owyhee Range ; and in practically all the 
larger northern lakes. The catfish is found in Snake 
River from Swan Falls to Weiser ; in Lake Lowell ; in the 
Crane Creek Reservoir; in various sloughs in the Boise- 
Weiser area; and in a few lakes and streams near Coeur 
d'Alene. The perch is found in the American Falls and 


Minidoka and Magic Reservoirs ; in Lake Lowell ; in Snake 
River from Crane Falls to Payette; in the Lost Valley 
Reservoir near Tamarack; in the Payette Lakes; and in 
the Hayden, Black, Cocolalla, Coeur d'Alene, and other 
lakes in the north. Bass, catfish, and perch are dead-v^^ater 

At the other extreme is the steelhead, in regard to 
which in Idaho there is tall argument. Some say that this 
fish is nothing but a seagoing rainbow, and others say it 
is not a rainbow at all. In any case, it is migratory in 
habit, going to the ocean after it has grown to adolescence 
in fresh-water streams or lakes, and returning later to 
spawn. It comes from the sea to Idaho between December 
and early spring, and is taken by fly or by bait or spinner 
or with spear. It is the gamiest of native trout, and the 
flesh, when not out of condition from spawning, is excel- 
lent. The largest one ever taken on a rod weighed twenty- 
two pounds, but a steelhead of that size is rare. This fish 
in Idaho is found chiefly in the Salmon River and its 
branches, where it is sometimes known as salmon trout; 
in Weiser River ; and in the Clearwater River, which has 
the greatest run. The steelheads taken in Idaho are 
usually yearlings, about seven to ten inches in length, 
before they have gone to the sea. 

Several species of salmon spawn in Idaho, but no at- 
tempt has been made to commercialize them, and they are 
rarely taken except by spear. The chinook is the largest 
and most important of all the Pacific species, and this 
one comes to the Salmon River and its tributaries, ar- 
riving in early fall. The offspring remain about a year 
and then return to the ocean, where they stay for from 
four to seven years before they seek fresh water to spawn 
and die. In this State those speared do not often exceed 
twenty pounds in weight, though some have been taken 
that weighed more than fifty. The big redfish or sockeye 
salmon formerly spawned in the Payette and Redfish 
Lakes areas but is unable to reach them now. It does still 
come to the lower Payette waters, and may be found 

162 IDAHO 

below Sunbeam Dam, The landlocked species is a fresh- 
water fish and does not thrive in the absence of fresh- 
water smelt, which is its chief food. The Schoodic salmon 
from eastern Maine has been planted in Payette Lakes and 
in several lakes in the Sawtooth area. It is a game fish 
of excellent flesh, and many anglers rate it as a fighter 
above any species of trout. 

From an entirely commercial point of view, the most 
important fish in the State is a species of Rocky Mountain 
whitefish in the larger northern lakes. This fish smoked 
is in great demand. Several hundred families are now 
almost entirely supported by this small industry, which 
promises to grow considerably, inasmuch as the State 
hatcheries plan soon to put not twelve but seventy mil- 
lions annually into these lakes. Fishermen are compelled 
to fish for these and not use a net, and are at present 
limited to a daily catch of fifty pounds. In Bear Lake 
there are said to be three species of whitefish peculiar 
to it. 

Of other fish in the State, a few are worthy of men- 
tion. The Loch Leven, said to be peculiar to the Scotch 
lake of the same name, has been confused with the brown 
or Von Behr trout, and in the United States there has 
been much hybridizing of the two. Loch Leven occurs in 
Idaho in such waters as the upper reaches of the South 
Fork of the Snake, and in Montana in the Madison River. 
In Lake Waha twenty-two miles south of Lewiston, and 
apparently found nowhere in the world except here, is a 
curious and interesting trout which in quality of meat is 
said to be unsurpassed. This lake has no outlet. In Snake 
River, along Owyhee County especially, sturgeon are 
abundant, and sturgeon fishing in Idaho is one of the most 
exciting sports. Specimens have been taken that weighed 
almost a thousand pounds, but the average runs to no more 
than a fraction of that weight. In Bloomington Lake in 
southeastern Idaho and in Trinity Lakes on the South Fork 
of Boise River, California golden trout have been planted. 
It is planned to add this rare species to other waters. 




1 1 wavd 


O N I lA) O A M 



IDAHO'S resources are to be found in its minerals (both 
ferrous and nonferrous), in its forests, in its water, 
both for power and irrigation, and in its land. In addition 
to these, it has vast wealth, for the most part unexploited, 
in its wild life and in its potential playground. The two 
latter are discussed in other chapters. 

Land: Measured in production in terms of dollars, 
agriculture (including dairying) is first, livestock is sec- 
ond, timber is third, and minerals are fourth among the 
State's industries. Of 53,960,000 acres, 39 per cent is 
forested, 36 per cent is primarily grazing, and less than 
8 per cent is cultivated. Of the total, 36 per cent is 
within National Forests; 21 per cent is public domain; 
6 per cent is owned by the State ; 1 per cent is in Indian 
reservations; 10 per cent is unsold land withdrawn for 
reclamation projects, parks, and game preserves ; and the 
remaining 26 per cent is in private hands. Of that under 
grazing, nearly all is indefinitely beyond reclamation or 
other than grazing uses. Of the Indian lands, 57,000 acres 
remain unallotted. Of the less than 8 per cent under cul- 
tivation, a little more than half is irrigated, and the re- 
mainder is dry grainlands chiefly, though there are areas 
in Northern Idaho with diversified crops where rainfall is 
ample. Of the forested areas, a considerable part is now 
logged off or burnt over or otherwise denuded, and most 
of it is valueless save for reforesting. Of the unirrigated 
acreage under grain, a good deal suffers crop losses for 



IDAHO'S resources are to be found in its minerals (both 
ferrous and nonferrous), in its forests, in its water, 
both for power and irrigation, and in its land. In addition 
to these, it has vast wealth, for the most part unexploited, 
in its wild life and in its potential playground. The two 
latter are discussed in other chapters. 

Land: Measured in production in terms of dollars, 
agriculture (including dairying) is first, livestock is sec- 
ond, timber is third, and minerals are fourth among the 
State's industries. Of 53,960,000 acres, 39 per cent is 
forested, 36 per cent is primarily grazing, and less than 
8 per cent is cultivated. Of the total, 36 per cent is 
within National Forests; 21 per cent is public domain; 
6 per cent is owned by the State ; 1 per cent is in Indian 
reservations; 10 per cent is unsold land withdrawn for 
reclamation projects, parks, and game preserves; and the 
remaining 26 per cent is in private hands. Of that under 
grazing, nearly all is indefinitely beyond reclamation or 
other than grazing uses. Of the Indian lands, 57,000 acres 
remain unallotted. Of the less than 8 per cent under cul- 
tivation, a little more than half is irrigated, and the re- 
mainder is dry grainlands chiefly, though there are areas 
in Northern Idaho with diversified crops where rainfall is 
ample. Of the forested areas, a considerable part is now 
logged off or burnt over or otherwise denuded, and most 
of it is valueless save for reforesting. Of the unirrigated 
acreage under grain, a good deal suffers crop losses for 

166 IDAHO 

want of rain, and within recent years many of these 
farms have been abandoned to the weeds. Much of the 
36 per cent which is used primarily for grazing has been 
overfed and needs careful restoration. Of the total area, 
there is said to be more than a million acres with owner- 
ship unaccounted for.^ 

Water Poiver: Closely related to land in this State are, 
of course, the resources in water, most of which remain un- 
developed. Aside from its thousands of fresh lakes, Idaho 
has scores of rivers, and countless large creeks, many of 
which are of major importance in both length and volume. 
Of greatest value, both available and potential, is Snake 
River with its many tributaries. Both the Salmon and the 
Clearwater Rivers have huge possibilities in power but are 
inaccessible to irrigation save in small basins. The water 
in the northern part of the State, both rivers and lakes, is 
chiefly of value for transportation and power, inasmuch 
as rainfall there makes irrigation largely unnecessary. 
The southern part of the State, on the other hand, has not, 
for all its streams, enough water for its use. Plans are 
afoot to divert rivers out of Montana and Wyoming and 
possibly to bring the lower flow of Snake River into the 
Boise Valley; and the Bruneau Project promises to turn 
the arid region east of Boise into a garden. But at 
present, Payette Valley is the only part of Idaho south 
of the Salmon River that has enough water for its need. 
Elsewhere, it is true, there is enough water to irrigate 
more land than is now under cultivation if that water 
were all delivered to reservoirs and then wisely appor- 
tioned and used. Reclamation in Idaho has been largely 
experimental, and in most instances too sectional, and in 
consequence rival interests have seriously vitiated efforts 
that have been made. The Snake River Valley itself should 
be one enormous reclamation project with the various 
units subserving one another downstream and with all 
of them integrated into a related pattern. 

1 University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station, Bulletin 

r.-*:.\ Tt 





'/ •^'^.> rv ' - 

vv. *>: 


Sluicing logs 

Tr«inload of logs 


Though the State's distance from markets places in- 
definitely in the future any development of large power 
sites, this chapter would be incomplete without a sum- 
mary of the possibilities. There are at present more than 
sixty hydroelectric plants powered by natural falls in the 
rivers or by falls made by the reclamation dams. These 
together develop about 292,000 horsepower in compari- 
son with the 2,704,000 horsepower that remain un- 
touched. Snake River itself has a greater annual flow 
than either the Colorado or the Rio Grande and has a 
drainage basin ninth in size in the United States. If all its 
water could be used, it would irrigate four million acres of 
land and develop three million horsepower. Nearly 70 per 
cent of the irrigable land within its basin has been sup- 
plied with water, but only 7 per cent of its water power 
has been put to use. A few of its more important unex- 
ploited power sites now follow. 

Below the mouth of the Salmon River the absolute 
minimum flow is 7,000 second-feet, and this has in flood- 
time reached 130,000 second-feet. A flood of 300,000 
second-feet is not by any means impossible downstream 
from its confluence with the Salmon. The only developed 
plant on the Snake between Weiser and Lewiston is at 
Ox Bow where an average of 1,800 kilowatts is produced. 
During this stretch between the two cities the flow is 
well sustained, the gradient is steep, the gorge is in most 
places comparatively narrow, and the rock formation 
would apparently support a dam of almost any height. 
Some fifteen sites in this canyon and in canyons adjacent 
have been investigated; and one alone, involving a com- 
bination of the Snake and Salmon waters and a fall of 
540 feet, would, on the basis of 50 per cent of the time, 
develop almost a million horsepower. The fifteen sites, 
varying in estimated power from 18,000 to 910,000, are 
all within 104 miles. But development here must await a 
great industrialization of the Pacific Coast. 

North of these sites is the Clark Fork of the Columbia, 
which doubles back, just south of the Canadian boundary. 

168 IDAHO 

into a Z-canyon where the river almost literally turns 
upon its edge and pours through a gorge only eighteen 
feet wide. This river rises in the Silver Bow Mountains 
about eighteen miles southwest of Butte, Montana, and 
is fed by more than a hundred tributaries before it 
crosses Idaho. It has many falls, and often passes 
through boxed canyons so narrow that they can be 
spanned by footlogs. It drops nearly five hundred feet in 
the last fifty miles of its course. In addition to all these 
circumstances that favor power sites is the fact that its 
flow on entering Idaho is almost two thirds that of the 
Snake in its journey through the Seven Devils Canyon. 

Upon the Snake and its tributaries in Wyoming, Idaho, 
Oregon, and Washington, there are 284 sites that have 
been listed, 249 of which are in Idaho. The latter have a 
potential production of 2,974,630 horsepower. These sites 
are scattered along the Snake and the chief streams that 
feed it, notably the Salmon, and are to be found at the 
natural waterfalls, which are many, or at the boxed can- 
yons where dams are feasible. There are even power 
possibilities at some of the springs which burst from 
mountainsides. Most remarkable, and potentially most 
valuable, are those between Milner and King Hill. But 
Idaho's power, like much of its mineral wealth, belongs 
for the most part to the remote future. 

Livestock: In the early days of its settlement, Idaho 
was a huge cattle ranch with enormous prairies rich in 
natural feed. It still has millions of acres under grazing, 
and livestock is still second in size of its industries; but 
the State's future here is not, save for the indefatigable 
optimists, unusually bright. All of the areas have been 
overgrazed, including those in National Forests, and some 
of them have been temporarily destroyed. Wild grasses 
cannot be fed off year after year without reseeding, and 
some of them cannot be cropped closely in drouth years 
without being killed. This is especially true when areas 
are grazed by sheep. Efforts are being made at the pres- 
ent time to find a hardier grass that will stand both 


aridity and punishment, and in the crested wheat grass it 
is possible that one has been found. But even so, it would 
take many years to restore lands to their former luxu- 
riance, and meanwhile the problem of grazing becomes 
increasingly acute. 

Timber: The production of lumber has steadily moved 
westward, and within another two decades the Rocky 
Mountain and Pacific States will doubtless be producing 
the major part of the lumber supply of the United States. 
Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania, once famous for the 
amount and quality of their lumber, now produce less 
combined than Idaho. In 1870 the Northeastern States 
supplied 38 per cent of the Nation's output: today that 
circumstance is almost exactly reversed. But Idaho has 
little to boast of in regard to the intelligence with which 
it has protected its forested wealth. Only forty years ago 
nearly all of its timbered acres were public domain, but 
today the State owns only about a million acres, with the 
consequence that by 1910 ten persons owned a large part 
of the State's forests — more than four million acres of 
the best. "As a general proposition, it can be stated that 
the most accessible timber is very largely privately 

Almost half of Idaho lies within forested areas. About 
a million acres are owned by the State, about four million 
by private interests, and about nineteen million by the 
Federal Government. Of standing timber, 8.8 per cent is 
owned by the State, 30.3 per cent by persons, and 60.9 
per cent by the Federal Government. Of that within Na- 
tional Forests, about half must be classed "as indefinitely 
or permanently inaccessible." Within national forests, 
Idaho has a larger area than any other State in the Union, 
with California second and Montana third. 

The State is estimated to have about eighty-one billions 
of feet of old-growth timber. Of this, more than three 
fourths is found in the Panhandle, lying between the Sal- 

1 Idaho Forest and Timber Handbook. 

170 IDAHO 

mon River and the Canadian boundary. More than ten 
million of the thirteen million acres in northern Idaho lie 
under timber. Of the commercially valuable trees, western 
w^hite pine, 17 per cent of the total stand, is first. This tree 
is found only in the northern part. Western yellow pine, 
more widely distributed, is next in commercial value, and 
is about 20 per cent of the stand, and Douglas fir, which, 
together with larch, is 28 per cent of the growth, is third. 
The remaining 35 per cent is chiefly lodgepole, white and 
alpine fir, Engelmann spruce, juniper, hemlock, and white 
bark pine. 

Though a part of the State's resources in timber is 
perhaps permanently inaccessible and though a more con- 
siderable part must remain beyond reach for a long time 
to come, the lumber industry is of almost indispensable 
value to the State and especially to certain sections in 
the north. It is most unfortunate, therefore, that millions 
of acres in private hands are being denuded and sold as 
logged-off lands, because these depleted regions are for 
the most part valueless as agricultural land not only on 
account of a too-acid soil but also because most of the 
areas are too mountainous. "The best available informa- 
tion at hand would indicate that all told probably not more 
than a million acres of additional land can be developed 
out of the forest areas in North Idaho. "^ Nor is that all: 
these denuded and valueless areas offer extremely diffi- 
cult problems because of soil erosion and the destruction 
of watersheds. "If all the forest lands of the State were 
under high-class management, the lumber industry could 
not only be sustained in its present volume, but could 
doubtless be appreciably increased."- At the present rate 
of depletion, the private stands will be exhausted within 
thirty years, and the more valuable species long before 
that. In addition to the exhaustion by private interests, 
huge losses are delivered from fire and insects, and these 
ravages are sometimes of epidemic proportions. Fire and 

1 Idaho Forest and Timber Handbook. 

2 Ibid. 

■l*-.» ■. 


• 4.*^. 

■' '*-'y± , 



Panning for gold 



im'f ^ '^/f l'«|'' 


insects may eventually be controlled. The reforestation 
of barren lands must depend on Idaho vision and initia- 
tive, and especially on the leadership in towns that will 
take their place among the ghosts if the industry which 
chiefly supports them is not to be sustained. 

The annual lumber cut in the State is about a billion 
board feet, of which the two pines furnish about 68 per 
cent and the larch and Douglas fir about 21 per cent. 
There are about three hundred mills, but 93 per cent of 
the lumber is sawed by twenty-seven, of which the one at 
Lewiston is at present perhaps the second largest in the 
world. Besides lumber, rough and finished, the production 
is heavy in mine timbers and ties, lath, and shingles. 

Minerals: Idaho is twelfth in production of minerals 
with an annual output of more than thirty millions of 
dollars, falling chiefly on lead, silver, gold, zinc, and cop- 
per in the order as given. The approximate total value of 
the metals mined in the State since 1860 is $1,300,000,000. 
Its mineral resources cover a wide range: it has fifteen 
metallic and twenty-three nonmetallic minerals which 
occur in quantities sufl^icient to be regarded as exploitable 
assets, and these are to be found in thirty-five of the 
forty-four counties. If valuable clays are included, then 
possibly every county in the State possesses substantial 
mineral wealth.^ 

The production of minerals in Idaho has in all sectors 
except the Coeur d'Alene been governed primarily by the 
discovery of ore and only secondarily by such factors as 
price and demand. In most areas the quantity of work- 
able ore found in any one productive period has been 
small, and at present only silver and lead of the ferrous 
minerals are of importance or seem likely to be in the 
immediate future. The richest area at present is the 
Coeur d'Alene in Shoshone County far up in the Pan- 
handle. The deposits here are found in a comparatively 
small region in the drainage basin of the South Fork of 

1 Rush J. White, The Mineral Resources of Idaho. 

172 IDAHO 

the Coeur d'Alene River. The ores are fine grained and 
intimately mixed, and about forty-five species have been 
recognized. Lead and silver have been increasingly pro- 
ductive ; and though copper here at one time yielded huge 
revenues, it is now only a minor product from the silver- 
lead ores. Recently, large zinc mines have been opened, 
and this metal promises to be of considerable importance. 
Lemhi County is knoM^n to have large deposits of valuable 
ores, but the nearest railway station is far distant from 
many of these. Idaho County in the lower part of the 
Panhandle, Valley County just south of it, and Owyhee 
County in the extreme southwestern part of the State are 
known to be very rich in minerals. All of these, however, 
are far removed from railway and truck lines, and exploi- 
tation will be indefinitely delayed. 

Gold is found in most of the counties and is one of the 
most widely distributed of the metals. Idaho now ranks 
only seventh in gold production because during the War 
many of its mines were closed and have not been re- 
opened. In the Clearwater Mountains of northern Idaho, 
placer mining has yielded about fifty millions of dollars, 
and prospects here are favorable to future production in 
large-scale operation of low-grade deposits. Near here, in 
the Orofino district, gold is found in veins, but has not 
been developed because of the uncertainty in regard to 
geologic shifts. Near Florence there are at least seven 
gold veins of importance, but want of transportation has 
delayed development. And elsewhere in the State rich 
veins are known or suspected, but gold mining save as a 
by-product will have to wait on transportation and a more 
definite knowledge of the geology of the underlying re- 
gions. This is especially true of the Middle Fork of the 
Salmon River area, which some mining specialists have 
declared to be probably the greatest potential undeveloped 
gold area in the world. 

Idaho ranked first in production of silver in the United 
States in 1934, and the largest producer of silver in the 
Nation today is the Sunshine Mine in Shoshone County. 


This is the richest area, but there are others of unusual 
promise. The Alturas Quadrangle on the western slope of 
the Sawtooth Range needs further investigation by geolo- 
gists and engineers. Large deposits, and especially of 
low-grade ore, are believed to lie in the Vienna District in 
the Sawtooth National Forest. 

In production of lead, Idaho ranks next to Missouri 
and turns out one fourth of the total in the United States. 
Its annual output is about three hundred million pounds, 
or approximately enough for the automobile industry in 
an average year. In Shoshone County are the three 
largest individual lead mines in the country: the Bunker 
Hill and Sullivan, the Morning, and the Hecla. Most of 
the unexploited lead deposits are in the Panhandle, 
though in Lemhi County there are large veins which show 
evidence of continuity, and there may be valuable deposits 
in the southeastern corner of the State. 

Idaho now ranks about tenth in production of copper, 
but huge untouched deposits suggest that within the State 
this metal may increase in importance. Most of the cop- 
per ore here is relatively rich in gold or silver or both, and 
in some instances, notably in Custer and Bonner Counties, 
the silver content exceeds that of the copper in value. 
Because of the surplus now on the world's market, most 
of the copper mines in Idaho are idle. Chief producer 
is Copper Giant in the Panhandle on the south slope of 
Howie Mountain, and the principal untouched deposits 
seem to be in the Seven Devils area. This area runs for 
a hundred and twenty miles and varies in width from two 
to forty ; and copper Kes throughout. The development of 
this region is remote. 

The chief coal deposits seem to be in the Teton Basin 
of eastern Idaho. The chemical analysis of the coal here 
reveals it to be equal in quality to that mined and shipped 
into the State from Utah and Wyoming, but geologic 
faults have discouraged operations. Bituminous coal of 
commercial importance has also been found in Bonneville, 
Fremont, and Clark Counties. Boise and Owyhee Coun- 

174 IDAHO 

ties have beds of low-grade lignite, but except for a little 
trucking out to local markets, no attempt has been made 
to exploit coal in Idaho. 

Idaho's greatest mineral wealth probably lies in its 
enormous deposits of phosphate rock in eastern and 
southeastern areas. The reserves here are greater than 
those known to exist in any other part of the world. They 
underlie 268,000 acres and constitute 85 per cent of the 
phosphate wealth of the United States. The beds in Idaho 
and Utah, Wyoming and Montana, all contiguous, are 
estimated to exceed six billions of tons of high-grade 
deposit, of which five sixths are in Idaho. The only ex- 
ploiter at the present time of any importance is the Ana- 
conda Copper Mining Company, which ships the raw rock 
to Montana and treats it with sulphuric acid and sells the 
finished product at a price which is prohibitive to nearly 
all farmers. At the present mine price for the rock, Idaho 
has more wealth in its phosphate beds than in all the 
other minerals produced in the State during the last 
seventy years, multiplied by ten. Development here will 
have to wait on the exhaustion of beds in Florida and 
Tennessee, but meanwhile the State's leadership has been 
urged to move in every possible way to protect its interest 
in these fields. 

There are huge limestone, sandstone, and shale deposits 
in Bannock County which are being used in the manufac- 
ture of cement. Near Boise there is an almost incalculable 
reserve in sandstone of a quality unusually well adapted 
to quarrying and building, and in the six western counties 
are vast beds of diatomaceous earth, valuable in the man- 
ufacture of brick and insulation. Various parts of the 
State are rich in clays of decomposed granitic stone, and 
in the Clearwater area are the finest fire clays in the 
West. Extensive asbestos deposits are found in Idaho 
County; graphite in commercial quantities is known to 
exist, notably in Blaine County; and in northern Idaho 
County, talc is found in significant abundance. All of 
these, like the salt beds in southeastern Idaho, remain 


undeveloped because of prohibitive freight rates. Idaho 
also has deposits of antimony, arsenic, tungsten, cobalt, 
and nickel, and some of the highest-grade deposits of 
barytes v^est of the Mississippi. There are deposits of 
feldspar in northern Idaho, of monazite in the southw^est, 
and of sulphur in the southeast. In Central Idaho on 
Meadow Creek, the red cinnabar is so abundant that over 
a fairly large area any shovelful of earth will yield mer- 
cury, but the deposits are low-grade and not commercially 
profitable at this time. Bentonite occurs in exploitable 
quantities in southeastern Idaho, and various bodies of 
iron ore remain untouched. 

Although structures occur which presumably would 
be satisfactory, sedimentary formations are practically 
all of nonmarine origin, and there are no authentic in- 
stances in which petroleum has been found in fresh-water 
formations. The outlook, on the whole, for commercial 
bodies of petroleum in Idaho seems to be unfavorable, 
though there has been considerable drilling near Driggs 
and near Weiser. In the latter vicinity, a little gas was 
found but no oil. 

Gems: Semiprecious stones, often of unusual quality, 
are to be found in nearly all parts of the State. Agate, 
jasper, and opal, as well as agatized and opalized woods, 
are in the lava flows of the southern part; sapphires, 
rubies, and garnets are in the central and western parts ; 
and beautiful opals of gem fineness are in the Columbia 
lavas of the north. 

Jasper, often closely resembling bloodstone, and rang- 
ing in color through green, red, and purple, is to be had 
in Ada County within a half mile of Boise. The western 
part of Owyhee County yields jasper of similar quality 
together with agates of all types and colors. In this coun- 
ty, too, are rich two-toned green quartz plasma, fine clear 
rock crystals, and agatized wood ; but this area has been 
chiefly one of opals. In 1893 from one opal mine were 
taken seven thousand carats in the rough, and the ragged 
hills upon Snake River are still a favorite with opal 

176 IDAHO 

hunters. In Gem County, appropriately named, are lovely 
fire opals in the lava of Squaw Butte about five miles east 
of Emmett. Close by these are water agates of pale blue. 
On Willow Creek, about halfway between Boise and Em- 
mett, is a deposit of agatized and opalized wood of excel- 
lent quality, and farther up the creek opal varying in 
color from deep red through salmon pink to white out- 
crops over an area of approximately thirty acres. 

In Washington County are agates of many colors, 
some of which when cut into thin layers show a rainbow 
iridescence. On Mann Creek, northeast of Weiser, is a 
deposit of silicified wood of bright yellow color that re- 
sembles natural oak. It is extremely hard and free from 
flaws, and takes a beautiful luster under polishing. Adams 
County has sapphires, a few rubies, and many fine pink 
garnets in the area of Rock Flat near New Meadows. 
Flawless blood-red rubies have been found here which 
weighed two carats after they were cut and polished. The 
garnets here are chiefly pink, but some either green or 
deep red have been found in the Seven Devils region west- 
ward. Over in the center of Idaho between the Salmon 
and Lost Rivers is a gem hunter's paradise. At many 
places in the upper Lost River Valley transparent quartz 
crystals seam the geodes which have weathered out of the 
lava. Scattered over the whole area are agates of every 
kind known ; and red, yellow, or green jasper is abundant. 
Near the East Fork of the Salmon is a beautiful variety 
of quartz in alternate layers of blood-red sard and white- 
and-brown onyx. Near Challis is a deposit of rich black 
limestone containing coral that takes a high white polish. 
South of Challis are said to be the best specimens of 
mordenite known. 

And these summarized here are only some of the 
larger gem fields. There is amethyst near Hailey: opals 
and opalized wood in Lincoln and Gooding Counties ; fire 
opal near Moscow in Latah County ; and the large White 
Bird fossil deposit in Idaho County in which maple leaves 
fourteen inches in diameter have been found. Persons in- 


MAP or 



WHEAT-20lbeOOOBU~|l4inOOO C BEAWS-I 306 000 BU—| 3 069 000 

CORN-l 55aOOOBU--ftl 168 000 
COMMERCIAL P»0DOCE-- $ 94d 000 
ALFALFA Se£D-93 6O06U--t796 0iyj 

LFALFA-ALL-? 249 COOT- -tl4 &<t3000| 

ROPS --|4 851 000 J ... 

S'OOOT--J2 833 000 K PEAS-f 666 OOOBU- -» 2 249 000 

POTATOES-17 H00000BU--i9790000 L HONEY- 3 000 OOOLB- - $ 2 500 000 



POULTRY-2 I 70 DOOM-- $998 000 


ESTIMATt 1935 

M1LK-I4 69e 732LS~| 734938 
V-ICE-CREAM--664 936GAL- $56493! 

TOTAL Sli. 754,908 . 

estimate: 1934 
N&LES--6 399 OOO LATM-- 520 799 0O0O0O FT B M ^UMBER 


4 817 0C 


? ;00 000 LB-- I42 648 216LB— 59 6O0000Le 

$2 933 000 $7 490 700 $176400 $5277964 $2741600 





2OOOO00 6BL-9 200 OOC 


BY LOCATION 1936 ut LUt-ftiiUN i»JO 


^*'^-)VERrO00O ACRE rEET--BY LOCATION -- l 9 3 6- -TOTAL STORAGE-4 6565.X * 


V f COUNCIL ^ , 

=\@2 ■ 


I N E 



ML feil^^''"^ 

\ \ ^^^ OWYHEE >vt TWIKIaf FAL^S 'f CASS I A 

J- - 2^__ _ _^^ ll \3iX SM^ _ 1 ® __ 




r: ' 

I-L-* 0\, \ VGHKLOc 


terested in exploration or in further knowledge should 
seek the officials of the Idaho Gem Club in Boise. 

Exports: A picture of what a State has in resources 
can be given in its exports. Of agricultural products, hay- 
is first in value, but nearly all of it is fed within the State. 
Of livestock in 1934, a subaverage year, the exports were 
about 200 carloads of horses and mules, 4,000 of cattle, 
5,000 of sheep, and 1,500 of hogs. Idaho is fifth in produc- 
tion of wool. Next to hay is wheat, of which a large part 
is milled within the State. Of an average production of 
22,000,000 bushels, 8,997 cars were shipped out in 1934. 
Of potatoes, the average annual shipment is about 30,000 
cars. Sugar beets are next but very few of these are 
shipped. The State's average production of these is about 
4,500 cars or about 5 per cent of the total output for the 
United States. Beans, a crop coming rapidly into favor, is 
next in value and is 13 per cent of the Nation's total of 
the white bean production and together with peas run to 
about 3,600 cars annually. Apples come next with 3,500 
cars, and after them come barley, oats, and corn in turn, 
though most of these are consumed within the State. 
Alfalfa seed is next. For years Idaho won on an average 
more than 45 per cent of all the prizes offered at the Chi- 
cago seed shows, and its Grimm alfalfa seed is now 
shipped to many parts of the world. Of the remaining 
agricultural products, lettuce is of importance with about 
300 cars annually, onions with nearly 3,000 cars, celery 
with 100, cherries with from 100 to 200, prunes with 
about 3,000, peaches with 300, and miscellaneous fruits 
and vegetables in smaller quantities. Of dairy products, 
the State exports annually about 8,000,000 pounds of 
cheese, the same quantity of condensed milk, and the bulk 
of nearly 30,000,000 pounds of butter. 

The export of mining products varies considerably. 
In 1934 Idaho shipped about $15,000,000 of silver and 
lead and minor metals, and 737 carloads of phosphate 
rock. Of timber in the same year, it shipped 11,678 cars 

178 IDAHO 

of logs, 1,297 of fuel, 110 of ties, 379 of pulpwood, 9,502 
of lumber, shingles, and lath, and 357 of boxes and crates. 

Some notion of the fertility of the State's cultivable 
land can be gathered from the following statistics from 
the U. S. Yearbook of Agriculture. Some of these are 
based on a five-year average and others on a single year 
that was regarded as typical. Idaho is first among the 
States in per-acre yield in beans, peas, and clover seed; 
second in alfalfa seed and potatoes; third in wheat, hay, 
and apples ; fourth in barley ; sixth in sugar beets, eighth 
in oats, and tenth in corn. In corn it is first in acre-yield 
of all States west of the Mississippi. A notion of its com- 
paratively small productive area can be had from the fact 
that in potatoes it ranks second in yield but seventh in 
production; in beans first in yield and fourth in produc- 
tion; in clover seed first in yield, ninth in acreage, and 
fifth in production ; and in hay, its principal crop, third in 
yield, sixth in acreage, but second in total (1935) valua- 
tion. Of peas and clover seed, for both of which it has 
small areas only, it is first in production and yield. 

Imports: A picture of what a State does not have in 
resources can be given in its imports. In general, inas- 
much as Idaho is not an industrial area, its imports are 
chiefiy manufactured goods, with 16,350 carloads un- 
loaded in 1934. Petroleum products amounted to 7,612 
cars. In spite of its own cement factories, it imported 13 
per cent of its consumption in this item. Other large im- 
ports were hardware of all kinds, including 75 carloads of 
tractors, 44 of wagons, and 16 of other agricultural im- 
plements; 500 cars of canned goods, 130 of soap, 104 of 
beverages, 116 of lime, and 500,000 tons of coal. Idaho 
is one of the few States in the Union that spends more for 
automobiles than for food. 

Summary: In regard to its resources, Idaho is in 
large part an undeveloped State. Vast sums, it is true, 
have been taken from its earth in mineral wealth and 
from its forests in manufactured products; but more 
minerals doubtless remain hidden than have ever been 


touched, and much more timber will remain inaccessible 
than has ever been logged. Agriculturally, it can never 
hope to be more than a minor producer, even if all its 
cultivable land is eventually brought under water and its 
northern logged-off areas are tilled. In dairying it can 
continue to grow, but in livestock it may remain indefi- 
nitely on a low-profit basis. Because of huge deposits of 
minerals in other parts of the world closer to cheap trans- 
portation, its future in mining cannot reasonably expect 
to exceed its past. It would seem, therefore, that Idaho's 
greatest development in the future must rest upon its 
potential wealth as a national playground. In this re- 
spect its development has hardly started and its resources 
are almost second to none. 


Idaho is still so close to the frontier that its 
social development is still for the most part in its 
formative stages. A detailed account of the be- 
ginnings as well as of the results achieved ivill he 
found in the Idaho Atlas and Encyclopedia. 
Within the limits of this book there can be sum- 
marized only a few items that are especially 
relevant to a guide or of more lively interest to 
persons unfamiliar ivith the State. 













TRANSPORTATION: Transportation problems in 
Idaho in comparison with those in most of the other 
States are unusually difficult. The northern part of the 
State is remote, with natural barriers, both river and 
mountain, intervening, and in consequence is still inac- 
cessible within Idaho except by highway. Difficulties have 
arisen, too, out of the fact that the most important railway 
artery was laid more than a half century ago at a time 
when the Snake River Valley, down which for the most 
part it takes its way, was unclaimed by irrigation and un- 
settled. In southern Idaho, cities have grown at a con- 
siderable distance from the main line, and the Twin Falls 
area is still served only by a branch. 

In 1929 Idaho had six airports of a sort. Today it has 
sixty-seven, thirty-three of which are municipal. The 
National Parks Airways and the United Airlines Trans- 
port are the two chief intrastate lines, and operate as 
feeders from main routes. The former serves between 
Great Falls, Montana, and Salt Lake City, Utah, and 
crosses eastern Idaho with service during season to West 
Yellowstone. The latter serves between Salt Lake City 
and Seattle. The Panhandle is crossed, of course, by any 
lines serving westward from Montana to the coast. 
Within the State during the winter there is a great deal 
of airline freight service to snowbound towns. 

Because so many of Idaho's towns are off the main 
railway arteries, transportation by motor coach and 

184 IDAHO 

freighting by truck have developed rapidly in recent 
years. At present there are licensed to operate within 
the State twenty-three passenger lines, seven of which 
are intrastate, and ninety-eight truck lines, of which 
thirty are intrastate. Eight per cent of the State's popu- 
lation and one fourth of its area are not served in any 
degree by railways, but nearly every town and village in 
the State is now served by bus and truck systems. 

Although Idaho is twelfth in size it is only forty-first in 
valuation and forty-third in population. Of its 83,354 
square miles, more than three fourth is held in forests, 
parks, and State lands, with less than 24 per cent accessible 
to taxation. With such considerable handicaps, it is small 
wonder that the State had as late as 1919 only 5 miles of 
paved road and only 108 that were surfaced. Today it has 
more than 1,800 miles of paved or oiled road, more than 
1,600 that are of crushed rock or gravel, and nearly 600 
that are graded. Of Idaho's 4,800 miles of roadway, less 
than 800 remain unimproved. 

There are five main highway arteries, of which the 
most important is U S 30, entering in the southeast 
from Wyoming and entirely traversing the southern part 
of the State to connect at Weiser with Oregon lines going 
to Eugene or Portland. U S 91 and 191 cross the eastern 
part of the State and together are the main-traveled route 
between Salt Lake City and either West Yellowstone or 
Butte. Branch lines off this artery are the only ap- 
proaches to the southern entrance of Yellowstone Park 
and to the Grand Teton National Park. U S 95 is the 
only complete north-south highway in the State: its 
southern terminal is Weiser and the end (in Idaho) of 
U S 30, and its northern terminal is the Canadian 
boundary. Across the northern part of the State are U S 
10 and State 3 and U S 195. All of these highways 
connect western Montana cities with Spokane. U S 93, 
the western transcontinental artery between Canada and 
Mexico, almost exactly bisects that part of Idaho lying 
south of the Salmon River. 


In 1935 there were 2,946 miles of railway track in 
Idaho, owned by 13 systems and their 62 branch lines. 
By far the most important of these, the Union Pacific, 
serves practically all of Idaho except the Panhandle. The 
northern part is served by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. 
Paul and Pacific, the Great Northern, the Northern Pa- 
cific, and the Spokane International. 

The streams of Idaho are not navigable save in some 
degree in the northern part. The Kootenai River in the 
extreme north is navigable between Nelson in British 
Columbia and Bonners Ferry, with both freight and 
passenger boats serving between these points. Pend d* 
Oreille River is navigable between Clark Fork and Albini 
Falls at Newport. From Sandpoint boats operate up the 
river to Priest Lake and from there up Priest River to the 
upper Priest Lake. Upon Pend d'Oreille Lake, with a 
length of sixty miles and an extreme width of twenty, 
there are both passenger and freight boats. Upon Lake 
Coeur d'Alene, with extreme dimensions of twenty-two 
miles by eight, there are boats of many kinds; and the 
Coeur d'Alene River is navigable for twenty miles be- 
tween Harrison and Cataldo. Lewiston is known as 
Idaho's only "seaport." Both freight and passenger lines 
come up the Columbia and then up the Snake to Lewiston ; 
and upstream from the city motor launches carry sight- 
seers and supplies to the famous Box Canyon. 

Racial Elements: Because Idaho is not an urban 
State (more than 315,000 of its 445,000 persons live on 
farms), it has no cities, like most of the States, to which 
immigrants are attracted. Its population is chiefly trans- 
planted native American stock from the Eastern and 
Middle Western States, and today, in consequence, only 
a relatively small percentage of its people are segregated 
into colonies. In the State's early years of settlement, of 
foreign-born stock only Chinese apparently came in ap- 
preciable numbers, and such prohibitions and persecu- 

186 IDAHO 

tions were laid upon these that practically all of them 
disappeared or were exterminated. 

According to the figures of the 1930 census, of for- 
eign-born persons or those of recent foreign extraction, 
the greatest number in the State is of Scandinavian stock, 
though of the 28,000 Scandinavians, the majority seems 
to have come from Minnesota and Wisconsin. In the for- 
eign-born category there are about 20,000 English, be- 
tween 17,000 and 18,000 Germans, and almost 14,000 
Canadians. Next in order in this category, but in con- 
siderably smaller numbers, are the Scotch, with 4,991; 
the Swiss, with 4,220; and the Irish, with 4,003. There 
are 3,730 Russians, 2,737 Italians, 2,689 Welsh, 2,128 
Spaniards, 1,421 Japanese, and 1,278 Mexicans. Indians 
number 3,638, nearly all of whom are on reservations. 
The Negro population (as of 1930) was very small, with 
only 668. Pocatello has a small Negro colony. Of the 
Chinese, once so abundant, there were only 355 recorded ; 
and of Filipinos there were only 97 ; of Koreans, only 21 ; 
of Hindus, only 7 ; and of Hawaiians, only 5. 

In the eight largest cities, the native white population 
varies from 86.7 per cent in Coeur d'Alene to 95.8 per 
cent in Caldwell; the nonnative white residents of these 
cities are almost entirely foreign-born. Of the 30,454 
foreign-born white persons in the State, 71 per cent 
have been naturalized. Twenty-six and three-tenths per 
cent of the total population is foreign white stock, of 
which 75 per cent is native white with one or both par- 
ents foreign-born. In northern Idaho, there are very few 
Negroes or Orientals among the foreign-born, but in 
southern Idaho, as in Pocatello, most of this population 
component is Mexicans and Chinese. Nowhere in Idaho is 
there a large foreign section. 

Of the 3,890 Indians in Idaho (the figures are for 
1933), only 574 were not on reservations. These live 
chiefly in cities and towns near the reservations, and it 
perhaps ought to be noted, in this respect, that Indians 


like Negroes are classified as racially intact even though 
they may be largely white. Many Chinese came to Idaho 
in early days to work the placer mines. As placer mining 
declined, those who were not driven out went into laun- 
dries or truck gardening. There is a small Chinese colony 
in Boise today, and an old Chinese temple which is still 
used ; but in the remainder of Idaho there seems to be no 
colony nor more than 250 Chinese. Though the Scotch in 
Idaho are largely assimilated, the native stock in Boise 
is still so strong that the birthday of Burns is celebrated. 
But the largest, and by far the most significant, colony 
in Idaho is that of the Basques in Boise, said to be the 
second in size in the world. It is a misnomer, of course, 
to call this one a foreign colony. Many of the Basques of 
Spain, after efforts to translate them into good Castilians 
had failed, took to the sea, and some of them arrived on 
the western coast of the United States. Because they 
were highlanders, they ventured inland, seeking the 
mountains, and one body of them established a colony 
at Jordan Valley, Oregon, more than half a century ago. 
After the coming of the sheep industry to eastern Oregon 
and southern Idaho, the center of the colony drifted to 
Boise, and these people now number about 7,000 in the 
State, with 1,500 of them in Boise itself. Loving solitude 
and the hills, the early Basque men here became shep- 
herds, though a few of them came after awhile to be 
persons of wealth and leadership in their own right. 

The Basques are known as a devout and proud and 
conservative people. Aloof rather than gregarious, they 
still preserve in Boise the outlines of their native culture 
and customs, though less exclusive very recently than they 
used to be. They have yielded their native dress but their 
chief game, Jai-alai or handball, is still their own, and 
admission to their special functions is still by invitation 
only. On Grove Street is their DeLamar Hotel, a hostelry 
popular with the colony. Formerly they had a resident 
priest but now they attend St. John's Cathedral. 



Education: Idaho is a large State with a small popu- 
lation, and in consequence its progress in education has 
been slow. Today it has a university with a southern 
branch, 2 normal schools for the training of teachers, 4 
senior and 3 junior colleges, and 195 high schools of 
which 33 are in class A independent districts. About 
145,000 persons, or one third of the population of the 
State, annually attend the elementary and high schools. 
The State's educational system is controlled by county 
superintendents, the State Superintendent of Public In- 
struction, the State Board of Education, and the Board of 
Regents. Boise, Emmett, and Lewiston have special char- 
ters which make their districts independent of the con- 
trol of the State Board. In 1933 legislation provided for 
equitable distribution of school funds, and placed Idaho 
in this respect with New York and Missouri. 

Inasmuch as the State has no large population centers, 
its high schools are small and widely scattered. There 
are 195 units with 30,000 pupils. Of these 195 accredited 
high schools, only one has more than 1,600 students, 
while over 80 per cent of them have fewer than 200 stu- 
dents, and 62 per cent have fewer than 100. At a time 
when Idaho was more prosperous than it is today, every 
community with a half-dozen families thought it ought 
to have a high school, and in consequence these that mush- 
roomed out of misguided civic pride overnight are today 
hanging precariously to their life. Idaho needs few 
things more urgently than a farsighted consolidation of 
its school districts. Among the high schools are seven 
which are maintained by churches: the Greenleaf 
Academy at Greenleaf, the Northwest Nazarene Academy 
at Nampa, the Ursuline Academy at Moscow, St. Teresa's 
Academy at Boise, the Academy of Immaculate Heart of 
Mary at Coeur d'Alene, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy at 
Wallace, and St. Gertrude's High School at Cottonwood. 

The State university at Moscow, founded in 1892, had 
no more than five hundred students as late as 1916, but 
has grown so rapidly in recent years that nearly every- 


thing except the fir trees has been used for laboratory or 
classroom. The buildings were intended to accommodate 
a few hundred students, and today the enrollment is above 
three thousand. The students are crowded, the faculty 
is overworked, and the enrollment is rapidly increasing; 
but the solution seems as remote as ever. As the situation 
stands now, Moscow and northern Idaho are fighting for 
urgently needed buildings and facilities to take care of 
a rapidly growing student body, and Pocatello and south- 
ern Idaho are fighting to make the Southern Branch a 
four-year college in its own right. Idaho is too poor to 
support one campus as it ought to be ; and in addition to a 
divided university it has two normal schools, each sur- 
viving under rather threadbare circumstances. Knowing 
how bitter sectionalism can be, some Idahoans shrug and 
predict that Idaho will persist until it has a college or 
university in every principal city even though taxes mount 
until they precisely equal the gross income. 

The northern unit maintains fifteen departments, of 
which agriculture, engineering, forestry, and mines are 
outstanding. It also embraces experimental farms at 
Moscow, Sandpoint, Caldwell, and Tetonia; field labora- 
tories at Boise, Twin Falls, and Parma ; agricultural and 
home economic extension offices in Boise, Pocatello, Bur- 
ley, Rupert, and Moscow; and a wide range of public 
service which touches all the industries and professions 
of the State. The Southern Branch at Pocatello became an 
integral part of it in 1927, and now has an enrollment of 
about six hundred students. It is only a junior college 
except in its school of pharmacy, in which its greatest 
strength lies. The two normal schools, one at Lewiston 
and the other at Albion, have about six hundred students 
between them. 

The Industrial Training School was established in St. 
Anthony in 1903, and now provides training and super- 
vision for nearly two hundred boys and girls annually. 
This school seems to have been fortunate in its leader- 
ship, and is in consequence one today of which the State 

190 IDAHO 

can be not unreasonably proud. The school for the deaf 
and blind was finally placed in Gooding in 1910. Though 
it cares for more than a hundred persons, its buildings are 
so congested and its facilities so inadequate that it has a 
long waiting list of applicants who must remain indefi- 
nitely without care. In Caldwell is the College of Idaho, 
in Gooding is Gooding College, and in Nampa is the 
Northwest Nazarene College. All are accredited four-year 
schools. The last, supported and controlled by the Naza- 
rene Church, is the only one of its kind in the Northwest. 
There are junior colleges in Boise, Rexburg, and Coeur 

In the emphasis it has placed on education, in its scorn 
of iUiteracy, and in its resourcefulness in stretching dol- 
lars to their farthest reach, Idaho has been educationally 
progressive. It is still one of the most backward States 
in the care it gives to those unfortunates who do not fall 
within the normal curriculum. In progressive Eastern 
States the less extreme cases of emotional instability are 
not incarcerated until efforts have been made to restore 
them to serviceable citizenship ; but Idaho is a young State 
and has not yet got around to a more charitable and en- 
lightened view of its neurotic persons. 

Paleontologij : In 1928 Dr. H. T. Stearns of the United 
States Geological Survey sent to the National Museum a 
small collection of fossil bones which had been taken from 
Snake River Valley, and an examination of these led to 
one of the important discoveries in the field of vertebrate 
paleontology of recent years. The Smithsonian Institution 
organized an expedition under J. W. Gidley to study the 
area, and after several prospects were studied a field 
party was sent out, including C. P. Singleton, discoverer 
of the Pleistocene fossil region at Melbourne, Florida. 
Three tons of fossils were unearthed by the expedition. 

Fauna represented by bones of uncommon size proved 
to be of unusual interest. Two kinds of bison existed 
in Pleistocene time: one was much like the beast of the 


present, but the other much overtopped it in size and in 
development of horns. These were about two feet long 
and more than six inches in diameter at their base. It is 
conjectured that they must have had a spread of not 
fewer than seven feet. Even so, this huge fellow was not 
undisputed master of the plains : roaming with him was 
a great musk-ox sort of an animal which exceeded in size 
by thrice his bulk the living musk ox of the North coun- 
try. There were, too, large herds of mammoths and mas- 
todons which were more enormous by far than their 
living relatives, the elephants of Africa and India. Be- 
sides these, there were big heavy ground sloths, related 
to the present tree sloth of South America; camels ex- 
ceeding those of the Old World in length of limb and 
neck; and horses and bears. Among smaller animals re- 
corded here in remnants were wolves, coyotes, gophers, 
and hares. 

Results of the expedition were so gratifying that it 
was continued another season. Resuming work about five 
miles from Hagerman, the scientists discovered the bone 
deposits of hundreds of animals, a large part of which 
belong to an extinct species of horse. This spot was ap- 
parently once a boggy terrain, possibly a drinking place. 
The bones are so disarticulated, intermingled, and scat- 
tered that they suggest a slow accumulation over many 
years rather than the sudden overwhelming of a herd in 
one catastrophe. Among the deposits, too, are remains of 
fish, frogs, swamp turtles, beavers, as well as an abund- 
ance of vegetation. But the principal yield was the re- 
mains of a hitherto unknown species of horse belonging to 
the rare genus Plesipptts, a beast intermediate between 
the Pleistocene horses and three-toed forebears of a more 
ancient time. Three or four skeletons were almost com- 
pletely restored. 

Other remnants uncovered were of beaver, otter, 
mastodon, peccary, rodent, frog, swamp turtle, and fish. 
There were also extinct species of mammals, including 
cats, sloth, and two species of camel. Their age seems 

192 IDAHO 

to be Upper Pliocene. In 1932 an expedition spent two 
months in this vicinity and exposed a portion of bone- 
bearing layers of five thousand square feet, which are 
declared to be the largest accumulation of fossil horse re- 
mains ever discovered. Turned up this time were five 
more or less complete skeletons, thirty-two skulls, and 
forty-eight pairs of lower jaws. Many of the deposits were 
taken out in large blocks of several hundred pounds each. 
Still another expedition came in 1934, but the quarry had 
caved in. To open the deposit, dynamite was used, and the 
charge blew out a mastodon skull from a level considerably 
above that of the horse bones. This expedition gave the 
name of Plesippus Shoshonensis Gidley to the new species 
of horse. 

Of petrified trees, the most unusual deposit found in 
Idaho is in a wall of basalt on Santa Creek six miles north 
of Emida. The ends of the carbonized logs can be seen 
in the black lava near the water's edge. These are the 
remains of a dense forest that grew in Miocene time when 
possibly two hundred thousand square miles of the Pacific 
Northwest were buried by lava flows to a depth varying 
from a few to more than five thousand feet. The trees here 
were so completely and quickly buried that air was ex- 
cluded and the wood was transformed into high-grade 
charcoal, with growth rings, medullary rays, and the mi- 
nutest cell structures perfectly preserved. These logs are 
extinct species of oak, redwood, beech, and cypress, none 
of which is native to this area at the present time. In the 
lava fields near Idaho Falls was until recently a large juni- 
per nearly seventeen hundred years old. A study of its al- 
most perfect rings has yielded considerable information in 
regard to the wet and dry cycles during its period of 





us 191-91 SECTION I 








122 MILES 
-it MILES 








f^uTswi nrmuy 

'nAAinw . — \ 5 





Idaho's Major Points of Interest 195 

Tour 1 

Section a, U S 191, Montana Line to Idaho Falls 197 

Section b, U S 91, Idaho Falls to Utah Line 210 

Tour 2 

U S 91, Montana Line to Idaho Falls 216 

Tour 3 

Section a, U S 30 N, Wyoming Line to Pocatello 218 

Section b, U S 30 N and U S 30, Pocatello to Boise 230 

Section c, U S 30, Boise to Weiser 253 

Tour 4 

State 27, Blackfoot to junction with U S 93, 2 m. south of 

Challis 265 

Tour 5 

Section a, U S 93, Montana Line to Hailey 273 

Section b, U S 93, Hailey to Nevada Line 285 

Tour 6 

State 15 and 44, New Meadows to Boise 293 

Tour 7 

Section a, U S 95, Canadian Line to Lewiston 300 

Section b, U S 95, Lewiston to Weiser 308 

Tour 8 

State 9 and 7, Spalding to Grangeville 319 

Tour 9 

U S 95 Alt., Coeur d'Alene to Potlatch 325 

Tour 10 

U S 10, Montana Line to Washington Line 331 

Tour 11 

State 3 and U S 195, Montana Line to Washington Line 337 


Motor vehicle laws: Maximum speed 35 m. outside of restricted 
areas. No nonresident license; but nonresidents remaining more than 
sixty days must register. No fee. Spotlights not to exceed two 
allowed. Hand signals must be used. On mountain highways no 
coasting on downgrade is allowed; and right of way must be given to 
traveler on upgrade. There is no State highway patrol. 

Liquor laws: Alcoholic liquors can be legally purchased only from 
State Liquor Stores or authorized special distributors. Purchaser 
must have a permit (50c) which may be obtained in State Liquor 
Stores; this is not transferable. It is illegal to open a package con- 
taining liquor or to consume liquor (except beer) in a public place. 
Beer of more than 4% alcohol by weight is illegal. 

Poisonous insects, etc. : Though parts of Idaho lie in the tick fever 
area, fatalities are very few, and most persons disregard the risk. 
There are rattlesnakes in parts of the State, but this reptile is not in 
general regarded as a menace. Of large wild animals there is none 
that will attack a human being unprovoked. 

Clothing: Warm clothing is desirable in the high mountainous 
areas even in summer months. 

Addresses of National Forest Headquarters: Boise Forest, Boise; 
Caribou, Montpelier; Challis, Challis; Clearwater, Orofino; Coeur 
d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene; Idaho, McCall; Kaniksu, Sandpoint; Mini- 
doka, Burley; Nezperce, Grangeville; Payette, Boise; Salmon, Salmon 
City; Sawtooth, Hailey; St. Joe, St. Maries; Targhee, St. Anthony; 
Weiser, Weiser. 



THIS is a selected list of items and includes only those 
which would be worth the time of anyone to see. 

Following each is the tour number on which it is to be 
found. See the key map. 

I. Caves 

a. Crystal Falls la 

b. Minnetonka 3a 

c. Formation 3a 

d. Shoshone 5b 

II. Canyons 

a. Middle Snake River - - - 3b 

b. Bruneau 3b 

c. Seven Devils 7a 

d. Salmon River 5a 

e. Malad River - - - - - 3b 

III. Areas 

a. Primitive - - - - 5a; 3b; 6 

b. Selway 8 

c. Island Park la 

d. Payette 6 

e. Seven Devils 7b 

f. Sawtooth 5a 

g. Heyburn Park 7a 

h. Priest Lake 11 

IV. Springs 

a. Soda 3a 

b. Lava 3a 

c. Big la 

196 IDAHO 

V. Lakes 

a. Bear 3a 

b. Sawtooth ------ 5a 

c. Payette ------- 6 

d. Coeur d'Alene 7a 

e. Pend d'Oreille 11 

f. Priest 11 

VI. Waterfalls 

a. Mesa la 

. b. Twin - - 3b 

c. Shoshone ------ 3b 

d. Moyie - - 7a 

VII. Rock Formations 

a. Craters of the Moon - - . 4 

b. Malad Gorge ----- 3b 

c. Cassia City of Rocks - - - 3b 

d. Gooding City of Rocks - - 5b 

e. Balanced Rock ----- 3b 

f. Crater Rings 3b 

g. Jump Creek Canyon - - - 3c 
h. Sucker Creek Canyon - - - 3c 

VIII. Highway Engineering 

a. Galena Summit - - - - 5a 

b. French Creek Hill - - - - 7b 

c. White Bird Hill ----- 7b 

d. Winchester Hill - - - - 7b 
6. Gilbert Hill ----- 8 

f. Lewiston Hill ----- 7a 

g. Fourth of July Canyon - - 10 








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N E V A D A 


67 M 























(West Yellowstone, Montana) — St. Anthony — Idaho Falls 
—Pocatello— Preston— (Ogden, Utah). U S 191 and U S 
91. Yellowstone Route. 

Montana Line to Utah Line 244.9 m. 

The Oregon Short Line of the Union Pacific System and 
the air route of the National Parks Airways roughly paral- 
lel U S 191 and U S 91. Union Pacific Stages follow U S 
191 and U S 91 to Salt Lake City, Utah. 

All types of accommodations along the highway, including 
improved campsites ; usual price range. 

Section a. Montana Line to Idaho Falls, 108 m. 

U S 191 coming out of Montana enters Idaho over 
Targhee Pass (7,078 alt.) 10 m. west of the western 
gateway to Yellowstone Park and proceeds for almost 
fifty miles through the heart of the Targhee National 
Forest. This beautiful area of rivers and heavy timber 
is one of the principal tourist regions of the State, and 
this drive through Targhee Forest is one of the finest in 
Idaho. The dense growth east or west of the highway is 
chiefly lodgepole pine, though other trees of importance 
in this forest are alpine and Douglas fir and Engelmann 
spruce. In late spring and throughout the summer this 
region is a continuous garden of wild flowers. Inasmuch 
as the lower elevations are above six thousand feet, this 
region is one of cool summers and of very deep winters, 
with skiing often possible over the buildings. Though a 
favorite with visitors from many parts of the world, 
this northeastern corner of Idaho is still an excellent fish- 
ing area. Its streams are annually stocked not only by 
the State but also by several sportsmen's associations, 
some of which have clubs here. 

VALLEY VIEW RANCH 4 m. (L) is a group of cabins 
on a mountainside that overlooks Henrys Lake in the west. 
Meals are available here, and several cabins at very nominal 

198 IDAHO 

rates. Here, too, is the junction (R) with an unsurfaced 
road that is a cut-off to southern Montana. 

HENRYS LAKE stands among four mountain passes : 
the Red Rock, the Reynolds, the Targhee, and the Boot 
Jack. South of it is Sawtelle Peak. Lying upon distance 
against a western range, it has been invested with many 
a legend, and is chiefly interesting when viewed within its 
background of folklore. Only five miles in length, it is fed 
by innumerable rivulets that come out of the mountains 
flanking it. This, one of the unusual spots in Idaho, is said 
to be an interesting example of a remnant dating back 
probably to Pliocene times when all of these valleys were 
filled with water. Its mysterious floating and disappearing 
islands, now largely restored to a somewhat mythical past, 
were composed of spongy substance covered with grass, 
and are said to have attracted the fancy of Chief Joseph of 
the Nez Perces, who saw the working of a supernatural 
agency in their changing forms. Legend declares, too, that 
for many years Indians refused to explore these islands. 
After awhile they resolved, with ingenious courage, to use 
them as burial grounds inasmuch as they vanished "six 
sleeps in each moon" and ought on that account to put any 
ghost irrevocably beyond the reach of care. The Indians 
decided (the tale is still largely legendary) that by the time 
the erected scaffolds had sunk into the bogs, the soul of 
a dead Indian would be safely within the happy eternities. 
These islands became, in consequence, one of the strang- 
est burial grounds of the world, and alternately vanished 
and reappeared with their cargo of dead. Perhaps of 
more importance today for those unaffected by legends 
is the fact that fishing in the lake and its near-by streams 
is unusually good and that ducks abound in the marshes. 
A State hatchery is to be found at the northern end. 

U S 191 now passes through a narrow valley and 
enters the chief area of resorts. At 5 m. is the junction 
with a trail. 

Right on this trail is SAWTELLE PEAK, from which is visible most 
of the Targhee Forest and a slice of southern Montana (for horse- 


back trips to this peak, see Trudes Resort). This trail is 8 m. long. 
On Mount Reynolds, west of Sawtelle Peak, are acres and acres of 
marine fossils. 

At 12 m. is the junction with an improved road. 

Left on this road the BIG SPRINGS RESORT 5 m. (6,540 alt.) 
compi-ises a central lodge, flanked by a number of cabins. No 
other resort in this area stands upon so beautiful a site. BIG 
SPRINGS, which are only a few yards from the Inn, are almost a 
phenomenon in themselves. Gushing from the base of a mountain, 
they are the source of the North Fork of Snake River, and pour out 
such volume that a full-grown river is under way within a hundred 
feet of the springs. The average flow of 185 second-feet never 
varies in temperature from 52 degrees F. Upon the bottom of the 
stream and visible from the bridge is an interesting flora, and upon 
the mountains roundabout are lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, and 
Engelmann spruce. A favorite pastime with visitors here is to 
stand on the bridge and feed bread to the schools of rainbow trout. 
During the summer an average of twenty loaves a day are bought 
at the Inn for this purpose. 

SACK'S CABIN (admission is free) across the springs from the 
Inn, is a very remarkable lodgepole cabin. Built over a period of 
years with painstaking care by a German carpenter creatively en- 
dowed, it has attracted the interest of thousands of persons and filled 
them all with wonder at what genius can do with logs and slabs and 
a few simple tools. All the woodwork inside and all the furniture is 
handmade and of most unusual craftsmanship. 

From the Inn a road climbs 2 m. to BIG SPRINGS LOOKOUT 
and a tower which affords an excellent view of the surrounding 
country. The Targhee Forest maintains several public campgrounds 
within its boundaries, and one of the best is here at Big Springs. 

MACK'S INN 13 m. on U S 191 is the most famous re- 
sort in this region. Popular with visitors from many parts 
of the world and particularly with celebrities from Holly- 
wood, it has a central unit of buildings comprising cafes, 
stores, and a hotel, flanked on nearly every side by rows of 
cabins. The North Fork of Snake River is its northern 
boundary, and here from the bridge visitors again delight 
in scattering bread to the fish. Just southwest (R) is an- 
other public campground, and down the river below it are 
summer homes. Across the river, both east and west, are 
private clubs. Some of the cabins here are noteworthy in 
their workmanship, but the most interesting feature of 
this resort is perhaps the interior of the cafe. 

200 IDAHO 

TRUDE 16 m. (6,327 alt.) is on Elk Creek in the 
Bitterroot Range. On the highway is the dance hall, and 
set back from it are the main lodge and the cabins which 
overlook a private lake in which is said to be the largest 
eastern brook trout in the country. Swimming and boat- 
ing are available here as well as fishing in private waters ; 
and unlike the other resorts, Trude outfits for horse- 
back and pack trips into adjacent areas, including Saw- 
telle Peak and Yellowstone Park. This resort, like Mack's, 
has been a favorite with a wealthy clientele. 

POND'S LODGE 20 m. is on the Buffalo River and 
has like the others, a central inn and a number of cabins. 
The former lodge, which burned to the ground in 1935, 
was notable for its interior rustic woodwork. Just N of 
the resort (L) is the Buffalo public campground. 

Left from Pond's Lodge a graded road leads to ISLAND PARK 4 m. 
(6,290 alt.) and to natural campsites in a wilderness of evergreens. 

From U S 191 a few miles S of Pond's, the Teton Peaks 
are visible. The highway again enters a forested area, and 
the gorge of the North Fork comes into view on the right. 

At 39 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road are UPPER MESA FALLS 1 m., where unim- 
proved campgrounds are available. This waterfall (sometimes called 
the Big) has a vertical drop of 114 feet.i Unlike so many of the falls 
in Idaho it has not been vitiated by reservoirs, and in consequence 
the full flow of the North Fork is delivered over its wide escarpment. 
This plunge of water against a high mountainous backdrop is well 
worth seeing and in picturesqueness the campsites here are rarely 
excelled. Across the river on the opposite bank the lovely symmetri- 
cal trees are Engelmann spruce. Just below the falls at a point where 
the river plunges again is a curious formation of stone that resem- 
bles a group of heathen idols. The cascading rapids downstream are 
especially impressive when the river is at its flood in late spring. 

At 39 m. on U S 191 is a sign marked GRANDVIEW 

A sharp turn (R) from the highway leads to an eminence which 
affords a fine view of LOWER MESA FALLS. This second drop is 

1 The heights of all waterfalls in Idaho are taken from the Geo- 
logical Survey Water-Supply Paper 657. 

y m 

.•?^- *i'4tt^r- 









T O U R O N E 201 

sixty-five feet, and beyond it the mist of the Upper Mesa Falls is 
visible in the distance. Though only a little more than half the height 
of the other waterfall, the Lower Mesa excels it in its greater con- 
centration of water into a more furious downward pouring. In this 
distance of a mile and a half the North Fork of Snake River drops 
almost two hundred feet. Just south of Grandview Point is an 
unusually inviting but unimproved campground. 

U S 191 now descends by winding grade to leave 
Targhee Forest. 

WARM RIVER INN 48 m. (5,284 alt.) is the last of the 
tourist resorts in this area. Like the others, it has a central 
lodge with outlying cabins, but unlike them it stands almost 
upon three rivers: the Warm, Robinson, and Snake. A 
short distance out (R) is a large dance hall which offers 
dancing on Saturday evenings. The highway now climbs 
out of Warm River and on the right 49 m. is the Reiman 
Ranch whose lodgepole buildings suggest what an enter- 
prising farmer can do toward beautifying the place where 
he lives. Remarkably ingenious is Reiman's own hydro- 
electric plant on the river below. 

At 50 m. on U S 191 is the junction with State 47. 

State 47, a graveled road, connects U S 191 with the southwest 
corner of Yellowstone National Park. Along this road are many 
good campsites and unusually fine fishing. The best streams are 
Bechler and Falls Rivers, Boundary, Porcupine, Rock, and Ash 
Creeks, all accessible from the highway. 

At 9 m. on State 47 is the YOUNG RANCH, which outfits pack trips 
into the surrounding mountains. 

BECHLER RIVER STATION of Yellowstone National Park, at 19 
m., is in the center of a good hiking area of Yellowstone Park and 
has excellent campgrounds. Right from Bechler River Station is a 
trail to CAVE FALLS 4 m., a lovely waterfall on the Bechler River, 
which gets its name from a large cave on the river bank from which 
the most striking view of the falls may be had. An improved camp 
has been provided at Cave Falls. 

ASHTON 54 m. (5,256 alt.; 1,003 pop.) is the home of 
the famous dog derby. This event, held annually on Feb- 
ruary 22, attracts drivers from Canada and many of the 
Northern States. Begun in 1917, and since then copied in 
many parts of the country, this race was at first from 
West Yellowstone to Ashton, a distance of sixty-four 

202 IDAHO 

miles. In that race a blizzard almost buried the drivers 
and their teams and they did not reach Ashton until the 
following day. Windriver Smith had a bulldog in the 
lead; the second man out drove a bunch of mongrels 
gathered from the farmyards of neighbors; but the 
winner had an assortment of lusty young hounds that 
had been used on mail teams out of Ashton. The record 
for the present three-lap course of eight and one-third 
miles is one hour, fifty-one minutes, and forty-one sec- 
onds. The favorite dogs now are red Irish setters. 

Upon leaving Targhee Forest and Warm River, U S 
191 enters the upper Snake River Valley and goes almost 
down the center of it for nearly a hundred miles. From 
here to Blackfoot it lies across one of the richest agricul- 
tural areas of the State. The chief crops throughout its 
length are potatoes, sugar beets, peas, and hay. At Ash- 
ton and from the highway east and west there are visible 
on a clear day the magnificent Teton Peaks (L) in Wyo- 
ming, reaching far into the sky like great towers of stone 
and glass furrowed with snow. The highest of these peaks 
standing upon the Teton Range in the Grand Teton Na- 
tional Park reaches an altitude of 13,747 feet. 

ST. ANTHONY 68 m. (4,958 alt.; 2,778 pop.) was 
named for St. Anthony Falls in Minnesota. This town is 
the seat of Fremont County, and the center of the seed- 
pea industry of eastern Idaho. There is nothing of un- 
usual interest in the town itself, but west of it are two 
of the most remarkable natural phenomena in the State. 

Right from St. Anthony an unnumbered and unimproved road goes 
westward past the Industrial Training School, and from this point 
signs will direct the traveler. These SAND DUNES 6 m., Idaho's 
tiny Sahara Desert, lie in a belt more than a mile wide and thirty 
miles long. It is quite beyond the power of words to describe the 
wind-drifted golden banks that vary in height from ten to a hun- 
dred feet. They flow over the landscape like a great arrested tide 
with most of them unbelievably perfect in their symmetry and 
contour. They are a beautiful picture at any time of day, and even 
under a cloudy sky; but their soft and shimmering loveliness is to 
be seen most impressively under a gorgeous sunset, when the flame 
of the sky falls to the burning gold of the dunes, and the whole 


earth here rolls away in soft mists of fire. Under the first light 
of morning they awaken from an unfolded landscape of shadow and 
gloom to faintly luminous witchery and then steadily into dazzling 
piles of light and dark. And from year to year and mile to mile 
they shift uncertainly under the sculpturing winds, and are never 
twice the same. 

CRYSTAL FALLS CAVE 28 m. is only one of the many caves in 
this desolate volcanic area. Idaho has hundreds of caves, and a 
few of them are known beyond the State's boundaries; but this one, 
seen by hardly more than a score of persons and known by name to 
fewer than a hundred, is perhaps the most remarkable one of all. 
Those who venture out to explore its interiors should be prepared 
for poor and unimproved road; should go equipped with warm 
clothing and gas lanterns or powerful flashlights and about fifty 
feet of rope; and ought to arrange to venture in a party of several, 
because for the careless or the unwary this is a comparatively 
dangerous journey. 

The entrance to Crystal Falls Cave is by way of a ragged gulch 
bedded with piles of stone, but the opening itself is large and 
vaulted and leads easily to the first chamber. This room is huge 
and rough with torn ceilings and walls and with countless tons of 
rock heaped upon its floor. At its farther end is a rugged passage- 
way that leads down, but not steeply, to the enormous first corridor 
of the cave. The ceiling here at the beginning is perhaps a hundred 
feet in height and descends in sweeping cui-ves to the walls, but 
after a little the ceiling comes down to thirty or forty feet, and the 
corridor runs for a quarter of a mile in an almost perfectly vaulted 
archway of remarkable formation. After penetrating for a hundred 
yards the explorer comes to a frozen river that lies upon half 
the length of the main chamber. This river of ice, of unknown 
depth, is eight or ten feet wide and reaches down the center of the 
cave with a great sloping stone shelf running parallel on either side. 
The explorer can take his way carefully along the glazed surface 
of either ledge, or he can descend with the aid of a rope to the 
river and walk on the ice. 

At the ends of this river are the most amazing features to be 
found in these interiors. The end first reached is a great waterfall 
of ice that drops thirty feet to a tiny chamber of extraordinary 
beauty. Close by this chamber, toward the cave entrance, is a 
jagged basin some twenty feet across and thirty feet in depth, and 
the explorer can descend without the aid of ropes and then turn to 
the right and follow a short and narrow passage to the other 
chamber. Upon coming to the other chamber he will probably hold 
his breath at the unsurpassed loveliness of what he sees. This 
waterfall of ice looks as if a river had plunged and had been sud- 
denly frozen, because the contour of the descending flood is per- 
fect, even to the spilled frozen flanking structure that looks like 
tumbled chandeliers and draperies of glass. The floor of this small 
chamber is of ice with perfect cones bedded in it, formed by the 
dripping of water from the ceiling. On either side of the fall is a 

204 IDAHO 

passage that leads to an inclined floor of ice and to another long 
and faultless corridor that lies exactly under the one above. This 
chamber should be entered for a view of the ice fall from the other 
side and because it leads, after dropping in its ceiling until the ex- 
plorer for a few yards has to proceed on hands and knees, to an- 
other huge chamber beyond, where ice crystals, studding walls and 
ceiling, are breath-taking in their perfection. The descent from the 
small chamber over the downward floor of ice can easily be made 
with a rope or by the adventurous person without; but a rope will 
be necessary to make the return to the small chamber. 

Leaving the chamber of the waterfall, the explorer can prefer- 
ably descend to the river of ice and follow it to its far end. At its 
far end it cascades down in corrugations as if the ripples of the 
stream had been suddenly frozen, too. At its far end, also, is the 
loveliest corridor of all. It is smaller, though it allows a person to 
walk without stooping, and it is perfectly vaulted. From its floor 
up over its arched ceiling down to its floor again it is a solid mass 
of ice crystals that grow in great bunches like flowers, each with a 
thousand glass petals. The perfection of this long narrow corridor, 
symmetrically arched and vaulted, and of its glittering jeweled 
length, can hardly be suggested. Those who walk down it are 
urged to proceed with care and not to touch the luxuriant brilliance 
of the walls and ceiling; because this burgeoned fragile loveliness 
breaks and falls in showers when touched, and is a long time in 
growing again. 

Possibly nobody yet knows how many corridors there are in this 
cave, and doubtless nobody has remained long enough to see all of 
the natural beauty to be found here. The attention of the explorer 
is called to the coloring of some of the stone formations which, in 
places, look like inlaid slates or huge rough mosaics in greens and 
sepia browns. Here and there, too, ice hangs in draperies or like 
prodigal glass chandeliers. On the curved walls above the river 
ledges are great curved slabs that look like stucco and are perfect in 
both pattern and contour. They seem to hang most precariously to 
the vaulted sides as if they had been set up on edge and were held 
in position by no more than a concealed button or hook. In all these 
corridors, in fact, the visible stonework is remarkable in the reck- 
lessness of its sculpturing and the variety of its pattern. 

This is Idaho's principal area of caves. Within a radius of ten 
miles from this one, eleven others have been explored wholly or in 
part, and many remain unexplored. Crystal Falls Cave is the most 
remarkable of those known, but some others are equally unusual 
in their own way. The Corkscrew descends like a spiraled stairway 
to nobody knows quite what depth; and another, unnamed, is a mas- 
sive interior that runs underground for two miles. An adventurous 
person who delights in subterranean exploration could spend months 
here and never penetrate all the recesses to be found. In this whole 
area there are no poisonous vipers and no poisonous insects. 

Right from St. Anthony an unimproved road leads to the site of old 
FORT HENRY on Snake River about 7 m. out. This broad flat 

Crystal Falls Cave: Crystal Falls 

Crystal Falls Cave: a backdrop 

Crystal Falls Cave: a corridor 




uf 40 




valley was first explored by Andrew Henry of the Missouri Fur 
Company in 1810. Trappers were the first to settle here, and 
Beaver Dick Leigh and his Indian wife Jenny were the first to 
build a home in this region. The fort, erected in 1810, was the first 
on Snake River or any of its tributaries. It consisted of several 
cabins and a dugout; but after Henry and his companions trapped 
here and traded with the Shoshonis for a year they abandoned the 
fort, and it was used by Wilson Price Hunt while his men built 
Cottonwood canoes to venture down La Maudite Riviere Enragee 
(the accursed mad river, the name given to the Snake by French 
voyageurs after they had come to grief upon its falls and cascades). 
For nearly a century the site of the old fort was unknown, but in 
1927 a rock was unearthed which bore the inscription: 

Al the cook, but nothing to cook. 

This stone, together with two others inscribed "Gov't Camp, 1811" 
and "Fort Henry 1811 by Captain Hunt," are now in Rexburg. 

A monument to Fort Henry now stands on the bank 
of Snake River where U S 191 crosses the bridge to 

At 75 m. is the junction with State 33. 

State 33 leads through the TETON PASS (alt. 8,429) to Grand Teton 
National Park and to the southern entrance of Yellowstone National 
Park. Fishing along the entire length of State 33 is good, and unim- 
proved campsites are frequent. At Canyon Creek 18 m., (R) from 
State 33 on a graded road, is the PINCOCK HOT SPRINGS 5 m., 
which has private baths and a large indoor pool but no hotel accom- 
modations. Fishing is very good in TETON RIVER 30 m., which 
abounds in rainbow trout. At TETON CANYON 40 m. is the only 
improved campground, 9 m. (L) from State 33. From VANTAGE 
POINT in this canyon there is a magnificent view of Teton Peaks 
and the surrounding country. 

On State 33 is DRIGGS 41 m., county seat of Teton County. Here 
is the largest bed of coal known to exist in the State. Geologists 
estimate that about 11,000,000 tons lie in beds a few miles west but 
the fields remain almost wholly unexploited. At 44 m. is TETON 
BASIN, formerly called Pierre's Hole, a famous rendezvous in early 
days for trappers and traders who gathered here in a rousing carnival 
of sharp maneuvering and drunkenness. Probably no spot in the West 
knew a larger congress of rascals and scoundrels. It was here that 
42 adventurers encountered a roving band of 200 men, women, and 
children of the Gros Ventre tribe, and, reinforced by Indian allies, 
engaged in terrific battle. Arrows and spear points, and more in- 
frequently, stone axes and tomahawks are still found on the battle- 
field. A winter carnival of skiing and dog-racing draws a crowd 
each year. 

206 IDAHO 

VICTOR 49 m. is the nearest railway station of the Oregon Short 
Line R. R. of the U. P. system to the Jackson Hole Country and the 
Grand Teton National Park. It is 6 m. from the Wyoming Line. 

On U S 191 near Rexburg there is a monument to Fort 
Henry (see above). 

REXBURG 80 m. (4,861 alt. ; 3,048 pop.) was founded 
in 1883 under instructions from the Mormon Church. 
Named for Thomas Ricks, one of its founders, it soon 
established mills and a school, and five years later a col- 
lege. Characteristic Mormon resourcefulness and social 
integrity have made of Rexburg the principal town in the 
upper Snake River Valley north of Idaho Falls, and have 
symbolized their industry in the tabernacle here. In 
nothing is this city more typical of Mormon planning than 
in the breadth of its streets. 

RIGBY 94 m. (4,858 alt. ; 1,531 pop.) is another town 
which, like most of those in eastern Idaho, has been 
planned and developed chiefly through Mormon initiative 
and enterprise. It is another center of a potato, sugar-beet, 
and seed-pea area. 

Right from Rigby on State 48, an unimproved road, are the 
MENAN BUTTES 8 m., which stand at the confluence of the North 
and South Forks of Snake River. Great quantities of sediment carried 
down from the watersheds to this point are here spread out because of 
the stream's decreased velocity into a broad delta with the river 
cutting across it in several channels. Just beyond are the buttes, 
broad of base with gently sloping sides and broad tops, rising six 
hundred feet above the surrounding plains. Each has a well- 
defined extinct crater in its top, about a mile in diameter and two 
hundred feet in depth. The beds of ejected materials fall away in 
all directions at sharp angles and flatten at the base. Sand and 
gravel contained in the strata of which the craters are built indi- 
cate that these volcanoes were erupted explosively through an old 
river or lake deposit. The cones are of the same age and moderately 
recent. Quarried at their base is a black volcanic rock of cemented 
fragments and explosive dust which is used locally in buildings. 
These great bleak sentinels have been little explored, and only 
rarely do persons descend to their crater beds. Between the two 
are rocks bearing Indian petroglyphs of men, bison, cranes, rabbits, 
and horses. Because of t"he fact that the horse, unknown to Indians 
long ago, is represented here, no great antiquity is claimed for 

T O U R N E 207 

these writings. South of these buttes ai-e two smaller ones, covered 
with juniper, which were once a favorite camping ground for In- 
dians of this valley. 1 

At 103 m. on U S 191 is a junction with State 22. 

Left on State 22, a paved road, is RIRIE 12 m. State 22 is the high- 
way from Idaho which leads to the southern entrance to Yellowstone 
Park. Ririe is one of the most recent of Idaho towns and perhaps 
as close as any other to the mood and vigor of the frontier. If the 
visitor wishes to come as close as it is possible to come today to the 
rowdy spirit of the old West, he should plan to attend the Friday 
night dance in the new Ririe dance hall. State 22, still surfaced, 
proceeds to the hamlet of POPLAR 16 m., out of which two country 
lanes lead (L) to the HEISE HOT SPRINGS 3 m. just across the 
South Fork of Snake River by ferry. This resort, the most popular 
in this part of Idaho, offers hotel accommodations and indoor and 
outdoor pools. E of Poplar the highway enters the foothills of the 
eastern mountain range; crosses the rolling belt of the Antelope dry 
farms, with the South Fork coming down its gorge on the left; and 
then falls by easy grade to the river and a tiny valley (Conant), 
and climbs hills again to swing leftward to the river bridge. It 
now follows the stream to SWAN VALLEY 37 m., so named be- 
cause once a haven of swans. At this point it forms a junction 
with State 31. 

State 22 proceeds up the gorge of the South Fork of Snake 
River to ALPINE 69 m., the Idaho-Wyoming Line, and its 
junction with Wyoming 89 which goes southward to its junction 
with State 35 and U S 30 N at MONTPELIER (see Tour 3, Sec. 
a). From Alpine an unsurfaced road has recently been completed 
up the magnificent Grand Canyon of the South Fork in Wyoming to 
Jackson. In this stretch of twenty-five miles the river has cut across a 
great many sedimentary formations, with the canyon now ranging 
in width from one hundred to one thousand feet and in depth from 
one thousand to four thousand. The scenery here is rarely equaled, 
and the river and adjacent streams have seen few fishermen. This 
is the most spectacular route to the southern entrance of Yellow- 
stone Park. 

An alternate approach to Yellowstone is State 31 which pro- 
ceeds from Swan Valley (L) by benchland up Pine Creek and over a 
pass and down into VICTOR 23 m. After leaving Victor it climbs 
over a series of cutbacks to Teton Pass (in Wyoming) at an eleva- 
tion of 8,500 feet, and then drops for six miles over another breath- 
less series of cutbacks into the Jackson Hole country. The view 
from Teton Pass is one of the most remarkable in the West. 

1 Statements about these buttes (also sometimes called the Market 
Lake Buttes) are based on United States Geological Survey Bulletin 

208 IDAHO 

IDAHO FALLS 109 m. (4,709 alt.; 9,429 pop.), the 
seat of Bonneville County and third in size in the State, 
is the cultural and industrial center of the upper Snake 
River Valley. The most remarkable fact about this beau- 
tiful and thriving town is its hydroelectric plant, one of 
the largest municipally owned in the United States. The 
plant consists of two sections, one at the west end of 
Broadway, and the other three miles up the river. Both 
are open to visitors. The lower unit is also used to pump 
water from three deep wells which have a combined flow 
of 13,500,000 gallons every twenty-four hours. For the 
citizens of Idaho Falls, socialism is a word that may be 
anathema, but the fact remains, nevertheless, that this 
is Idaho's most socialistic city, and promises to become 
in consequence eventually tax-free and the most prosper- 
ous one in the State. Its electric power rate is one of the 
lowest in the Northwest, and its city tax rate is only a 
little more than a third of the average for Idaho as a 
whole. Above all overhead and maintenance and depre- 
ciation costs, this municipal plant nets the city an annual 
profit of more than a hundred thousand dollars for liqui- 
dation of its debts and expansion of its civic programs. 
Idaho Falls will soon be free of indebtedness, and under 
wise leadership it will eventually be free of taxes, and 
these two circumstances will give to it an enormous ad- 
vantage over other Idaho cities. And this city, finding 
that its one venture into municipal ownership paid huge 
dividends, next built a modern hotel, the BONNEVILLE, 
and has discovered it to be an asset also. Discovering that 
it had unused profits from its power plant, it built a hall to 
house the fire and police departments, a radio station, and 
an engineering and drafting department in addition to the 
customary offices. This hall was erected at a cost of 
$200,000 without bond issue or increase in taxes. 

It is the shipping center of this part of the State. The 
normal acreage of its seed-pea industry is fifty thousand, 
and this is minor in comparison with hay or potatoes or 


beets. Idaho ranks fourth in production of honey, and 
Idaho Falls is one of the largest centers of this product. 
The potato-flour mill is one of the few in the world, and 
uses annually about ten million pounds of culled potatoes 
that would otherwise be wasted or used only for hog feed. 
This plant, which ships to various parts of the world, pro- 
duces as much as 2,500,000 pounds of flour in a season. 

Left from Idaho Falls on an improved road is LINCOLN 3 m. in 
which is one of the largest sugar factories of the West. It has a 
capacity of sixty-five million pounds annually. 

At the junction of Elm Street and Boulevard is Tri- 
angle Park, in which are to be found rare species of shrub, 
flower, and tree. Facing Snake River and off Broadway 
(L) is ISLAND PARK which contains a few historic relics, 
an aquarium, a few wild animals, and small rearing ponds 
for fish. KATE CURLEY PARK, covering a city block, is 
on Lee and Emerson ; and CITY PARK is southward (L) 
just beyond the city limits. Here are an artificial lake, used 
as a swimming pool, and a small zoological garden of native 
wild animals. Admission is free here, as it also is to the 
pheasant farm just north of Highland Park. This city's 
golf field, one of the few eighteen-hole courses in the State, 
is irrigated by an underground system and has an ex- 
cellent turf. HIGHLAND PARK on U S 191 just north of 
the city, is equipped with kitchens, tennis courts, and a 
children's swimming pool and playground. 

The historic TAYLOR TOLL BRIDGE, of which only 
the stone abutments remain, was built across Snake River 
in 1866-7. The timbers were hauled from Beaver Canyon, 
eighty miles north, and the iron was obtained from old 
freight wagons and from a wrecked steamboat on the 
Missouri River. The stage station and post oflice here 
were formerly called Eagle Rock because a great stone 
out in the river was for many years the nesting place of 
an eagle. On Willow Creek north of the city are the 
scarred but victorious remnants of the first orchard in 

210 IDAHO 

this part of Idaho. One huge old pear tree has become a 
towering patriarch that looks over even the cottonwoods 
along the creek. 

Idaho Falls is at the junction with U S 91 (see Tour 1, 
Sec. b and Tour 2). 

Right on U S 91 is a lava field known as HELL'S HALF ACRE 14 m., 
in which until 1928 was a remarkable old juniper (cedar) tree that 
began its growth in 310 A. D. It was still alive when cut down and 
an examination of it discovered 1,618 rings which, according to 
geologists, recorded alternate cycles of rainfall and drouth. 

Section b. Idaho Falls to Utah Line, 136.9 m. 

Valley route with surfaced road throughout. Customary 
accommodations. The Greyhound Lines and Intermoun- 
tain Transport Co. buses follow this highway between 
Butte and Salt Lake City. 

South out of Idaho Falls U S 91 proceeds through 
Idaho's most famous potato area. On the left is the moun- 
tain range that spills westward from the Wyoming-Idaho 
boundary, and on the right the fertile valley reaches away 
to the volcanic lava plains. 

SHELLEY 10 m. (4,624 alt.; 1,447 pop.) is the cen- 
ter of the most prolific potato region in the State. The 
warehouses here export annually about two thousand 
carloads of Idaho russets that are known for their quality 
wherever potatoes are known. At the close of the harvest 
in October a Spud Day celebration is held, with choice 
potatoes on display and with baked potatoes served to 
passengers on every train and motor coach going through 
the town. 

Right from Shelley on an unimproved road are THE LAVAS 4 m., a 
weird assortment of small caves and fissures and solidified rock flows 
with dwarfed trees hanging precariously to the edges, with lovely 
ferns thriving incongruously in the deep pits. The remoter depths 
are said to be the haunts of coyotes and wildcats and rattlesnakes; 
and are waiting, in consequence, for someone bold enough to explore 


them. Because of the presence of so many arrowheads and other 
Indian relics in the tables and pockets here, it has been surmised that 
an ancient Indian village was inundated by the eruptions. These 
lavas are upon the eastern margin of that huge area of which the 
Craters of the Moon National Monument is the core. In the west the 
Twin Buttes are visible on a clear day. 

BLACKFOOT 27 m. (4,505 alt.; 3,199 pop.) was 
named for the Blackfeet Indian tribe. The Indians were 
called Siksika (meaning black of feet) because their 
feet are said to have been blackened by constant wading in 
the ashes of the regions which had been devastated by fire. 
If a town can be summarized by a single quality, then per- 
haps the most notable characteristic of Blackf oot is the fact 
that its indefatigable librarian has made of this city not 
only probably the most book-conscious one in the State 
but has also lifted its taste in reading far above the usual 
levels. This circumstance is all the more remarkable when 
the books in this small library are compared with those in 
other public libraries in Idaho, and when it is remembered 
that all the books in all the public hbraries in the State do 
not add to more than half a million. So awakened has this 
town become to the cultural possibilities to be found in a 
good library that it recently made an extensive drive to 
enlarge its resources in reading. 

At Blackf oot is the junction with State 27. This im- 
proved road is the most frequent point of diversion to 
the Craters of the Moon (see Tour 4). 

Left from Blackfoot is an unimproved road which leads into the 
Blackfoot River country and adjacent terrain. The length of this 
tour depends on the taste and time of the adventurer. The distance 
is more than sixty miles if he penetrates clear to the Grays Lake 
area (also accessible by way of Soda Springs: see Tour 3, Sec. a). 
This road leads to mountains, rivers, and lakes, and to fishing and 
wild game. Near the head of WOLVERINE CREEK 30 m., which 
empties into Blackfoot River, are campsites, an open-air dance pavil- 
ion, and a fish hatchery owned by sportsmen of this region. GRAYS 
LAKE 60 m., lying between the Little Valley Hills and the peaks of 
the Caribou Range, can be reached over fair road if the traveler 
wishes to penetrate wilderness and find campsites that overlook 
a large part of eastern Idaho. 

212 IDAHO 

FORT HALL 40 m. (4,445 alt.) is an Indian agency 
for the Bannack, Shoshoni, and other tribes. Annual 
dances of unusual interest are held here: the Sun Dance 
about July 24, followed by the War, Owl, Rabbit, and 
Grass Dances, each with its own characteristic songs and 
drumbeats. The Warm Dance, held in late January or 
early February, is a religious ritual, intended to hasten 
the end of winter. Later there is an Easter Dance ac- 
companied by an egg feast. The Indians on the reserva- 
tion are excellent artisans, the women engaging in many 
kinds of intricate bead work upon such articles of cloth- 
ing as moccasins and vests. These, as well as other handi- 
craft, are for sale in the stores in Fort Hall. 

The Fort Hall Reservation lies chiefly eastward from 
the agency. The Indians here are engaged in agriculture, 
and have their own reservoir for the impounding of water 
to irrigate their lands (see Tour 3, Sec. a). They have not 
been so successful in their agricultural enterprises as the 
Indians in northern Idaho, chiefly because the lands as- 
signed to them are less fertile. 

Close by U S 91 is a lava monument (L) which com- 
memorates old Fort Hall. 

Right from the Agency, on a dirt road built recently by the Indians, 
is the site of old Fort Hall .25 m. An old well, once the center of its 
enclosure, and the triangular rifle pits, now bedded with grass, are 
all that remain of the fort. Floods have washed away the adobe 
plaster with which Hudson's Bay Company covered Wyeth's cotton- 
wood stockade, and the poles themselves were filched by old-timers 
to build cabins and bridges and roads. This fort, built in 1834, and 
becoming at once the chief refuge in this great area of Indians and 
sagebrush, was the only inhabited place between Fort Bridger and 
Fort Boise. Emigrant wagon trains, coming out of the lonely deserts 
and valleys eastward, could see from afar its cool whitewashed 
walls, its red flag lettered H. B. C. (Hudson's Bay Company, but 
meaning, old trappers said, Here Before Christ) ; and once within 
its walls they could forget for awhile the vast empty landscapes out 
of which they had come. Until its destruction by flood in 1863, Fort 
Hall was the rendezvous of Indians and Spaniards and French 
Canadians, priests and doctors and missionaries, besides hordes of 
nondescript adventurers of all kinds. Some came to rest, some to 
pray, some to celebrate on liquor distilled from wild honey, some to 


heal wounds made by Indian arrows, and some to bury their dead. 
Abandoned in 1855, the fort was a wayside inn for wagon trains 
until a flood demolished it eight years later. Close by the highway 
is a lava monument commemorating it. 

Fort Hall covered a half acre of ground, and was surrounded by 
a wall five feet high and nineteen inches thick. Within the stockade 
were dwellings and stores and barns, all overshadowed by a two- 
story blockhouse or bastion. Standing in the center of the battle- 
ground of the Bannacks, Blackfeet, and Crows, and unprotected on 
all sides, it was in constant danger of attack, but weathered the 
years and its enemies to disappear at last and be forgotten. For a 
long while thereafter its actual site was unknown. In 1906 Ezra 
Meeker went over the Oregon Trail with ox team and dogs, but he 
was not able to determine the site until ten years later when the 
old well and rifle pits were found. Flood and erosion had completely 
changed the contour of the land upon which it had stood. 

POCATELLO 52 m. (see Tour 3, Sec. a for this city 
and for the highway from it to McCammon twenty-five 
miles south. Here U S 30 N and U S 91 are the same.) 

At DOWNEY 92 m. (4,860 alt. ; 553 pop.) is the junc- 
tion with State 36. From this town U S 91 and State 
36 run parallel into Utah. State 36 avoids the beautiful 
Logan Canyon and goes over less mountainous terrain. 

Right from Downey on State 36 is MALAD CITY 21 m. (4,700 alt.; 
2,535 pop.), the seat of Oneida County and once the seat of this en- 
tire part of the State. The Malad River was named by French- 
Canadian trappers, though whether they were made ill from drink- 
ing the water or from overgorging on the flesh of beaver seems not 
to be known. Few towns in Idaho have had a more turbulent past. 
A pictorial history of Malad City would show a panorama of stage 
robberies, lynchings, and murders. It was over this Montana Road 
that gold was freighted from northern mines to the smelters in 
Utah, and it was in this town that the coaches of the Overland Stage 
came to a stop. Malad today is remarkable chiefly for the crazy ir- 
regularity of its streets, many of which were laid at random upon old 
paths and cow trails; and for its historic log cabins still scattered 
among its homes. The East Malad Mountain rises to a height of 
9,332 feet and shelters the town from extremes of weather. Sixteen 
miles southeast in Weston Canyon is the Pass of the Standing Rock, 
named by John C. Fremont, who camped here on August 29, 1843, 
while searching for the Great Salt Lake. 

From Malad City it is 13 m. to the Utah Line and 57 m. to Brig- 
ham City in Utah. 

214 IDAHO 

PRESTON 125 m. (4,718 alt. ; 3,381 pop.) is the seat 
of Franklin County and the center of this irrigated part 
of the State upon the watershed of Bear River. 

Left from Preston is the Emigration Canyon Road (once the Cali- 
fornia cut-off used by forty-niners to avoid the long detour by way 
of Fort Hall), which leads into the mountains and canyons of the 
Cache National Forest. Fishing is good in this area, many fine 
campsites are available, and the drive up Bear River is the most 
beautiful in southeastern Idaho. A few miles northeast of Preston 
on State 34 is the Bear River Canyon. Four miles out, a monu- 
ment marks the site of Colonel E. P. Connor's attack on the Ban- 
nack Indians on January 29, 1863. The battle took place at the 
mouth of a small stream (later named Battle Creek) which the 
Indian chieftains. Bear Hunter and Sagwitch, had chosen for their 
winter home. The Indians defended themselves with embankments 
of woven willows, but in spite of their ingenuity and their courage 
they were so badly defeated that Franklin settlers who visited the 
battleground the next day declared that "you could walk on dead 
Indians for quite a distance without touching ground." Arrow- 
heads and spear points are still found near the monument. 

U S 91 proceeds through the fertile valley lying be- 
tween the watersheds of Bear and Malad Rivers. 

FRANKLIN 133 m. (4,497 alt.; 531 pop.) was the 
first permanent white settlement in Idaho. This town was 
founded in 1860 by a party of Mormon emigrants who 
thought they were in Utah, but were just across the 
line. They were industriously unaware that they were 
establishing the first school, or the first irrigation sys- 
tem in Idaho when they diverted the waters from Maple 
Creek to this section of Cache Valley. Back East, the 
indefatigable Brigham Young had bought a steam engine 
and had it shipped up the Missouri River to Fort Benton 
and then overland to Franklin by wagon and team. When 
it is remembered that this engine weighed ten thousand 
pounds, the long trek for hundreds of miles by wagon and 
oxen over mountains and rivers is to be seen as a small epic 
in itself. The engine, one of Idaho's few persistent his- 
toric survivals, was used first in a sawmill in Franklin; 
then moved to Soda Springs and back again to Franklin ; 
and after awhile abandoned and forgotten. For many 


years it gathered rust by the roadside until citizens de- 
cided it was a relic and placed it in the FRANKLIN HALL 
where it and other historic items can be seen. 

At 133 m. U S 91 crosses the Idaho-Utah Line 20 m. N 
of Logan, Utah (see Utah Tour 1-A). 


(Butte, Montana) — Dubois — Idaho Falls. U S 91. 

Montana Line to Idaho Falls, 83 m. 

Surfaced throughout, this is the main traveled highway 
between Butte and Salt Lake City, but it lies for the most 
part over flat, semiarid, and rather desolate country and 
offers little of beauty or interest. The route is paralleled 
by the Oregon Short Line of the Union Pacific System and 
by the Greyhound Lines and Intermountain Transport Co. 
buses. Accommodations limited. 

U S 91 enters Idaho from Montana 132 m. S of Butte, 
Montana, over the Bitterroot Mountains (6,823 alt.) and 
the Continental Divide, but the gradient is easy even 
though the highway passes from the eastern to the west- 
ern watershed. For several miles the road goes through 
mountainous country and the western end of the Targhee 
National Forest. 

SPENCER 17 m. (5,883 alt. ; 107 pop.) is in a formida- 
ble area of bleak landscapes that lie entirely across Clark 
County and far into Jefferson County on the south. This 
region is the northeastern flank of that vast lava terrain 
upon central Idaho of which the Craters of the Moon are 
a picturesque summary. 

Right on this improved road which swings southwest and meets 
State 27 at 82 m. is Arco (see Tour 4). 

DUBOIS 33 m. (5,148 alt.; 312 pop.) is the seat of 
Clark County and the largest town within a radius of 
thirty miles in any direction. This capital of a wasteland 
was named for former U. S. Senator Fred Dubois. Far 
out in the west on Birch Creek (but not worth a visit) is 
the ghost town of Viola: at one time two thirds of the 
lead produced in the United States came from here, but 
now only one log cabin and a slag dump remain. 

T O U R T W 217 

1. Right from Dubois, State 29 leads to LIDY HOT SPRINGS 20 m. 
sometimes called, and not without reason. The Oasis, where there are 
indoor and outdoor swimming pools supplied by hot mineralized 
water, a dance hall, and camping sites. 

2. Left from Dubois, a fair road leads to the U. S. SHEEP EXPERI- 
MENTAL STATION 6 m., which is visited by a great many travelers 
over this highway. 

At 57 m. is the junction with State 28, an improved 

Right on State 28 is MUD LAKE 12 m., a large body of water that 
harbors thousands of migratory ducks and geese. This lake has no 
outlet; and though Camas Creek flows into it and though it gathers 
much rain and snow from its watersheds, it is slowly disappeai'ing. 
This circumstance is less surprising when it is remembered that this 
large area, and especially westward, is one of vanishing streams. 
Northward, the Beaver and Medicine Lodge Creeks lose themselves 
completely in the lava fields; and westward, two rivers disappear. 
Throughout this region are fissures and porous formations, and 
under these there are doubtless subterranean channels along which 
the buried streams flow for nobody knows how far. This region 
is underlaid for the most part by great deposits of basalt that has 
been poured out at different times from many widely distributed 
craters. These erratic flows have piled up the basalt to high levels 
and have in consequence produced broad but shallow and undrained 
depressions into which the streams are discharged. Some of these 
remain indefinitely as tiny lakes. North of Mud Lake is an ex- 
tensive lava plain with fantastic buttes; and southwest are the 
Antelope and Circular Buttes, two volcanic cones that stand above 
the surrounding country. The flora in this area is chiefly white 
or sweet sage, rabbit brush, and Russian thistle, with chaparral 
above 4,500 feet. Around the lake on the sloughs adjacent is a 
luxuriant growth of marsh grass and tule. 

ROBERTS 65 m. (4,775 alt.; 297 pop.) was known 
until recently as Market Lake. The former name owes 
to the fact that in frontier times there was a lake here 
upon which there were thousands of ducks and geese. 
These were so abundant that early settlers came here to 
gather their meat, and somewhat facetiously called the 
place Market Lake, and spoke jocularly of going to the 
market for a supply of food. The name was changed to 
honor a railroad superintendent. 

U S 91 continues to Idaho Falls 85 m. (See Tour 1, 
Sec. a). 


(Cheyenne, Wyoming) — Montpelier — Pocatello — Twin 
Falls — Boise — Weiser — (Baker, Oregon). U S 30 N and 
U S 30. Oregon Trail Route. 

Wyoming Line to Oregon Line 462 m. 

The Union Pacific Railroad roughly parallels this highway 
throughout, and the Union Pacific Stages follow it between 
Pocatello and Weiser. 

Usual accommodations throughout. 

Section a. Wyoming Line to Pocatello, 122 m. 

This section of Tour 3 follows the Bear and Portneuf Rivers 
with no difl!icult grades. Surfaced highway. 

U S 30 N enters Idaho and the Bear Lake Valley at 
Border on the Idaho-Wyoming Line in the extreme south- 
eastern part of the State. This part of Idaho is an area 
of lofty ranges, of lakes, of rivers and creeks, and of small 
valleys upon the great watersheds. Very little of it lies 
at an elevation less than six thousand feet, and this alti- 
tude makes for deep winters and cool summers, with an 
average temperature of forty-six degrees. The valleys 
are given to agriculture under irrigation, the uplands and 
mountains to grazing. The chief crops are grain and 
potatoes and the hardier fruits, with grapes abundant 
farther south by Utah. The Caribou National Forest is 
on the right, the Cache National Forest on the left, but 
most of the old-growth timber has been exhausted, and 
the somewhat denuded watersheds offer the same prob- 
lems in erosion and overgrazing that are to be found in 
many parts of the State. Bear Lake Valley is the only 
part of southern Idaho that is not drained by Snake 


MONTPELIER 22 m. (5,941 alt.; 2,436 pop.) is the 
largest town in this area. Founded in 1864, it was first 
known as Clover Creek and later as Belmont; but when 
Brigham Young came here and decided that he liked it, 
he named it after the capital of his native State. This town 
is the gateway to one of Idaho's most remarkable regions. 

Left from Montpelier, State 35 leads to one of the chief recreation 
areas of eastern Idaho. 

PARIS 9 m. is notable because it has the finest buildings of any 
small town in Idaho. On the left is a typical tabernacle of the 
Mormon Church. The dominant sect in eastern and southeastern 
Idaho is Mormon, and the most attractive architecture throughout 
this region is to be found in its tabernacles and temples. The Paris 
free campgrounds are equipped with tables and stoves to accommo- 
date five hundred persons; and through the grounds runs the water 
of Paris Creek, very cold even in midsummer, and extremely clear. 

South of Paris at 12 m. on State 35 a right turn from 35 past the 
store goes up a canyon to lovely BLOOMINGTON LAKE 9 m. 
This lake, lying under huge cliffs, covers twelve acres and is of 
clear cold water of unknown depth which gushes from innumerable 
springs far under. Excellent campsites are available here. In the 
appropriate season this lake is framed like a tremendous jewel 
among an unusually luxuriant wealth of wild flowers, including 
larkspur, columbine, dogwood, and mountain ash. In 1931 the 
U. S. Forest Service planted in this lake 1,000 California glacial 
or golden trout, a rare species that is not found in many places. 

South of Paris at 17 m. on State 35 a right turn leads up 
St. Charles Canyon and enters Cache National Forest and pro- 
ceeds to the MINNETONKA CAVE 10 m. At 9.5 m. a left 
turn enters the Minnetonka campground, and those wishing to 
explore the cave will leave their automobiles here and go up the 
mountain by footpath. It is a little more than a half mile, and a 
steep climb, and on a warm day it is advisable to take drinking 
water along. Gas lanterns and not flashlights are absolutely 
necessary equipment in exploration of the cave, as well as rugged 
clothing. The journey to the farthest chamber and return requires 
from three to six hours. 

The entrance to this cave is most appropriately what the en- 
trance to any remarkable interior should be. The visitor at the 
top of the trail comes to a sheer wall of rock which stands against 
the backbone of the mountain. Midway in the wall at its bottom 
is a door which opens upon a tunnel that reaches downward by easy 
descent for a hundred yards. Its ceiling is extremely rugged with 
great thrusting abutments hung together in a huge amorphous 
roof. Some of the stone here looks like polished green marble 
but farther down it yields to white mounded bluffs bottomside up. 

220 IDAHO 

Seventy-five yards down the corridor the right wing climbs away 
into a large chamber, the floor of which meets and is welded with 
the ceiling. At one hundred yards the tunnel swings to the left. 
The floor of it is now an acreage of boulders that scale upward 
ragged ton by ton. At the top of this climb is a grotesque serrated 
ceiling with some brown columnar stalagmites on the right, and just 
beyond these the stone looks as if great vats of whipped cream 
had been spilled and turned to rock. The low stratified roof also 
has small overflows that suggest animistic symbols on an ancient 

The path now goes steeply upward over huge glazed stones 
scattered in a jungle under a stupendous roof in which eternity is 
commemorated in underhung ledges and reefs. Visitors should 
pause here in their ascent and send one person ahead to the summit 
with a gas lantern. For the beautiful stalagmites resemble nothing 
so much as a cemetery on a hilltop under moonlight. The monu- 
ments vary considerably in size: some of them obviously seem to 
stand over the bones of the great and some over the humble, and 
all of them together, when seen under the glow of a hidden 
lantern, make one of the loveliest pictures to be found in the cave. 
Beyond the principal graveyard stands a huge bronzed monument 
that has been called King Tut, and at his side is another, doubtless 
his wife; but these look more like the images of heathen gods. The 
ceiling here was once very beautiful, too, with stalactites hanging 
down in an inverted garden of small columns, but vandals have 
knocked most of them off and they now lie scattered on the floor. 
This cemetery is under a high vaulted ceiling that is overwhelming 
in the Gothic majesty of its sculpturing. 

Nothing is more notable about this cave than the way in which 
it becomes progressively more breath-taking. After the visitor has 
passed these monuments on a hillside, he proceeds through a narrow 
and indescribably ragged passageway to another stupendous cham- 
ber. In its first fifty yards its floor is a broad steep incline which 
is paralleled by an equally hunchbacked ceiling. Then the corridor 
widens and the ceiling lifts away. After another fifty yards the 
explorer ought to observe the large stones under his feet: of ap- 
parently soft texture and of soft color, they look like blocks of 
yellow congealed cream imbedded with nuts. Still floored with 
these huge cream puffs or with scattered monuments that look like 
case-hardened granite, this chamber continues and then drops down 
into an awful gorge more than a hundred feet in depth. A more 
terrifying interior it would be difficult to find; but the descent 
from huge stone to stone is not dangerous, and after it is made 
the visitor will find himself at the bottom of a barbarous tunnel 
that is hardly more than a dozen feet wide but reaches sheer 
through gloom a hundred feet to its ceiling. From the floor, the 
explorer should note on his right the enormous flat shelf that is 
actually laid out upon stone beams. The underside of this shelf 
is a slab of pavement that is as perfect as the plastered wall of 
a house. The walls in this tunnel are spiked and toothed, with each 

Cavern of the Idols 


looking like a plateau of small crags turned upon its edge, or with 
a plateau of crags inverted to make the ceiling. 

At the far end the trail climbs very sharply from shelf to shelf 
and comes to another gigantic chamber with boulders as large as 
houses strewn over its floor and with enormous rifts running like 
half-buried beams through its ceiling. Some water falls here upon 
the large round stones that look like solidified kalsomine built of 
river cobble rock. Water can be heard in other invisible parts of 
this chamber. The right flank, vanishing into darkness, suggests 
other interiors beyond, but none have been found. To the left, and 
just beyond the water, is a mammoth blade of stone that looks like 
the cleaver of some prehistoric giant; and beyond this, still to the 
left, the path again falls sharply over rock hummocks shelved 
downward in a world of anarchy and enters a long serpentine 
corridor, the floor of which makes easy walking in contrast with 
the floors already covered. This chamber leads after a hundred 
yards to the Bride. The Bride herself is a huge stalagmite seven 
feet high with her creamy trousseau draped virginally around her; 
and the Bridegroom hangs from the ceiling by his heels. There is 
a small stream of water under the floor here and plainly audible, 
and quite likely it could be reached by removing some of the smaller 
stones. The cave now runs to the left another hundred yards and 
terminates, so far as is now known, in two divided chambers that 
drop down into vaulted archways at their far end. 

Such briefly is this enormous cave lying under the backbone of 
a mountain. Undisciplined and vandalic, and the quiet but mag- 
nificent synopsis of a once turbulent time, it is in its barbarous 
sculpturing the most impressive of all the known caves in the 
State. Nobody knows how much of it remains undiscovered and 
unexplored. Only a few persons have entered it. And these, after 
several hours of difficult journeying, are usually ready to turn 
back when they reach the Bridal Chamber and seek sunlight and 
ponder on what they have seen. The elevation of this cave is 
7,500 feet. 

On State 35 is BEAR LAKE 18 m. and its many half-deserted 
resorts. This body of water, lying half in Idaho and half in Utah, 
was until a few years ago a very beautiful lake of deep blue with 
excellent beaches and recreational facilities. There were many fine 
summer homes along its shores. But the Utah Power Company 
was allowed during the years of drouth to install pumps and build 
canals and take great quantities of water out of the lake to be di- 
verted down Bear River to the turbines of the plant in northern 
Utah. In consequence, the lake has sunk more than twenty feet, 
its beaches have become quagmires or wide stretches of sand, and 
its resorts have almost gone bankrupt. Lately, it is true, the lake 
has risen several feet; but even if it were to be restored to its 
former level. Bear Lake can never recover its former glory as 
long as its water is at the mercy of capricious interests. Farms in 
this valley have suffered, too. 

222 IDAHO 

FISH HAVEN 23 m., formerly a beautiful spot, is only a shabby 
ghost of what it used to be — and it used to be the most important 
Idaho resort on the west side of the lake. It still offers cabins, bath- 
ing, boating, and hiking; but the chief hiking is now from the resort 
to the lake, a quarter of a mile away. Just south of it, in Utah, is the 
Lakota Resort, which has sunk under a similar fate. Nor have the 
many summer homes fared any better: they still stand, but they 
overlook not the lake as formerly but the wide barren margin that 
the retreating waters have left. At the north end of the lake is the 
pumping plant of the Utah Company and north of this is Mud Lake, 
a much smaller body of water that is a favorite with thousands of 
migratory wild geese and ducks. At the northeastern corner of Bear 
Lake is the BEAR LAKE HOT SPRINGS RESORT with its hotel 
empty, its large swimming pool used only by week-enders, and its 
boats junked. 

There are trout in the lake plus several species of whitefish, but 
fishing here is poor. The lake, except for its recent naked flanks, 
is still beautiful, and the best vantage point is in Utah. At 28 m. is an 
unobstructed view of the colorful mountain range that is the eastern 
backdrop of the lake, with a second and higher range beyond, and a 
third, still higher, beyond the second. Under morning sun the lake 
is a very deep blue, but in late afternoon it is pale gray or green with 
the mountains on the far side throwing soft lavender shadows. Its 
backdrop as the sun sets looks like a long bank of deep purple fog. 

In Utah at 30 m. a right turn leads to Logan. 

U S 30 N goes west out of Montpelier and follows 
Bear River, which in its 165 miles of length is one of the 
most circuitous streams in the United States. It rises in 
northern Utah, flows for 30 miles through Wyoming, 
and enters Idaho near Border. For 40 miles now it 
seems decided, but W of Soda Springs it pursues every pos- 
sible direction before leaving the State to enter Utah and 
seek the Great Salt Lake. Most picturesque is its gorge as 
viewed from the coaches of trains near the Utah-Idaho 
Line. In crossing southeastern Idaho the highway crosses 
one of the richest areas of buried wealth in the world, 
because four fifths of the phosphate on the North Ameri- 
can Continent lie here and in adjacent areas in Utah, Wyo- 
ming, and Montana. 

At 46 m. is the junction with a poor road. 

Right on this road, which leads up a canyon 2 m., is the SULPHUR 
SPRINGS. The rock around this spring is so nearly pure sulphur 
that it will burn with a steady flame. Eastward a mile on U S 30 N 
is another left turn up a canyon to Swan Lake. An arc of stone here 



five hundred feet wide and forty feet high has impounded a reservoir 
clear across the mouth of Swan Lake Creek. Deep in the water 
here, petrified timbers are visible. A half mile above this lake is 
another of about its size, and at the head of the creek which helps to 
feed these lakes are springs which taste strongly of sulphur. The only 
fish in these lakes is a tiny minnowlike creature that seems never to 
grow larger than trout bait. In the wall impounding the lower lake 
there is a small cave. 

SODA SPRINGS 51 m. (5,777 alt.; 831 pop.) is the 
third oldest settlement in the State. Fort Conner, the 
southwest part of the present townsite, was established 
in 1863 by General Conner and a little band of Marrisites, 
dissenters from the Mormon Church. The old or lower 
town has but one of the original buildings, the school- 
house, still standing. The present townsite joins the orig- 
inal on the east. Soda Springs was named for the many- 
springs, highly charged with carbonic acid gas and most 
of them cold, that gush out in this area. This whole re- 
gion, in fact, is a wonderland of its own, though some of 
the springs, like the Steamboat, have been inundated by 
storage waters since the completion of a dam. The 
STEAMBOAT SPRING, two miles west of the town, still 
boils up through forty feet of water and explodes at the 
surface. Analysis has shown that there are twenty-two 
different degrees or kinds of mineral content in the springs 
in this region, and all of them are said to have remarkable 
curative power. There was formerly a bottling plant at 
the Ninety Percent Spring near Stampede Park, and 
though this no longer operates, thousands of persons do 
come here annually to drink the waters. Favorite of all 
with visitors is the HOOPER SPRING a mile north of 
town. Close by it is the CHAMPAGNE SPRING, and 
northward is the MAMMOTH SODA SPRING, which is 
almost precisely of the same size as the Mammoth Hot 
Springs in Yellowstone Park. Just south of the town, 
where Little Spring Creek crosses the road, is the spot 
where a family of seven emigrants was massacred. Just 
west of the town is the cemetery in which these persons 
were buried with their wagon box serving as a coffin. 

224 IDAHO 

1. Right on country road is STAMPEDE PARK 2 m., where in Au- 
gust an annual stampede and rodeo is held. This park is a natural 
amphitheater, bordered by peaks and flanked by peculiar stone form- 
ations and rock crystals. The road to the park winds through cedar 
and pine trees and is known as the Red Road because of the colorful 
rock formations which were sculptured long ago by the springs. 
The spring flowing into the park is known as Eighty Percent. 

2. Left is MOUNT SHERMAN standing against the sky at an 
elevation of 9,669 feet. Its summit is accessible over eighteen miles 
of fair road and over trail in the last mile. From this peak. Salt 
Lake Mountains are visible in the south, the Teton Peaks in the 
north. There is excellent fishing along Eight Mile Creek which the 
road follows. 

3. Right from Soda Springs on State 34, a graveled road, are many 
points of interest. SODA MOUND, beautifully landscaped, is on the 
left just beyond the railway track. On the left 3 m. out is a round hill 
at the foot of which was for a long time a nameless grave, now 
known to be that of Charles Robinson, an early trapper. A right 
turn at 4 m. out follows the Trail Creek road to the FORMATION 
CAVE (sometimes called the Limestone Cavern) and to the 4 S 
Ranch. The cave is reached by a left turn oflf the Trail Creek road at 
.25 m. from its junction. This very lovely cave is about three hun- 
dred yards long, about twenty-five feet in its average width, and 
about fifteen feet in its ceiling. It has been formed by hard mineral- 
ized waters, and in consequence its ceiling is studded with beautiful 
stalactites that look like gray and white foliage in stone — and some 
of them do have stems, tule, and leaves — or like delicate honeycombs 
or like hard fine lace. The sandy floor has some stalagmites but it 
is the ceiling that is a vision of loveliness. 

The 4 S RANCH, the most important dude resort in this part 
of the State, is 4 m. from the junction with State 34. It covers thirty- 
five hundred acres, with excellent pastures adjoining the Caribou 
National Forest and with excellent accommodations. It offers fishing 
and hunting in season, campsites, footpath and horseback trips, 
and swimming. 

At 7 m. on State 34 is a right turn to CONDA, one of the princi- 
pal phosphate plants of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. This 
town, two miles off the road, is a model in planning and in the mod- 
ern equipment of its homes. On the left of State 34, but at some 
distance, are the MAMMOTH SPRINGS, the source of Soda Creek. 
On the left at 10 m. is CHINA HAT HILL, beyond which are a 
second hill and a third. Between these two is a lovely nameless lake 
with neither outlet nor inlet but with many springs visible on its 
bottom. It is an unusual body of water in appearance because it is 
set down low and fenced around with steep walls. There are no fish 
in its water. At 13 m. State 34 crosses Blackfoot River, and just 
beyond the bridge a road leads (R) into the Caribou Forest. On the 
left is the BLACKFOOT RESERVOIR, the water of which is used by 


the Indians of the Fort Hall Reservation. This reservoir in its 
beautiful setting and with hill-islands half buried looks more like 
a mountain lake. It is heavily stocked with fish. 

HENRY 20 m. is a ghost town on the Little Blackfoot River. 
At 21.5 m. a left turn off State 34 skirts the northern end of the 
reservoir and leads to campgrounds, excellent fishing, and to a 
curious phenomenon. The latter, 14 m. from the junction, is a 
great hole in the side of the mountain, and this is visible from 
the road at 13 m. To reach the hole it is necessary to cross a 
meadow afoot. According to an old-timer, it was in the night of 
the second day of November, 1917, that he was awakened by a 
terrific sound that brought him out of bed with his hair standing 
on end. He went outside, expecting to see the sky falling or the 
earth splitting open; and on the next day discovered that a hunk 
had dropped out of the mountainside not far away. This hole 
is about 150 feet across and about 75 feet in depth on its upper 
side. In the bottom of it is water of unknown depth that foi-merly 
was lucid but is now covered with a brown or green scum that looks 
like heavy wallpaper, A part of the sheer walls are of earth, a 
part of stone; and the strange thing about it is the fact that this 
enormous piece of mountain dropped and disappeared from sight 
into a body of water, the depth of which nobody has been able to 

The main road still goes northward. At 24 m. a left turn cuts 
between two shelves of rock that are known as ROBBER'S ROOST. 
On the left a mile farther is MEADOW CREEK VALLEY, and at 
28.5 m. there is a road which goes (L) along the west side of GRAYS 
LAKE. The southern end of the lake 30 m. is a tule marsh, for 
the lake itself is a large but very shallow body of water that is 
flanked with bogs and meadows to which come tens of thousands 
of wild ducks. At 33 m. the rock by the side of the road (R) is 
BEAVERTAIL POINT: it was here that an Indian massacre oc- 
curred and it was here that the men were buried. Two of the graves 
are on the Point, and a third is by the ruins of a cabin just beyond 
and close by the road. The latter is the grave of John Day for 
whom this lake was first named and from whom later the distinction 
was taken for nobody knows what reason. All three men were 
buried in wagon boxes. 

At 35 m. is a junction: the left turn goes up the lake, and the 
right goes over the mountains and to Freedom, Wyoming, connecting 
there with a road that leads northward to the Jackson Hole country, 
Grand Teton National Park, and the southern entrance to Yellow- 
stone Park. 

U S 30 N goes westward out of Soda Springs. The flora 
in this part of Idaho is chiefly aspen, lodgepole pine, lim- 
ber pine, and Douglas flr among trees; maple, service- 
berry, mahogany, chokecherry, snowberry, wild currant. 

226 IDAHO 

and wild rose among shrubs; and geranium, harebell, 
cinquefoil, lupine, violet, daisy, larkspur, aster, paint- 
brush, and wild carrot among the flowers. To the left 
at 57 m. is SODA POINT, to which Fremont referred 
in 1842 as Sheep Rock because of the great number of 
mountain sheep seen here. It is an important geological 
formation inasmuch as its jutting of lava caused Bear 
River to turn southward and eventually enter Utah in- 
stead of following the natural watershed of this region. 
At 58 m. is a junction with State 34. 

Left on State 34 is GRACE 6 m., where there is a large hydroelectric 
plant that is annually visited by many persons. Two miles south of 
Grace is VOLCANO HILL, and a few hundred yards east of the hill 
is ICE CAVE, which is structurally a curious phenomenon. The 
entrance pitches down for fifty yards but thereafter the floor is 
fairly level to the far end. About halfway through is a skylight. 
But the remarkable thing about this cave is its structural sym- 
metry: fifty feet in width and about twenty-five in height, it runs 
in an almost perfect corridor for half a mile and looks like the 
upper half of an enormous barrel. And the walls and ceiling (be- 
cause this was once the outlet of volcanic pourings) look as if they 
had been plastered with hot lava. The far end terminates in piles 
of lava, once molten, and is known as the DEVILS KITCHEN. 
Though there is not much ice in it, this interior has been known 
as the ice cave since its discovery many decades ago. 

LAVA HOT SPRINGS 85 m. (544 pop.) is one of the 
most phenomenal spots in the State, but Idahoans have 
been too busy taking the rough edges off an empire to 
give it much interest. Natatoriums, it is true, have been 
established there, two by the State and one by the town ; 
and there is a fully equipped sanitarium. This town, sit- 
uated on the lovely Portneuf River at the base of great 
cliffs, has waters which, in both volume and therapeutic 
value, are said to be among the most remarkable springs 
known. For centuries the Indians paid tribute here to 
the Great Spirit for the curative properties of these hot 
springs and set this spot aside as neutral ground to be 
shared in peace by all tribes. The daily flow from the hot 
springs here, each with a different mineral content, is 
6,711,000 gallons. The springs have an average of 962.33 


parts of mineral content per million. It is locally claimed 
that the mineral content of these springs is higher than 
that of any other hot spring in the North American Con- 
tinent or in Europe. 

Both the State and City natatoriums have large indoor 
pools, the better one of which is the first. The State also 
has an outdoor pool, called the Mud Bath, which is amaz- 
ingly characterized by the varying degrees in the tem- 
perature of its waters. It is not a large pool, but a swim- 
mer can stroke from almost cold water into hot water 
and through various degrees of cold and warmth between 
the two extremes. This circumstance owes to the fact 
that thirty springs of varying temperature pour into this 
pool. Three springs, the Ha-Wah-Na, the Sulphur, and 
the Iron, have a total dissolved content of minerals of more 
than nine hundred and fourteen hundred respectively. 
Just below the balcony of the Riverside Inn runs the clear 
cold water of the Portneuf River with hot springs steam- 
ing almost at its edge. 

Against the town to the south is a great mountain 
that is almost a solid pile of unquarried building stone, 
which because of its strength and lightness has been 
characterized by engineers as one of the best yet found. 
It can be seen in two cabins across the river from the 
Mud Bath, and in cigarette trays in the Inn. Interesting, 
too, are other rock formations of Paleozoic limestones, 
shales, sandstones, and quartzites. Upon the river within 
the radius of a mile are fifty small waterfalls; and the 
smoke holes of old volcanoes are within hiking distance. 
The canyons and glens offer camping retreats, and fishing 
in the river is good for a stream so accessible. 

At 97 m. is the junction with U S 91. (See Tour 1, Sec. 
b.) U S 30 N turns north here and follows the Portneuf 
River and Canyon, the second of which is rich in historic 
lore. With its abrupt walls and innumerable crevices, cut 
in limestones and shales, it was a favorite hide-out for 
Indians and for white men of prey. It was here in 1865 that 

228 IDAHO 

a stage carrying several passengers and $60,000 was be- 
trayed by its driver to a gang led by Jim Locket, a notori- 
ous villain. Two passengers were killed and their bodies 
buried in a gulch near the scene of the crime. Another 
robbery occurred not far south of Pocatello in a grove of 
trees near the Big Elbow of the river. The robbers, ten in 
number and said to have been terrifically villainous of as- 
pect, held up the Wells, Fargo stage, murdered six of the 
seven passengers, and made off with $110,000 in gold dust. 

INKOM 109 m. is the home of the largest cement plant 
in Idaho. For its materials the factory draws on the moun- 
tain of lime rock that stands against the village. 

POCATELLO 122 m. (4,464 alt.; 16,471 pop.). 

Railroad station: Oregon Short Line, end of W. Bonneville St. 

Bus station: Union Pacific Stages, Fargo Building, S. Main St. 

Airport, municipal: (McDougall Field). Nat. Park Airways, 6 m. 
N. W. 

Golf courses: Ross Park (municipal), south of city, 9 holes. Uni- 
versity course, back of Red Hill and near university, 9 holes. 

It is the seat of Bannock County, the second in size of 
the Idaho cities, the principal gateway by railway, high- 
way, and air to the Pacific Northwest, and one of the 
largest railway centers west of the Mississippi. 

It stands upon an area which formerly was a portion 
of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, and was named by 
the builders of the Union Pacific Railroad for a friendly 
Indian leader who helped to secure tribal consent for the 
transfer of needed rights of way and building sites within 
the reservation to the then Utah Northern. Although 
the latter had been practically completed by Brigham 
Young, the Mormon leader, from Salt Lake City to Butte 
in 1879, Pocatello did not take form until 1882, when, 
with a collection of tents, it became the junction point of 
these two rail properties. 

Because of its fortunate position as the center of in- 
termountain arterial transportation, the growth of the 
city has since then been both substantial and constant. 


In addition to its rail facilities, it is directly served by 
Federal highways U S 30 N and U S 91, and has twice 
daily air mail, express, and passenger service. Because 
of its extensive railroad plant (the largest between 
Omaha and the Pacific Coast), it has an East and West 
Side, each with substantial downtown business and resi- 
dential sections. On the East Side are the wholesale dis- 
trict, city and county buildings, three of the city parks, 
some of the better homes, and the spacious campus of 
the University of Idaho, Southern Branch. In FRAZIER 
HALL, on the University grounds, is the recently estab- 
lished historical museum, featuring Idaho records, relics, 
and specimens. Through the West Side of the city flows 
the romantic Portneuf River, prolific producer of beaver, 
royal giver, and entertainer of many famous mountain 
men. On this side of the city, too, are additional city 
ING, more of the finer homes, and the larger apartment 
houses of the city. 

South, and a little way beyond the city limits, is ROSS 
PARK with grassy slopes, shady retreats, a swimming 
pool, a zoo, playgrounds, picnic grounds, and one of the 
finest golf courses in the State. Five miles farther south, 
at Black Rock at the very beginning of the Union Pacific 
ascent of the great Continental Divide, one stands at 
the principal of the rail outlets to the Pacific Coast which 
eminent engineers have been able to locate on the west 
slope of the Intermountain Rockies. 

Southwest, and adjoining the city, is the MINK 
CREEK RECREATIONAL AREA, including many im- 
proved picnic grounds, the POCATELLO GAME PRE- 
SERVE, containing one thousand head of elk and many 
PEAK. At the summit of Kinport is a roster of names of 
all who have climbed to this eminence for a view of the 
surrounding country. Beyond is Arbon Valley and its f er- 

230 'IDAHO 

tile, rolling "dry" lands which produce nearly a million 
bushels of grain annually. 

At Pocatello is the junction with U S 91 (see Tour 1, 
Sec. b). 

Section b. Pocatello to Boise, 268 m. 

This section of Tour 3 lies through the Snake River Valley 
and roughly parallels the river during most of its length. 
The road is hard surfaced throughout. Customary ac- 

U S 30 N goes north and west out of Pocatello. Upon 
the right 6 m. is the airport, and running north on the 
west side of it is a country lane. 

Right on this lane is the MEADER TROUT FARM 1 m., well worth a 
visit. Visitors are welcome but they must leave before sundown, for 
at this hour several huge savage dogs are freed to patrol the proper- 
ties during the night. This plant has several ponds, and any time 
after spring spawning hundreds of trout (chiefly rainbow) of all 
sizes are to be seen here, with so many in any pond that the water is 
black with them. These fish are fed chiefly with horseflesh, and in 
every year dozens of womout hacks are slain and ground up and 
stored in the cold rooms of the farm's hydroelectric plant. 

To the right now, but not visible, is Snake River, which 
is tributary to the Columbia, but larger. Flowing a dis- 
tance of 1,000 miles and forming 42 per cent of the Colum- 
bia River system, it drains 109,000 square miles, including 
western Wyoming, all of Idaho except the north and the 
extreme southeastern corner, the northwest corner of 
Utah, the northeast corner of Nevada, eastern Oregon, and 
the southeast corner of Washington. The extreme length 
or breadth of its basin is 450 miles. For more than half its 
distance it flows through a gorge, and has already upon it 
and its feeders 80 reservoirs with a combined storage ca- 
pacity of 5,700,000 acre-feet. In addition to these, there 
are 96 known but undeveloped sites with an estimated 
storage capacity of 7,746,000 acre-feet, and 70 hydro- 


electric plants which use less than one tenth of its 
potential power. It is fed by 56 rivers, of which 17 are 
regarded as major tributaries, and by 74 large creeks. Its 
source is in the southeast corner of Yellowstone Park at 
an elevation of 9,600 feet. It flows southward through 
Wyoming to the Hoback River, where it swings westward 
into a deep canyon which runs to the Idaho-Wyoming 
Line. Its first 61 miles in Idaho lie in a canyon, but at 
Heise it opens upon the Snake River Valley, and for 200 
miles to Milner is not deeply intrenched. At Milner it 
cuts a gorge for 200 miles to emerge again at Enterprise 
and flow over a plain to Huntington, where again for 189 
miles it lies far below the surrounding terrain. At 
Lewiston it enters Washington and flows 141 miles to its 
junction with Columbia River at Pasco. 

In the earliest geologic period most of the Snake River 
Basin was covered by a shallow sea in which were de- 
posited great quantities of sand and mud. These have 
hardened into quartzites. After the sea receded there was 
little invasion by marine waters but there were tre- 
mendous upliftings of granitic materials which were con- 
solidated into the Idaho batholith and its smaller but 
related masses of rock. Following this there was an epi- 
demic of volcanic upheavals and explosive eruptions ac- 
companied by flows of lava and ash. Erosion came next 
and slow patient sculpturings by glaciers, but the region 
was not yet ready to accept its alluvial deposits, and 
tremors and gigantic quakings shook Idaho from time to 
time, and basaltic uplifts rose like black monuments on 
the landscape. Within recent centuries earthquakes have 
been infrequent and never severe, but there are still deep 
and troubled rumblings, and not inconceivably in some 
future time this valley may again steam and tremble 
under boiling tides. After peace came Snake River set- 
tled down to the business of eroding its gorge. In the 
upper valley here it goes too lazily to achieve much, but 
beyond Milner it gathers speed and anger and has been 
most impressively busy. 

232 IDAHO 

On the right at 20 m. the AMERICAN FALLS RESER- 
VOIR comes into view, the first and largest of many 
between Pocatello and the Oregon Line. Though it has a 
capacity of 1,700,000 acre-feet and through a network of 
canals and diversions serves 600,000 acres, it is less spec- 
tacular by far than many which are to be seen elsewhere. 
The dam is a mile wide and has a maximum height of 87 
feet. The reservoir it created is 12 miles wide, 26 miles 
long, and covers an area of 56,000 acres. The cost of the 
dam was $3,060,000, but the cost of the whole project it- 
self ran to three times that sum. It is a concrete struc- 
ture with a rolled earth-filled embankment at either end. 

AMERICAN FALLS 25 m. (4,330 alt. ; 1,280 pop.) was 
once a favorite camping spot on the Old Oregon Trail. 
Or at least the former site was, for American Falls was 
moved when the reservoir was created, and the thrust of 
an elevator out of the lake marks the area where the town 
once stood. A railroad, a power plant, and a highway 
were also moved. This town is the center of a huge dry- 
farming wheat belt and the gateway to reclamation proj- 
ects that reach for 170 miles westward. Just below the 
dam here is the bridge of the Union Pacific, and just be- 
low the bridge is Idaho Power Company's largest hydro- 
electric plant. Close by the plant is the TRENNER ME- 
MORIAL PARK, dedicated to an engineer who helped in 
the development of this region. A rocky terrace made of 
lava from the Craters of the Moon, a fountain and a 
landscaped lawn, a lava monolith, and a miniature power 
station make of this park not only a point of interest but 
also a pleasant contrast to the arid country roundabout. 
The park is illuminated at night. Here, too, is one of the 
State's largest fish hatcheries, with a capacity of 2,500,000 
fingerlings in a season. Of unusual interest to persons 
who fancy old historic trails is the fact that a part of the 
Oregon Trail can still be seen within the townsite and for 
a short distance south. 

At 27 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 


Left on this road are INDIAN SPRINGS 1 m., where pools and 
baths are available. This resort is one of the most popular of the hot 
mineralized springs of the State, not only because of its reputed 
therapeutic value but also because it is easily accessible. 

At 35 m. is one of the most famous landmarks and 
monuments in the State. To understand what happened 
here in 1862 it is necessary to forget the telephone lines 
and highways, the towns and dams, and remember that 
this bleak road is a part of the most famous trail the 
North American Continent has known. It is necessary 
to imagine an arid region of sagebrush and loneliness, of 
unexplored mountains and deep rivers, with a flat and un- 
obtrusive and desolate wagon road taking its endless way 
over the gray miles. It was here, on August 10 in 1862, 
that a train of eleven wagons, drawn by ox teams and 
carrying twenty-five families from Iowa, took its journey, 
with the dust in the ruts felly-deep and with nothing in 
the distance save the obscure outline of ragged stone and 
beyond this the hot luminous haze of a far valley. These 
eleven wagons were the vanguard of many more, all of 
them headed uncertainly for Oregon. The ox teams moved 
slowly over a country that seemed interminable; and 
those who have followed the trails that pioneers blazed, 
who now travel by train and air and automobile, find it 
difficult to realize even obscurely the thirst and weariness, 
the intolerable drag of the journey week after week, the 
bleak sameness of earth and sky and sun. It is hard to 
realize that one of these ox-drawn wagons was an hour 
covering a mile and a half, or that the short distance 
from American Falls to the rocks ahead filled a large part 
of a day. This caravan had spent nearly the whole sum- 
mer crossing Nebraska and Wyoming and Idaho to this 
point, and these travelers were weary at heart, and the 
fabulous valleys of Oregon seemed as remote as ever. 
There were landmarks, some of which they had passed, 
some of which they were now looking for in the pale 
distance. Without maps, without anything but a peak 
or a notched butte in a week's journey, they knew only 

234 IDAHO 

that they had come hundreds of miles, had hundreds still 
to go. 

The driver of the first wagon, sitting high on the 
seat, was doubtless looking ahead, trying to distinguish 
between the blue gray of the desert and the gray blue of 
the sky. Behind him in the crawling wagons, reaching 
back for a quarter of a mile, were men and women sitting 
in stupor, with tired flesh and tired eyes; were solemn 
children who had sat in these loaded wagons week after 
week, going they hardly knew where ; and drivers gazing 
back over the enormously unreal distance out of which 
they had come and wondering about the distance ahead. 
This was a hot day in August with not a tree in sight 
and with no breeze. The yellow earth was turned up by 
the wheels in lazy blinding clouds that rolled back from 
wagon to wagon and settled upon the freight until the 
travelers could write their names in dust an inch deep. 
The driver on that front seat was looking at the Snake 
River Gorge, now appearing on the right, and at the 
blurred piles ahead of him, and was perhaps remembering 
that camp in this night would be pitched on bottom lands 
of the river. He probably was not suspicious. When he 
came to the crest of a hill and looked down a long slope 
to great piles of stone on either side of the trail, his 
gaze reached beyond to the river, now a visible oasis in 
a landscape of scalding sun. For fifteen minutes the 
wagons plowed in their furrows down this hill toward the 
bluffs and it was not until the leader had passed into the 
small gorge, with refreshing shadow on either side, that 
a sudden movement in the stones above brought every 
man to a trigger. . . . 

The sudden confusion and panic, the awful horror of 
the next few minutes, it is almost impossible to realize. 
The bare chronicle reads that nine were slain, six were 
scalped, many were injured, and a few miraculously es- 
caped. The chronicle declares that wagons were plundered 
and burned and the beasts were driven off ; and that on the 
next day the next wagon train reached this spot and 


buried the dead. And here, on a site now known as 
MASSACRE ROCKS, sixty-five years later, a monument 
was erected. 

At 37 m. there is a Pioneer Monument (L) . 

At 38 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Left on this road is EMIGRANT ROCK 3 m., a stone twenty feet 
high on which are registered the autographs of early travelers. 
Some of the names carved into the rock or even some of those painted 
on with black axle grease as long ago as 1849 are still visible. 

For eight more miles U S 30 N follows the river and 
then climbs to arid plains that have not been reclaimed by 
irrigation. On a clear day the Lost River Mountains are 
visible in the north, and on the south is a spur of the 
Goose Creek Range. The hilltops now offer a broad pano- 
ramic view of the Snake River Valley and the haze of Bur- 
ley and Twin Falls areas. At 49 m. the highway crosses 
Raft River. 

RUPERT 73 m. (4,200 alt. ; 2,250 pop.) is one of the 
few towns in Idaho that were planned and not allowed to 
grow aimlessly. Laid out by the engineering department 
of the Reclamation Service and named for the engineer 
who planned it, Rupert looked ambitiously into the future 
and arranged itself around a central plaza. Like the cities 
lying westward, it is of recent origin, having sprung al- 
most overnight out of this vast semiarid region into which 
water was poured. At the turn of the present century 
this whole area from American Falls to Buhl 142 m. was 
a domain of sagebrush and coyotes, bunch grass and 
brome grass, cheat grass and lizards. Swiftly, section 
by section, it has been transformed into a huge irrigated 
garden, and many towns have mushroomed within it and 
kept growing. The long sweep down the valley ahead is 
today one of Idaho's three principal agricultural areas. 

Right from Rupert an unimproved road leads to the MINIDOKA 
DAM 15 m. The Minidoka Reclamation Project involved the construc- 
tion of a rock-filled dam across Snake River, together with a main 
canal and its tributaries and an elaborate pumping plant. This 
latter, operated by power generated at the dam, has three units, 

236 IDAHO 

each lifting water twenty feet. The three of them require ten 
thousand horsepower of electric energy to operate. The diversion 
system and the pumping plant together irrigate about 116,000 
acres at an initial cost of $6,500,000. The body of water impounded, 
now called Lake Walcott (in honor of a director of the U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey), has a capacity of 107,000 acre-feet. There is such 
prodigal generation of current here that Minidoka County is said to 
be one of the most prolific rural patrons of electricity in the United 

BURLEY, 82 m. (4,240 alt. ; 3,826 pop.) is the center 
of another reclamation project of 121,000 acres and 17,- 
000 homes. It is one of the two most thriving cities in 
this part of Idaho, but came into being only recently 
through the miracle of water and irrigation. Today it has 
an alfalfa-meal mill with a capacity of 125 tons, a beet- 
sugar factory with a capacity of 800 tons, and the largest 
potato-flour mill in the world. 

At Burley is the junction with U S 30 S to Ogden, 
Utah. Out of this city are side tours to unusual points of 
interest, though these lie at some distance. 

1. Left from Burley on U. S. 30 S is DECLO 8 m. and then L on a 
side road is ALBION 6 m., the seat of one of the State's two normal 
schools. Though the campus here is lovely, of greater interest, per- 
haps, is the fact that Albion itself is a ghost town. It was once a 
county seat and on a main thoroughfare of travel into Utah, but to- 
day it is an assortment of decaying buildings that are precariously 
supported and kept out of complete ruin by the college upon the 
town's western flank. It is true, of course, as educators here declare, 
that most of these buildings are richly invested with fact and lore 
of a time now dead. 

Perhaps the most beautiful spot in the Minidoka Forest is LAKE 
CLEVELAND at the head of Howell Canyon on Mount Harrison. 
This is just south of Albion over good road that climbs the moun- 
tain; and although the highway does not approach the lake, it is 
accessible by a short and easy trail. In this vicinity there are, in 
fact, five glacial lakes. There are campsites throughout the length 
of Howell Canyon, fishing in adjacent streams, and magnificent 
views from Mount Harrison itself. 

2. Left out of Burley over graveled road via OAKLEY 24 m. 
and thence over country road is the SILENT CITY OF ROCKS 
38 m. This city covers an area of twenty-five square miles and lies 
almost six miles from north to south. In general this city is a 
weird congregation of eroded cathedrals and towers and shattered 
walls. Because formerly it was the junction of two famous trails — 


the Sublette Cutoff and the California Road — it has recorded upon 
its walls one of the largest chronicles known of transcontinental 
travel. There are thousands of names and dates, as well as mes- 
sages left for persons who were soon to follow; and it is evident 
that some of the more spectacular and foolhardy scribes must have 
been suspended by ropes from the tops of the cliffs, so high and 
remote from human footing are the records which they left. 

Unlike the Gooding City of Rocks (see Tour 5, Sec. b) this one 
has been carved by erosion from an enormous dome of granite 
which was anciently pushed up here into a mountain of its own. 
Because the weathered granite has become indurated or case- 
hardened on the surface while its inner structure has often more 
rapidly disintegrated, the city presents the extremely bizarre aspect 
not only of mosques and monoliths and turrets but also of bathtubs 
and hollow cones and shells and strange little pockets and caverns. 
Bathtub Rock itself towers two hundred feet, and can be climbed 
to its summit whereon is a large depression that catches rain- 
fall, in which, according to Indian legend, a bath before sunrise 
restored youth to the aged. Near the southern end are the gleaming 
turrets and fortresses standing upon a low saddle against the 
road. North from these are spires that rise two hundred and fifty 
feet from the floor of the basin and suggest from some distance 
the famous sky line of New York City. Others are rock brothers 
of the curious formations in Zion Canyon in southern Utah. Still 
others, fantastically grouped, look as if heathen temples had been 
rocked with dynamite and had rearranged their structure but had 
refused to fall. 

Close scrutiny leads, for those anthropomorphically minded, to 
formations even more curious. A few stones look as if they had 
been sculptured by human hands and many so closely resemble one 
thing and another as to have been named. There are the Old Hen 
with Her Chicks, the Dragon's Head, the Giant Toadstool, the 
Elephant Rock, and the Old Woman. The upper surface of the 
Giant Toadstool has been hardened by arid winds and now has an 
overhanging cap, but the massive body below from cap to root is 
more rapidly disintegrating. Pedestal Rock is a casehardened 
boulder which rests upon a narrow staff. The whole chaotic, 
drunkenly fantastic region runs, indeed, through such a variety of 
erosive change that it is said to surpass in weird picturesqueness 
the famous Buffalo Rocks in the Buffalo Mountains of Australia. 

For one not interested in strange formations of stone there are 
buried treasures to be searched for here. According to fact (or 
possibly legend) an overland stage from Kelton to Boise was ac- 
costed in this city in 1878, and $90,000 in gold was taken by the 
scoundrels. One of the bandits was slain, and the other subse- 
quently died in prison; but before his death he told where he had 
buried the treasure among five junipers. Five cedars growing in 
the shape of a heart were found in the city long ago, and frantic 
excavations were undertaken, but it appears that the treasure is 
still undisturbed. Interesting, too, are the mountains roundabout. 

238 IDAHO 

MOUNT INDEPENDENCE, the highest peak in Idaho south of 
Hailey, rises 10,550 feet, and not far from it are the five lovely INDE- 
PENDENCE LAKES. Because few persons ever make this climb, the 
fish in the waters, an explorer reports, are apathetic from either 
starvation or boredom. The return via Oakley passes close to the 
BOSTETTER PUBLIC CAMP, with accommodations for three 
hundred persons, is twenty miles west in the MINIDOKA NA- 
TIONAL FOREST. The setting is among lodgepole and aspen, gar- 
dens of wild flowers, and pure mountain streams. 

This region abounds, at some distance from the city, in camping 
sites and in fishing and hunting. New roads have recently opened the 
natural beauty of the Minidoka National Forest on the south, and by 
way of Oakley the traveler can enter the mountains and canyons and 
make week-end camps among the evergreens by the streams. Deer 
have been protected throughout the year for a long while in this 
forest, and these animals, more abundant now, can often be seen 
from the roads. Within the hunting season, ruffled and pintail grouse 
are plentiful; and Chinese pheasants are common throughout the 
length of this and the Hagerman Valley to Bliss. In the streams are 
whitefish, perch, and trout. 

At 96 m. is the junction with an improved road. 

Right on this road is MILNER DAM 4 m. which, like Minidoka, is a 
structure of earth and concrete. It stands on the historic site former- 
ly known as The Cedars. Less impressive than some other dams in 
the State, it marks, nevertheless, the most successful large reclama- 
tion project in Idaho. Undertaken by the Twin Falls Land and Water 
Company in 1903, it was completed in 1905, and impounds upon Snake 
River enough water to irrigate 240,000 acres on the south side of the 
river and 32,000 on the north. The storage of 80,000 acre-feet is 
supplemented by a right to 98,000 acre-feet in the Jackson Reser- 
voir in Wyoming and 155,480 acre-feet in the American Falls 
Reservoir. The number of acres actually farmed under the South 
Side Milner Project is 203,000, and the number under the North 
Side is 128,000. Together these form the largest contiguous irri- 
gated acreage in the United States. 

The benefits of reclamation in Idaho can be fully realized when 
it is remembered that thirty years ago this area was sagebrush 
terrain, worthless save for minor grazing, and that today the value 
of all holdings under the Milner Project with its eight hundred 
miles of canals, its thousands of miles of smaller laterals, its 
utilities and lands and railroads, is in excess of $75,000,000. 

The present town of MILNER, just below the dam, is notable for 
two historic reasons. It was here on Snake River in 1811 that the 
Astorians under Wilson Price Hunt lost a boat and one of their 
members in the treacherous rapids. Because of the melodramatic 
behavior of the water here, Donald McKenzie named the spot 
Caldron Lynn, meaning water boiler or a boiling kettle. This spot 


also, because of a grove of cedar trees, was a favorite camping spot 
for immigrants over the Oregon Trail. 

Right from Milner on a country road is the strange BURLEY WIND 
CAVE 3.5 m. It is a curious phenomenon, not because of its 
commonplace interior or the formation of its stone, but because 
tides of wind periodically flow into the cave or out of it. In the 
stone wall are numerous small holes no larger than a finger and 
through these the air everlastingly whistles, suggesting that there 
are remote and unexplored interiors with vents leading to the 
surface. This cave, too, like other phenomena westward, is evidence 
of the subterranean mysteries of central Idaho out of which came 
the volcanic pourings of the Craters of the Moon. 

Paralleling U S 30, Snake River cuts a deep gorge 
through lava that is similar to that of the Colorado River 
across the Colorado Plateau. Because of varying degrees 
in the hardness of the stone and consequent variations in 
the ease and speed of erosion, the river has sculptured for 
itself several waterfalls, including Dry Creek, Twin, Sho- 
shone, Pillar, Auger, and the Upper and Lower Salmon. 
Shoshone, and Twin, too, before the higher one was ap- 
propriated by a power company, have been outstanding 
among the waterfalls of the United States. U S 30 is 
now, in fact, entering one of Idaho's most picturesque 

HANSEN 115 m. is the junction with country roads. 

1. Left on country road is a historic spot, the first trading station 
west of Fort Hall, 7 m. It was a camping site, a pony express 
station, and then a settlement in 1863. The old store still stands. 

2. Right from Hansen a country road leads to the HANSEN 
BRIDGE 4 m., which spans the Snake River Gorge between Twin 
Falls and Jerome Counties. Formerly visited by many persons, this 
bridge is less an object of interest since the completion of the more 
impressive one west of it. Even so, this bridge, characterized in 
the Scientific American a few years ago as the highest suspension 
bridge in North America, is worth a visit. It is 345 feet high and 
688 feet long and is suspended on enormous cables. The gorge here 
is narrower than below and offers from the bridge a beautiful sum- 
mary of what time and a mighty river have been able to do with 
lava rock. In the sagebrush region three miles north of the bridge 
are the CLAY CAVES. Not so unusual by any means as many other 
caves in the State, these are nevertheless a curious object for 
many persons who enter them with gas lanterns and rubber boots. 

240 IDAHO 

The floor is of sticky clay. The caves have an aggregate length of 
about five city blocks, an average width of twenty to thirty feet, 
and a high ceiling studded in a part of it with stalactites. The 
entrance is little larger than a badger hole but even the portly 
visitor can effect a passage if he is willing to lie on his belly and 
exert himself. 

A half mile down the river from the bridge is the ghost of 
SPRINGTOWN, dating back to 1870. It ran through six turbulent 
years, and today the mud huts of the Chinese (who usually followed 
to exploit what the whites scorned) are still to be seen. 

TWIN FALLS 124 m. (3,492 alt.; 8,787 pop.) is the 
largest city and the metropolis of south-central Idaho. 
Three miles south of Snake River and on the bank of Rock 
Creek, it stands on a gently rolling watershed which was 
covered long ago by lava flows that are now the bedrock 
under the silt that has been blown in from surrounding 
mountains and old lake beds. Because there has been 
severe erosion and a plateau built up from a deep basin, 
the area from here to the Hagerman Valley forty miles 
westward is an unusually fertile field for the paleontolo- 
gist. Covered anciently by a great sea and later by tropi- 
cal jungle, this whole region has been discovered to be 
the repository of dinosaurs and ammonites, coral and sea 
shell. But the overlain soil in the Twin Falls country is 
also uncommonly deep, and in consequence of its richness 
has made this part of Idaho notable in crop yields. Twin 
Falls itself has sometimes been called the magic city, a 
characterization owing to the circumstance of its having 
risen so suddenly and swiftly after water reclaimed this 
arid valley. It was settled chiefly by families from the 
Middle West and is one of the few cities in Idaho that 
were carefully and enviably planned. It is not, unfortun- 
nately, on a railway trunk line, being served in this 
respect only by a somewhat inadequate side branch ; but it 
has frequent motor coach service in all directions and air 
service daily making connections with points east and 
west. The municipal airport is five miles south. 

Among points of interest within the city itself are 
several small museums. The CRABTREE (admission 25 

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Perrine Coulee Falls 

Shoshone Falls (taken af night with the falls illuminated by searchlights) 


cents), 211 Addison Avenue West, has an excellent collec- 
tion of Indian artifacts, including an assortment of ar- 
rowheads from all parts of the United States. In addition 
to these are a few fossils and archaeological relics. The 
WEAVER MUSEUM (admission free) , 149 Main Avenue 
West, has a collection of guns, fossils, curios, and mummi- 
MUSEUM (admission free), 216 Second Avenue South, 
has in addition to Indian artifacts an interesting group of 
mounted game animals, wild birds, moths, and butterflies. 
cents), 266 Blue Lakes Boulevard, is a spot beautifully 
landscaped. Surrounded by trees, shrubs, and vines, the 
concrete pools within are stocked with water plants and 
fish. The GARDEN OF YESTERDAY (admission 25 
cents) is just out of the city southeast: it is noteworthy 
for its miniature replicas of frontier life, including a tiny 
log house and a gristmill which is operated by water from 
a ditch. Another item of unusual historic interest is a 
natural cave in the wall of Rock Creek Canyon (R). This 
cave was the first jail in Twin Falls County, and prisoners 
were incarcerated here until Federal statute made it illegal 
to keep persons below the surface of the earth. Just south 
of the depot is a private fishery from which rainbow trout 
can be bought fresh from the ponds. 

Twin Falls is at the junction with U S 93 (see Tour 5, 
Sec. b). 

1. Three miles out on Blue Lakes Boulevard (R) is a left turn to 
a tollgate on the rimrock, where 25 cents admits the visitor to an 
area phenomenal in several respects. There is from the rim a 
magnificent view of the gorge, which here is seven hundred feet 
in depth on either side and almost sheer, and of the Twin Falls- 
Jerome bridge (see Tour 5, Sec. b). Far below on the river is the 
famous PERRINE RANCH, which Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., once 
pondered buying before deciding to settle in England. From the 
rim it is one and one-fourth miles across to Blue Lakes and 
a narrow but safe road leads down and approaches the ranch 
through an incomparable corridor of poplars, and comes to the 
PERRINE MUSEUM, which contains Indian artifacts, fossil 
remnants, and antiques. Admission to this was covered at the toll- 

242 IDAHO 

gate. The Perrine orchard here is noted for its growing of rare 
fruits. The road leaves the ranch and crosses the river by bridge 
and proceeds to BLUE LAKES which are small lovely jewels as 
blue as the sky. They are in a tributary on the north wall of the 
main canyon. The head of this alcove is an amphitheater with 
walls three hundred feet high and with no stream entering from 
the surface or the plain above. The water boiling up from the 
springs in the amphitheater is clear but is blue and slightly 
opalescent because of fine siltlike materials held in suspension. 
These lakes, with bottoms of clear white sand, are well stocked 
with trout. The PERRINE COULEE FALLS, also in this tiny 
basin, is a small waterfall that drops 197 feet as an overflow drain 
of irrigated lands above the rimrock. It is most impressive for the 
person who drives behind it and looks up at the water descending 
in a slender deluging veil. 

2. Because less impressive, TWIN FALLS 6 m. should be visited be- 
fore Shoshone. North of the city is a right turn off U S 93 that 
parallels the power line. The twins are no longer twins: the 
larger one was taken over in 1935 by the Idaho Power Company; 
and though its plant here is notable for its compactness and 
beauty, it is hardly adequate compensation for the loss of the 
second mightiest waterfall in Idaho. For the larger of the twins 
was a plunge of 180 feet, with considerably more than half the 
river poured over a narrow escarpment into a terrific column that 
lost none of its concentrated power. Today only the north fall 
remains. Below the diversion dam the river now tumbles over 
wild cascades and delivers nearly its whole volume where formerly 
it spilled less than a third. 

SHOSHONE FALLS is on the river three miles below, and can be 
reached by leaving the return road (R) at the sign or by turning 
off U S 93 (R) at the sign. First discovered by Wilson Price Hunt 
in 1811, and thereupon for many decades the chief attraction in 
Idaho for the thousands of immigrants passing through to Oregon, 
this waterfall is considerably higher than Niagara and is, when 
reservoirs do not vitiate its grandeur, in some respects more im- 
pressive. The river here plunges in a sheer drop of 212 feet over a 
great basaltic horseshoe rim nearly a thousand feet wide. Formerly 
the spectacle was, and sometimes still is, illuminated by flood 
lights. Idaho Power's diversion dam has produced a series of 
cascades which are an appropriate prelude to the falls below. The 
gn^eat plunge is against the south wall where the water goes down 
like a tumbling mountain of snow with a part of its body rolling 
in pale green veins. At the farther side over a wide and almost 
perfect arc the flood spills in an enormous foaming sheet. After 
viewing the falls from the lookout tower, the visitor should turn at 
the rimrock to the brink for a view at greater distance. A visiting 
newspaper editor once wrote: "Never anywhere else was there such 
a scene; never any^vhere else so beautiful a picture hung in so rude 
a frame. But to feel all the awe and to mark all the splendor that 


comes of the mighty display, one must climb down the steep descent 
to the river's bank below." 

But this is not the whole story of Shoshone Falls. It is one of 
Idaho's scenic losses that so much of the water of this river must 
be impounded for irrigation and that these waterfalls along here 
have to be robbed of their thunderous downpouring. During years 
of light snowfall upon the watersheds, about enough water goes 
over this wide escarpment in August to fill a teacup. After heavy 
winters, as in the spring of 1936, the reservoirs are soon filled, and 
the full flow of the river is delivered downstream. And so it is, 
then, that this spectacle varies a great deal from year to year. In 
May of 1936 Shoshone Falls were roaring mightily in their old 
splendor, and the circumstance was so unusual after many rela- 
tively dry years that persons hearing of the restoration came a 
long way to see them. In next year or the next, the flow may be 
too little to keep the escarpment wet. 

It was inevitable that Shoshone Falls should have become a part 
of Indian folklore. The Shoshoni Indians called the falls Pah-chu- 
laka which means "hurling waters leaping." In the gloomy gorge 
above the falls there was, long ago, the trysting place of a deep- 
chested Shoshoni buck and the slender wild girl whom he loved. 
Their last meeting was here on a pile of rocks which overlooked the 
plunging waters. He went away to scalp with deft incisions and 
then to lift the shaggy mane of white men with a triumphant shout; 
and she came daily to stand by the thundering avalanche and 
remember him. That he would return unharmed she did not, with 
the ageless resourcefulness of women, ever allow herself to doubt. 
But time passed, and the moons that came and ripened were many, 
and she still came nightly to stand on the brink and watch the 
changeless journeying of the water. And it was here that she 
stood one black night above the roar of the flood when a warrior 
stepped out of shadow and whispered to her and then disappeared. 
As quiet as the flat stone under her feet, she stood for a long 
while, looking down into the vault where the waters boiled up 
like seething white hills to fill the sky with dazzling curtains and 
roll away in convulsed tides. For an hour she gazed do^vn there 
two hundred feet to a mad pouring of motion and sound into a 
black graveyard of the dead. And then, slowly, she lifted her arms 
above her, lifted her head to the fullest curve of her throat, and 
stood tiptoe for a moment, poised and beautiful, and then dived 

in a long swift arc against the falling white background And 

the river at this point and since that hour has never been the same.^ 
Upon U S 93, northward a half mile, is Idaho's most beautiful 
bridge. (See Tour 5, Sec. b.) Up the northern bank of the river 
from this bridge to a point two and a half miles above Shoshone 
Falls is a gorge that opens off the main canyon of the river. It can 

iThis story was told many years ago to J. A. Harrington by a 
Shoshoni Indian on the Fort Reservation named Quish-in-demi, and 
is used here with Mr. Harrington's permission. 

244 IDAHO 

be reached by country road or by boat up the river above the water- 
fall. In early days this terrifying rugged basin was used as a hide- 
out by a gang of notorious horse thieves, and is today known as the 
Devils Corral. More than a hundred underground chambers have 
been discovered in or close by the Snake River Canyon along here. 

West from Twin Falls on U S 30 is an unobstructed 
view on the right of Snake River clear to the Sawtooth 
Mountains. At 130 m. is the junction with U S 93 (L) 
(see Tour 5, Sec. b), and at 132 m. is FILER, which can 
almost be regarded as the home of the famous Idaho white 
bean, inasmuch as nine bean plants operate here. 

Right out of Filer by country road are AUGER FALLS 5 m. on 
Snake River. The water here pours through a partly obstructed 
channel over a series of escarpments, and twists and spirals 
strangely in its descent. 

BUHL 142 m. (3,793 alt.; 1,883 pop.) is flanked by 
rolling country on the east that looks in June like Iowa. 
Named for Frank Buhl, an early empire builder, this 
thrifty, well-kept town is one of the most prepossessing 
in the State. 

1. Left from Buhl over surfaced road south and west is CASTLE- 
FORD 11 m., and thence 1 m. west, 1 m. north, and 3.5 m. west to 
BALANCED ROCK. From Castleford the traveler should follow 
the signs. He will come first to the gorge of a stream that goes 
under the name of either Salmon River or Salmon Creek. This 
gorge is entered and crossed, with a range of monuments on the 
farther side at the end of which Balanced Rock is the climax. It 
can be seen against the sky from the road, but for the fullest 
realization of the miracle of it the visitor should climb the moun- 
tainside and view it from all angles. The more closely it is ex- 
amined at close range the more incredible it seems that this tower 
of stone should have weathered so many centuries on so small 
a base. But there it stands, in its precarious imperturbability, as a 
wonder for everyone who sees it. This balloon-shaped formation 
forty feet in height rested, before being reinforced by concrete, 
upon a small block of igneous stone that was only one foot by one 
and a half feet by three feet in dimensions. There are other marvels 
in the canyon of this stream. The colorful pillars and colonnades on 
either side look as if a section had been lifted out of Zion Canyon 
in Utah. Down the stream and accessible only to those willing to 
hike over rugged trails are the PHANTOM WALLS. Not far south 
of Castleford is BLOW HOLE, a recently discovered and still quite 
unexplored fissure in the earth. Alternate discharge and intake 


* i 

Balanced Rock 

V -"fl*. 

f ' 




Icicle Cove 


G. powerful air currents suggest that the cavern is related to 
Salmon Canyon eight miles away. In a cliff near the historic Castle- 
ford crossing on the river is a formation known as the DEVILS 
KITCHEN, a I'oom reached only by a somewhat hazardous descent 
down the chimney. For directions to any of these inquiry should 
be made in Castleford. 

2. Right from Buhl over the Wendell-Buhl highway are CLEAR 
LAKES 4 m. in the Snake River Canyon. Sequestered on the north 
side of the river and obscured by high cliffs and bushes, these small 
beautiful lakes are accessible only by motorboat near Uhrlaubs 
Ferry. Though forty feet in depth, these lakes are as lucent as 
crystal, and the numerous jets clustered around a large central 
spring can be clearly seen gushing from the white sand of the 
bottom. Innumerable trout play among the clean floating particles 
of sand. These springs are, of course, related to Blue Lakes, to 
Thousand Springs, and to all the other water coming from the 
Lost Rivers far in the northeast and emerging on the walls of 
Snake River. 

North out of Buhl on U S 30, Snake River Canyon is 
visible on the right at 150 m., and at 152 m. some of the 
Thousand Springs can be seen on its wall in the distance. 
On the left is the mouth of Salmon Creek, the gorge of 
which is a fantastic wonderland through almost its entire 
length. The highway now drops down into the lovely 
Hagerman Valley. At 156 m. (R) is the Thousand Springs 
(sometimes called the Minnie Miller) Farm, which is 
internationally known for its blooded Guernsey cattle. 
Just beyond the farm are the equally famous THOU- 
SAND SPRINGS, though many of these have been ap- 
propriated and hidden by a power company. By the time 
commercial interests are done with Idaho's waterfalls and 
cascading springs there will be nothing to see, many Ida- 
hoans believe, except water mains and the roofs over 
turbines. Though long a source of mystery to both lay- 
men and geologists, it is now believed that the Thousand 
Springs are the outlet of buried rivers that get lost in 
the lava terrain 150 miles in the northeast (see Tour 4). 
"In this stretch also occur a wonderful group of springs 
having a combined discharge of more than 5,000 sec- 
ond-feet, or enough water to supply all the cities in the 
United States of more than 100,000 inhabitants with 120 

246 IDAHO 

gallons a day for each inhabitant." The whole of central 
Idaho, as a matter of fact, seems to be an area of sub- 
terranean rivers and possibly cavernous lake beds ; and at 
points through this valley a person can put his ear to the 
ground and hear deep and troubled rumblings as if a 
mighty ocean rolled far under. Across from Thousand 
Springs is a ghost town. AUSTIN is still marked by a 
cellar, a chimney, some stone walls, and fruit trees that 
still bloom in a forgotten orchard. 

HAGERMAN 164 m. is a small hamlet in the valley. 
At 164.5 m. on U S 30 is a tablet (R) which commemorates 
Marcus Whitman, the pioneer missionary who brought the 
first wagon across what was to be known later as the Ore- 
gon Trail. In the high cliffs above Thousand Springs and in 
other places throughout Hagerman Valley, marine fossil 
remains are abundant. Besides luxuriant tropical vegeta- 
tion, there are also survivals of mastodons, wild hogs, and a 
rare species of ancient horse which seems to have been the 
immediate forebear of the present beast. The discovery of 
the latter was in what at one time was a boggy terrain, pos- 
sibly a drinking place, for among the bones of the horses 
were those of aquatic animals as well as remnants of frog 
and fish. When, during investigations in this valley, dyna- 
miting became necessary, a charge blew out the skull of a 
mastodon that was buried at a level considerably above 
that of the bones of horses. In the same neighborhood were 
found the remains of a cat about the size of a cougar, and 
this, it is surmised, may be a hitherto unknown species. 
Since 1927 several expeditions have been sent into this 
region. (See Paleontology in Sec. I, Ch. IX.) 

Between Hagerman and Malad River 167 m. there 
is a cave on the east wall of the Snake River Gorge which 
contains interesting Indian petroglyphs. These have been 
interpreted as a story of an Arapahoe massacre. MALAD 
RIVER, crossed by U S 30, is said to be the shortest 
river in the world ; and it may be for it is only three or 
four miles long. This river in springtime is a wild torrent 


of considerable size that is fed from springs related to the 
series east of Hagerman and to the many small lakes 
sheltered in side canyons which open upon Snake River. 
The main source of Malad River is a huge spring which 
rises at the foot of a precipice and plunges down in a 
chain of cascades. An amazing summary of the subter- 
ranean nature of central Idaho is to be found in the fact 
that the Malad River "is the only stream in the whole of 
southern Idaho from Henrys Fork within 12 miles of 
the west boundary of Yellowstone Park, to the Idaho- 
Oregon line, a distance measured along Snake River of 
fully 450 miles, which, rising in the mountains in the 
north, reaches Snake River in the summertime." And 
Malad River, because of the demands of irrigation, is 
sometimes dry. 

The highway now leaves the canyon. At the foot, just 
before the ascent begins, is the old Bliss Ranch where 
B. M. Bower viTote Good Indian. The evolution of the 
winding grade ahead from a crude pack trail through four 
different eras of travel is still discernible. At the top of 
the ascent is the village of BLISS 173 m., which received 
its name from an old-timer and not because its settlers 
regarded it as an especially felicitous haven. Bliss is the 
junction with State 24, which goes eastward to Gooding 
and Shoshone, where it forms a junction with U S 93. 
For side tours to the Gooding City of Rocks or to the 
Shoshone Ice Caves (see Tour 5, Sec. b). 

1. Right out of Bliss a fair road leads to the interesting CLOVER 
CREEK SECTION 10 m. After crossing Clover Creek, a left turn 
goes one-fourth mile to hot springs which are scalding hot. The 
right turn goes one mile to the lakes, in which the water is so 
astringent that it will take the hair off a hog. These small lakes 
occupy old crater beds. They are known under various names but 
one of them is sometimes appropriately called LYE LAKE. Near 
the lakes are long tunnels, some with their ceilings tumbled in, 
some with natural arched bridges, and some remaining as subter- 
ranean caverns that are rarely explored. The hot springs were 
held in high esteem by Indians, who often journeyed far to bathe 
in the waters. The story is told of one buck who gambled so ex- 
pertly that he left the others destitute; whereupon, in angry 

248 IDAHO 

council, they declared him a bad one but allowed him to accompany 
the tribe on its pilgrimage to the spring. He fell ill of spotted 
fever, and was thrust into the hot waters to effect a cure and was 
dragged out dead. 

2. Right out of Bliss over State 24 4 m. to a right turn and thence 
over smooth road is the MALAD GORGE 14 m. Of ragged chasms 
there is none in the State that excels this one, and none more pic- 
turesque. Near its head is a blue lake about as large as a floor, fed 
by a waterfall, and below it is the river, cascading and bursting 
forth in springs and turning through all the shades of pale green 
and blue; it is perhaps Idaho's loveliest stream. On the east rim of 
the gorge and running parallel is a deep rift, and descents into it 
though hazardous are popular. 

West of Bliss, U S 30 enters Elmore County, one of 
the chief grazing areas of the State, from which seventy 
thousand cattle and two hundred thousand sheep are 
shipped annually. KING HILL 190 m. is a historic spot. 
Just northwest is a landmark on an early trail from Utah 
to Boise; at the foot of the hill the old Overland stage 
station was burned by Chief Buffalo Horn in 1878; and 
on a flat above the village is the Devils Playground, a 
picturesque area of round smooth stones. At 198 m. is 
the historic THREE ISLAND FORD on Snake River, 
where emigrants headed for Oregon crossed on the Oregon 
Trail. An Indian trail still leads down to the river. Indians 
used to lie in ambush here by the crossing, and just south 
in the historic DEAD MANS GULCH, where an Indian 
massacre occurred. Buffalo Horn, an Indian scout with an 
honorable discharge from the U. S. Army, nursed a grudge 
and turned renegade, and on DEAD MANS FLAT he and 
his band killed three miners. Only one of the three graves 
has been found. 

MOUNTAIN HOME 224 m. (3,142 alt.; 1,243 pop.) is 
a rather bleak town set upon a great plateau with sage- 
brush landscape rolling away from it on nearly all sides. 

1. Right from Mountain Home State 22 provides a combination of 
points of interest, excellent fishing and scenery, and beautiful camp- 
sites. At 7.5 m. a right turn leads to one of the hottest springs 2 m. 
in the State, rich in sulphur and iron, and in favor as a medicinal 
drink. Formerly there were accommodations here, but now there are 


only two old bathtubs available to anyone who wishes to take a bath. 
At 8 m. on the main road is a monument which marks the site of an 
old stage station. State 22 proceeds to CASTLE ROCKS 44 m., an 
area of granitic formations which has been called another Garden 
of the Gods. Though picturesque, these pinnacles and towers are 
hardly comparable with the Gooding or Cassia cities of rocks (see 
Tour 5, Sec. b, and Tour 3, Sec. b). At 30 m. on the main road is the 
junction with the Atlanta road which goes northward to Sloan's 
Gulch and Fall Creek, past spongelike lava flows, past evergreen 
forests, and to a left turn 43 m. which leads to lovely TRINITY 
LAKES 10 m. RAINBOW LAKE at the head of the gulch is ac- 
cessible by footpath. At 55 m. on the main road is PRICE'S RESORT 
where outdoor pools and cabins are available. At ABBOT'S RANCH 
61 m. horses can be hired for penetrating to excellent fishing or to 
vantage points. TRINITY PEAK, perhaps the best of the latter, 
has an elevation of 9,473 feet. The hardy adventurer can proceed 
to Atlanta, a mountain-walled town and the end of the trail, and 
then go down the Middle Fork of the Boise River and the main river 
past Arrowrock Dam to Boise. Legend declares that there are 
fabulously large and interesting caves in this area north of Moun- 
tain Home, but sheepherders who know the region well look down 
their noses at the suggestion and profane softly. 

2. Left from Mountain Home an improved road leads to another 
wonderland. At the bridge upon Snake River sturgeon fishing is 
a popular and most exciting sport. The equipment needed is 
several hundred feet of stout quarter-inch rope, a few feet of 
wire cable for leader, and several strong iron hooks, baited often 
with raw beef. One end of the rope is tied to a tree on the bank 
and the other is anchored with a stone out in the river. When a 
sturgeon is hooked the fun begins. An old-timer here who captures 
sturgeon for a living usually hitches a team to the rope and after 
a long while of maneuvering drags the river-beast to the shore. 
Those who prefer fun that is more hazardous use a boat, manned, 
if the sturgeon is a large one, by several persons. The largest one 
ever taken from the river weighed nearly a thousand pounds but 
most of them are much smaller, and only those weighing less than 
two hundred pounds are of excellent flavor. Men fishing here per- 
haps ought to be warned of one danger; often a sturgeon when 
hooked will lead almost to the bank so gently that the one towing 
the line in will imagine he has no catch. But when one of these 
big fellows comes close enough to the bank to see his enemy, he 
turns with sudden and overwhelming power and speed, and many a 
man has had the flesh burned from his palms by a sizzling rope. 

BRUNEAU 22 m. is a few shabby buildings lost among lordly 
trees, with old-timers sitting in front of the solitary poolhall and 
spitting tobacco juice and swapping yarns. Those venturing from 
here to the magnificent BRUNEAU CANYON as well as to points 
of minor interest along the way should perhaps enlist the services 
of an old-timer as a guide. Of Bruneau Canyon it is frequently 

250 IDAHO 

said that in its entire length of sixty-seven miles there is only one 
place where it is possible to take a horse down to water and only 
four places where a man can descend. This is an exaggeration: it 
depends on the man and the horse. But the gorge is, nevertheless, 
one of the deepest narrow canyons on earth. In places it is so 
narrow that a man can hurl a rock from rim to rim and so deep 
that it is two thousand feet to the river, with the walls almost 
sheer. Persons who like to have the breath taken out of them by 
lying on a rim and peering over into awful depth can probably find 
no better canyon anywhere. In the upper reach is a flanking 
canyon called Jarbridge, a Shoshoni word meaning devil. According 
to Indian legend, the devil claimed a sacrificial offering from the 
tribe when any member offended the Great Spirit. When angry 
cries of the devil were heard in the bowels of the earth, announcing 
his approach, a medicine man chose the prettiest maiden of the 
village and killed her and laid her body on the brink of the gorge. 
During the night, Jarbridge came to possess the offering. Rites 
to appease his wrath were held as late as 1890, when white men 
discovered that the infamous Jarbridge was a mountain lion.i It is 
in the Jarbridge area, too, that there is a remarkable natural bridge 
which spans the canyon at a height from the bottom of 186 feet. 
Because this bridge is difficult to reach, very few persons have 
seen it. 

Left and east from Bruneau an unimproved road leads to 
Indian springs. At 5.3 m. (R) is one of the oldest cemeteries in 
Idaho. At 6.8 m. a side road leads (R) .25 m. to SETTLER'S TUN- 
NEL. Sixty years ago, to escape from Indians who were on the 
warpath, settlers dug a tunnel into a bluff here and shaped it into a 
mountain home of several rooms, with vents to let out the smoke of 
the fires and with small holes to allow the thrust of guns against ene- 
mies. In this excavated home in hard clay no timbers were used, but 
the retreat is still in an excellent state of preservation. On the right 
at 7.5 m. is the PENCE RANCH, the oldest settlement in the valley, 
and out in its meadow is a swimming pool supplied from large hot 
springs. The man who first owned these springs was rather eccentric 
and declared that these springs must never be commercialized; and in 
consequence the swimming is free. A half mile farther the road forks; 
the left turn goes by poor road up the east side of the river and leads 
to a view of the Bruneau Canyon from the eastern rim. The other 
road, more commonly taken, crosses a bridge and then climbs the 
hills into the south. At 11.5 m. a left turn leads 1 m. to Hot Creek 
and the Indian Bathtub. 

HOT CREEK alone is worth a visit. Springs boil out at the end 
of a ravine and flow for a mile dowTi it in a large steaming stream 
to tumble over a fall into what is known as the INDIAN BATHTUB. 
The erosive action of the hot water has sculptured a tub that is 
about fifteen feet across, and was, until filled with sediment, about 

1 This legend was told to Lulu Lough of Buhl by Rock Creek 
Jim, a famous chieftain of the Shoshoni tribe. 


ten feet in depth. Indians not only bathed here formerly but also 
drew pictographs on the stone walls. These are largely effaced now, 
but years ago visitors could swim in the tub and study Indian 
drawings at the same time. This tub is now owned by the United 
States Government, which has erected two sheds so that campers 
can undress here and bathe. The campsite, though both small and 
unimproved, is particularly attractive, inasmuch as a natural hot 
bath is on the one side, with a hot stream overflowing it, and a 
cold mountain spring is on the other. 

From the turn to Hot Creek, the traveler who wishes to view 
the canyon can proceed southward as far as he pleases because the 
road roughly parallels the gorge. It is always, however, two or 
three miles from it, with no good roads leading across; and until 
one is built, the traveler who does not wish to abuse his car will 
do best to hike over the sagebrush terrain from the road to the 
gorge. It is breath-taking from either the eastern or western rim 
at any point south of Hot Creek, but is most impressive in its 
upper reaches. About seven miles south of the Hot Creek turn, the 
road climbs to a high flat tableland and it is across this to the 
left that visitors usually walk to the canyon, the outline of which is 
visible in the east. 

West of Mountain Home on U S 30 the drive to Boise 
is over typical Western prairie with typical flora. The 
Owyhee Range is on the south, the Boise Mountains on the 
north. West of Pocatello the highway follows the Old 
Oregon Trail, and of the stories relating to early travel 
over it the following is typical. How much of -this Sager 
story is legend and how much is fact nobody knows. 

Nearly a century ago the Sager family left Missouri 
with a wagon train. In Wyoming the parents were 
stricken with dysentery, and the train deserted them and 
they made their way with their children to Soda Springs 
alone. Here both the mother and father died. The chil- 
dren went with a caravan to Fort Hall, and it was there 
that John, the oldest of the children, a lad of fourteen, 
listened to stories of the westward trek to Fort Boise and 
the Whitman Mission in Washington. He resolved to set 
out alone with his brothers and sisters, and is said to 
have approached the gates of Fort Boise weeks later, 
holding a babe of four months in his arms. There was no 
white woman in the fort, and John thereupon decided to 
push on to the Whitman mission. A month later the chil- 
dren appeared there: John had a starving infant in his 

252 IDAHO 

arms, and behind him, perched on the back of an emaci- 
ated cow, were his sister of eight with a broken leg and 
his sister of five who had supported the leg mile after 
mile to keep it from swinging. When they descended from 
the cow she sank with an awful groan to the earth and a 
moment later was dead. These children (John, Francis 
who was eleven, three sisters ranging in age from three 
to eight, and an infant) traveled five hundred miles alone, 
feeding on the cow and wild fruits and roots, and arriving 
gray with hunger and distance in spite of hostile Indians 
and innumerable other dangers. John and Francis were 
slain three years later in the Whitman Massacre. There 
are those in Idaho who scoff at this story, declaring that 
Paul Bunyan never equaled it in tremendous farce. There 
are others who swear that it is literally true. 

At 235 m. (L) is CLEFT, a few deserted shacks on 
the railroad. 

Left from Cleft are the CRATER RINGS (L) 3 m., regarded by 
some Idahoans as the most phenomenal spot in their State, but the 
roads running to them are nothing but cow trails, and until one of 
them is improved travel will be hazardous. These rings are two 
great volcanic cones that look like ancient amphitheaters from 
which all benches have been removed. Also here is a remarkable 
earthquake fissure: for five miles the surface was split open by 
some tremendous tremor in the past, and the crack, from five 
to ten feet in width, is in places of unknown depth. The rings them- 
selves were doubtless caused by two gigantic eruptions of such 
force and volume that a cubic mile of lava was hurled into the air 
and blown into dust. Five hundred yards east of them in the 
fissure is an ice cave, a chamber about thirty-five feet deep. 

At MAYFIELD 247 m. is the junction with a road. 

Left on this road is ORCHARD 6 m., a village of shacks in an arid 
region named for what was once a huge orchard but is now only a 
few stunted trees. South of Orchard are many caves, of which the 
HIGBY, six miles out toward Flag Butte, is best known. The road 
to it is difficult. But this whole area between Mountain Home and 
Kuna is one of caves, and in it more than thirty have been found, 
though a few, because of inconspicuous entrances, have been lost. 
None of those known are comparable to the Crystal Falls or Minne- 
tonka caves, but many of them are interesting. Exploration here 
needs the service of old-timers. 

U S 30 continues over semiarid region to Boise 268 m. 


li ii , 

Denver St 


'X\Knr-ii — 11-11— 11-^1— 


I II " ' 

1' — 1 1 — :• Regan S 

Wooillavm Av 

Pleasa-nton Ave 

—II — 1 1 — IL Madison 

—■I II — I Jefferson 

—II — 1 1_ Bannock 









Dewey St 


U^-7edaral Hl^vay 
rj State HlghwBjr 
-ir- City Streets 

Hazel St 



Heron St 

RldenbaughiSt r^bd br^ b=^ 


I' jnnnnr 

Eastman st -J*— I'— "— "— " — 

I It |i II 
Alturas St 

Pop. 21,544 
Elev. 2,739 





Besseguie St 
Pueblo St 
Z^CFarrell St 
:^ Thatcher St 

t t t 

t t 

t t t 

t t 


1 State Capitol 

2 Post Office 

3 Courthouse 

4 General Hospital 

5 Carnegie Library 

6 Hotels 

7 Public School Field 

8 Natatorium 

9 0. 3. L. Freight Depot 

10 0. S. L. Passenger Depot 

11 Masonic Cemetery 

12 Memorial Park 

13 Municipal Tourist Park 

14 Elm Park 

15 Sunset Drive 

16 Skyline Drive 

17 Hill Road 

18 Julia Davis Park 



5 5 g 2 :::r gTl'r^ P^^nr -St 




Section c. Boise to Weiser, 72 m. 
BOISE (2,741 alt.; 21,544 pop.). 

Railroad station: Union Pacific, on the bench. 

Bus station: Union Pacific Stages, 929 Main. 

Airport, municipal: Off Broadway just south of Boise River. 

Golf Courses: Boise Country Club, 3 m, southwest of city. Planta- 
tion, 4 m. west on State 44. American Legion, at end of Eighth. 
All are nine-hole courses. 

Boise, the capital of Idaho and its largest city, stands 
on the Boise River at the extreme upper end of the Boise 
Valley. It is primarily a city of trees and homes and envi- 
able climate. Protected by great mountains on the north 
and lying in a belt of prevailing westerly winds, it and its 
valley are never outraged by the cold blizzards that sweep 
down from Canada and paralyze eastern Idaho and the 
States beyond. Its summers, though often hot, are nearly 
always dry, and its nights are usually cool. Its winters are 
mild. The city is supported chiefly by a few plants and 
factories within its site or adjacent and by a rich agri- 
cultural area given chiefly to hay and grain, vegetables, 
and fruits, of which the prune is famous. The valleys 
lying west of it to Oregon are the chief dairying section 
of the State. Like many other towns, it has an abun- 
dance of natural hot water, having tapped wells that flow 
1,200,000 gallons daily at a temperature of 170 degrees F. 
Many of the homes, and especially in the eastern part, 
are heated from these flows ; and the chief avenue. Warm 
Springs, takes its name from them. The large NATA- 
TORIUM and its playground are on this avenue at its 
eastern end. 

Of the city's buildings, a few are in some degree 
noteworthy. The CAPITOL at Eighth and Jefferson is 
monumentally classical in aspect, with Corinthian col- 
umns supporting a Corinthian pediment. It is faced 
with Boise sandstone. In the rotunda is a remarkable 
equestrian statue of George Washington. This, the work 

254 IDAHO 

of Charles Ostner, a soldier of fortune sojourning in 
Idaho, was carved by hand from a yellow pine tree at 
Garden Valley with the crudest of tools and with only a 
postage stamp to serve as a model. It was four years in 
the making, and was then carefully scraped with glass, 
sandpapered, gilded with paint, and later overlaid with 
gold leaf. It was presented to Idaho Territory in 1869 
and dedicated to Idaho pioneers. In the basement of the 
Capitol is the STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (admission 
free) , crowded into one room, with stuffed birds and beasts 
thrust out into the hallways, and with piles of materials 
shoved into drawers and vaults. Many valuable gifts and 
collections are being withheld until a suitable building is 
erected for housing them. On the Capitol grounds is the 
STEUNENBERG MONUMENT, designed by Gilbert Ris- 
wald, cast by Guido Nelli. Its legend declares that the 
former governor was "Rugged in Body, Resolute in Mind, 
Massive in the Strength of his Convictions." Frank Steun- 
enberg. Governor of the State 1897-1901, was killed by a 
bomb in December, 1905, during the mine labor troubles of 
the period. The trial of those accused of causing his death 
was a court duel between William E. Borah, acting for the 
State, and Clarence Darrow of the defense. 

Across from the Capitol is the HOTEL BOISE, a munic- 
ipally owned structure of which Boiseans are reasonably 
proud. At the southern end of Capitol Boulevard, and 
facing the Capitol Building, is the beautiful UNION PA- 
CIFIC STATION. Set upon a hill, it overlooks the city, as 
well as the landscaped Howard Piatt Gardens with their 
flowers and Norway maples, blossoming catalpas and 
weeping willows. These gardens, lovely under search- 
lights at night, were designed by Richardo Espino of Los 
Angeles. ST. JOHN'S ROMAN CATHEDRAL at Eighth 
and Hays was designed by Tourtellotte and Hummel of 
Boise, the architects of the Capitol. It is Romanesque in 
exterior and elaborately adorned with stained windows and 
marble altars inside. ST. MICHAEL'S EPISCOPAL CA- 


THEDRAL (architects unknown) is of English Gothic and 
stands at Eighth and State. 

Of buildings of historic interest the city has many. 
In JULIA DAVIS PARK, lying upon the north bank of the 
river just east of Eighth Street, is the COSTON CABIN. 
Built in the spring of 1863 by I. N. Coston, it was fash- 
ioned of driftwood gathered from the river and put to- 
gether with pegs. Its original site was on the river seven 
miles above Boise, and there it served as a rendezvous 
for Indians, prospectors, freighters, and packers. In this 
park, too, is the PEARCE CABIN, built in the fall of 1863 
by Ira B. Pearce of logs brought from the mountains by 
ox team. On the south side of the river near the Holcomb 
school is the BLOCKHOUSE, a two-story structure built in 
1869 of heavy stones that were brought to the site by 
nobody knows what means. In early days this house 
served as a refuge against Indian attacks, and now re- 
poses in legend as a haunted place. The DeLAMAR HOUSE 
on the southwest corner of Eighth and Grove was in its 
heyday the largest and most modern home in the town. 
It not only had the first mansard roof within the State 
but is said to have been the first home in the United 
States heated with natural hot water. In 1892, Captain 
J. R. DeLamar, the silver king, bought it for $35,000 
and converted it into an exclusive club ; in 1905 it became 
the home of Boise's first beauty parlor; and is today a 
Basque rooming house. The OTARRELL CABIN, at 
Sixth and Fort, was built in 1863, and now has a tablet 
above the door which declares that this was the first home 
in Boise to shelter women and children. Within are the 
original fireplace and a teakettle which were used by the 
first occupants. At Fifteenth and Ridenbaugh is CHRIST'S 
CHURCH, erected in 1866 at Seventh and Idaho, and the 
first Protestant Episcopal church in Montana, Idaho, and 
Utah. Across from the Statesman building on Main is 
the HALLADAY STAGE STATION, whose history 
reaches back to early times. At 210 Main is the old U. S, 

256 IDAHO 

ASSAY OFFICE, built in 1870-71, and said to have re- 
ceived more than $75,000,000 in gold and silver bullion 
through its doors. It is now used by the department of 
forestry. Somewhere on Main between Eighth and Ninth 
a saloon operated a half century ago. Managed by James 
Lawrence and known as the Naked Truth Saloon, it adver- 
tised itself in most astonishing fashion. 

Friends and Neighbors: 

Having just opened a commodious shop for the sale of liquid fire, 
I embrace this opportunity of informing you that I have com- 
menced the business of making: 

Drunkards, paupers and beggars for the sober, industrious and 
respectable portion of the community to support. I shall deal in 
family spirits, which vi^ill incite men to deeds of riot, robbery, and 
blood, and by so doing, diminish the comfort, augment the expenses 
and endanger the welfare of the community. 

I will undertake on short notice, for a small sum and with great 
expectations, to prepare victims for the asylum, poor farm, prison 
and gallows. 

I will furnish an article which will increase fatal accidents, 
multiply the number of distressing diseases and render those which 
are harmless incurable. I will deal in drugs which will deprive 
some of life, many of reason, most of prosperity, and all of peace: 
which will cause fathers to become fiends, and wives widows, chil- 
dren orphans and a nuisance to the nation. 

Boise has several candy factories that specialize in 
quality. The largest, at 412 South Eighth, welcomes visi- 
tors who wish to see how the famous Owyhee chocolates 
are made. Spanning the river on Capitol Boulevard is the 
Memorial Bridge, designed by Charles Kyle, and com- 
memorating the pioneers who forded the river at this 
point. At 1301 Capitol Boulevard is a plant that specializes 
in "Oregon Trail" furniture, made exclusively from Idaho 
knotted pine. At First and Main is the URGUIDES LIT- 
TLE VILLAGE. In 1863, Jesus "Kossuth" Urguides, a 
frontiersman from San Francisco, established his freight- 
ing station where thirty one-room cabins now stand. 
These, built to house packers and wranglers, are today oc- 
cupied by a little colony of old-timers who can still remem- 
ber how the generous Urguides cared for them in sickness 


A Boise sky 

A view in Boise 


and health. Boise is said to have the second largest 
Basque colony in the world. Its midsummer festival is a 
genuine Romeria, similar to fiestas in Spain, with Basque 
food, costumes, dances, and music. (See Sec. I, Ch. IX, 
Emerging from the Frontier.) 

Of recreation, Boise offers a small playground in 
JULIA DAVIS PARK, with an art museum, picnic 
grounds, boating, and tennis courts. Close by the airport, 
and upon the southern rim, there are small cabarets and 
clubs, modest in size but still invested with much of the 
spirit of the old West. Boise is small as cities go, but its in- 
terest in music and its patronage of visiting musicians are 
enough to inspirit a metropolis twenty times its size. Its 
music week, born here in 1919 and held annually in May, 
has spread to so many parts of the country that it has be- 
come almost a national institution. But Boise is more the 
center of a playground than it is a playground in itself, and 
it is the side trips from here that offer the most in 

1. Right from Boise up Warm Springs Avenue and then by road, 
surfaced in part of its length, up the Boise River are the ARROW- 
ROCK DAM and RESERVOIR 24 m. This dam is one of the State's 
more noteworthy engineering achievements, and was, until more 
spectacular construction followed, the highest dam in the United 
States. Built by the Bureau of Reclamation and resting upon a 
foundation of granite, it is 1,100 feet wide and 348.5 feet high above 
bedrock, and contains 600,000 cubic yards of concrete. It creates a 
reservoir 17 miles long, covering a maximum area of 2,890 acres and 
impounding 280,000 acre-feet. Especially impressive is the view here 
in late spring after a heavy winter when the reservoir is full and the 
river is delivered to an overthrow in a fall twice the height of Niag- 
ara. The road has just been completed up the river from here to AT- 
LANTA 66 m., a small mining town at the base of the Sawtooth 

2. Right from Boise past the barracks, a safe but rapidly climbing 
road leads to TABLE ROCK 4 m., clearly visible from the city. 
This huge flat table of stone, 1,100 feet above the valley, was for- 
merly used as a lookout by Indians, and from it today can be 
seen the route taken by pioneers and their ox teams on the trail 
south of the river. On this plateau is to be found the quarry from 
which sandstone of unusual quality is taken. This is not only the 
stone used in the Capitol but is also the stone that was demanded 

258 IDAHO 

by Yale University, by the Spokane cathedral, and by builders in 
San Francisco and Hollywood. The view from this table is excellent 
but is not comparable with that afforded by other points. 

3. Right from the city on the road in side tour 1 to a left turn at 19 
m. and then up Moore Creek through the Boise National Forest are 
IDAHO CITY 45 m. and the Boise Basin and its ghost towns (see 
Sec. II, Ch. V, Ghost Towns). From Idaho City (which refuses to 
be called a ghost, even though it is less than a handful of what 
it used to be) is Lowman 82 m.; and from here roads lead east, nox-th, 
and west into areas even more primitive. Above Lowman in a beau- 
tiful spot in the forest 4 m. is the KIRKHAM HOT SPRINGS, where 
free cabins are available. Right from Lowman on State 17 is the 
GRANDJEAN HOT SPRINGS 30 m. on the headwaters of the South 
Fork of Payette River. When this Grandjean road is completed it 
will lead into STANLEY BASIN 45 m. and the area of the Sawtooth 
lakes (see Tour 5, Sec. a). Westward from Lowman the road leads 
through Garden Valley and to a junction with State 15 (see Tour 6, 
Side tour from Banks). 

4. Right from Boise up Eighth Street and past the water plant, a 
road climbs for nine spectacular miles to PINE VIEW 9 m. upon 
one of the lower summits of the Boise Mountains. A few cabins 
are available here and refreshments in a most unprepossessing inn; 
and just beyond (R) is a free park with campgrounds. This is one 
of the most popular and one of the most breath-taking drives in 
the State, especially in the descent; but the most magnificent and 
haii'-raising side trip out of Boise is the next. 

5. This trip can be reversed, with the beginning by way of Pine 
View, but for an easier climb, for more impressive panoramas, and 
for an appropriate climax, the journey should proceed west from 
Boise over State 44 and 15 (see Tour 6) to the junction (R) 2.5 m. 
north of HORSE SHOE BEND 31.5 m. The road from here around 
the remainder of the loop is narrow and fairly smooth, and safe 
only for experienced drivers. Unless the drive is made in cool 
weather, three or four gallons of water should be carried. At 
33.5 m. this tour takes the right turn past the schoolhouse and goes 
up the canyon and climbs, sometimes steeply, for 13 m. to the sum- 
mit 46.5 m., where the right turn is to be taken. The road now pro- 
ceeds up the backbone for a short distance and then drops over 
switchbacks to lower ridges before climbing again to the rim of the 
world where it follows the sky line of the Boise Ridge to SHAFER 
BUTTE 62 m. (elevation 7,591). After the Boise Ridge is gained, this 
drive is breath-taking during the remainder of its length to Boise. 
The road itself has so much mica in the sand that it looks under sun- 
light as if strewn with diamonds; the rock formations on either side 
are very picturesque; and the panorama rolls away a hundred miles 
in any direction. The most magnificent view, of its kind second to 
none in the State, is to be had from the Shafer Butte Lookout: in 
the northwest is a tumultuous kingdom of denuded mountains that 


drop away to valleys and then lift to the Wallowa Range in Oregon; 
in the south is the Boise Valley reaching to Snake River and walled 
by the Owyhee Mountains; in the southeast is blue haze shimmer- 
ing far and faintly clear to the Utah Line; in the east is the blue 
and golden empire of range upon range extending to the pale re- 
mote grandeur of the Sawtooths; and in the north are the Packer 
John Lookout (see Tour 6) and the lookouts beyond. From Shafer 
Futte the road winds upon the sky line and rims the world to Pine 
View 71 m. and then drops mile upon mile down the mountains 
to Boise 80 m. 

6. Right from Boise over State 44 to the junction at 15 m. with State 
16, a surfaced road leads (R) to FREEZEOUT HILL 28 m., an 
excellent vantage point for a view of Payette Valley, and thence 
to EMMETT 31 m. in the heart of a fruit area. This trip is especially 
worth while in April when the loveliness and fragrance of the great 
cherry oi'chards are unforgettable. Emmett has an annual cherry 
festival later when the fruit is ripening, with a cherry queen pageant, 
a rose show, and a carnival of floats and dances and parades. But 
the heart of the festival is the display of the giant black luscious 
Bings, the pride of this town. Right from Emmett on dirt road is the 
BLACK CANYON DAM 4 m., a concrete structure 184 feet high. 
At 8 m. is the ROYSTON HOT SPRINGS with an outdoor pool. 

U S 30 follows Main Street westward out of Boise. 
MERIDIAN 10 m. (2,650 alt.; 1,004 pop.) is the small 
capital of a very fertile area, and is the largest shipping 
point of its size in the State, and the home of one of 
Idaho's largest creameries. 

Left from Meridian on a surfaced road is Kuna 8 m., and a 
poor road goes south from here to the KUNA CAVE 6 m. This 
latter road, at present unmarked by signs, swings southward past 
the railway station; but two miles out there is a junction (R) with 
a less traveled road that winds over sagebrush and lava terrain to 
the cave which marks the end of this branch. The cave itself is by 
no means so remarkable as several others in the State but is more 
frequently visited because better known and easily accessible to a 
large area. The most unusual thing about it is the descent: the 
opening is a ragged hole in the surface of the earth and into this a 
ladder is thrust for thirty feet to the bottom. The chambers, floored 
with sand and distressingly dirty because of interior winds, are 
excellent vaults without any striking formations. Many visitors are 
impressed by the currents of air that move through them, some- 
times, as in small openings, with perceptible velocity. It is said 
that wind blows into this cave tw^elve hours and out of it twelve 
hours in every day. The second interior can by reached by lying 
prone in the dust and squeezing for ten feet under the low roof; and 

260 IDAHO 

the entrance to the third is also rather arduous. Persons entering 
these chambers should wear rough clothing and expect to return to 
the surface with dust in their ears. 

NAMPA 20 m. (2,482 alt.; 8,206 pop.), seventh city in 
size in the State, is said to have been founded by a wealthy 
old-timer who, falling into a fury with Boise one day, 
strode out of it swearing that he would make grass grow 
in its streets. Neither his rage nor his wealth was able to 
fulfill his threat, but he did help to bring into existence a 
town that has been thriving ever since. Nampa takes its 
name from a leader of the western Shoshonis who was one 
of the most enormous thieves and murderers that ever 
broke the back of a pony. Nampuh was so huge that the 
vest of John McLoughlin, himself a giant of 315 pounds, 
failed by fifteen inches to reach around him. This city is 
the center of an agricultural and dairying area. Well 
known throughout this valley is its LAKEVIEW PARK, 
seventy beautiful acres at the eastern border of the city, 
with golf courses, playgrounds, and a large swimming pool 
supplied from hot artesian water. On the north side is a 
Spanish colony; just northwest of the city is a Bohemian 
settlement; and the Scandinavian colony, largest of all, 
indulges each summer in a huge picnic to which the fair- 
haired come not only from these valleys but from neigh- 
boring States. 

1. Left from Nampa State 45 leads into Owyhee County, a pic- 
turesque and relatively unexplored area that has a population of 
fewer than 4,000 but an acreage larger than Connecticut and two 
Rhode Islands put together. Old-timers down here declare that 
anything can be found in this county, including, they suspect, the 
lost tribes of Israel. Just before reaching the bridge across Snake 
River, a right turn goes down the north bank to the largest single 
INDIAN PICTOGRAPH 6 m. that has ever been found. Here, upon 
a great stone close by and to the right of the road, is carved a great 
map which roughly defines not only the Snake River Valley but 
also Jackson Lake in western Wyoming and a few areas adjacent to 
both. Vandals in recent years have broken off chunks of the rock 
and carried away parts of the map. 

The bridge on the river is at the site of the old WALTERS 
FERRY which for fifty-eight years was an important link in the 
Boise-San Francisco stage route. Today of the town only a few 

Jump Creek Canyon 

A profile in Sucker Creek 


adobe huts remain, and of the ferry nothing. When building the 
bridge, workmen found arrowheads, rifle balls, and one poke of gold 
dust that had been hidden. South of the bridge are MURPHY 12 m., 
the present county seat, and SILVER CITY 44 m., patriarch of the 
ghosts (see Sec. II, Chap. V, Ghost Towns). 

2. Left from Nampa on an unimproved road is LAKE LOWELL 6 m., 
upon which in August an annual motorboat regatta is held. This 
body of water, known also as the Deer Flat Reservoir, has a shore 
line of twenty-eight miles, and is fairly alive with perch, bass, and 
carp. There is no closed season on carp, and hundreds of sportsmen 
go to this lake to spear these fish, sometimes taking as many as 
three on a single lance. During spring spawning season, a fisher- 
man may catch as many as fifty in an hour, the largest of which 
are about thirty inches in length. There are also boating and bath- 
ing here but other accommodations are poor. 

At 23 m. on U S 30 is the junction with an improved 

Left on this road is JUMP CREEK CANYON 26 m., one of the 
most beautiful spots in the State. At 14 m. the highway drops down 
into a small lovely valley upon Snake River. On the left is LIZARD 
BUTTE, a historic landmark. The best view of it is to be had from 
the river bridge, where is to be seen its remarkable resemblance to 
an enormous stone reptile, lying prone upon the hill and clutching 
it with legs and tail while rearing its head. MARSING 16 m. is a 
wayside stop beyond the bridge. From here it is ten miles over poor 
road to the canyon, and only adventurous or very patient travelers 
should undertake the journey. 

Jump Creek Canyon offers endless wonders to exploration. The 
road terminates at the mouth of it from which a trail leads up the 
stream. Along this trail are huge chambers under overhanging 
bluffs (in the first of which many campers eat their lunch); dark 
caverns running back into the ledges; vaulted archways where great 
piles of stone overshadow the creek and the trail; and high crags 
against the sky. A more inviting path it would be hard to find in 
Idaho. Less than half a mile from the beginning of the trail a 
climb should be taken to the left for the best view of the waterfall 
and the gorgeous backdrop beyond. The creek, if seen in spring or 
early summer, plunges like streams of snow down a black wall of 
lava for seventy-five feet. Beyond it the side of the gorge, stripped 
clean save for tiny gardens of moss, rises in enormous colored 
towers which range from blue gray and cobalt blue, from slabbed 
walls of burnt orange, through the old rose of facades and the 
somber red of columnar masses to patches of lemon yellow and 
delicate springtime green. If seen in early morning when the sun 
first strikes, this gorge is an indescribable riot of color. If, after 
sunrise no longer floods it with brilliance, it is brought close with 
powerful glasses, it is seen to be, and especially in the last terraced 

262 IDAHO 

bluflFs, a very rich mosaic, as if these walls had been inlaid with 
rough stone slabs of every color known. On some afternoons, when 
the ceiling is low, white clouds like floating islands asleep come 
drifting over the crags against the sky and spill gently into the 

CALDWELL 29 m. (2,367 alt.; 4,974 pop.) has in the 
COLLEGE OF IDAHO, visible at the eastern edge of the 
city, the oldest institution of higher learning in the State. 
Across the highway from it is one of the largest feeding 
and shipping livestock stations in the Northwest. In ME- 
MORIAL PARK, beyond the campus (L) are playgrounds, 
a large outdoor pool fed by artesian water, and a cabin of 
historic interest. In the JOHNSON CABIN, three bachelor 
brothers lived in early days. At the west end of Main 
Street is the plant of I'he Caxton Printers, the regional 
pubhshers who in recent years have achieved a national 
reputation. Visitors are welcomed. But none of these 
items give the mental and spiritual flavor of this town 
which with its nineteen different churches and its some- 
what monastic quietness is quite unlike any other in the 
State. On U S 30 at the northern edge of town is Canyon 
Ford Bridge upon Boise River, and just north of the bridge 
is the Dorion Monument, erected to Marie Dorion and as a 
marker upon the original Oregon Trail. The site of old 
Fort Boise is down the river one mile from its mouth. 

Left from Caldwell on State 19 is Wilder 11 m. and Homedale 15 m. 
and Trom there over fair road is Sucker Creek 33 m. in Oregon just 
across the State Line. SUCKER CREEK CANYON, accessible only 
or at least most easily by way of Idaho, is one of the beauty spots of 
the Northwest. This canyon, running for more than two miles in its 
more spectacular formations, is a stupendous area of monuments 
and monoliths, mounds and cones, faces and silhouettes, pedestals 
and spires, all gorgeously colored, with the dyes ranging from the 
yellow sulphurous walls, eroded and spilled, through great red and 
green bases to rich masses in which all colors are extravagantly 
harmonized. There is no more overwhelming view here than the one 
on the right at 37 m. where a hundred towers of varying heights and 
colors stand sharp and clean against the sky. 

U S 30 goes north out of Caldwell through the Payette 
Valley, the only part of the State that has more available 


water for irrigation than is needed. NEW PLYMOUTH 
54 m. was conceived in the Sherman House in Chicago by 
a chairman of a national irrigation congress ; and FRUIT- 
LAND 61 m. is the center of one of the most prolific fruit 
areas in the State. 

PAYETTE 67 m. (2,147 alt. ; 2,618 pop.) has a well- 
known shade-tree nursery which has developed a pink- 
flowering and purple-bloom locust tree that blooms every 
month. An apple blossom festival is an annual event here 
when the orchards are burgeoned. Just west of the town 
ventory of which in 1934 showed 132 native plants that had 
been identified, 100 that were still unnamed, and 1,500 wild 
and cultivated varieties. These gardens suppHed Hyde 
Park in London with wild hollyhock after a long search 
in Weiser Canyon to find it. Fifty different species of 
pentstemon are grown here. 

WEISER 82 m. (2,119 alt. ; 2,724 pop.) stands at the 
confluence of the Snake and Weiser Rivers close by Ore- 
gon. It was named for Jacob Weiser, a German trapper, 
and is pronounced Wee'-zer. The old town was for a time 
called Weiser Bridge, and by 1890 had several stores and 
hotels and barns and six saloons ; but in this year a man 
tried to take all of these saloons in a day's stride and 
knocked a lamp over in a hotel, and the subsequent fire 
almost wiped out the town. A new Weiser one mile west- 
ward was founded, and what remained of the first r.ettle- 
ment moved over there. The town is today the gateway 
of the fertile Weiser Valley with its huge orchards and 
great belts of wheat fields. Of unexploited resources, this 
region has an inexhaustible quantity of diatomaceous 
earth, valuable in the manufacture of insulation. 

There are several historic points of interest in or near 
the town. At the eastern end of Twelfth Street is the old 
immigrant crossing where wagon trains on the Oregon 
Trail forded the river in early days. The old ferry boat 
still stands on the Snake River crossing. Of historic 

264 IDAHO 

houses, the GALLOWAY and the HOPPER LOG CABIN 
are noteworthy, the first six miles up Weiser River, the 
second on the site of the old town. 

At Weiser is the junction with U S 95 (see Tour 7). 
U S 30 crosses the Oregon Line at 72 m., 65 m. from Baker, 
Oregon ( see Oregon Tour 1). 


Blackfoot — Arco — Junction with U S 93, 2 m. south of 
Challis. 144 m. State 27. Lost River Highway. 

The Oregon Short Line Railroad parallels this route be- 
tween Blackfoot and Mackay. Salmon River Stages use 
the highway between Blackfoot and Challis. 

Accommodations throughout are less than average in 
hotels and tourist camps, and travelers who plan to spend 
some time in the region are wise to equip and provision 
themselves for an outdoor life. 

State 27 proceeds out of Blackfoot (R) into the north- 
west, and soon leaves the fertile Snake River Valley to 
enter that enormous desolation of volcanic outpourings 
of which the Craters of the Moon are only a very small 
part. The contrast can be felt more deeply if it is remem- 
bered that State 39, which branches (L) at 5 m., turns 
south to SPRINGFIELD 20 m., in the vicinity of which is 
produced almost half of the Grimm alfalfa seed grown in 
the United States. State 27 soon reaches beyond all the 
irrigated luxuriance of this valley and lays its journey 
across apparently endless miles of the eastern slope of 
the great Idaho batholith. This Jurassic uplift underlies 
part of the State and is, with its innumerable folds and 
faults, its granitic gorges and basaltic buttes and cones, 
the most notable geologic feature of Idaho. 

Right at 40 m. are the TWIN BUTTES and on the left 
BIG BUTTE, famous landmarks for emigrants in early 
days. Two of them, BIG and EAST BUTTES, are rhyolitic 
volcanic cones completely surrounded by Snake River lava 
and are admirable examples of steptoes (islands formed in 
a once-molten sea of lava) . MIDDLE BUTTE is an up- 
raised block of stratified basalt. Middle Butte rises above 
the plain 400 feet. East Butte, 700 ; but Big Butte rises 
2,350 feet as a deeply sculptured mountain and terminates 
in two ridges about a mile apart, with a deep depression be- 

266 IDAHO 

tween that apparently is the remnant of a crater. This 
mountain can be scaled but has unusual abruptness of 
ascent on all sides. It is composed chiefly of nearly white 
rhyolitic lava which varies in texture from firm-banded 
layers to light pumice and black obsidian. The basalt 
spilled at its base and spread into sheets is black. This 
formidable monument is a favorite haunt of certain wild 
animals, including bear and deer; and on its northern 
slope is a young and thrifty growth of fir and juniper. 
From the summit of Big Butte a broad vista presents the 
geologic record of the Snake River plains. Middle and 
East Buttes also rise abruptly. At the summit of the lat- 
ter is the remnant of a volcanic crater. In the vicinity of 
both are many caves and underground passages, most of 
which have doubtless never been explored; and for any 
person seeking the unusual or wishing to venture into 
what has not within the memory of living man been seen, 
these three desolate sentinels are a terrifying playground. 
At 54 m. is the junction with State 29. 

Right on state 29 are the LOST RIVER SINKS 20 m., where 

two rivers have long disappeared. As a matter of fact, not a single 
tributary reaches Snake River by surface travel from the high 
and rugged mountains lying west and north of its course between 
Malad River (see Tour 3, Sec. b) and Henrys (North) Fork, a distance 
of two hundred miles. In certain instances, as in the case of Big and 
Little Lost Rivers, the waters spread out in the marginal portion of 
the plain during the period of their greatest elongation and form 
shallow lakes. The chief reason these rivers are lost is the fact that 
the terrain across which they flow is rough and irregular, and evapo- 
ration and percolation in the lakes equal the influx. Big Lost River 
rises in the Sawtooth Range and flows ninety miles into this desert of 
stone to form a lake and vanish; and the Little Lost River emerges 
from the Pahsimeroi Mountains and flows eighty miles to disappear 
ten miles east of the other sinkholes. Both of these rivers were over- 
land tributaries of the Snake before volcanic upheavals buried their 
channels and shook them out of their courses. Their outlet, as well 
as the outlet of other streams that vanish in this area, is thought 
to be chiefly the Thousand Springs which gush from the walls of 
Snake River Canyon a hundred and fifty miles in the southwest 
(see Tour 3, Sec. b). 

ARCO 62 m. (5,318 alt. ; 572 pop.) is the seat of Butte 
County and one of the loveliest of small Idaho towns. 

Monoliihs at sunset and Volcanic Crater — Craters of the Moon 

^j bupj^, .aj"*C .<,^— 



Cave mouth and formafion of cave interior — Craters of the Moon 

Indian Tunnel: entrance and corridor — Craters of the Moon 

Lava flow — Craters of the Moon 

Impression of charred log in lava — Craters of the Moon 


From some distance it strongly resembles a village in 
Switzerland. The present site is its third since 1879, the 
first of which was called Junction; but the U. S. Post 
Office Department did not look with favor on so many 
Junctions, and the name was changed, though whether 
the present town was named for a visiting Count Arco 
or for Arco Smith, an early settler, or whether it was 
named because the town is on a bend in the river, seems 
not to be known. The Lost River Range terminates in the 
picturesque Wildcat Peak which is the backdrop of this 
town. The caretaker of the Craters of the Moon National 
Monument is stationed here and will provide guides if 

1. Left from Arco on State 22 is the CRATERS OF THE MOON 
NATIONAL MONUMENT 20.5 m. Martin's Ranch 18.5 m. (R) 
is a post office only. At the Hailey entrance accommodations are 
available. The panorama in this area at sunset is overwhelming, 
for at this hour the fields of lava are utterly black and strangely 
unreal; and in sharp contrast to them is the high and ghostly 
beauty of the Lost River Mountains in the east. Persons intending 
to leave the roads in the Craters region to explore should wear 
rugged clothing and very rugged shoes. 

The Craters Monument, to which the buttes and the sinks with 
their surrounding country are an appropriate preface, is said to 
be unique upon the North American Continent. It was not ex- 
plored save casually until recently, and was not set aside as a 
national monument until 1924. In Blaine and Butte Counties of 
Idaho, and resting upon the central lava terrain, the Monument 
itself is a newer part of a vast lava field that covers some two 
hundred thousand square miles and extends westward to the great 
Columbia Plateau. It is named Craters of the Moon because its 
caves and natural bridges, cones and terraces and weird piles of 
stone resemble the surface of the moon as seen through a telescope. 

Three periods of eruption, the last of which probably took place 
250 to 1,000 years ago, are recorded in the cones: the earliest in the 
cones of the Devil's Orchard and in the field of crags south of Big 
Cinder Cone; the next in the Sunset, Silent, Big Cinder, and their 
neighbors on the Great Rift; and the third by the North Crater and 
Big Craters, which formed the line of spatter cones southeast of 
Big Craters. The cones formed by the latter explosions are the most 
striking of the landscape. 

The monumental area itself covers eighty square miles and is 
one of the largest national monuments under the National Park 
Service. Few spots on earth have such power to impress the human 
mind with the awful inner nature of the huge rock-planet upon which 
the human race moves at incredible speed through the universe. An- 

268 IDAHO 

ciently, and periodically thereafter, these eighty square miles and 
hundreds of square miles around them poured forth from thousands 
of steaming vents lava boiling at two thousand degrees F.; shud- 
dered and heaved and cracked wide open in the granite depths; 
rolled over the miles in a great flood of molten rock, building 
grotesque caricatures; and then sucked downward through impene- 
trable black caves and were still. Today this area looks as if great 
seething cauldrons had poured from the sky upon this desolation, 
with the masses often cooling suddenly in the moving deluge, or 
stopping short as if flowing black or gray water had turned to stone. 
A person can spend days here and never see all that is to be seen or 
imagine the infinite variety of sculpturing and relief. Looking into a 
gigantic crack known as the Great Rift, and remembering not only 
that rivers disappear in the broad area eastward and flow in sub- 
terranean darkness, but also the strangeness of the whole region, 
the visitor can let his fancy build mightily and then fail to grasp 
the immensity of what once happened. Formerly several rivers 
came down off the watersheds and across this plateau to fall into 
the Snake where it was eroding its gorge far to the south. And 
then one day, a long time ago, the incalculable billions of tons of 
lava, running to what depth nobody knows, shook upward in boiling 
floods and poured over the plain for miles east and south and west. 
It came in such force and such volume that blocks of unmelted rock 
broke from the ceiling of the buried reservoirs and floated upward 
and were carried like driftwood on the mad tides. The torrents came 
out boiling, or gushed up in broad liquid floods that broke and fell in 
pouring terraces and swept out in great black tides that now lie like 
huge billowed carpets stretched to only half their length; or moved, 
half-congealed, in heavy slow motion out over the steaming land- 
scape. Then for awhile there was peace; but other stupendous erup- 
tions followed through the centuries, and the surface was torn apart 
in hundreds of vents and fissures, and outpourings built mile by mile 
the overwhelming picturesqueness of the region. 

Strangely, there is but one type of lava, though this masquerades 
in several guises and assumes a variety of aspects. The dominant 
formation is basalt, rich in iron, which is the rimrock of the 
Snake River Gorge. In bright sunlight, some of the formations 
here look like blue glass; some like the half-deflated bodies of 
monstrous reptiles; arid some like the transfixed waves of an ocean 
that had been caught running to high tide. There are many black 
buttes here, some with their tops blown off as if dynamite had 
scattered them to the winds; and some, rising several hundred feet 
above these, look as if they had been thrust up from the earth, 
inflated and ready to explode, but had cooled before explosion came. 
There are piles of solidified froth and foam that were blown out 
by fountains of fire; mounds of rock-clot that were soldered to one 
another under heat and collision after being thrown upward; and 
ribbons and spindle-bombs of stone that were shaped into beautiful 
symmetrical spheres during their moments of flight. There are 
dark musty caverns, dank and terrifying tunnels, and pits that are 
said to be bottomless. There are caves holding water that never 

Natural bridge near Arco 


rises more than two degrees above freezing even on the hottest 
days. And there are curious tree molds, because these eruptions 
buried a forest, and the lava in places flowed twenty feet in depth 
around trees, embracing the trunks within the boiling stone. 

Perhaps the best view of this unutterably desolate region is to 
be had from Big Cinder Butte, which rises eight hundred feet 
above the adjacent plains. It is one of the largest basaltic cinder 
cones in the world. Lying eastward from it are broken pavements 
of black lava that unroll mile upon mile into the gray haze of the 
desert. Visible from this height is a strange yellow island of 
knolls, overgrown with grass, which were not inundated by floods. 
Southeast runs a series of volcanic vents reaching out into the 
black loneliness of lava for eleven miles and coming to a climax 
in Black Top Butte. Southward is an awful acreage of crags and 
domes; and over in the northwest lie the crater pits along the 
Great Rift. Some of these cones are brilliant red at noon and 
purple under twilight, and all of them together, when seen from 
Big Cinder Butte at dusk, are as weird a map of colors shimmering 
over a pattern of desolate waste as it is possible to see anywhere. 
Indians, indeed, held this spot in awe, and have handed down 
legends of that terrible time when the hills smoked and shouldered 
upward in their stupendous wrath and the whole broad reach of the 
desert trembled. 

And this region, curiously enough, has wild animals living within 
it, as well as a few trees and many wild flowers. There are western 
junipers and limber pines and quaking aspens here; and among 
flowers there are red or yellow Eriogonums, blue pentstemons and 
larkspurs, pui-ple lupine and red Indian paintbrushes, pink and 
white primroses; and loveliest of all, the most incongruous in the 
black wastes, are the white blossoms of the bitterroot, the yellow 
blossoms of the sand lily, and the gorgeous white sego lily, Utah's 
State flower. As if these were not enough, there are also cinque- 
foil and daisy and phlox, yarrow and aster and prairie pink. And 
a surprising number of animals make their homes here. There 
are several species of rabbit; gophers and chipmunks and porcu- 
pines; pack rats and rockchucks and skunks; and even coyotes and 
bobcats. In Moss Cave and Sunbear Cave there used to be dens of 
bears, and several grizzlies were slain in this area some years ago. 
Skulls show that mountain sheep and antelope and deer used to 
roam here. But there are no snakes in this region because the 
terrain is too rough and jagged for their journeying. Of birds 
there are woodpeckers and hawks and ravens and crows, larks and 
bluebirds and shrikes, sage grouse and mourning doves, and both 
the bald and golden eagle. 

State 22 continues from the Hailey entrance into the southwest to 
its junction with State 23, which in turn proceeds to its junction at 
Shoshone with U S 93. Twenty-seven miles from Arco there is no 
longer a volcanic area on the right. On the contrary there is for 
many miles now the strangest contrast to be found on any Idaho 
highway. Upon the left is the ragged flank of the Craters area 
with long ridges running across like rifts of coal; and on the 

270 IDAHO 

right are denuded mountains so soft in color and texture that they 
look in subdued light (in May or June) as if they were draped with 
silk. At 30 m. there is a broad view of the western reach of the 
volcanic region, with the blue of Snake River Valley against purple 
mountains in the southwest. Less than a mile after entering Blaine 
County, the hills on the right are strikingly lovely in shades of 
orchid and lilac, supplemented now and then by golden or blue 
flanks and ravines. At 38 m. the water on the left is a haven of 
ducks, with lava piled like coal on the far side. A right turn 45 m. 
leads to Fish Creek and to excellent campsites in a canyon. Between 
here and Shoshone there are intermittent patches of irrigated green 
but for the most part the area still stands within possession of 
volcanic landscaping. 

CAREY 55 m. and RICHFIELD 78 m. are two small hamlets, each 
the center of an irrigated oasis upon a pitted and rifted plateau 
of waste. At SHOSHONE 96 m. surfaced highways go north, south, 
and west (see Tour 5). 

2. Right from Arco a short distance on an unimproved road leading 
toward Arco Pass a little-used wood road leads to the left toward 
Beaverland Pass, and from the end of the road it is about a mile by 
trail to the second most remarkable natural bridge in the State. 
This arch completely bridges the canyon with a span of about 125 
feet and a height of about 50 feet. Of irregular diameter, it spreads 
into flanges at either end and is so rough on its surface that it is 
difficult to cross it and not a little dangerous. 

For the lover of beautiful mountains, the drive from 
Arco to Challis is not comparable in massed splendor to 
the distance between Challis and Salmon City (see Tour 
5) or to the glittering imperturbability of the Sawtooth 
Peaks west of Stanley Basin. But it is, nevertheless, a 
minor feast, no matter whether in great rugged torsos or 
in the low mounded extravagance of brown hills or in the 
plump austerity of Mount Borah. From Arco, State 27 
goes up the valley of Lost River, and attention is called 
at 82 m. to the contrast between the range on the left and 
the one on the right. It is difficult to believe that almost 
denuded mountains could be any lovelier than this Lost 
River spur on the right, though the range across from it 
is softer in contour and richer in color. 

At 89 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road is PASS CREEK GORGE 9 m. on Pass Creek. 
This canyon, too, it seems, is often called the Royal Gorge of Idaho, 
and pei'haps is worthier of the name than any other. This gorge, more 


than a mile in length, is very narrow, and its sheer walls, rising more 
than two thousand feet, leave only a slender path of sky line above. 
Favored as a picnic ground, the bottom of the canyon is forested and 
is traversed throughout by a cold mountain stream. Fishing in this 
stream and in others here is excellent. The walls of the gorge are 
two thousand feet of strata, the lower depth of which is dark blue 
limestone which grades upward into shale. Like any other magnifi- 
cent canyon, this one comes most 'fully to life at sunset when the 
upper ledges are luminous with glory and the shadows are banked 
depth upon depth in the lower reaches. 

MACKAY 90 m. (5,897 alt.; 777 pop.) is another sub- 
alpine town in a lovely setting. It stands in a valley that 
once sheltered several boom towns, of which little or 
nothing remains, as well as gangs of lusty rascals who 
had things pretty much to their taste before the vigi- 
lantes came. Of minor indignities, the murder of Bill 
Noyes is still remembered. He was traveling with a 
friend whose name seems to have vanished beyond legend 
when the two men engaged in argument over a trivial 
matter and descended from the wagon to fight. Noyes 
was the huskier of the two, and after beating his friend 
in what a historian calls a "most barbarous manner" he 
waxed sardonically playful and drove the wagon over the 
prostrate body. But the now nameless one was tougher 
than he seemed. He came to his senses presently and sat 
up and shook both his fists and made horrible threats, all 
of which he later fulfilled by calling Noyes from his sleep 
one night and filling him with buckshot. Stories such as 
this still live within the memory of old-timers here and 
make a good part of the history of this valley. 

At 92 m. is the Cottonwood Grove dancing pavilion 
(R) ; and on the left at 95 m. is a lake, either blue or green, 
depending on the light, which is the storage and diversion 
point of the river. South of here the old bed of Lost River 
is dry. CHILLY 107 m. is a ghost town of a few deserted 

Left from Chilly on the Trail Creek Road is TRAIL CREEK SUM- 
MIT and a fine improved campground 25 m. The distance to Ketchum 
is 43 m. (See Tour 5.) This road proceeds through a closed game 
preserve on the Lemhi National Forest, and deer are often visible 
to those driving across. 

272 IDAHO 

DICKEY 111 m. still appears on highway maps but 
there is nothing here except a ranch on either side of the 
road. This is another ghost town. Mount Borah, straight 
east of it, is the highest known point in Idaho: though 
it stands at an elevation of 12,655 feet, it seems not to, 
perhaps because the tableland surrounding it is con- 
siderably more than a mile above the sea. 

Right from Dickey a country road leads to the foot of the mountain, 
to the summit of which a few persons annually climb for the view 
afforded not only of much of Idaho but of parts of Utah, Wyoming, 
and Montana as well. Old-timers here say that only one woman has 
ever reached the top and they are dubious of her, surmising that her 
husband recorded her name there. 

Much more impressive than Mount Borah itself in 
May and June is the incomparable mountain north of it 
with its colorful warm flanks and its deep and symmetri- 
cal ravines. This is Dickey Peak. Its lower slopes in 
spring and summertime look like a plush gray or green 
carpet, and its marvellously sculptured reaches look like 
golden velvet. Quite as beautiful is the range which runs 
north from it, visible as soon as the ascent is made out 
of Thousand Springs Valley. 

At 123 m. is a junction with a fair road. 

Left on this road by way of SPAR CANYON is CLAYTON 24 m. 
on U S 93. 

At about 130 m. State 27 passes through the spectacu- 
lar heaped ruggedness of GRAND VIEW CANYON, where 
the sheer walls are laid block upon block. 

At 142 m. is the junction with U S 93, and two miles 
north is Challis (see Tour 5, Sec. a). 


(Missoula, Montana) — Salmon City — Ketchum — Sho- 
shone— Twin Falls— (Wells, Nevada). U S 93. Sawtooth 

Montana Line to Nevada Line, 365 m. 

The Oregon Short Line of the Union Pacific System paral- 
lels U S 93 between Ketchum and Shoshone, and the Twin 
Falls Stages follow the highway between Stanley and the 
Nevada Line. 

This highway when completed will be one of the great 
transcontinental arteries between Canada and Mexico. 
This, from the Montana Line to either Arco or Hailey, is 
the most magnificent long scenic drive in Idaho. It is two 
hundred and forty miles of beautiful mountains, ranging 
from soft flanks voluptuously mounded to the lean and 
glittering majesty of toothed backbones. The lover of 
natural beauty who wishes to see most of what this tour 
offers will digress at North Fork over the side tour ; and 
upon reaching Ketchum will take the road northeast over 
the Pass Creek road and then proceed to Shoshone by way 
of the Craters of the Moon. The additional distance will be 
less than a hundred miles. 

Accommodations limited. 

Section a. Montana Line to Hailey, 241 m. 

U S 93 comes up the Bitterroot Valley in Montana 
and across the Bitterroot National Forest to enter Idaho 
over historic LOST TRAIL PASS (6,995 alt.) which was 
crossed by Lewis and Clark in 1805. 

Left at the summit is a road that follows the Continental Divide 
to the ANDERSON MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT 7 m., from which is 
visible a large part of both Idaho and Montana. 

274 IDAHO 

South of the Montana-Idaho Line in Idaho is the Sal- 
mon National Forest with its densely wooded reaches. 
The road drops down into Idaho several thousand feet in 
the next twenty-five miles. This part of U S 93 between 
the Montana Line and North Fork is a winding drive 
through a wilderness of evergreens much like that to 
be found in many areas in Yellowstone Park. At 5 m. 
after going down over a series of elbows the road eases 
at the first bridge over the North Fork of Salmon River. 
It was up the canyon on the right that Lewis and Clark 
went by mistake on September 3, 1805. The timber on 
the right or left during the first descent is chiefly lodge- 
pole pine and Douglas fir with a little western yellow pine. 

The SALMON NATIONAL FOREST of 1,723,872 acres 
is upon the western slope of the Continental Divide and is 
the chief watershed of the Salmon River and its forks, the 
Lemhi River, and of such large creeks as Panther and 
Horse, besides hundreds of smaller streams. Its principal 
trees are western yellow pine at lower altitudes, with 
lodgepole and Douglas fir higher up, and with limber pine 
and balsam still higher as valuable coverage on the water- 
sheds. Engelmann spruce is abundant in the canyons and 
wetter areas. Its wild game is chiefly deer, mountain 
sheep, and goat, antelope, bear, cougar, coyote, and lynx. 
There are a few elk and moose and a few mule deer. This 
region is a favorite with hunters from many parts of the 
world, not only for larger game but also for grouse, quail, 
pheasant, and, most notably, sage hens which are to be 
found in huge flocks. Natural campsites, unexcelled fish- 
ing streams, and roads and trails, often of poor texture, 
are all too numerous to be mentioned save in exceptional 

TWIN CREEK CAMPGROUND 9 m. (R) is improved 
and one of the best in the forest. At 9.5 m., across the 
stream (R), is a marker to Lewis and Clark, for it was 
up this canyon they went on their historic journey. 

GIBBONSVILLE 15 m. offers meals and a few cabins. 


This is a ghost town, and little remains of the thriving 
village that was once here. 

Left from here an unimproved road leads to Montana and to good 
fishing and natural campsites on Dahlonega Creek in Idaho a few 
miles out. A distance of eight miles on this road leads to what some 
declare to be the finest vantage point in Idaho. From here on a bright 
day it is possible to gaze clear across the State to the haze of the 
Seven Devils Gorge upon the Idaho-Oregon Line. 

U S 93 continues to parallel the North Fork, with the 
valley widening enough to allow small meadowed ranches 
and with the lodgepole yielding at this elevation to aspen, 
birch, and willow along the stream, and to yellow pine and 
spruce on the flanks. 

NORTH FORK 26 m. is only a store and a junction. 
Here is a fine monument to the Lewis and Clark Expedi- 
tion and to Old Toby, the Indian who led them from here 
to the Bitterroot Valley. 

Right from North Fork a road goes down the Salmon River and 
thence into primitive wilderness with return to U S 93 by way of 
Panther, Napias, and Williams Creeks to the junction five miles south 
of Salmon City. The road is narrow but fair to good. 

Often called the River of No Return and a physical phenomenon in 
itself because it is navigable only downstream, and then never under 
any but expert guidance, the Salmon is the longest stream lying 
wholly within any of the States. In either its main channel or its 
middle fork, it journeys through a gorge that is deeper by a thousand 
feet than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. It rises In its chief 
stream far in the southwest among the Sawtooth Mountains and flows 
eastward for forty miles before it swings northward for nearly a 
hundred, only to turn abruptly again, pick up the North Fork, and 
plunge westward for two hundred miles, dividing the State into its 
north and south halves and joining the Little Salmon at Riggins (see 
Tour 7, Sec. a). The Middle Fork, rising near the source of the main 
stream, goes northwestward and then north through a magnificent 
canyon of its own and through the heart of the Primitive Area. The 
road down the main river now goes almost to the junction with the 
Middle Fork (about 50 m.), and will eventually be completed all the 
way down the gorge to make one of the most picturesque drives 
in America. J. B. Umpleby of the United States Geological Survey 
has declared that the canyon of the main Salmon is "one of the 
most magnificent gorges that nature ever produced." Boat trips 
down the river's length from Salmon City are arranged there; and 
for those with no taste or no money or time for so hazardous a 
journey, the highway can be followed. 

276 IDAHO 

A sign at the junction declares that the ti-aveler takes this road at 
his own risk, but this warning need not alarm for it seems not im- 
probable that he takes all roads at his own risk. On the left at 4.5 m. 
comes Dump Creek in wild haste down from the crags. Attention is 
called to the few rugged old-timers along the river, usually on the 
far side, and to the cables across which they coon when venturing 
out for supplies. Geologists with the recent National Geographic 
Expedition down the river have said that these pioneers are the 
most independent persons on earth. That is a slight exaggeration. 
The winters are relatively mild along this river, and these settlers 
are in touch through the year with the world beyond. If the 
traveler wishes to see persons living at the last reach of independ- 
ence and remoteness, he can find them by pack trip into the hinter- 
lands of this great forest. 

A tiny MUSEUM 17 m. is left. It has a few heads of wild 
animals and a few Indian relics. Of greater interest is the enormous 
pile of antlers by the cabin south of it. Just beyond on the right 
is Indian Ci-eek and a diversion road, built by the Forest Service, 
which climbs to the Bluenose, Beai'trap, Oi-eana, and Long Tom 
Lookouts from any of which is offered a vast and breathless view 
of country. SHOUP 19 m. is a few unsightly shacks by the road. 
From here to the turn up Panther Creek, attention is called to the 
cascading haste of the river, especially in late spring when the 
floods are high. The road goes down the river several miles from 
the Panther Creek turn and leads to natural campsites and to 
almost unexcelled fishing. 

At 27 m. the road turns (L) up PANTHER CREEK, which in 
June is a river in its own right. From this turn for more than twenty 
miles the road climbs up an easy grade, and both the scenery and 
the water become increasingly impressive. At about 31 m. is HOT 
SPRINGS CREEK (L), of which the fountainhead is the mighty 
BIG CREEK HOT SPRINGS. Many of these pools constantly 
boil at a temperature hot enough to cook vegetables and meats, 
and all of them together discharge enough water to send down 
the canyon a steaming torrent of considei-able size. Long used 
by remote settlers as a cure for rheumatism, these waters have 
never been commercially developed, and are held in reserve now by 
the Forest Service as the core of an eventual mammoth playground. 
Panther Creek at 39 m. is beyond all description impetuous in its 
haste. The traveler may be surprised and not a little appalled to find 
a tiny ranch now and then along this wild creek. These men are the 
last of the frontiersmen. With both time and tact, some of these 
recluses can be engaged in talk, but those engaging them are urged 
to lay aside their patronage because these independent folk are 
never in a mood for insolence and know how to rebuke it thoroughly. 
The beautiful trees with the golden yellow bark and deep black seams 
are western yellow pine. 

At 47 m. on this ci-eek is the junction with Napias and Upper 
Panther Creeks, two of the maddest streams that ever came down 
out of mountains. They come together in furious confluence to 

T O U R F I V E 277 

form Panther Creek, and at their junction is the LEACOCK 
Ranch, typical of the hermitages that were accessible only by horse 
or afoot until the Forest Service built roads here. The road at the 
right goes to Forney and to the eastern entrance of the Primitive 
Area. The traveler taking the left turn up Napias Creek will 
probably reflect, especially if he leaves the road to look down 
upon it, that this is the wildest stream he ever saw. This creek, 
boiling down over indescribable cascades, does everything any 
stream can do and remain upon its bed. In one stretch (not visible 
from the road) it builds plunge upon plunge and goes under the 
name of the Napias Creek Falls. At 50.5 m. an extremely difficult 
road leads left to the ghost town of LEESBURG, once a city of 
seven thousand but now a specter of twelve persons. The main or 
Napias Creek road takes the turn across the bridge (R) and climbs 
for several miles up a winding evergreen corridor to the summit. The 
elevation at the summit 57 m. is more than 8,000 feet, and for those 
who want a broader view there is a side road (R) leading to Lake 

A hundred yards down from the summit is an unobstructed view 
of the magnificent mountains in the east, ranging from the green 
and old-rose flanks in the foreground to the deep blue of the tim- 
bered crests far beyond. This winding descent for eleven miles is 
breath-taking, with vision intermittently obscured by dense forest 
or suddenly cleared to the sweep of distance where mountains look 
like lakes of cobalt blue. At 60.5 m. is the improved Cougar Camp- 
ground, and it is to be doubted that there is in Idaho a more beautiful 
site than this one. Far up here on this broad watershed, it overlooks 
a hundred miles of mountainous distance in the east and the Lemhi 
Valley below. The descending road goes down the Williams Creek 
Gorge with stone bluffs rising on right or left in amazing variety and 
beauty. This drive from the campground down to the valley is 
unsurpassed in Idaho. At 71 m. is the junction with U S 93 5 m. S of 
Salmon City. 

At 41 m. is Carmen Creek where Captain Bonneville 
erected a temporary fort and log cabins in 1832. This was 
the first building done by white men along the Salmon 
River. U S 93 goes up Salmon River to enter a mountain 

SALMON CITY 48 m. (4,003 alt.; 1,371 pop.) is the 
industrial center of this valley. At the junction of the 
Salmon and Lemhi Rivers, it is the seat of Lemhi County, 
and except for Hamilton, Montana, is the largest city 
within the radius of a hundred miles. Few visitors enter 
this valley or this small subalpine town without comment- 
ing on the beauty of the one and the picturesque site of 

278 IDAHO 

the other. Its chief attraction is probably ISLAND 
PARK, a timbered area of five acres in the river above 
the bridge, and a favorite campground. 

1. Left from Salmon City on State 28 is an area with a dramatic his- 
toric background. At 17 m. is a monument (L) to the memory of 
Sacajawea, an Indian woman and sister of Chief Comeawait, who 
came westward with Lewis and Clai-k and was restored to her people 
in the Lemhi Valley. Midway between Tendoy and Lemhi (L) is a 
monument to Chief Tendoy of the Lemhi Tribe. Tendoy was a full- 
blooded Shoshoni Indian who befriended the whites during the Nez 
Perce War and later when the Fort Hall Indians went on a rampage. 
LEMHI 30 m. (5,100 alt.; 25 pop.) was named, like the forest, county, 
mountain range, valley, and river for Limhi, a character in the Book 
of Mormon. Mormons were sent from Utah to colonize this valley in 
1855. They built Fort Lemhi, irrigated on a small scale, and were 
prosperous until driven out by Indians three years later. Remnants of 
the old fort are still to be seen, and one of the irrigation ditches is 
still in use. Later, gold was discovered in this region, and a stam- 
pede settled it, but today there is little save a few ranches and a 
few ghost towns. 

The story is told that during an Indian raid here one woman 
became so excited that she leapt astride her horse facing its tail and 
looked down in utter horror and cried: "Great God, they've shot 
my horse's head off!" Whereupon, the legend goes, she remembered 
that she had forgotten her daughter Hope and began to call "Hope! 
Hope!" with anguished persistence, looking meanwhile at her head- 
less horse. Her white friends heard her calling Hope, and, mistaking 
the word for a battle cry, faced about and so completely annihilated 
their foes that the only ones who escaped were 22,369 who jumped 
into the river. 

At 49 m, is LEADORE, which has achieved some renown because 
of the distance its pupils travel to reach its high school. The average 
distance covered daily by the seventy-seven boys and girls enrolled 
in 1936 was thirty-one miles. Two sisters made a round trip of 
ninety miles. In early days the stagecoach was held up by two 
daring rascals on the summit south of Leadore and $37,000 was 
stolen. The bandits barricaded themselves in cliffs above the Hahn 
smelter and both were killed by infuriated prospectors who pursued 
them. The gold, said to have been hidden in these bluffs, has never 
been found and is only one of the legendary lost treasures that are 
regarded by some as a part of Idaho's invisible wealth. 

2. Right from Salmon City is the Yellowjacket road which leads 
to the eastern gateway of the Primitive Area. This road is in poor 
condition and only the most adventurous undertake it. It proceeds 
by way of LEESBURG 15 m., which once had a main street a mile 
long and a large Chinese colony. FORNEY 32 m. is another ghost 
town, and YELLOWJACKET 44 m. is the end of the trail. Here, 
and at MEYERS COVE southward a few miles, guides and all 


ii#^- #' 



•^^1^ aL. 

The outlet of Redfish Lake 

Stanley Lake 

Roaring Lake 

T O U R F I V E 279 

necessary equipment are available for pack trips into the Area. 
On the summit (8,370 alt.) between the Panther Creek and Yellow- 
jacket watersheds there is a side road that takes a tortuous way 
over the mountains and along ridges to the HOODOO MEADOWS 
LANDING FIELD (L), which is on the margin of the Primitive Area 
at an elevation of 8,600 feet. This point offers a view of the BIG- 
HORN CRAGS, the most rugged range in the State. 

3. Down the Salmon River by boat from Salmon City to Lewiston 
through 310 miles of the Salmon River and lower Snake River 
Canyon is a popular and adventurous excursion. This journey in 
flat-bottomed scows has been declared by a geologist who made it 
to be "a sporting and scenic event without equal." Arrangements 
have to be made far in advance to allow time to make the boats, 
and the trip is to be undertaken in any case only under expert 
guides to be found in Salmon City. For a journey down the Salmon 
River, see National Geographic Magazine for July, 1936. 

U S 93 south of Salmon City runs across a mountain 
valley. At 52 m. is a junction with a road. 

Left on this road are the SALMON HOT SPRINGS 4 m., where 
swimming pools are available. 

At 53 m. is a junction with a good road. 

Right on this road is the COUGAR POINT CAMPGROUND 10.5 m. 
up Williams Creek. The turn is across a red bridge and then up a 
magnificent gorge over a series of switchbacks that rise several thou- 
sand feet. This camp is a large one with running water, shelter, 
stoves, tables, and a site that it would be impossible to excel. (See 
side tour from North Fork above.) 

At 54 m. U. S. 93 enters the upper gorge of Salmon 
River and follows it for more than a hundred miles. This 
canyon under different light is never twice the same and 
can be realized for what it is only in late afternoon or at 
sunset. It is not, for the most part, a gorge of sheer walls 
and overwhelming heights. It is remarkable rather in 
the variety of its mountains and in the exquisite coloring 
of its stone. There are ridges that sharply climb the sky 
with the sculpturing reaching from shoulder to shoulder ; 
there are huge monuments set apart by time and erosion ; 
and there are rounded brown bluffs with slide-rock spilled 
smoothly at their base like tons of copper. There are 
picturesque collections of castles and towers, and in con- 

280 IDAHO 

trast with these are gently sloping flanks that look as if 
they were carpeted with green or golden velvet. There are 
magnificent solitary crags, and down below them, piled 
against the road, are weird gray formations so pocketed 
and cupped that they resemble cliff dwellings. 

At about 82 m. is CRONKS CANYON, which is known 
as the Royal Gorge of Idaho, and it is here that the most 
beautiful coloring is to be seen. The rugged bluflfs here 
standing as walls against the highway are stratified in red 
and yellow, green and dark blue, and even under morning 
sun are extremely rich. At sunset, when burning evening 
streams up this gorge, this mountainside in its bewildering 
loveliness looks as if a thousand broken rainbows had been 
drawn into the stone. 

At 86 m. is the lower end of the Pahsimeroi Valley, 
wherein ranges one of the largest herds of antelope in the 
world. The animals here and in adjacent regions are 
estimated to number five thousand, and if a person is 
alert he may catch sight of one while journeying through. 
Country roads go up the valley on either side of Pahsim- 
eroi River and lead to natural campsites and excellent 

At 93 m. is the junction with the Morgan Creek Road. 

Right on this road is MORGAN CREEK from which the road runs 
the full length of Panther Creek to FORNEY with a branch to Mey- 
ers Cove on Silver Creek. This is the best of the eastern entrances 
to the Primitive Area. (See side tour from North Fork above.) 

CHALLIS 107 m. (5,400 alt. ; 418 pop.) is even more 
remarkable than Salmon City for the beauty of its setting. 
The mountains northeast of it are unusually picturesque 
under any light and in comparison with mountains any- 
where. They are unforgettable when seen at sunset under 
a cloudy sky. The clouds lie low in blazing reefs and banks 
with the distant peaks thrusting up like golden crowns ; 
and down under the great flaming panorama the colored 
bluffs upon the river look like a shimmering fog bank lost 
in an extravagance of colored mist. 


At 109 m. is the junction of U S 93 with State 27 
(see Tour 4). U S 93 turns to the right and enters the 
miniature grand canyon of the Salmon River with the 
walls sloping upward on either side for two thousand 
feet. Though the coloring is not so rich nor the forma- 
tions so various as in the Royal Gorge, this canyon is, 
nevertheless, a mighty spectacle of splendor under the 
evening sun. 

At 116.5 m. is a junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road up BAY HORSE CREEK are campsites and 

CLAYTON 132 m. (5,450 alt.; 106 pop.) looks as if a 
flock of terrified buildings had come down a strong wind 
to settle here in the gorge and were still troubled by lone- 
liness and indecision. U S 93 continued up the river 
through beautiful country and over fast winding road. 
Wherever the highway has cut through the stone the color- 
ing is exquisite. At 144.5 m. is Torrey's (L) , where cabins 
and meals are available. 

At 151.5 m. is the junction with a road. 

Left on this road is ROBINSON BAR RANCH 1.5 m. This ranch on 
the mouth of Warm Springs Creek at an elevation of 5,883 feet is in 
the heart of the Salmon River Mountains and is fenced on all sides 
by great watersheds and wild streams. It is equipped with a lodge, 
two swimming pools, tennis courts, and horses for pack trips into the 
surrounding area. The fish in the streams here are Dolly Varden, 
rainbow, and cutthroat trout and three species of salmon. 

At 153.5 m. is the junction of U S 93 with an unim- 
proved road. 

Right on this road is the YANKEE FORK DISTRICT. This road, 
usually not open until early summer, leads to Bonanza and Custer, 
two picturesque ghost towns. The Yankee Fork has many beautiful 
campsites along its shores. At about 1 m. (L) and at about 2 m. (R) 
are improved campgrounds maintained by the forest. This road goes 
over Loon Creek Summit into the Loon Creek watershed, and on the 
far side demands very careful driving through ruggedly beautiful 
country. At the summit is another improved camp; and up the Yan- 
kee Fork from BONANZA 8 m. there are three, the first right and 
the other two left, within a distance of a few miles. The last of these 
is about 30 m. from U S 93. There are dozens of streams touching 

282 IDAHO 

this road or not far from it, and in every one of them of adequate 
size the fishing is excellent. BOYLE'S RANCH, L from Bonanza, is 
on Loon Creek 28 m. among the Salmon River Mountains at an eleva- 
tion of 5,785 feet with peaks standing from 9,000 to 11,000 feet 
around it. This ranch specializes in hunting trips into the Primitive 
Area. A good pack trail follows Loon Creek to the Middle Fork of 
Salmon River, and en route over this trail a side trip can be taken 
up Warm Springs Creek to the WARM SPRINGS and to the game 
country or fishing areas in the wilderness of which Parker Moun- 
tain (9,128 alt.) is the center. The SHOWER BATH SPRINGS on 
Warm Springs Creek are large hot streams that burst from the 

U S 93 goes through the CHALLIS NATIONAL FOR- 
EST, and this, like the Salmon, is a huge game preserve, 
rich in wild life and countless unfished streams. Deer are 
by far the most abundant of the animals, but black bear are 
plentiful, and pack trips in pursuit of them are popular 
with hunters. The trees, like those in the forest north, 
are chiefly lodgepole, Douglas fir, yellow pine, and Engel- 
mann spruce. There is an unknown number of hot springs 
in this forest, but of these the most unusual are to be 
reached only by pack trails. 

STANLEY 166 m. (6,200 alt. ; 154 pop.) is remarkable 
for two reasons. The first is a feud which divided the 
village against itself and sent a few of the residents 
wrathfully two miles westward to establish a new town- 
site. The U. S. Government recognizes only the old set- 
tlement, the first entered on U S 93; but it looks pretty 
shabby now and suffers strong intimations of becoming 
another ghost, while the new Stanley looks down its nose 
and continues to thrive. The second reason is the ex- 
tremely beautiful country in which the Stanleys are re- 
motely sheltered from the world. The Sawtooth Moun- 
tains westward are a magnificent backbone of blue spires. 
And in addition to these are the lakes. 

Right from Stanley a road goes through the Stanley Basin and at 
about 4.5 m. branches (L) through the forest to STANLEY LAKE 
3 m. In June the meadows here are golden with the mountain butter- 
cup and blue with the camas. The setting of Stanley Lake is perfect. 
On the far side is a mountain flank with evergreens as thick as they 
can stand, and beyond rise for several thousand feet the streaked 

' V 


Alice Lake 

Imogene Lake 

T O U R F I V E 283 

blue domes of the SAWTOOTH RANGE. A mile and a half up the 
creek that flows into the lake is LADY FACE FALLS, a lovely cas- 
cade that has for many persons the profile of a woman against its 
descent. Northwest from here but still at some distance is the 
Primitive Area. 

This side road proceeds from the turn to the lake to CAPE HORN 
RANCH 20 m. which has a lodge and cabins and a large outdoor 
swimming pool. This ranch, like Boyle's, equips hunting expeditions 
into the Area. The rugged picturesque Middle Fork country can be 
reached by pack train in one day from this ranch. This road con- 
tinues to Beaver Creek and then over Vanity Summit into the Sea- 
foam and Rapid River section, and here again pack trips are avail- 
able in almost any direction. A poor road proceeds and emerges at 
Cascade on State 15, or turns southward by way of Lowman to Boise. 
This country is perhaps as virgin as any to be found in the United 

U S 93 turns southward out of Stanley with the Salmon 

River on the left and the Sawtooth Mountains on the right. 

At 170.7 m. is a junction at the bridge with a dirt road. 

Right on this road are BIG REDFISH LAKE 2 m. and LITTLE 
REDFISH LAKE, which is about the size of Stanley Lake. Both, to- 
gether with the large creek, are stocked with trout. Both are lovely 
in their setting but not so perfect as Stanley. The hotel and cabins 
on Big Redfish have never been opened (for reasons which seem quite 
mysterious), but boats can be rented and campsites are many. 

At the bridge on U S 93, particularly in springtime, the 
beauty of the cascading water on either side is very im- 

At 176 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is the ROCKY MOUNTAIN CLUB 1 m., which 
is perhaps the most exclusive of the dude ranches in Idaho. At an 
elevation of nearly 7,000 feet, it faces the Sawtooth Mountains 
in the west and is famous for the view from its porch. It has 
a spacious clubhouse flanked by cabins, together with sulphur 
baths and hot plunges, and a lake for boating and swimming. This 
resort outfits for pack trips into the Area, to the more inaccessible 
lakes, or up the many canyon trails in its neighborhood. The rates 
here are high. 

At 181 m. the RUNNING SPRINGS RANCH, adjacent 
to the highway (R), offers pack trips to both hunting and 
fishing areas. 


Over in the mountains on the right is the loveliest group of lakes in 
Idaho, in any one of which there are really too many fish rather 

284 IDAHO 

than too few. They can be reached only by trail. A favorite trip 
from this ranch is one of seven days with a new lake fished in each 
day. HELL ROARING LAKE is seven miles out on the trail. IMO- 
GENE is eight miles, and TOXAWAY, ALICE, TWIN LAKES, and 
YELLOW BELLY are spaced at short intervals beyond. All of 
them are surpassingly beautiful. Another favorite trip from this 
ranch is in pursuit of black bear. 

On the ranges to the left here are mountain sheep and 
on those to the right are mountain goats. At 195 m. U S 93 
leaves the valley and climbs over a series of spectacular 
switchbacks for four miles to GALENA SUMMIT 199 m. 
which, at an elevation of 8,752 feet, is the highest point on 
any Idaho highway. The view from this summit is one of 
the most remarkable in the West. For fullest realization 
of the distances as well as of the majesty of the Sawtooth 
Peaks a clear day and good glasses are necessary. Even 
more breath-taking than the climb is the descent, for this 
highway drops almost a thousand feet in the next five 
miles. At 205 m. the stream leaving the wilderness in such 
tremendous haste journeys under the unfelicitous name of 
Wood River. Though shamelessly small in its beginning to 
be masquerading as a river, it gathers its waters creek by 
wild creek and emerges finally in respectable volume to go 
down into Snake River Valley. 

At 214 m. is a junction with a road. 

Right on this road are EASLEY HOT SPRINGS .5 m. These are 
held by lease by the Baptist Church, and just south of them is a 
Baptist camp. All attempts to build a lodge and cabins here have 
been frustrated by the Forest Service, but there are natural camp- 
sites adjacent and a large outdoor plunge. 

U S 93 proceeds southward down this mountain valley. 
On the left is BOULDER PEAK (10,966 alt.) and on the 
right 220.5 m. are improved campgrounds. At 226 m. is a 
view in the north of the magnificent purple mountains out 
of which the highway has come. GLASSFORD PEAK 
(11,500 alt.) stands upon the summit in the north. At 
227 m. U S 93 leaves the Sawtooth National Forest. 

KETCHUM 229 m. (5,821 alt.; 200 pop.) is being 
turned into a resort town which, it is hoped, will compete 





Trail Creek near Ke+chum 

T U R F I V E 285 

with famous European winter playgrounds. There is a 
large, modern hotel here, as well as hockey rinks and ski 
slides. Summer visitors are served chiefly by the Bald 
Mountain Resort with accommodations in its rows of 
cabins for 125 persons. It has a large pool. Of excellent 
fishing streams near Ketchum, Trail Creek is only a few 
hundred yards out; Warm Springs Creek is westward a 
half mile ; Lake Creek is 7 miles north. Baker Creek is 20, 
and Prairie Creek is 22. The East Fork of Wood River is 
10 miles south. The head of Lost River and the East Fork 
of the Salmon are 15 miles into the northwest. 
At 238.5 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is the Aberdeen Hotel, where hot springs are 

HAILEY 241 m. (see Sec. b). 

Section b. Hailey to the Nevada Line, 124 m. 

HAILEY (5,342 alt. ; 973 pop.) is another lovely moun- 
tain town and does not seem to be, but is, surrounded by 
silver and lead mines. In the northwest, Red Devil Moun- 
tain is in summertime a huge garden of wild sweet peas. 
On other mountains here are crocuses and buttercups and 
blue and purple pansies together with other wild flowers 
less profuse, which make fragrant color of these hillsides. 
U S 93 still goes south between two mountain ranges, 
and attention is called in June and July to the loveliness 
of Lookout Mountain which is the backdrop southeast of 
BELLEVUE 5 m. (5,170 alt.; 375 pop.). At 15 m. the 
Sawtooth country to the north is left behind, and the 
sudden contrast upon entering the Snake River Plains is 
complete and overwhelming. The sumimit of Timmerman 
Hill offers on a clear day a broad rolling landscape of one 
hundred miles of valley reaching clear to the Owyhee 

At 23 m. is a railroad crossing and the junction with a 
country road. 

286 IDAHO 

Right on this road is MAGIC LAKE RESERVOIR 5 m. The waters 
of this reservoir, with a storage of 193,000 acre-feet, are a bright 
blue when seen from distance and look in sagebrushed landscape like 
a huge sapphire in a massive setting of chromium. 

At 25 m. is a bridge across Wood River, sometimes 
called the upside-down river because it is here that in one 
place it is a hundred and four feet wide and four feet deep, 
and in another, not far removed, it is a hundred feet deep 
in its gorge and four feet wide. The traveler should pause 
to view the amazing sculpturing in this gorge. Noteworthy 
is the river itself, boiling over waterfalls and down a 
canyon that a man can leap, but of greater interest are 
the fantastic carvings in the black rock. The picture 
looks as if an ancient potter had thrown his workshop 
into this little canyon. There are almost perfectly sym- 
metrical cups and saucers and even big vats that hold 
many gallons of water after a rain. Especially smooth 
in workmanship but grotesque in configuration is the 
carving on the south wall just below the lower cascade. 
On the west side of the bridge the river pours downward 
in wild frenzy and on the east side, a few feet away, it is 
a gently swirling apathy that seems to have lost both 
its direction and life. Curious persons try to learn what 
happens to this river as it passes under the bridge. 

At 25 m. (just south of the bridge and just beyond 
the black reefs that run out in a ragged spur to the high- 
way) is the junction with a road. 

Right on this road are the SHOSHONE ICE CAVES 1 m. Flashlight 
or gas lantern is necessary equipment for these interiors. These 
caves, by no means the most remarkable, are the only famous ones in 

The caves here are really a series of craters that cover a quarter 
section of land and lie against a rampart of volcanic lava that 
seems to have been comparatively recent. The open gorge was at 
one time a tunnel but its ceiling has fallen in, leaving a cavern at 
either end. The eastern one is unimpressive. The other is ap- 
proached through a huge bowl full of enormous stones that lead 
downward to the entrance above which the roof is remarkable for 
both the coloring of the rock and the ragged precarious way in 
which it is sculptured. A little farther down are arches and natural 
bridges, huge pits with their ceilings tumbled in, and flanking 
alcoves. After going down over broken blocks of basalt, the descent 

T O U R F I V E 287 

comes to a platform of ice down which in early spring the water 
filtered from above flows backward to freeze. The ceiling hangs 
so low here that a person must stoop for a few feet until more 
head room is found. Hanging in picturesque indecision are the great 
stones above. 

A descent is now made down a ladder frozen into a wall of ice. 
If the entrance is made in late spring, this huge corridor ahead 
will likely be barren and impressive only in the elemental strength 
of its arching. It the entrance is in the fall after water and freezing 
weather have worked their magic, this chamber will be a spangled 
fairyland of ice crystals as if a glass blower had been busy here 
exhaling millions of frozen petals and tiny spires. Just beyond, 
the floor descends again down a sort of long ice toboggan slide, 
but a platform has recently been laid the length of the cave. The 
corridor now is a long one with a high arched roof that looks 
eternal in the mighty imperturbability of its strength; and this, too, 
in the appropriate season, is flaked and garlanded down its ceiling 
and walls. The platform turns to the left past a carload of lava 
blocks and proceeds to the end of the cavern, a wall of ice. This 
is about forty feet wide and twenty feet high at the top of its 
arch, with a concaved surface of unknown depth. Tons of ice have 
from time to time been chopped off this wall in an attempt to 
sound its thickness or to penetrate it and enter chambers that 
possibly lie beyond. 

The terrain in which these caves lie is called the Black Butte 
Crater District. Indian legends allude to many phenomenal caves 
and buried chambers in Idaho, but most of these have apparently 
never been found. The area itself is much more mysterious than 
it seems to be to the casual eye. It is a region of twisted and 
woven lava, fallen-in tunnels, arched bridges, potholes, and pits. 
Some of the pits are of considerable depth, and it is declared that 
at certain seasons water can be seen flowing in the bottom of them. 
Ice caves and walls, snow cellars, and tiny craters no larger than 
a dishpan hold water on the hottest summer days; and there may 
even be small pots of boiling water almost side by side with small 
depressions of ice. Or side by side out of fissures, it is said, both 
hot and cold water may run. 

SHOSHONE 43 m. (3,968 alt.; 1,211 pop.) is the seat 
of Lincoln County and of an irrigated farming belt and 
sheep-raising area. Pronounced both Shoshone and 
Shosho-nee, it is, of course, a corruption of Shoshoni, an 
Indian word meaning Great Spirit. This town, founded 
in 1882, was first called Naples. The interesting subter- 
ranean nature of central Idaho was again revealed twenty 
years ago when the owner of a hotel here drilled for water 
and at a depth of twenty feet discovered that his drilling 
tools had vanished. Investigation showed that there was 

288 IDAHO 

an enormous chamber under the town, apparently bot- 
tomless, because stones dropped into the hole that had 
been drilled were heard to strike walls from side to side 
on their way down until they reached such depth that the 
echoing reverberation could no longer be heard. The cav- 
ern thereupon was used for the hotel's sewage, but nobody 
yet has any idea of where the waste water ultimately goes. 
Shoshone is the junction with State 23 (see Tour 4). 

Right on state 24 is GOODINGi i6 m. (3,572 alt.; 1,592 pop.). Named 
for a former Senator, it is, like Shoshone, the center of an agricul- 
tural area. But Gooding, farther removed from the lava areas, is 
more lush in its countryside, and closely resembles in June, like much 
of the Twin Falls country southward, Iowa or Illinois. Right from 
Gooding on State 46, oiled for 9 m. and then graveled for 8 m. to the 
turn (L) is the GOODING CITY OF ROCKS 25 m. The complete dis- 
tance from Shoshone is forty-one miles. This city is about four miles 
long by one and a half miles wide, with several main gorges and 
countless tributaries running through it. The rock formations are of 
shale and sandstone with no lava, and many of them are beautifully 
colored. The stones, often rising to more than a hundred feet, are of 
all conceivable shapes with strange pillars and columns, weird ter- 
races and facades, cathedrals and obelisks and spires. It is one of 
the best known and most frequently visited of Idaho's wonderlands. 

The eastern entrance is remarkable chiefly for the great round 
stones gorgeously colored that look as if they had been laid thin 
slab upon slab. About a mile into the city is a sign on a rock 
which indicates a canyon six hundred feet to the right; and from 
here the view affords the best impression of sheer bulk, weight, 
and eternity. Many of these colored piles show the stratigraphic 
nature of the stone. At the bottom of this gorge is pure cool water 
for those who are prepared to eat lunch here. 

But this is not a garden of the gods as is so commonly declared. 
It is a garden of monuments that have been sculptured out of 
eternity by the incalculable reaches of time. South, to the left, is 
another deep canyon along which are innumerable curious forma- 
tions. The most impressive view of the whole area is to be had 
two miles from the entrance where upon the right is unfolded a 
great ragged panorama of summits and gorges and ruins. The 
aspect, seen from a distance, is almost overwhelming not in its 
several items but in the indiscriminate way in which monuments 
and towers and castles have been tumbled and spilled. Almost 
every shape of stone is to be found here, from cones to pyramids, 
from flat fortress walls to minarets, from balconies to stratified 
stairways. The coloring though subdued is rich and satisfying with 
reds and browns dominant. The city runs into the west still for a 

1 For side trip to the Malad gorge, river, lake, and rift, see Tour 
3, Sec. b. 

Middle and third chambers, Shoshone Ice Caves 

Salmon Dam 

Twin Falls-Jerome Bridge 


considerable distance and though much curious work is to be found 
farther on, there is nothing quite so spectacular as this acreage of 
eroded and lonely masterpieces of weather and wind. In fact, the 
more a person looks at the assemblage of thousands of separate 
items, the more he is likely to fancy that some ancient sculptor of 
enormous size and restless ambition worked here for a century and 
left his dream unfinished. 

Those who spend only an hour here, looking casually and seeing 
nothing perfect in itself, go away disappointed; but those who ex- 
plore and examine at close range the amazing variety, are speech- 
less before the miracle of what wind and sand can do. Especially 
intended to silence the sceptic is a descent into either gorge and 
a view of the monuments against the sky line. 

JEROME 62 m. (3,660 alt. ; 1,976 pop.) is the seat of 
Jerome County and the center of a large Carey Act irri- 
gation project. In contrast with the volcanic areas north 
and east, this countryside is burgeoned like a garden in 
summertime and is enviably situated between the purple 
mountains north and the luxuriant Twin Falls country 
south. Out of it U S 93 now suddenly approaches the 
canyon of Snake River and crosses the gorge on the only 
toll bridge in operation in the State. Formerly, before 
this and the Hansen bridges were built, the deep gorge of 
the river was an impassable barrier between the fertile 
regions north and south, and Twin Falls, in consequence, 
was almost as remote from Jerome as it was from Boise. 

most impressive one in Idaho, has a cantilever span of 
1,350 feet, a distance between towers of 700 feet, and 
a height from water level of 476 feet. It is the third 
highest bridge in the West. Completed in 1927, it has 
done more than to facilitate travel between the two irri- 
gated areas. It offers, too, the finest perspective to be 
had on one of the most beautiful sections of the gorge. 
Persons who frequent this bridge for the view declare 
that a casual glance does not in any degree summarize 
what is to be seen. Superficially, there are two walls here 
five hundred feet in height and dropping in most of their 
distance sheer to the slide-rock or the river ; and there is 
a river which, having just come over Shoshone Falls, 
seems no longer to be in any haste; and there is some 

290 IDAHO 

vegetation upon the shores. A closer scrutiny discovers 
much in addition to these. 

After crossing the bridge, U S 93 proceeds to TWIN 
FALLS 76 m. at the junction with U S 30. (For this city, 
as well as for the points of unusual interest in its environs, 
see Tour 3, Sec. b.) U S 93 follows U S 30 westward out of 
Twin Falls and at 82 m. turns southward. Adventurous 
persons with the time and a wish to explore may find the 
country south of Twin Falls to their taste, for across this 
sparsely settled area there is probably more to be dis- 
covered than is yet known. 

At 85 m., or 3 m. south of the departure from U S 30, 
is GODWIN SIDING (L), and at 86 m. is a frame house 
sheltered by tall trees. This was the home of Lydia True- 
blood Southard, Idaho's notorious female Bluebeard, who 
vented her emotions over a period of years by poisoning a 
baby daughter, a brother-in-law, and five husbands. She 
is now in the penitentiary at Boise. HOLLISTER 96 m. is 
the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road the NAH SUPAH HOT SPRINGS 3 m. afford a 
very large swimming pool, supplied by natui-al hot water, together 
with camping and recreation grounds. The name (spelled also Nat 
Soo Pah) is an Indian word meaning living or life-giving water. A 
mile southwest of here is a famous landmark and early watering 
hole called WILD HORSE SPRINGS. 

AMSTERDAM 101 m. is the junction with an unim- 
proved road. 

Left on this road are HOT CAVES 4 m., a mile and a half south- 
east of the Goat Springs Ranch. It was here in 1885 that a prospec- 
tor and two companions were boring a tunnel into the mountain 
when the prospector suddenly and unexpectedly disappeared from 
sight. His companions discovered that he had quite literally fallen 
into the mountain and into a stream of hot water that flowed 
through a subterranean tunnel. Years later, after artesian wells 
had been sunk at Goat Springs, this flow of hot water ceased, and 
today the interiors are dry. Six underground chambers have been 
explored, and doubtless many more remain unseen. Stalactite and 
stalagmite form.ations cover the floor, walls, and ceiling, ranging in 
length from a few inches to twenty feet. Because the tunnel en- 
trance is now caved in and because numei'ous rattlesnakes have 
taken a fancy to the caves, no attempts have recently been made 


to enter. Adventurers interested in exploration can enlist the assist- 
ance of Ora Jones, one mile west of the Goat Springs Ranch, who 
knows of another entrance. 

Possibly it was in this region that Hy Conner, an old-timer, 
suffered his most humiliating experience. One night he was sitting 
by a campfire, listening to the melancholy of wind in the pines and 
to the complaints of his companions, one of whom was telling of 
a hard-boiled foreman who docked his men if they were off the 
job. Said one: "If a man was off en his job only a minute, why 
that-there foreman, he out with his watch and looked hard at it 
and docked the poor bugger for that much lost time." It was then 
that Hy yawned and put a fresh quid in his mouth and spoke. 
"Boys," he said, "you ain't heard nothing, not a plumb belly- 
guzzled thing. You should a-known the foreman I worked under 
when we was a buildun the Oregon Short Line. That man wouldn't 
take no excuses. That man was tough. I remember one time I was 
runnun in a cut with a single jack and drill and I drilled into a 
missed hole and the powder went off and blowed me high in the 
air. The boys, they looked up and watched me and they said first 
I looked like a little bird and then I looked like a bee and then 
I went plumb out of sight. In about ten minutes they seen me 
coming back and at first I looked like a bee and then I looked like 
a bird and down I come right where I was a-settun before I left. 
I still had the hammer in one hand and the drill in the other and I 
set right to work. But, say, you know what that son-of-a-buzzard 
of a foreman did? He docked me for the fifteen minutes I was 

ROGERSON 106 m. (4,803 alt. ; 280 pop.) is a tiny ham- 
let, but the largest town, nevertheless, in this part of the 
State. It stands on the historic site formerly known as 
Deep Creek Meadows. 

1. Right on a dirt road is SALMON DAM 8 m., one of the largest 
concrete structures in the State. It is 220 feet high, 450 feet long, 
and 119 feet thick at its base; it impounds a reservoir with a ca- 
pacity of 180,000 acre-feet; and on this artificial lake swimming, 
boating, and fishing are popular. There are campsites but no im- 
proved grounds. Five miles above the dam on the Salmon River 
is the BRACKETT RANCH, and three miles west of it is 
BROWNS BENCH, a flat mesa, near which, in the canyon (now 
inundated), occurred a famous robbery. A stage, crossing the river 
here in 1888, was held up by a lone rascal, but before he had gone 
far with his loot he was overtaken by cowboys and shot from his 
horse. He escaped, even so, by crawling into a cave, and the furious 
cowboys, after waiting several hours for him to appear, closed the 
entrance and fancied that they had entombed him alive. Upon 
returning a few days later, they were astonished to find the en- 
trance open and the dead robber lying inside with a map which he 
had apparently drawn during his last spasm. This map gave the 

292 IDAHO 

location of his buried loot, and this for many years has been 
searched for but never found. 

2. Left from Rogerson is a junction of two roads 14 m. in the 
MINIDOKA NATIONAL FOREST. The right turn goes south about 
10 m. to the MAGIC HOT SPRINGS, where there are a small hotel, 
thirty-four cabins, a restaurant, and hot baths. Rates are very 
nominal. These waters, strongly charged with radium, were also a 
favorite with Indians, who made pilgrimages to bathe in them in 
both the fall and spring. The left turn leads into the forest, where 
there are seven improved campgrounds within a distance of a few 
miles. The Pentstemon Camp is named for the beautiful blue flower 
which during its season completely covers the camp area. Leading off 
the road into the forest right or left are branches that proceed up 
streams to fishing and to natural campsites against a background of 
evergreens. The ranger station is 18 m. from Rogerson, and 5 m. 
beyond it is a summit at an elevation of 7,600 feet, from which is 
visible Mount Borah in the north or the Humboldt Mountains in 
Nevada or the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Two miles down from the 
summit is Camp Pettit in a thicket of aspens and pines, with trails 
leading out to beaver dams or to fishing streams. Because of the 
congestion of game on this forest it is not uncommon to see, and 
especially in morning or evening, herds of deer ranging in number 
from few to as many as two hundred. 

At 124 m. U S 93 crosses the Idaho-Nevada Line, 65 m. 
north of Wells, Nevada. 





^0 .-rsWiSl:: fl' <; %; 9 poi 







)^ f*^ RIVERS- CREE 








New Meadows — McCall — Cascade — Boise. State 15 and 
44. Payette River Route. 

New Meadows to Boise 122 m. 

The Oregon Short Line of the Union Pacific System paral- 
lels State 15 between McCall and Horse Shoe Bend. Scenic 
Stages follow the route throughout. 

Accommodations limited. This, a mountain route over 
improved road, is one of the most attractive drives in 
the State. Between Boise and northern Idaho it is usually 
the highway followed to its junction at New Meadows 
with U S 95. 

State 15 from its junction at New Meadows with U S 
95 goes southeast through a forested canyon. 
At 4 m. is a junction with an unimproved road. 

Left on this road are GOOSE and HAZARD LAKES 22 m. This 
whole area between New Meadows and McCall is being developed 
as a recreational center, and no part of it is more attractive than 
Hazard Lake, not only for its good fishing but also because it is 
a beautiful body of water with perfect campsites and a magnificent 
background. The road to it is fairly steep and winding and fairly 
rough, but it is passable, and without its difficulties this lake would 
not be the enviable retreat that it now is. 

At 9.5 m. is a junction with a fair road. 

Left on this road is BRUNDAGE LOOKOUT 8.2 m., to which the 
grade is easy except in the last mile. There is nothing spectacular 
in the view from this lookout: it is one of soft loveliness rather 
than of grandeur. Blue lakes lie upon the south, surrounded by 
forested slopes, with McCall in plain view and with the valley 
beyond it reaching to Cascade. In the west is a meadowed basin 
framed by dense growth that is as blue as the lakes when the sun 
is right; and in the east is a denuded backbone of peaks. The 
distance south or west is blue, with the farthest ranges looking like 
color without substance, and with very nebulous form. 

294 IDAHO 

At 10.5 m. is the junction with a fair road. 

Left on this road is a long journey, with return by Cascade, that is so 
adventurous that it demands tolerance of fair or poor roadbed and 
the fortitude necessary in exploring a vast wilderness. The terrain is 
so vast that it is impossible to grasp the extent of it, even from the 
highest peaks. Off the main route countless digressions are avail- 
able. This side trip, not open to travel until June, can be made in a 
day; or for those with time and taste for the primitive it can be made 
in a month or a summer, with almost no repetition of road and with 
no monotony of scene. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the 
Primitive Area is accessible by pack trip from strategic points on the 
loop, or the remotest reaches of the Thunder Mountain region and 
the last zeniths of Chamberlain Basin. The topography in general is 
of rugged mountainous landscape, heavily blanketed with forests, 
laced with thousands of streams, broken open by canyons more than 
a mile in depth, and topped by summits that stand two miles above 
the sea. The wind moves gently here, or falls into a skyful of lazy 
breezes, each burgeoned with the fragrance of wild flowers and 
evergreens and a clean sky. 

The road at first parallels a river to UPPER PAYETTE LAKE 17 m., 
where there is a campground. From here it proceeds, with GRANITE 
MOUNTAIN on the left, over SECESH SUMMIT. At 28 m. is the 
junction with the Burgdorf road (L). At BURGDORF 2 m. are 
natural hot springs, a swimming pool, campsites, and fair accommo- 
dations. The Burgdorf road runs northward to FRENCH CREEK 
HILL and drops down over spectacular switchbacks through deep 
forest to the main Salmon River (see Tour 7, Sec. b, side tour from 

The main I'oute proceeds from the Burgdorf junction to WARREN 
43 m., a small mining town in a canyon. From the air (see A Trip 
into the Area, Sec. II, Ch. Ill) the dredgings here look like a carpet 
of magic. The road, turning southward at Warren, follows in turn 
Warren Creek and Elk Creek to the South Fork of the Salmon River. 
The road has now entered the PAYETTE NATIONAL FOREST, 
the entire area of which is a primitive wilderness of hunting and 
fishing. Leaving Elk Creek, the road now climbs the ELK CREEK 
SUMMIT (9,000 alt.), the highest vantage point on the main route. 
The trees here are chiefly limber pine. From this summit the road 
goes down Government Creek to EDWARDSBURG 70 m., where 
there are a post office and a landing field. The road now climbs again 
to cross PROFILE GAP (8,500 alt.) and then descend by way of 
Profile Creek. 

At 88 m. is the junction with a dirt road. The main route takes the 
right turn here. Left on the other road is STIBNITE 11 m., another 
small mining village and one of the western jumping-off places into 
the Primitive Area. The main route proceeds (R) to YELLOW PINE 

South Fork of Payette River 

Payette Lake 


91 m., another ghost in this huge area. South from Yellow Pine the 
main route follows Johnson Creek. At 94.5 m. is the GOLDEN GATE 
CAMPGROUND. Riordan, Hanson, Bear, and Trapper Creeks, as 
well as innumerable others, now come down from the zeniths; and 
on every side and from every summit is an uninhabited wilderness 
as far as human vision can reach. At 105 m. is the junction with 
another branch road (L). This, the old Thunder Mountain road, leads 
into the THUNDER MOUNTAIN AREA of early mining days. The 
region was named for the rumblings of great landslides that came 
down the mountains during the days of the gold seekers. The ghost 
town of ROOSEVELT is in this area, though it is now a lake because 
a landslide caused its inundation; and RAINBOW PEAK is also 
there, an unusually beautiful mountain when sunset strikes the 
naked colors of its stone. 

The main route turns right at the Thunder Mountain junction. Along 
the way now are Halfway, Coffee, Rustican, Trout, Park, Pid, Sheep, 
Lunch, and other creeks. Forest signs indicate various points of 
minor interest right or left from the main road: Big Baldy, Chilcoot 
Pass, Thunderbolt, and the Knox Trail. At 117 m. is LANDMARK, 
and it is hardly more than that. South from Landmark the main 
route proceeds to a junction at 122 m. with a poor road (L) that 
leads deeper into the wilderness. 

This branch road goes southward and at 15 m. forms a junction. The 
right turn leads to the DEADWOOD DAM and RESERVOIR 10 m., 
a favorite spot in this wilderness for fishermen. The left turn pro- 
ceeds to a junction at 13 m. The right turn here goes to LOWMAN 
(see Tour 3, Sec. c, side tour from Boise), and the left turn goes 
through Bear Valley and down the Stanley Basin to STANLEY 35 
m. (see Tour 5, Sec, a). 

The main route turns right at the Deadwood junction. At 132 m. is the 
junction with a road (L) that leads to WARM LAKE 1 m., a favorite 
spot in this Forest. Covering about six hundred acres, it offers ex- 
cellent fishing, campgrounds, hotel and cabins, and a large outdoor 
swimming pool, maintained by the Forest, 2 m. south. The road along 
the west side of the lake continues for a few miles and then terminates 
in trails just beyond the South Fork Ranger Station. Many Forest 
campgrounds are being prepared in this region. 

West from the Warm Lake junction, the main route proceeds to 
KNOX 134 m., another village in this huge Forest. The main route 
goes southwestward from Knox. At 134.5 m. is the junction with a 
road (L) to Warm Lake. At 135 m. there is a free campground on the 
South Fork of Salmon River. The main route now follows Trail 
Creek and climbs to BIG CREEK SUMMIT 142 m. (6,608 alt.), and 
then drops to follow Big Creek and enter Scott Valley. The flora 
along here is chiefly yellow pine, lodgepole, and fir. 

At 157 m. is the junction with State 15 at Cascade. 

296 IDAHO 

State 15, going southward around Payette Lake, takes 
its way among matured yellow pine trees. 

McCALL 13 m., (5,025 alt. ; 651 pop.) is upon lower 
Payette Lake in the heart of one of the State's chief 
recreation areas. The town itself is rather unprepossess- 
ing, but the lake is as blue as water can be, with shades 
varying from delicate pallor to depth that is almost purple. 
McCall outfits for pack trips into the surrounding area. 
Of many available, only two are suggested here. 

1. The first, demanding three days or more, is from upper Payette 
Lake by way of Twenty Mile Creek south to Duck Lake and then 
down the North Fork of Lake Fork to the Lake Fork Ranger Sta- 
tion. Both fishing and scenery are excellent. 

2. The second begins at Roy Shaw's ranch and goes via Boulder 
Lake, Buckhorn Creek, the South Fork of Salmon River, Fitzum 
Creek, and the East Fork of Lake Fork to the above station. The 
time required is four days or more. 

South of McCall State 15 goes down a meadowed valley 
that lies between a river and a forest. 

CASCADE 42 m. (4,800 alt.; 726 pop.), the seat of 
Valley County, is a microcosm of Idaho's past and present. 
All the industries, including lumbering, mining, agricul- 
ture, and stock raising, are apportioned to this town and 
its valley as perhaps in no other part of the State ; and so 
in miniature is afforded a composite picture here of most 
of what Idaho has to offer. Northward is one of the prin- 
cipal resort areas; roundabout are a rich valley, a tre- 
mendous forest, and outlying mines; and eastward is a 
vast playground. 

State 15 S of Cascade goes through a narrow valley 
which in summertime is meadowed with wild flowers, 
with the blue camas unusually conspicuous; and then 
along the North Fork of Payette River, lazily serene in 
this stretch. 

At 60 m. is a hamlet called SMITHS FERRY, left 
across the river. 

T U R S I X 297 

Out of Smiths Fei'ry southward down the river on an improved 
forest road is the PACKER JOHN LOOKOUT 8 m., from which 
at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet is afforded a view which 
of its kind is second to none in the State. The circumference swings 
around a microcosm of Idaho, with timber as dense as meadow 
grasses, with mines in the whole domain east of the Payette River, 
with agriculture in the valleys, with cattle and sheep in the grazing 
areas of the forest, and with a natural playground lying unbroken 
clear around the compass. Everything that Idaho offers is sum- 
marized here. 

In all directions this tower overlooks a tumbled mountainous 
terrain, with human vision reaching far and faltering and coming 
to an end in the cloudy uncertainty of the remotest peaks. South- 
west is Garden Valley with crests serrated in row on row beyond 
it to the Boise Basin and all its ghost towns. Eastward in the 
foreground are low forested flanks, but vision lifts to Scott Moun- 
tain, highest zenith on a far-flung arc, and then breaks suddenly 
a hundred miles to the far pale majesty of the Sawtooth Range. 
Northward are Round and Long Valleys, with Cascade visible in 
the distance against the farther backdrop that frames the Payette 
Lakes. In the northwest densely wooded slopes fall down to the 
river; and beyond is the stupendous hulk of blue shadow piled 
upon the eastern wall of Snake River Canyon. Westward is High 
Valley, a subalpine meadowed basin, with dark hills flung like arms 
around it; and farther the mountains run north and south in sharply 
sculptured backbones with the Crane Creek Reservoir like a jewel 
among them. Far in the west is the nebulous wonder of the Wal- 
lowa Mountains in Oregon, and far in the south is the Owyhee 

Sunsets here, no two of which are ever the same, run from a 
vast and flaming acreage of molten towers and burning reefs to the 
soft lilac witchery of sky pastures in which long lines look like 
golden brooks and outlying reaches are a purple tangle of cloudy 
fern. The eastern mountains lie under veils of blue air and vanish 
into such depth and softness that the forests shimmer like black 
carpets; and the ridges westward are slopes of delicate light with 
each crest drawn like a purple line across the sky. The one at the 
left, catching the fires more remotely, deepens into piles of shadow 
that melt and merge with the sky; and the Seven Devils Peaks far 
in the north fade into an amorphous kingdom of mist and are 
indistinguishable from the clouds around them. The reservoir 
awakens to a sheet of yellow light and then becomes an exact image 
of the sinking sun, with the streamers of its flame like the upper 
half of an enormous golden star. As the sun itself sinks behind 
its burning reefs, the western foreground comes out black, and the 
stupendous sweep beyond it burns low to blue draperies; and the 
eastern terrain rolls away in piles of dusk. 

298 IDAHO 

State 15 now follows the North Fork of Payette River 
which in springtime rolls furiously in white cascades with 
few interruptions, with dense evergreen growth carpeting 
the walls down to its edge. The trees here are chiefly 
yellow and lodgepole pine. At 74 m. is an improved camp- 
ground (R). 

At 78 m. is the junction with an unimproved road, 
State 17. 

Left on this road is GARDEN VALLEY 9 m. This road enters the 
Payette National Forest and penetrates the enormous wilderness 
adjacent on the west and south to the Primitive Area. At 12.6 m. 
is the junction (R) with the road leading southward to the ghost 
towns of Placerville, Centerville, and Idaho City. At 13.6 m. 
the road enters the forest and proceeds by creek and peak and 
valley to the junction at 20.6 m. (L) with a road that leads up the 
Middle Fork of the Payette River. This diversion road, going up 
the river about twenty miles, is a lovely trip for those who wish to 
camp at its end and proceed by trail to such excellent fishing 
streams as the upper reach of this river or to its larger tributaries 
beyond the end of the road. 

East of this junction State 17 goes to Lowman 35 m., and from 
here a road leads northward along Clear Creek in the Boise 
National Forest and then enters the Payette Forest and proceeds 
by way of Cache, Sack, Elk, and Pole Creeks to a junction (34 m. 
from Lowman) with another road that leads eastward through 
Bruce Meadow to Stanley Basin in the Sawtooth area (Tour 5, Sec. 
a), or westward to a left turn that goes south to the Deadwood 
Reservoir and unsurpassed fishing, or to a left turn that goes 
north to Landmark. Once a person has penetrated this huge central 
Idaho terrain he can vanish into utter wilderness over several 
forest roads or by innumerable trails. The whole region is National 
Forests, and all the turns are in consequence well marked. 

At 91 m. is a junction with an unimproved road (for 
this spectacular drive, see Tour 3, Sec. b, side tour 5 out of 

From HORSE SHOE BEND 93 m. State 15 leaves the 
valley of the river to pursue a devious course over numer- 
ous elbows and climb to a summit. Very beautiful in June 
or July are the denuded mountains on the left. The high- 
way drops down over curves and switchbacks into the 

T O U R S I X 299 

Boise Valley, with the breadth of it southward to the 
Owyhee Range. 

At 115 m. is the junction with State 44 which turns 
leftward into BOISE (see Tour 3, Sec. c) on U S 30 (see 
Tour 3, Sec. c). 


(Canada) — Bonners Ferry — Sandpoint — Coeur d'Alene 
— Moscow — Lewiston — New Meadows — Weiser. U S 95. 
North-South Route. 

Canadian Line to Weiser 494 m. 

This, the only N-S highway in western Idaho, and only 
recently completed, is one of the most picturesque scenic 
routes in the West. Following rivers, skirting National 
Forests, or climbing mountains in spectacular switch- 
backs, it unfolds in one panoramic vista after another, 
and offers side trips which penetrate excellent hunting 
and fishing areas or lead to mountainous depths and 
heights of unusual grandeur. 

No railroad parallels this highway, but the buses of various 
motor coach lines serve sections of the route. 

Customary accommodations, with improved campsites 
from time to time. 

Section a. Canada to Lewiston, 241 m. 

In EASTPORT (2,600 alt.; 25 pop.), Idaho's most 
northern town, the Forest Service maintains a free tour- 
ist camp for those held up while clearing the customs. 
From here U S 95 goes down the valley to COPELAND 
16 m. at the junction with State 1, and then continues 
through the diked lands of the Kootenai Valley, which 
stretches from Canada to Bonners Ferry as flat as a floor. 
This valley, once a series of lakes and tiny islands, was 
not reclaimed until 1922. Because of its deep deposits of 
silt it has proved to be an agricultural wonderland. The 
river itself is a wide and lazy stream, usually muddy and 
always moving gently. In the west are the high peaks of 
the Selkirk Range. 

At 31 m. is the junction with U S 2. 


Left on U S 2 is MOYIE RIVER 5 m. Of waterfalls in Idaho there 
are some with more grandeur and might but there is probably none 
lovelier than the Moyie. Upstream from the bridge the river is 
visible for a considerable distance, cascading from plunge to plunge 
and swirling its green pools after each fall. It comes down then 
black and leisurely to the power dam and pours over it like pale 
green ice and churns at the bottom in a gorgeous foaming picture 
that looks like steam. But for a few feet only: after bursting into 
white violence and losing its direction, the water rolls downward 
again, green in its body but covered over with backwashing ridges 
that look as crisp as celery. Under the bridge it is a very dark 
green that revolts in indecision before taking its way below the 
bridge in a great plunge. Seen from the bridge, the color varies 
with the sun and the sky, but a common aspect is of a stupendous 
spraying of millions of white and green and orchid gems. This 
picture is made more remax'kable by the huge beautiful stone for- 
mations on either side that draw the river in and confine it and 
force it to deliver itself through two narrow channels. In the chief 
one of these the green water plunges over a stone escarpment and 
then leaps into a wide spread that falls, not like water but like 
tons of colored glass crystals. From the rocks below it boils out 
in incomparable beauty. At the very bottom is a white seething 
mass like lace that rolls away as if the river here were full of 
green slush. Farther below are cascades and another plunge before 
the stream goes serenely between its narrow walls. U S 2 crosses 
the Montana Line (1,819 alt.) at 24 m. 

U S 95 drops to cross the deep Kootenai River over a 
handsome bridge. 

BONNERS FERRY 33 m. (1,779 alt.; 1,418 pop.), the 
seat of Boundary County, is the center of an agricultural 
and lumbering area. It is at the foot of forested slopes 
and on the Kootenai River, which from here is navigable 
to Nelson in British Columbia. Fishing is excellent in the 
river east of the town. Bonners Ferry has its own munici- 
pal power plant, as well as the air of a place that is thriv- 
ing and knows it. 

South of Bonners Ferry, U S 95 follows the narrow 
canyon of Deep Creek to Naples 45 m., which stands be- 
tween the two halves of the Kaniksu National Forest. 
The Bitterroot Range in the east is usually obscured by 
haze that looks like deep blue smoke, but in the west the 
mountains are stark and strangely barren for northern 
Idaho. The whole aspect changes soon to more softness 

302 IDAHO 

of scene, to a lush excess of flora, and to beauty without 
that grandeur which touches these far northern moun- 
tains. Some peaks here hft naked shoulders above the 
timber line, and now and then there are rock formations 
of bald granite. The mountains of northern Idaho gen- 
erally, except in parts of the Bitterroot Range, are 
densely wooded, softly obscure in haze, and do not thrust 
up in the majestic spires found in the central part of the 

SANDPOINT 67 m. (2,086 alt.; 3,290 pop.), the 
seat of Bonner County, is enviably situated on LAKE 
PEND D'OREILLE which is fourth or fifth in size of the 
fresh-water lakes lying wholly within the United States. 
Formed by the drainage from Flathead Lake in Mon- 
tana through the Clark Fork River, it has a shore line of 
125 miles and an extreme depth of 1,800 feet. It abounds 
in trout and whitefish and affords attractive campsites 
along its shores. This city, served by three railroads, is 
also the junction of U S 195 and State 3 (see Tour 11). Of 
unusual interest is the SANDPOINT BRIDGE upon U S 
95 at the southern extremity of the city. Though not 
spectacular in comparison with the great bridges of the 
world, it nevertheless spans the lake for a distance of 
two miles. 

Southward from Sandpoint, U S 95 is in summertime 
a wilderness of flowering syringa upon its borders. 

At COCOLALLA 81 m. is the junction with an im- 
proved road. 

Left on this road 7 m, are beautiful views of Lake Pend d'Oreille. 
They are the best views upon the west shore line. 

At GRANITE 89 m. is the junction with an unim- 
proved road. 

Right on this road is an extraordinary area of swamps and lakes, 
as well as what is said to be one of the best duck-hunting regions 
in the Northwest. GRANITE LAKE .5 m. (L) is a small body of 
v/ater that looks almost black because it is walled in by ledges. 
KELSO LAKE 1 m. (L) is considerably larger and is surrounded 
by mountains and meadows. There are unimproved campsites here 


t, "-''t^'I 

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A- -^^ 


f b; 


' 'f: 








Forest trail from Hayden Lake to North Fork 


h ' ' «.. 

•• ■»,>*^ 

' mt... 


Hayden Lake 

Surf-riding on Lake Coeur d'Alene 


and swimming is popular. North of it 2 m. over poor road is 
BEAVER LAKE, and still farther are HOODOO VALLEY and the 
HOODOO LAKES to which ducks come by tens of thousands. 

At ATHOL 93 m. is the junction with improved roads. 

1. Left on the road is BAYVIEW 8 m. on the beautiful southern 
extremity of Lake Pend d'Oreille at the base of Cape Horn Peak in 
the north and of Bernard Peak in the south. There are accommo- 
dations in Bayview. There are also regular excursions by boat 
to Clark Fork, Sandpoint, and eleven other stops on both sides of 
the lake. Fishing in this water is unusually good. 

2. Right on the road is SPIRIT LAKE 10 m. Out of the small 
town of Spirit Lake a road goes westward and drops down a hill 
to pass a huge lumber mill and proceed to the shore of beautiful 
SPIRIT LAKE 1.5 m., named for an Indian legend. This lake is a 
perfect gem flanked by high mountains, and is unusual in having 
a solid rock bottom that holds the water as an enormous bowl. The 
road past Silver Beach goes over the mountains to Spokane. This 
lake, like others in this region, has little to offer in developed 
beaches but much in its own calm loveliness. 

From the town of Spirit Lake, the road goes 12 m. southward to 
TWIN LAKES 22 m., which are right from the highway .5 m. REST 
HAVEN BEACH, rather deceptively named, is owned and managed 
out of Spokane. The lower of the Twin Lakes is small but perfect 
in the pure clarity of its water and in its wooded shore lines and 
forested backdrop. LUGER PARK is north (R) with private 
cabins; and beyond it a left turn leads to ECHO BEACH across 
from which, and accessible only by boat, is EXCELSIOR BEACH. 
From Echo Beach a right turn leads to the upper lake. Though 
both of these lakes are becoming more popular with visitors, they 
have been exploited very little, and offer only poor accommodations 
or none at all. 

From the lower lake the road proceeds southward to RATHDRUM 
27 m., a shipping point for farm products, and turns eastward to U S 
95 34 m. 

At CORBIN 96 m. is the junction with an improved 

Left on this road is WHISKEY ROCK LODGE 6 m. on the east 
shore of Lake Pend d'Oreille and in the heart of an attractive 
fishing and hunting area. Available here are cabins, boats, bathing, 
and pack trips. This place was named for a legend. Two old-timers 
were going by boat up the lake when darkness forced them to make 
camp. Taking with them only their bed and a gallon of whiskey, 
they discovered on the next morning that their boat had vanished; 
and for three days they devoted themselves to their jug and medi- 
tation before rescue came. 

304 IDAHO 

At 105 m. is the junction with an improved road. 

Left on this road are HAYDEN CREEK 7 m., the HUDLOW 
This road also proceeds to Elmore and Rockaway Beaches on Hay- 
den Lake, where cabins and boats are available. 

At 107 m. is the junction with an improved road. 

Left on this road are HAYDEN LAKE 1.5 m., and the COEUR 
D'ALENE COUNTRY CLUB, a well-kept 18-hole golf course, and 
the BOZANTA TAVERN, a popular resort. This lovely little lake, 
framed by mountains, looks as if it were an offspring of Lake 
Coeur d'Alene. It has a clean unmarred shore line shadowed by 
evergreens that afford numerous campsites; and it has so many 
bays that its shore line is five times in length what would be ex- 
pected of a lake of its size. Sheltered by mountains, the water is 
usually as serene as a cloud in a windless sky. 

At 112 m. is the junction with U S 10 (see Tour 10). 
Left is the COEUR D'ALENE AIRPORT, the first mu- 
nicipally owned in the United States. 

COEUR D'ALENE 114 m. (2,158 alt.; 8,297 pop.) 
stands on the site chosen by General Sherman for a fort 
that was built in 1878 and abandoned in 1901. This 
beautiful city, the seat of Kootenai County, got its first 
impulse to growth from mining and lumbering indus- 
tries; and though these are still important, Coeur 
d'Alene's more recent development has been steadily in 
the direction of horticulture and dairying, and as a play- 
ground. Enviably situated on the beautiful lake of the 
same name, and the hub of a huge area of lakes, Coeur 
d'Alene stands on U S 10, the northern highway artery, 
and draws from all adjacent territory, including Spokane 
in the west. It is in consequence a city of homes first, 
and only secondarily an industrial and commercial center. 

A long promenade follows the lake, with bath houses, 
water slides, diving towers, and other facilities for water 
sports. Annually on the third, fourth, and fifth of July, 
Coeur d'Alene holds its water regatta, which includes 
speedboat and sailboat racing, water skiing, surfboard 
riding, log rolling, and swimming. 

A campus view 


if A 



Out of the city in any direction are scenic drives, the 
most important of which are covered in other tours. Most 
beautiful is that along the eastern side of the lake (see 
Tour 9), or eastward through the Fourth of July Canyon 
(see Tour 10) or northward to other lakes (this tour). 
The Coeur d'Alene National Forest lies eastward from the 
city and can be penetrated over a number of roads. 

A boat leaves daily for a trip down the lake and up the St. Joe River, 
and offers not only unusual beauty of water and landscape, but leads 
also to excellent fishing streams. Accommodations are available 
along the route, and cabins and cottages can be rented. 

U S 95 skirts the lovely city park (L) and crosses a 
bridge on its way southward from the city (for alternate 
route to Moscow, slightly longer but the loveliest drive 
for its length in Idaho, see Tour 9). After passing a huge 
mill, U S 95 swings around the lake and climbs over a 
fine piece of highway architecture, with farms below 
looking like gardens. For many miles now the country 
has been logged or burnt over, with most of it restored 
to beauty by fields or young growth. From time to time 
signs indicate roads which lead (L) to Lake Coeur 
d'Alene ; but this body of water, though never far away, 
remains invisible from U S 95. (For a description of Lake 
Coeur d'Alene, see Tour 9.) 

PLUMMER 149 m. (2,650 alt.; 346 pop.) is on the 
edge of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation, which was offi- 
cially set aside in 1873. These Indians, like the Kutenais, 
are primarily engaged in agriculture. The agency for this 
reservation is in Moscow, but the subagency is west of 
Plummer 3.5 m. 

Left on improved road from Plummer is HEYBURN STATE PARK 
7 m. This park, occupying a basin and looking from the mountains 
around it like a sunken garden, covers 7,838 acres, of which 2,333 
are water, with most of the remainder heavily timbered. The park 
strongly suggests that a part of all that is loveliest in northern 
Idaho's lakes, mountains, and trees had been taken to build the 
perfection of this playground. The lakes are the CHATCOLET, 
of which the first is one of the most beautiful in the State, cupped as 

306 IDAHO 

it is like a huge bowl in a mountain with evergreens reaching down to 
its edge. Upon it is a floating hotel as well as boats. There is also 
boat service at ROCKY POINT. Fishing is good in all the lakes and in 
the St. Joe River which winds among them; but the only hunting 
allowed is for ducks within season. There are two good beaches, 
and both swimming and boating lure as many visitors as fishing. 
More than 150,000 persons visited this area in 1935 and the num- 
ber is rapidly increasing. 

Just S of TENSED is DESMET 164 m. (and little 
more than a name) . In Desmet is the SACRED HEART 
MISSION which was founded by Father De Smet in 1842. 
Another of Idaho's historic buildings, the Father's house, 
built in 1881, was burned to the ground in 1936, and only 
a few of its more valuable possessions were saved. Among 
these was a communication from Pope Pius IX in 1871, 
believed to be the only papal brief ever addressed to an 
Indian tribe. Fronting the Mission, also partly destroyed 
by fire, is a group of one- and two-room shacks which are 
occupied only over week ends when Indians come in from 
the countryside for the Sunday services. Around Desmet 
is an area cultivated by the Kutenai Indians. Comparing 
favorably with those of white men in both their manner 
of operation and in living conditions, these farms suggest 
the progress that these Indians have made. 

U S 95 crosses the western end of the ST. JOE NA- 
TIONAL FOREST and takes its way through an idyl of 
farms and the changeless loveliness of cultivated hills. 
Westward is the mounded plumpness of eastern Washing- 
ton, and eastward is the misty wilderness of virgin timber. 

At 184 m. is the junction with U S 95 Alt. (see Tour 
9). U S 95 now climbs or descends through evergreen 
hallways, looks over great cultivated vistas, or passes 
through villages, each of which is an incongruous home- 
liness on the landscape. 

MOSCOW 203 m. (2,564 alt. ; 4,476 pop.) is the seat of 
Latah County, the home of the STATE UNIVERSITY, and 
the center of the pea industry of northern Idaho. The 
campus, overlooking Paradise Valley, and unusually at- 
tractive in its landscaping, lies upon an eminence (R) in 


the southwest part of the city. Its farther grounds slope 
down into a natural amphitheater which has been laid out 
as an athletic field; and to the left are the university's 
flower gardens and forested slopes, a part of the Depart- 
ment of Forestry's arboretum. The campus covers 685 

The town itself is in the heart of the prolific Palouse 
country, with its rich soil of black volcanic ash and its 
unusually heavy yields of grain and peas. On B Street in 
the eight-hundred block is the site of old Fort Russell, 
now commemorated in a monument. Until a few years 
ago some of the stumps of the old stockade could be 
seen, but now all have been removed save a few which 
remain buried in the earth. 

South of Moscow, U S 95 proceeds over landscape that in 
summertime is a pastoral of farms, with almost no inter- 
ruption of the solid pattern of hay and grain. This rolling 
prairie is green in June, golden in August. GENESEE 
221 m. (2,677 alt. ; 555 pop.) is the heart of it. At some 
distance south of Genesee, U S 95 swings westward into 
Washington to connect with U S 195, and returns to the 
summit of the famous LEWISTON HILL (2,750 alt.) . The 
descent is two thousand feet in the next ten miles. 

Lewiston Hill, unlike the White Bird or Gilbert, is rela- 
tively barren, and the road lies below like the segments 
of an enormous boa, with each loop hugging a denuded 
brown mound. In the foreground below is the Clearwater 
River with its bridges, with Lewiston on its far bank. To 
the right is Snake River and west of it, in Washington, is 
Clarkston, beyond which the flanks ascend to the vast 
rolling watershed of eastern Washington. Running into 
the south is the deep canyon of Snake River, dividing 
State from State and lifting away to the high blue re- 
moteness of the Seven Devils area. Leftward from the 
canyon the mountain range is almost a perfect line upon 
its backbone. 

At the foot of the Lewiston Hill, U S 95 crosses the 
mighty Clearwater River to enter Lewiston (see Sec. b). 

308 IDAHO 

Section b. Lewiston to Weiser, 253 m. 

LEWISTON (741 alt.; 9,403 pop.), the seat of Nez 
Perce County and the lowest spot in Idaho, stands at the 
junction of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. At its west- 
ern end it is connected with Clarkston in Washington by 
a steel bridge across Snake River. Lewiston was the first 
incorporated town in Idaho, the first capital of Idaho Ter- 
ritory, and is today the largest city in the State north of 
Salmon River. It is the center of a grain and fruit belt, 
of mining and lumbering interests; and is Idaho's only 
"seaport." Annually about five hundred carloads of fruit 
are shipped from here, and one thousand of livestock, as 
well as considerable quantities of minerals and lumber. 
The city is served by three railroads, by river launches, 
and by air. 

Lewiston, standing on a most unusual site, flanked 
by great mountains in all directions, and bounded by two 
mighty rivers, is the most picturesque city in the State. 
Its one long street, with a river on the north, with an 
upland table of beautiful homes and orchards on the south, 
is strongly reminiscent of many small European cities, 
and especially of those down in canyons in which the 
main street feeds off to a water front or to a terraced 
hillside. Upon the rolling terrain south is the attractive 
campus of one of the State's two normal schools. Roads 
lead out of the city to points of interest, and excursion and 
freight boats go by water up Snake River to the beautiful 
Box Canyon. 

1. Right from Lewiston are various surfaced roads leading to its 
more than four thousand acres of orchards, of which three fourths 
are given to cherries. Visitors can see the picking, packing, and 
shipping of cherries as they ripen in the latter part of June; and if 
fortunate enough to be in Lewiston in May they can witness the 
Cherry Blossom Festival, the chief gala event of the year, not ex- 
cepting the fall fair and rodeo in September. 

2. Right from Lewiston up the south bank of the Clearwater River 
is the gigantic plant of the POTLATCH FORESTS, INC. 1 m. This 
is (1936) the second largest sawmill in the world, the first in size 
being upon the Omar River in Russia. Visitors are welcomed to this 


mill. At the gate a card of admission is given, together with a 
map of the plant and directions. Most impressive is the fetching 
of logs out of the pond, the huge band saws with their miraculous 
precision of machinery, and the box factory and planing mills. 
Sawdust here is now converted under enormous pressure into logs 
for fireplaces. 

The major plant, covering 360 acres, employing 850 men, pow- 
ered by 1,200 electric motors, protected by 21,000 automatic sprin- 
klers, and running night and day in three shifts, turns out 1,200,000 
feet of lumber every 24 hours. This is enough lumber to build 200 
five-room houses complete, or to make a pile 1,000 feet high and 
10 feet square, or to lay a board walk 4 feet wide for 56 miles. 
The sawdust used in Pres-to-Logs is laid under a pressure of 165 
pounds to the inch, and is packed to a greater density than that of 
the hardest coal. The machines operating in the Pres-to-Log plant 
are entirely automatic. 

U S 95 goes up the north bank of the Clearwater River. 
The valley on all sides climbs away into rolling distance. 
This part of Nez Perce County is very fertile and supports 
many orchards, chiefly cherry, as well as extensive grain 
and dairy farms. Formerly, tens of thousands of logs 
were floated in springtime down this river from the great 
white pine forests eastward, but the log booms in the 
future probably will not have the spectacular proportions 
of those in the past. 

At 11 m. is the junction with State 9. (See Tour 8). 

At this junction is SPALDING, now little more than a 
tiny museum and a historic spot. It was here in 1805 that 
Lewis and Clark pulled their dugout canoes upon the shore 
of the river and traded with the Nez Perce Indians. An 
early settlement was made in 1836 by the Reverend Henry 
Spalding, a missionary whose influence among the Nez 
Perces was largely responsible for their friendly attitude. 
It was in or near Spalding that the first school and church 
in Idaho were established, the first seed planted, the first 
gristmill operated, the first printing press installed, and 
the first blacksmith shop built. Although neither the first 
nor the second home of the Spaldings is standing today, 
several of the trees which he planted can still be seen. 
Land has recently been purchased in this area for a 
Spalding Memorial Park, and it is intended that this will 

310 IDAHO 

include the ancient Indian burial grounds where the 
bodies of the Spaldings now lie. The site of the old Lap- 
wai Mission is one of the most historic spots in Idaho. 
It is now commemorated in an eighteen-ton boulder, bear- 
ing a bronze tablet, at the bridge over the Clearwater 

AND INDIAN MUSEUM, now privately owned by a de- 
scendant of the Nez Perce Chief Timothy. A small ad- 
mission fee is charged. The owners, supported by certain 
affidavits, claim to be in possession of the cabin built by 
Spalding in 1836, as well as several relics, including a 
Lewis and Clark canoe. Some authorities, denying these 
claims, believe the cabin is the one built by John Silcott 
in 1861 to be used as an office for the Lapwai Agency. In 
any case, even if the eagle feather ceremonial bonnet was 
not worn at the signing of the William Penn Treaty in 
1682, or even if the buckskin dress and necklace were not 
worn by Sacajawea, the Indian woman who accompanied 
Lewis and Clark on a part of the journey, it is admitted, 
nevertheless, that this cabin contains a fine collection of 
Indian exhibits, many of which were passed down from 
generation to generation by Nez Perce Indians. 

LAPWAI 15 m. (970 alt. ; 416 pop.) is an Indian sub- 
agency and has the sanitarium of the Fort Lapwai Reser- 
vation, which was set aside for members of the Nez Perce 
tribe. The Indians on the reservation number fourteen 
hundred; their holdings consist of fifty-six thousand 
acres of land. To the Indian dances here, said to be 
inferior to the Hopi Snake Dance or the Navajo Rain 
Dance, the public is only rarely admitted. CULDESAC 
17 m. is the home of a State game farm devoted chiefly 
to the rearing of Chinese pheasants. The barren country 
westward is unusual in lush northern Idaho : it is neither 
mountain nor prairie but an obstinate hybrid. 

The CULDESAC HILL 17 m. (sometimes confused with 
the Winchester) is one of the most impressive pictures 
in the State. Like the Lewiston, Gilbert, and White Bird 


Hills, it offers a remarkable panorama, but it cannot be 
fully appreciated until the summit is reached and vision 
turns back and downward. Down this mountain, farms are 
picturesquely landscaped for miles, lying steeply on either 
side of the highway from elbow to elbow. This is doubtless 
the best area in the State to show how completely cultiva- 
tion has possessed many of the more difficult slopes, as well 
as to suggest the great unirrigated wheat belts common in 
the West. From the topmost reach of the farms it is still 
three miles to the summit. 

WINCHESTER 38 m. is typical of many small north- 
ern towns. Its unprepossessing aspect is enhanced by the 
pastoral midsummer loveliness around it. If this town 
were in southern Idaho against a background of bleak 
hillsides or the gray of sagebrush or the yellow of alka- 
line wastes, it would not seem so incongruous. In sylvan 
northern Idaho, where even the cows in distant pastures 
look fragrant, some of the villages appear to have been 
blown out of mining areas. 

Much of this rolling landscape is in summertime a 
garden of wild flowers. The blue and purple flowers in 
such profusion are lupine; the flowering bushes are the 
syringa. Upon the farms of this vast tableland there are 
innumerable tiny forests of evergreen, chiefly fir ; and fir 
trees and wild flowers make fragrant wilderness of every 
untilled pasture and every roadside. 

GRANGEVILLE 79 m. (3,323 alt. ; 1,360 pop.) is upon 
the south side of one of the most beautiful valleys in the 
State. In 1898 rich gold ore was found in the Buffalo 
Hump Mountains southward, and inasmuch as Grangeville 
was the main gateway to these mines, the town boomed 
for a considerable while. After the mines were exhausted 
it became the industrial center of a large agricultural 
area that had been developing meanwhile. On the second, 
third, and fourth days in July, and for three days in Sep- 
tember, Grangeville has annual rodeos and festivals. 
Primitive regions are accessible from here (see Tour 8). 

312 IDAHO 

Right on unimproved road through virgin country in the NEZ- 
PERCE NATIONAL FOREST is FLORENCE 32 m., once regarded 
as the richest gold camp in the State, and now, after long years of 
slow dying, showing renewed activity. There are excellent fishing 
streams throughout this area. On this road to Florence are the 
Cold Springs and Sheep Springs improved campgrounds. 

The WHITE BIRD HILL 84 m. (5,430 alt.) is almost 
as famous as the Lewiston Hill, but its northern approach 
is unimpressive, save for the luxuriance in summertime 
of the wild flowers. This ascent to the summit at 89 m. is 
only five miles by easy grade. On the summit the flora 
is chiefly white fir with a little Douglas fir and pine. The 
vista from here is breath-taking. Far southward, and 
flanking out east and west, are canyons blue with mist, 
backbones reaching high in purple obscurity, and the 
nebulous zeniths of the Seven Devils Peaks. The descent 
from this hill drops over a series of elbows twenty-eight 
hundred feet in the next twelve miles, with the view 
closing in, as the road falls down, and releasing first the 
vast canyons southward and the forested backbones; 
dropping next to the immense low foreground of brown 
and green foothills ; and finally closing the shutter to the 
narrow canyon and the village of White Bird. Unlike the 
Lewiston Hill, this mountainside in summertime is a con- 
tinuous garden of wild flowers, and especially at the higher 
levels. Most conspicuous are wild rose and fireweed, crows- 
foot and ocean spray, wild geranium and blue pentstemon, 
all of them laying loveliness upon the acres and fragrance 
upon the miles. 

WHITE BIRD 100 m. is only a small sheltered village 
and the center of a grain area that unfolds over the 
southern hills and rolls out of sight. It was here in White 
Bird Canyon that the first battle in the Nez Perce Indian 
War was fought in 1877, with a complete victory for the 
red men. When in 1919 a steam shovel excavated the 
skeleton of an unknown soldier, Idaho County erected a 
granite shaft to commemorate the dead of this historic 





U S 95 follows White Bird Creek for a short distance 
and then proceeds up Salmon River (for a description of 
this impetuous stream, see Tour 5, Sec. a). At 112 m. 
cabins and campground are available (L) . The mountains 
up this river are bleak in arid colors, with the rock of their 
torsos naked and eroded, with their flora usually baked 
like brown parchment. At 121 m. the steep mountainside 
is picturesquely terraced with tiny farms. It is only 10 m. 
from the highway here over to the mighty gorge of Snake 
River, with the mountains standing high between the 
two streams. Though the westward canyon is the deepest, 
the one which U S 95 now follows is one of the deepest 
in North America. 

RIGGINS 132 m. (1,800 alt.; 25 pop.) is only a village 
in an extremely deep canyon. (All of Idaho south of here 
is on Mountain Time.) Visible from Riggins is a trail 
across the river which climbs the mountain to Chair Point, 
an excellent lookout. 

At 133 m. is the junction with a fair road. 

Left on this road is the gorge of the main Salmon River, which 
forms its junction with the Little Salmon at Riggins. This lower 
part of the canyon of the River of No Return is no more spec- 
tacular than that of the Little Salmon which U S 95 follows: the 
more magnificent reaches lie farther eastward and are not available 
by highway. But there is a remarkable picture at 8 m. in the river's 
cascades, with the dark green water plunging under a stone wall 
that rises several hundred feet. The stone here is beautiful in both 
color and stratigraphy, with some of it like veined marble, with 
some like rounded walls over which colored paint has been spilled. 
At 10 m. a right turn crosses the river to the RIGGINS HOT 
SPRINGS .5 m. with accommodations for forty guests. At 10.5 m. 
there is a campground (L), and at 13.5 m. the rock walls are black 
except where dynamiting has shaled them off to uncover huge 
white or red slabs. A little farther the suspension cables of the 
Manning Bridge are anchored in these ledges of granite. At 19 m. 
wild French Creek comes down on the right, and up this canyon is 
a good road that climbs over breath-taking switchbacks through 
dense forest to reach the summit and proceed to Burgdorf (see 
Tour 6, side tour E of McCall). The road up Salmon River does not 
go much farther, but is being slowly built mile by mile into the 
vast primitive area that lies between here and eastern Idaho (see 

314 IDAHO 

Tour 5, Sec. a). When the highway is finally completed up this 
river, it will doubtless be one of the finest scenic drives in the 

At POLLOCK 141 m. (hardly more than a name) is 
the junction with a fair road. 

Right on this road is a RANGER STATION 6 m., from which 
is offered at present the easiest point of access by pack trip to 
DRY DIGGINS LOOKOUT. No accommodations are now available 
here, but inquiry should be made, as it is intended by the Forest 
Service to build a road along the backbone between the Snake and 
Salmon Canyons, with branches off to U S 95. The view from this 
lookout is worth almost any extreme in hardship for a person who 
seeks a view which of its kind is said to be unequaled. Vision here 
drops down for more than a mile over the shelved and terraced 
eastern wall of the Grand Canyon; to the river which, though 
broad, looks from this height like a very narrow path of snow 
because of the cascading waters; to the steeply descending forested 
reaches in the foreground or the mighty western wall that climbs 
away to the peaks in Oregon; or to the blue timelessness of 
mountains which on all sides vanish into distance. Few persons 
except miners and Forest Rangers have ever stood on this lookout; 
and one of the latter, a man who has seen all the major grandeur 
in North America, says this is the only sweep of depth and distance 
that ever left him profoundly shaken. 

At 145 m. are cabins and free campground (L). At 
147 m. FALL CREEK is a sudden foaming descent on the 
right ; and at 149 m. BOULDER CREEK (R) comes down 
from the heights. At the Black Bear Inn 156 m. meals 
are available, as well as outfitting for pack trips into the 
surrounding area. 

Right from here on good road is the SMOKY CAMPGROUND 6 m. 
on Boulder Creek. This is one of the best and most popular camp- 
grounds in the forest. 

is a free campground (R) . 

U S 95 continues to follow the canyon of the Little 
Salmon River, but now leaves the broad view, the barren 
mountains set like great piles, each a solitary mound of 
its own, and with no pattern or meaning in the indis- 
criminate arrangement, and enters a forested area. Still 
farther south, the canyon widens, spreading now and 

Typical Nati 




Rapid River Falls 


then enough to allow a tiny ranch as large as the palm of 
a giant, and less frequently closing to the width of the 
river and the highway. At sunset, shadows fall down 
from the ledges with almost the cool depth of night and 
make magic of the cascading river which in nearly every 
mile of it is in frantic haste. 

NEW MEADOWS 167 m. (3,850 alt. ; 220 pop.) is in a 
beautiful round meadowed valley. The site of the older 
town is eastward on State 15 (see Tour 6). 

Between New Meadows and Council the distance is a 
gradual transition from the mountainous landscapes of 
northern Idaho to the valleys and plateaus of the south. 
U S 95 now winds through a forest of yellow pine, one of 
the most beautiful of the conifers. 

At 175 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road is the LOST VALLEY RESERVOIR 6 m., where 
fishing (trout and catfish) is unusually good. 

At 180 m. is the EVERGREEN CAMP (L), an im- 
proved site. This reach of U S 95 is in the WEISER NA- 

STARKEY 187 m. is nothing but a small resort (R). 
It has a hotel, cabins, and an excellent large outdoor pool 
supplied by hot radioactive water. The flow from more 
than twenty hot springs here is so large that only a few 
are diverted to the pool. The others are used for a hydro- 
electric plant. The management proudly declares that this 
is one resort in Idaho where beer is not served, and declares 
that it is very popular with Idaho teachers. In any case, 
the water is refreshing and the mountain air is redolent 
with yellow pine. There is fishing here in the Weiser 
River, and especially in Lost Creek, three miles over the 
hill westward. 

COUNCIL 197 m. (2,914 alt.; 355 pop.) was once a 
spot where Indians gathered for huge powwows. 

Right from Council a fair road goes up a narrow valley, entering 
at 14.5 m. the Weiser National Forest, which lies like a horseshoe 
around the head of Weiser River. It is a relatively primitive area 

316 IDAHO 

with good hunting and fishing in its less accessible parts. At 15 m. 
is the HORNET CREEK RANGER STATION (R). The road now 
climbs easily through a logged-off area in which solitary stately 
yellow pine trees remain; and at 31 m. forks. The right turn leads 
into a fisherman's paradise. BLACK LAKE 15 m. and EMERALD 
LAKE 3.5 m. north of it by trail are popular; and besides these 
there are many other lakes, all small and lovely, and hundreds of 
streams. On Bear Creek and on Black Lake are improved camp- 
grounds. Roads lead east and west into wilderness. 

The left turn goes to CUPRUM 39 m. (from Council), the ghost 
of an old mining town. Here there is a small hotel (and practically 
nothing else) ; and away from it roads and trails radiate in nearly 
every direction. The hotel outfits pack trips. A hair-raising road 
goes downward from Cuprum (L) into Snake River Canyon 8 m., 
and thence down the river for 12 m. to bring into view some of the 
more majestic reaches of the gorge. A bridge crosses to Homestead 
in Oregon. 

North out of Cuprum a road climbs 10 m., sometimes sharply, to 
KINNEY POINT and to SHEEP ROCK, an overhanging shelf. Of 
all points accessible by highway, this rock affords the best view of 
the Grand Canyon. 

This Canyon of Snake River, known variously as Hells Canyon, 
the Seven Devils Gorge, and the Grand Canyon, is the deepest on 
the North American Continent. Idaho highway maps give its depth 
as 5,500 feet. As a matter of fact, the depth from He Devil Peak, 
7 miles east of the river, is, according to the U. S. Geologic Survey, 
7,900 feet, whereas the depth from Bright Angel Point, an equal 
distance from the Colorado River, is 5,650. This is also the nar- 
rowest major gorge on this continent. The phenomenal aspect of it 
is matched only by the fact that it is comparatively unknown and 
rarely visited. Parts of the canyon are richly colored in shades of 
red, orange, and yellow, and parts are densely bedded with timber. 
Downstream from Homestead, both the river and the gorge narrow 
gradually, and near Kinney Creek the stream enters Hells Canyon. 
"Aside from the impressive boldness and height of the steep walls, 
perhaps the most striking feature of the canyon is the extreme 
roughness of the solid rock faces."i The river in this section often 
narrows to less than 100 feet and drops almost 13 feet to the mile. 
After 38 m. the canyon widens to 400 feet at a height of 300 feet 
above the river; but soon the walls close to form the well-known BOX 
CANYON upstream from Lewiston. From Brush Creek past the 
mouth of Deep Creek there is a stretch of four miles of perpendicular 
walls rising 2,000 feet to a bench and then reaching sheer and high to 
a second shelf. Boats can go through by portaging the Steamboat, 
Deep, Hells, Brush, and Granite Creek Rapids. The worst of these 

1 Water-Supply Paper 657. 


is the latter. The volume and gradient of the river are comparable 
with those of the Colorado in Cataract, Marble, and Grand Canyons, 
or of the Green River between Hells Half Mile and Disaster Falls. 
This Seven Devils area N of Cuprum, named for seven serrated 
peaks standing in a semicircle and reaching thousands of feet into 
the sky, is thought to be potentially one of the richest mineral 
regions in the world. The chief mineral is copper, of which no one 
has tried to estimate the enormous deposits, with a rich content of 
silver and gold. But there is no transportation into the canyon, and 
all the surveys that have been made have discouraged the under- 
taking of either railway or highway. 

MESA 205 m. (2,900 alt. ; 25 pop.) is the center of one 
of the largest apple orchards in the world. Upon the roll- 
ing hills here are twelve hundred acres which in harvest 
time demand a crew of six hundred persons. The orchard 
is equipped with two huge cellars, each of which can store 
one hundred and fifty thousand bushels of fruit ; and with 
an elaborate irrigation system which brings the water 
over the hills by means of a network of syphons and 
flumes. The fragrance of this orchard in bloom drenches 
the air for miles. 

CAMBRIDGE 220 m. (2,651 alt. ; 336 pop.) is at the 
junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road is HEATH 19 m. at the upper reach of the long 
Snake River Canyon that lies between Weiser and Lewiston. This 
side tour is only for careful drivers. The road going up the river is 
now and then cut out of great overhanging walls of stone, but the 
gorge here is only a small preface to the overwhelming proportions 
farther north. 

U S 95 southward from Cambridge leaves the blue haze 
of mountains and forested slopes. It now lies through a 
fertile area that has given to Washington County a leading 
place in the production of rye, alfalfa, and peas, and in 

MIDVALE 230 m. (2,544 alt.; 203 pop.) is at the 
junction with an unimproved road. 

Left on this road is the CRANE CREEK RESERVOIR 16 m., where 
natural campsites are available. Ducks and geese are abundant 
here in season, and there is fair fishing. 

318 IDAHO 

At 241 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road is the SPRING CREEK CAMPGROUND 15 m. 
on Mann Creek. The Kiwanis Club of Weiser has established 
several camps along this road, each with excellent water and im- 
provements. The popularity of the area has depleted the fishing 
in Mann Creek. 

At WEISER 253 m. is the junction with U S 30 (see 
Tour 3, Sec. c). 


Spalding — Orofino — Nezperce — Kooskia — Grangeville. 
State 9 and State 7. Clearwater Route. 

Spalding to Grangeville 108 m. 

A branch line of the Canadian Pacific Railroad remotely 
parallels this route. 

This alternate loop between Spalding and Grangeville is 
38 m. farther than the distance between the two cities 
over U S 95, but is a much more beautiful route. It is espe- 
cially attractive to those seeking side trips into huge vir- 
ginal areas where both scenery and fishing are excellent. 
Valley-and-mountain route over improved road. Accom- 
modations less than average. 

State 9 branches E from U S 95 at Spalding (see Tour 
7, Sec. b). From this junction State 9 goes up the broad 
and mighty Clearwater, with the prairies, feeding west- 
ward to Lewiston, yielding to flora that steadily becomes 
richer and more abundant. The mountains along here are 
striking pictures in the way farms hang down slopes so 
steep that it looks as if animals would lose their footing 
and roll into the river. 

At 33 m. is the junction with State 7. 

Left across the river is OROFINO (1,031 alt.; 1,078 pop.), the seat 
of Clearwater County and the gateway to one of the greatest 
forested areas in the Northwest. This town, built in a canyon, and 
confined on all sides by mountains save where the Clearwater enters 
and leaves, still thrives lustily, being supported by both timber and 
mines. Three miles down the river (L) is AHSAHKA, the site of 
a Lewis and Clark camp in 1805. 

The junction to Orofino is at the junction also with 
State 11. 

Left on this road is the CLEARWATER NATIONAL FOREST. 
The distance of this side trip to its farthest reach is 102 m., but the 
road is being extended year by year, and inquiry should be made in 
Orofino. This Forest lies between the St. Joe on the north and the 

320 IDAHO 

Selway on the south, where its boundary is the historic Lolo Trail 
over which Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce warriors made their 
phenomenal retreat. Inasmuch as most of this area is ruggedly 
mountainous with few roads, it offers unusual attractions to both 
the hunter and fisherman. State 11 proceeds straight into the heart 
of it. 

It is 8 m. to GREER, and here the road swings eastward, leaving 
the river and climbing 2,370 feet in 10 miles. It then levels off 
into a rolling mesa that extends clear to the Bitterroot Mountains. 
The ascent E of Greer is one of the finest in the State, with the 
massed mountain ranges expanding and lifting and flowing away 
in vast evergreen carpets pooled with green fields. To the east or 
west as far as the eye can see runs the Clearwater River, with its 
canyon narrowing to blue haze and with the river itself vanishing 
in a path of silver. The motorist usually expects to descend after 
reaching the summit but there is no descent. The terrain rolls 
away to purple horizons with almost no suggestion of valley or 
canyon, but with the tilled foreground as a sweeping prelude to 
the forested reaches beyond. 

WEIPPE 26 m. is one of the largest producers of lumber in the 
State. After leaving it, the road enters deepening forest, chiefly 
of yellow pine and fir. Millions of feet of dead logs, felled but never 
removed, lie scattered for miles in every direction. After ten miles 
the forest closes in, with white pine showing now, straighter and 
taller and cleaner than the other trees. PIERCE 45 m. was founded 
in 1860 after the first discovery of gold in Idaho and is still active. 
The road forks here, the right turn going to the BUNGALOW 
RANGER STATION 28 m. and the left turn leading to HEAD- 
QUARTERS 14 m. and to the end of the road 42 m. beyond. So 
immense have lumbering activities been in this area that a person 
unused to such scenes is likely to be startled. Headquarters is 
unusual in the arrangement of the houses: they stand in a circle 
after the manner of early wagon trains when attacked by Indians; 
and are built to facilitate movement and communication in winter 
months when the snow lies from twelve to fifteen feet in depth. 
Nine miles farther is the ghost of HOLLYWOOD, a town built in 
1936 for the sole purpose of photographing a moving picture. The 
traveler has now penetrated a wilderness of forested country that 
is the delight of everyone who has seen it. There is good fishing 
in all the streams, there are thousands of big game animals in the 
adjacent terrain, and there are accommodations for pack trips 
available at several points. Not a mile of this long side tour will 
be regretted by the most exacting seeker of wild and beautiful 

State 7 now ascends for 8 m. over a mountainside so 
luxuriant in its small flora that it is often impenetrable. 


1^1 r-' i 

p ■"■■^i 


Through the Clearwater National Forest 


' ■«■ '.i 





This is the beauty of landscape when it is not, as so often 
in southern Idaho, devastated by sheep. From the summit 
of the GILBERT HILL (3,350 alt.) is a view in north or 
east over forested mountains with farms scattered and al- 
most lost among them, even to the highest summits ; and 
beyond is the purple Bitterroot Range on the Montana- 
Idaho Line. Far down in the canyon below is Orofino. The 
highway goes southward out of this wooded region and 
crosses another panorama of green and golden hills. 

NEZPERCE 57 m. (3,142 alt.; 444 pop.), on the edge 
of the Kamiah Valley, is the seat of Lewis County and the 
industrial center of this rich agricultural area. After 
leaving Nezperce the road overlooks mile after mile of 
rolling tilled hills that are a part of the great agricul- 
tural wealth of Lewiston; and if there were corn here 
instead of wheat, it could easily be imagined that this 
countryside was Missouri. From the summit (3,250 alt.) 
the highway descends through gardens for seven miles. 
Landscape could hardly be lovelier in summertime, no 
matter whether it is the bronzed hills westward or the 
green and lavender slopes southward or the valley below. 

KAMIAH 74 m. is a richly flowering village that does 
little to shame its picturesque environs. The road swings 
to the right over a long bridge out of Kamiah and enters 
a long narrow valley that is very beautiful, with its farms 
hanging like pictures framed with evergreen against the 
soft witchery of the hills. The Clearwater River offers a 
strange sight in early summer as it gradually separates 
itself into two streams. On the far side is the yellow 
South Fork and on the near side is the lucent green or 
silver of the Middle Fork, the two streams flowing side 
by side as one river with the yellow now and then pene- 
trating like smoke. Up the river a few miles they cascade, 
the one rolling in yellow, the other in green, and still go 
side by side without interfusion. Just below their junc- 
tion they are almost as separate in their identities as they 
would be with a wall between. 

322 IDAHO 

KOOSKIA 82 m. (1,261 alt.; 411 pop.) is a village in 
a canyon here at the junction of the Middle and South 
Forks of the Clearwater. It may seem to be quite remote 
from the comforts and amenities of civilized life, but a 
road from here penetrates the Selway area. 

Left from Kooskia on State 9 is the MIDDLE FORK. This drive up 
the river is through a canyon, with ranches laid like pictures 
on the gentle slopes. The flora here is chiefly white and lodgepole 
pine, Douglas and alpine fir, western red cedar, and Engelmann 
spruce among the trees; and among the shrubs the dogwood, 
syringa, snowberry, mountain laurel, thimble-, huckle-, and elder- 
berry, wild rose and currant, and mountain ash. The fern which 
grows in such luxuriance is the brake (bracken), and with it are 
the sword and maidenhair ferns. The almost countless species of 
wild flower include hellebore, violet, yellow bell, paintbrush, gerani- 
um, hollyhock, lupine, pentstemon, wind flower, camas, snapdragon, 
Clarkia, and lily. 

LOWELL 23 m. is only a post ofRce at the junction of the Lochsa and 
Selway Rivers. The Middle Fork is a broad and unhurried and 
dimpled stream, but these two rivers, as much alike as twins, are 
swifter in descent, and fall in cascading loveliness in their upper 
reaches. The left road up the Lochsa River will, when completed, 
connect with Missoula in Montana. Two improved forest camp- 
grounds are available a few miles up, and others will be established. 
One mile from Lowell there is a left turn from the Selway road 
that leads to the COOLWATER LOOKOUT 1 m. and to two lovely 
alpine lakes that are heavily stocked with trout. Up the Selway 
River at 19 m. is the SELWAY WATERFALL (R), visible from 
the road. Unspectacular, this descent of water is, nevertheless, 
one of the loveliest in the State. Two miles fai'ther on Meadow 
Creek is an improved campground. The road goes south here up 
Meadow Creek and climbs to the summit and a magnificent view 
and proceeds to Elk City. It crosses a wilderness of country and 

The Middle Fork of the Clearwater is a study in color. In its 
lower reach it may be almost black depth with white manes stream- 
ing from the boulders, or it may lie broad and shallow in dappled 
brown over its stones. Farther up it varies from pale green at its 
edge and darkens to blue, running through every possible shade. Or 
along a stretch it may give thousands of white intimations of 
cascading but never do more than to stir its surface into jewels. 

The highway proceeds along the South Fork to 
STITES 86 m., another village in a canyon. Just N of 
HARPSTER 95 m., the mountains on the left are very 


beautifully terraced in golden brown with narrow alter- 
nating gardens of pale green. 

At 97 m. is the junction with State 14. 

Left on this improved road is a drive up a river that is flawless. 
The canyon walls are densely wooded above an inextricable tangle 
of underflora; with wild flowers in extravagant gardens mile after 
mile; and with the river in springtime rolling in a torrential flood. 
In June its water may look like coffee pouring down the cascades; 
or over the diversion dam at 6 m. it may look like a waterfall of 
liquid gold. In autumn the mountainsides are aflame with color, 
and the river is as clear as a journey of melted glass. A right turn 
at 17.5 m. crosses a bridge and climbs the Hungry Creek road to the 
MARBLE CREEK LOOKOUT 14 m. A sensory part of this journey 
comes from the sound, especially when the stream is rampant; for 
in one moment it is hushed and in the next it swirls and gathers its 
power to plunge. At 23 m. it loses its temper completely and cas- 
cades wildly; and the lush flora yields for a short distance to blue- 
black ledges of stone. Many side streams enter, and upon the mouth 
of some are attractive campgrounds. These streams all come down 
in spring and early summer as if they had been throw^n over preci- 
pices and enraged, and the river itself churns down the miles with 
uninterrupted gusto. And a sensory part of this journey is in 
smell, for the fragrance of water, wild flower, and evergreen and 
fern all mix into a floating bouquet that fills the canyon. 

CROOKED RIVER enters at 43 m. (R) and over the hill from it 
is the village of ELK CITY 46.5 m. The road proceeds from it 
eastv.-ard and forks at about 56 m., the left turn leading to RED 
RIVER HOT SPRINGS, where hotel and cabins are available, and 
the right turn penetrating forest to connect eventually with Hamil- 
ton in Montana. At the Crooked River junction the right turn goes 
southward and leads in 20 m. to improved campgrounds and lovely 
lakes in a virginal wilderness. 

CRYSTAL LAKE is especially unusual because it is framed in a 
rockbound depression and is wild of aspect. A trail leads from it 
to FISH LAKE. Other lakes are the WILDHORSE, RAINBOW, 
DEER, and RUBY, all accessible by road or trail, and some, like 
the Wildhorse, equipped with a campground maintained by the 
Forest. This is part of one of Idaho's great primitive areas, and 
is in the center of the Nezperce National Forest. 

No forest in Idaho holds a greater diversity of scenery and in- 
terest. Elevations vai-y in parts of it several thousand feet within 
a few miles, and while in some areas flowers are blooming, other 
regions are buried invisibly under snow. Much of the wild game 
has never been disturbed, and many streams have rarely been 
fished. Of its hot springs, the Red River is becoming a popular 

324 IDAHO 

summer resort. Principal among its larger trees are yellow pine, 
larch, lodgepole, Douglas fir, western red cedar, white and alpine 
fir, and Engelmann spruce. 

The highway goes westward from the junction, and 
rises out of the canyon of the South Fork of the Clear- 
water River for ten winding miles among white fir. These 
miles in summertime are perfect, with every farm a 
pastoral loveliness of green hills, forested coves, and 
crests, and burgeoned fragrant meadows. 

At Grange ville is the junction with U S 95 (see Tour 
7, Sec. b). 


Coeur d'Alene — St. Maries — Potlatch. U S 95 Alt. Lake 
Coeur d'Alene Route. 

Coeur d'Alene to Potlatch 110 m. 

This is perhaps the loveliest drive for its length in Idaho. 
Accommodations are less than average. 

U S 95 Alt. follows the route of U S 10 for eleven miles 
(see Tour 10) E of Coeur d'Alene before turning south 
along the eastern shore of LAKE COEUR D'ALENE. 
After crossing the bridge the highway follows the shore 
line and passes BEAUTY, SQUAW, TURNER, and CAR- 
LIN BAYS, the first of which is usually calmly blue when 
the main body of the lake is rolling in high waves. From 
Beauty, Turner, and Carlin, paths lead (L) to the summit 
of Mount Coeur d'Alene, following streams or passing 
through heavy evergreen growth. This summit (5,200 
alt.) is the highest point in the range and offers a fine view 
of the surrounding country. Branching from these trails 
are other trails leading to Elk, Killarney, and Red Horse 

For a considerable distance the highway follows close 
to this body of water, which the National Geographic is 
declared by legend to have called the fifth loveliest in the 
world. Entirely surrounded by low wooded hills, it lies for 
mile upon mile, serenely blue with pale acreages of light 
falling upon it in broad fields or trembling upon it in silver 
paths. The view afforded will depend on the position of the 
sun for this lake is not the same at morning, noon, and eve- 
ning, nor when looking away from the sun or against it. 
If the wind is very gentle, the surface wears a pattern 
like that of fern leaves, and if the wind is a little stronger, 
then it is like a dappled blue pavement of glass. If the 
wind is stronger still, the dark blue miraculously opens 
into white crests as if flowering, and the tiny valleys are 
ridged in bloom. There are areas where upon the blue a 

326 IDAHO 

deeper blue seems in shadow to have been poured or m 
sunlight to lie like a veil of silk ; or it may seem as if the 
depth is golden yellow above a buried sun, with lilac 
mists trembling on the surface; or it may look as if 
liquid light has been spilled on the water. In afternoon 
there are reeflike paths that look like solid gray ice, with 
the water on either side like dimpled prairies of cobalt 
blue. In early morning sun, golden sheens seem not quite 
to touch the surface but to lie close against it like a mist 
of butterfly wings. At sunset, especially under a cloudy 
sky, the wooded hills are purple or black fog and the 
shadowed water is like condensed darkness ; but the water 
touched as the flame of the sunset dies looks like a mead- 
ow of soft white bloom. There may be lovelier lakes in 
the world. Some who have seen Coeur d'Alene under 
varying light in all its moods from utter deep blue 
serenity to whitecapped perturbation would hke to know 
where they are. 

Continuing southward, U S 95 Alt. follows the shore 
of the lake or cuts back over forested hills. It finally 
enters a canyon, and for two miles the lake is ecHpsed, 
but the mountainsides here in summertime are a con- 
tinuous garden of wild flowers, with the syringa drench- 
ing the air in June. Almost immediately south of the 
canyon, the highway reaches the point where the Coeur 
d'Alene River empties into the lake. 

Left on a road up this river is a chain of ten lakes scattered within 
a distance of six miles. Taken together, these offer an ideal spot 
for both sportsman and vacationist who demand little in accommo- 
dations, though upon four of them, to which branch roads lead, 
there are cabins and campgrounds. These ten lakes are a series 
of lovely mountain jewels, and those to which no road leads are 
available by path or from the river by launch or rowboat. Ander- 
son, Black, Cave, and Medicine Lakes are south of the river; 
Thompson, Blue, Swan, Killarney, Hidden, and Rose are north. 
Killarney Lake with its two small islands at the upper end is 
perhaps the most picturesque of all. 

On the right, north of HARRISON 39 m. (2,207 
alt., 493 pop.), a ghostly hybrid of a resort and milltown. 

T O U R N I N E 327 

are the remains of a deserted mill ; and contrasting here 
with the ugliness is the lake beyond. Mills and log booms 
have done their best to deface the lake along here, and 
beauty lies far out beyond the homely industry of human 
hands. Harrison, terraced up a mountainside, is, sur- 
prisingly enough, the center of a farming area. Pic- 
turesque in its site, uncertain in its appearance, it once 
flourished, too, before the mill here was abandoned to 
decay. At one time it had nine mills along its water front. 
Today it has none. 

South of the scabbed southern extremity of Harrison 
and the serene blue loveliness of Lake Coeur d'Alene, the 
highway enters a rich agricultural area where river bot- 
toms have been diked. These great dikes, running for 
twelve miles, are so built that they form roadbeds as well 
as dams to control flood waters. The soil here is ex- 
tremely rich in its silted deposits. The highway itself 
proceeds by wooded hill and cove to rise over a distance 
of ten miles to HARRISON FLATS, a burnt-over region 
now possessed by young growth, wild flowers, and a few 
ranches. Vegetation is so lush that this tiny valley looks 
tangled and choked by its own thrift. The highway climbs 
gently out of the Flats and then makes a forested descent 
which leads by way of a canyon to the meadowed valley 
of the shadowy St. Joe River. The road follows the valley 
for about eight miles before it crosses the river. 

ST. MARIES 58 m. (2,145 alt.; 1,996 pop.), the seat 
of Benewah County, is sprawled on hills and almost lost 
to itself. The older part of th^ town, first entered by 
train from the east or U S 95 Alt., once roared with gusto 
and then decHned as the adjacent timber was largely ex- 
hausted; and just west of it a new town made a fresh 
start. The streets, in consequence, run without design or 
reason up or around the hills which reach away to the 
south. It is on the main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, 
and Puget Sound Railroad, and is an important junction 
for the shipping of pine timber. St. Maries is the south- 
ern terminus of both freight and passenger boats on Lake 

328 IDAHO 

Coeur d'Alene, with the St. Joe River, said to be the 
highest navigable river in the world, connecting the lake 
and the town. Westward (R) is a shallow lake which 
is really the upper end of LAKE CHATCOLET, and this, 
together with five miles of what is known as the COEUR 
D'ALENE SLOUGH along the St. Joe River, comprises 
some of the best bass-fishing and duck-hunting area in 
the State. The bottoms between the St. Maries and St. 
Joe Rivers cover about seventy-five thousand acres of 
very rich soil, especially adapted to fruits and vegetables. 
This area is smooth and green, with clusters of willows 
bordering small pools that are fed by springs. The whole 
scene has the appearance of a great sunken garden. 

At the junction of the St. Maries and St. Joe Rivers, 
U S 95 Alt. swings to the right over a bridge and then 
climbs through mile after mile of beautifully wooded 
country. It goes up the St. Maries River Canyon, which 
steadily widens and lengthens in an unfolding blue and 
green panorama of mountains, with occasional small 
tablelands opening to the river. Two areas running be- 
yond vision and over backbones are still stark and ugly 
under the devastation of former fires. The road descends 
through the canyon, crosses the St. Maries River, and 
swings right to its junction with State 7 at 73 m. 

Left on State 7 is CLARKIA 17 m., which is noted not so much 
for itself as for its suiToundings; for it is situated in a forest of 
immense trees from one to three hundred years old. Out of Clarkia, 
a side trip can be taken (L) to MARBLE CREEK 12 m. upon 
which is the largest single stand of matured white pine remaining 
in America. It covers about 136 square miles between the creek and 
the St. Joe River. 

From the junction, U S 95 Alt. continues southward to 
SANTA CREEK 74 m. which is indicated by a sign on 
the right. Here not long ago a channel was dynamited to 
change the stream, and down in the rock gorge was ex- 
posed one of the most unusual deposits of carbonized trees 
yet found in the State. Below, in the rock wall, are 
twenty-two trees which remain just as they were dis- 

Marble Creek 

>, ■', 

ji^- '/'./• ■" '"'y ^ihL 

\ ' r^" 


^"* ;■ 

•"^ -^•■^* 



^ ■ 



V'- •■ 


■;.' -• 



T O U R N I N E 329 

covered. The logs, varying in diameter from eight to 
twenty-seven inches, are extinct species of oak, redwood, 
beech, and bald cypress, none of which are now native to 
this region. These seem to be a remnant of a Middle 
Miocene forest that perhaps covered two hundred thou- 
sand square miles of the Pacific Northwest before it was 
buried by lava flows from a few to more than five thou- 
sand feet in depth. These logs still show growth rings, 
medullary rings, and the minutest of cell structure. 

EMIDA 80 m., on the edge of the St. Joe National 
Forest, is hardly more than a name on the map. West- 
ward from it the deeper forest rolls away in massed 
ranges on which the growth is broken only by canyons or 
by small areas cleared by fire. 

South of Emida, U S 95 Alt. passes through a logged- 
off and burnt-over forest area before entering a corridor 
whose high cool beauty stands in striking contrast to the 
devastation left behind. The highway winds for nine 
miles through this magnificent corridor of matured juni- 
per and white pine, the former easily identified by its lacy 
foliage and its stately shaft which often for a hundred 
feet is without a limb. Other trees here are lodgepole, fir, 
and spruce, with some hemlock and larch. The luxuriant 
shrubbery is chiefly elder, maple, syringa, dogwood, grape, 
huckleberry, heath, laurel, and hawthorn. The common- 
est ferns are the brake (bracken), maidenhair, and 
sword. The varieties of wild flower are almost countless : 
among the loveliest are the syringa, lilies, lupine, violet, 
shooting star, hollyhock, fireweed, queencup, and monkey 

The beautiful ST. JOE NATIONAL FOREST is one of 
the smallest in the State, with an area of only a little more 
than a million acres. In 1910 it was severely gutted by fire, 
and some large stands of mature white pine were de- 
stroyed. Much of the forest, therefore, is of young 
growth, though large bodies of pine still stand in the 
center of it and it is chiefly in this region that deer and 
bear are plentiful, with mountain goat in the Sawtooth 

330 IDAHO 

Peaks. Much of the interior of this forest is very rugged, 
and inasmuch as it has few roads, fishing is excellent for 
those willing to go by trail. 

A few miles S of the edge of the forest, U S 95 Alt. 
enters HARVARD 98 m. and leaves it to cross a valley 
and enter an area of scattered rolling farms. 

POTLATCH 108 m. is typical of small towns which, 
almost entirely supported by a single industry, thrive 
with it and then move into the realm of ghost towns when 
the industry has exhausted its resources. This town has 
steadily declined, like so many others in the State, but 
recently has shown signs of renewed activity. 

South of Potlatch, U S 95 Alt. runs past a game preserve 
and passes the Potlatch lumber mill, formerly said to have 
been the largest in the world but now less active. 

At 110 m. is its junction with U S 95 (see Tour 7, 
Sec. a). 


TOUR NO. 10 

(Missoula, Montana) — Wallace — Kellogg — Coeur d'Alene 
— (Spokane, Washington) . U S 10. Mullan Road Route. 

Montana Line to Washington Line, 82 m. 

The Union Pacific Raiboad parallels this route between 
Mullan and Cataldo, and the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, and 
Palouse between Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls. The Inter- 
mountain Transport Co. buses follow the highway. Usual 

U S 10 is the chief artery of travel across northern Idaho 
into the Northwest. Formerly known as the Yellowstone 
Trail, it follows the Mullan military road that was built 
by Captain John Mullan in 1861 between Fort Benton in 
Montana and Walla Walla upon the Columbia River in 

U S 10 crosses the Montana-Idaho Line over Lookout 
Pass (4,738 alt.). Ill m. west of MISSOULA, from 
which is afforded a view of a large part of two National 
Forests, the St. Joe on the left and the Coeur d'Alene on 
the right, as well as a part of the Coeur d'Alene Moun- 
tains, whose flanks late in every summer are blue with 
ripe huckleberries. The chief trees are Douglas fir, white 
and yellow pine, larch, cedar, western hemlock, Engel- 
mann spruce, and lodgepole. The principal shrubs are 
dogwood, huckleberry, thimble-, snow-, service-, and elder- 
berry, ocean spray and mountain ash, Oregon grape, alder, 
and wild cherry. This descent for six miles to the Coeur 
d'Alene River (South Fork) is beautiful save for the 
scars which remain from one of the worst forest fires in 
history. This epic of devastation wrote its record in a 
flood of flame that lighted the sky for a hundred miles 
and in mountains of smoke that obscured the sun over a 
huge area — as well as in thousands of acres of charred 
trunks and blackened landscape. But even so, these first 

332 IDAHO 

miles offer little foretaste of what is to be found in the 
Coeur d'Alene mining district. At the foot of the descent 
is a lovely lucid river, but a half mile farther a group of 
scalded red buildings suggest the area ahead. 

MULLAN 6 m. (3,245 alt.; 1,891 pop.) is not, as 
mining towns go, wholly without its prepossessing aspect. 
Founded in 1884 between two silver-lead mines, and 
shaken since by strike after strike, it has managed to 
evade in some degree the complete and pitiless homeliness 
that usually falls like a blight on towns in such regions. 
The MORNING MINE, still operating here, is the third 
largest lead producer in the United States and sustains 
most of the population of the town. Its developed area 
reaches for almost thirty-eight miles. On the right is a 
monument to Captain Mullan. On the right, too, as the 
highway leaves the W end of town, is the river, but it is not 
the lucid stream of a mile ago. It has been diverted to the 
mines here, impregnated with poison, and turned free. 
It now looks like a river of lye. Or, better, it looks as if 
all the dirty clothes in the world had just been washed 
in it. 

WALLACE 13 m. (2,728 alt.; 3,634 pop.), standing in 
a triangular valley in which many streams enter the 
main fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, is the seat of Sho- 
shone County and the distributing center of this large 
mining and lumbering area. The great fire of 1910 partly 
destroyed this town, since rebuilt and quite picturesque, 
with its better homes terraced on the mountainside, row 
on row. In its lovely little park at the western end is an- 
other monument to Mullan. Perhaps the most notable thing 
about Wallace is its stores, which, at least in regard to 
food, cater to the most exacting of epicures and offer a 
greater variety of exotic delicacies than most cities a 
hundred times its size. 

1. Right from Wallace on a paved road is BURKE 6 m. (3,741 alt.; 
500 pop.). Its only street is a narrow gulch occupied by a railway 
and lined with stores and shacks. This town seems to have been re- 
sourceful: finding itself cabined, it has spawned down the canyon 

T O U R T E N 333 

clear to Wallace a flock of imitations, some of which almost excel the 
parent in scabbed aspect. GEM, however, midway between the two 
towns, is a ghost, having been founded in 1886 and having had a 
saloon in every building of any consequence. Burke still thrives. 
The Hecla Mining Company has its million-dollar plant here, said to 
be very modern and complete. This mine is fifth among the lead 

2. Right from Wallace on an unimproved road is the COEUR 
D'ALENE NATIONAL FOREST. The road follows Ninemile Creek 
for 3.5 m., then crosses Dobson Pass (4,179 alt.), and then turns over 
elbows for 2 m., follows Dudley Creek for 1 m., Two Mile Creek for 
nearly 4 m., and rejoins U S 10 at Osburn. This loop circles Dago 

A longer journey continues through Unknown Gulch (R), Pony 
Gulch (R), Alder Creek (L), White Creek (L), and Cleveland Gulch 
(R) and along Beaver Creek to DELTA 3 m. Turning right at 
Delta, the road now follows Trail Creek and goes over Kings Pass 
to MURRAY 8 m. on Prichard Creek, the center of rich gold 
placers. Close by is the ghost of EAGLE CITY (see Ghost Towns). 
As a matter of fact, ghost towns and deserted camps are now to be 
seen in nearly every dii-ection. For 26 m. now the road winds through 
a forest of white pine, crossing dozens of streams, and returning to 
U S 10 just east of Cataldo. 

At 14 m. is the SUNSHINE MINE (L), the largest 
silver producer in the United States. High above in the St. 
Joe Mountains is STRIPED PEAK (6,388 alt.) . 

KELLOGG 25 m. (2,305 alt. ; 4,124 pop.) is a famous 
mining spot, with the Bunker Hill and Sullivan, the 
largest lead mine in the United States, located here. Below 
it the river bottoms look like a caricature of a graveyard, 
and above it the denuded mountains declare the potency of 
lead. The Sullivan Mine here has a development of sixty- 
four and a half miles and (with 560 men) the largest 
payroll of any mine in the State. 

Left on a fair road from Kellogg is WARDNER 4 m. (2,960 alt.; 
903 pop.), another mining town. It is the location of the famous 
stockade referred to locally as the Bull Pen, in which a thousand 
men were kept under heavy guard after the strike in Kellogg in 
1899. In this feud many lives were lost, including that of Idaho's 
governor, Frank Steunenberg; and following the destruction of 
property, martial law was maintained for more than a year. During 
this period of stinfe, several hundred miners seized a car of ex- 
plosives and blew up the mill. Those placed in the stockade were 
forced to repudiate the union before they were allowed to return 
to work. 

334 IDAHO 

West of Kellogg with its miracles of machinery, 
there is still to be seen a poisoned and dead or dying land- 
scape. Trees slain by the invisible giant still stand with 
lifeless limbs and with roots still sucking the poisoned 
earth. But gradually the blight thins, the flora looks up 
to new strength, and the drive becomes increasingly lovely. 

CATALDO 35 m. (2,143 alt. ; 110 pop.) is of note only 
because it was near it that the famous Cataldo mission 
was built in 1848 by Father Ravalli, chiefly with the aid 
of unskilled Indians. The mission was abandoned in 1887. 
It rapidly fell into ruins and was largely forgotten until 
the citizens of Wallace, Kellogg, Coeur d'Alene, and Spo- 
kane in 1930 restored it and set it apart as a historical 
monument. The chapel is interesting not only because of 
its age and former associations but also because of its 
structure. After stones and logs were brought on trucks 
drawn by Indians, wooden pegs were used for nails, and 
mud from the river was spread over the walls. Inside 
there were three altars and a baptismal font. Of the 
paintings on the walls done with Indian dyes, two still 
hang, the one a representation of heaven, the other of 
hell. The restored mission is visible on a hill (L) just 
west of Cataldo. 

U S 10 is now in Kootenai County in which lumber- 
ing and mining are diversified with farming and dairying. 
Leaving Coeur d'Alene River on the left, the road skirts 
Mission Flats and at the confluence of Fern and Mission 
Creeks enters the beautiful and historic FOURTH OF 
JULY CANYON. It was here on July 4, 1861, that Captain 
Mullan and his men were encamped while building the Mul- 
lan Road. They raised an American flag to the top of the 
tallest white pine, and from this circumstance the canyon 
has taken its name. The highway now climbs for a thou- 
sand feet to the summit. 

Right from the summit on a dirt road is the MULLAN TREE .1 m. 
Standing in the center of a fifty-acre park, this tree still bears the 
date, 1861, and the initials M. R. (Mullan Road). 

~^' " " »ifi 


V ) ; 



The Mullan Tree 

T O U R T E N 335 

At 50 m. is the FOURTH OF JULY SUMMIT (3,290 
alt.) , marked by a tunnel 394 feet in length. 

Right from here a side trip much in favor goes to COPPER MOUN- 
TAIN 5 m., which is a lookout station. 

West of the summit, U S 10 enters Wolf Lodge Val- 
ley, descending over seven miles of broad fast highway. 

At 55 m. is the junction with a road which runs into the 
Coeur d'Alene Forest. 

Right on this road is the RUTHERFORD RANCH 2 m., the home 
of a once well known trapper and hunter who from this point used 
to run his numerous trap lines for bear, beaver, marten, and lynx. 
Beyond the ranch the road follows Wolf Lodge Creek and then, 
turning right, follows Searchlight Creek up a narrow canyon 
through beautifully wooded area with countless mountain streams. 
From the HONEYSUCKLE RANGER STATION 10 m. the road 
climbs more sharply to LIEBERG 15.5 m., where there are im- 
proved campgrounds. The right road here follows Lieberg Creek 
to its source, crosses the divide, and drops down to Tepee Creek, 
the peer of all fishing streams in this area. The seventeen miles 
between Lieberg and the McGEE RANGER STATION 32.5 m. are 
intersected by twenty-one streams. From McGee, hiking and pack 
trips are available, including Grizzly Ridge, McDonald Peak, Grassy 
Mountain, Lookout Peak, McGee Peak, Elkhorn Peak, and Cathe- 
dral Buttes. These are all in the heart of the Coeur d'Alene Na- 
tional Forest. 

At the W end of Wolf Lodge Valley and E of Lake Coeur 
d'Alene, U S 10 passes a solitary surviving monarch of the 
white pine forest that formerly stood here. This tree is 
216 feet in height and 8 feet in diameter at the bole. 

At 57 m. is the junction with U S 95 Alt. (see Tour 
9). To the left is the eastern extremity of Lake Coeur 
d'Alene, with a long wooden bridge spanning Wolf Lodge 
Bay. To the left also is Beauty Bay, to the right of it is 
Blue Creek Bay, and these with the Wolf Lodge Bay form 
a three-leaf clover design. The highway now climbs for 
some distance and overlooks the lake, only to drop down a 
canyon and climb again for two miles to a deep forest; 
and drop again to follow the lake into Coeur d'Alene. 

At 67 m. is the junction with a road. 

Right on this road is FERNAN LAKE .5 m., which is navigable for 
small fishing crafts and is an excellent resort for bass and perch 


fishermen. In wintertime there are ice skating and hockey here, 
with the Coeur d'Alene Eskimo Hockey Club sponsoring carnivals 
in which all the more popular winter sports are featured. 

COEUR D'ALENE 68 m. is at the junction with U S 95 
(see Tour 7, Sec. a). 

U S 10 goes W out of Coeur d'Alene at the N W corner 
and after a little follows the Spokane River through forests 
of jack pine. At 75 m. is the junction with a surfaced 
road that goes (R) into one of Idaho's richest wheat 
belts and from there to some of its loveliest lakes (see 
Tour 7, Sec. a). 

At 76 m. is the plant of the OHIO MATCH COMPANY 
(L), one of the industrial giants of the Northwest. 
Equipped with the most modern of machinery, this plant 
cuts the finest of straight-grained white pine into match 
blocks and ships these to Spokane. The working conditions 
in this factory are said to be very good. 

POST FALLS 77 m. (2,147 alt. ; 509 pop.) is a small 
lumbering and fruit-packing town on the Spokane River. 
A half mile south of it (L) is the Post Falls Dam, which 
impounds the river and delivers power to the eastern part 
of the Inland Empire. 

At 78 m. is the junction with an improved road. 

Right on this road is HAUSER LAKE 7 m., a beautiful jewel in 
a deep forest of evergreens. Inasmuch as it is close to both Spokane 
and Coeur d'Alene, this lake is a favorite resort in northern Idaho, 
Fishing in the lake is fair; and large flocks of wild ducks, making 
their summer home here, remain late enough in the fall to be 
caught by the hunting season. 

At 82 m. U S 10 crosses the Idaho-Washington Line 
over the Spokane Bridge 18 m. E of Spokane, (see Wash- 
ington Tour 1). 

TOUR NO. 11 

(Missoula, Montana) — Clark Fork — Sandpoint — Priest 
River — (Spokane, Washington). State 3 and U S 195. 

Montana Line to Washington Line, 62 m. 

The Northern Pacific Railroad parallels this route between 
Cabinet and Sandpoint, and the Great Northern between 
Sandpoint and Newport. The Deering buses follow the 
highway between Priest River and the Washington Line. 

Accommodations less than average except in Sandpoint. 
This, the northernmost artery across the Panhandle, is a 
river-and-valley route. 

State 3 enters the State over the Bitterroot Range 
at a relatively low point (2,400 alt. ; 173 m. N W of Mis- 
soula, Montana)— at a point where the mighty CLARK 
FORK RIVER has eroded its gorge. This is one of the wild- 
est and most picturesque streams in the West. Having 
found itself imprisoned by mountains after the retreat of 
the glaciers, it has done some amazing sculpturing in cut- 
ting a path to the sea, and often, because of the invincible 
toughness of its walls and beds, has to turn up on its edge 
to pour through chasms; and sometimes its canyons are 
so narrow that they can be spanned by logs. It has many 
waterfalls and boxed gorges; and in the last fifty miles 
of its journey its haste is so wild that it cascades almost 
continuously. Its entrance into Idaho is marked by the 
Cabinet Gorge with its sheer narrow walls ; and through 
here in time of spring floods the river is so white and 
thunderous in its journey that persons travel for many 
miles to see and hear it. The water goes through here 
with such force that logs, caught in the boiling violence, 
are sometimes broken into kindling; or they may be 
sucked under and held for many minutes before they 
are released and hurled back to the surface. It seems 
probable that the river is to be tamed by a dam and a 

338 IDAHO 

reservoir. On the left at 1.5 m. is a sign which indicates 
the village of CABINET across the river, accessible from 
here only by a suspension footbridge. 

The Cabinet Gorge can be seen by crossing this bridge and proceeding 
a half mile up the river on the far side to the gorge, or by driving up 
the south side of the river from Clark Fork. 

State 3 proceeds down a beautifully wooded drive to 
cross Mosquito Creek and enter Clark Fork. 

CLARK FORK 8 m. (2,081 alt. ; 432 pop.) is chiefly the 
home of the Whitedelf Mine, a lead and silver producer. 

1. Right from Clark Fork an unimproved road goes up Lightning 
Creek. Five miles out a trail leads (L) to Bee Top Mountain. At 
RATTLE CREEK 18 m. is an improved campground. The road goes 
past Porcupine, Mad, Sheep, Fall, Deer, and other creeks to LAKE 
DARLING 25 m. This lake is in the heart of the PEND D'OREILLE 
NATIONAL FOREST, an area of 874,000 acres of which nearly a 
fourth is privately owned. Mt. Pend d'Oreille (6,785 alt.) is just north 
of the lake. The trees in this area are chiefly yellow pine (with the 
long needles hanging in pale green bouquets), cedar (with its lacy 
luxuriance of foliage), Douglas fir, larch, hemlock, and white fir. 

2. Left from Clark Fork on a dirt road is the site of the old THOMP- 
SON TRADING POST 10 m. David Thompson and his men, repre- 
senting the Hudson's Bay Fur Trading Company, arrived at Pend 
d'Oreille Lake on the eighth of September, 1809, and while searching 
for a canoe route to the Columbia River, they made, five days after 
their arrival, the first recorded business transaction in Idaho, with 
the Pend d'Oreille Indians, by trading for about one hundred and 
twenty-five furs. They had come into Idaho from Canada by way of 
the Kootenai River, crossed a pass in the Cabinet Mountains, and 
traveled down the Pack River to the lake. They built their trading 
post, the KuUyspell House, two miles from the mouth of the main 
channel of the Clark Fork River and one-half mile from the 
Memaloose Island because of the proximity of this point to all other 
points on the lake by canoe. They built two houses of logs, one for 
the trading of goods and furs, and the other for the men to use, 
and named their post KuUyspell House, probably a different spelling 
for Kalispel, the native name of the Pend d'Oreille Indians. The 
following year David Thompson moved the post to the Spokane 
House near the present site of Spokane, Washington. 

One authority says that the KuUyspell House was located on the 
shore of the lake near the present town of Hope, that it was 
abandoned two years later, and that it was destroyed by a forest 
fire about 1834, leaving two stone chimneys which stood for twenty 
years longer. In 1923 the exact site was located through the 


memory of a blind eighty-year-old Indian, Klai-too, who had seen 
the chimneys when a small boy. Following his instructions, two 
piles of even-sized rocks were discovered overgrown with brush 
and vines. In one of them searchers uncovered a regular cavity 
resembling a fireplace, and in it traces of ashes. The citizens of 
Bonner County erected a monument over the site in 1929, com- 
memorating not only the first house ever erected in the State of 
Idaho, but also its builder, David Thompson. 

At 10 m. LAKE PEND D'OREILLE comes into view 
and the highway now follows it almost to Sandpoint. This, 
the largest of Idaho lakes, with a shore line of 125 miles 
and an extreme depth of 1,800 feet, sometimes rolls in 
waves thirty feet high but usually is quite serene and is 
rapidly coming into favor as a playground area. The 
Clark Fork River flows into it and out of it. To the left 
of the highway on the left side of the lake are four 
islands, the Warren, Cottage, Pearl, and Memaloose, 
which were used by the Pend d'Oreille Indians as a ceme- 
tery. These Indians instead of burying their dead sus- 
pended them from trees. 

HOPE 17 m. (2,078 alt.; Ill pop.) is a village along 
the lake shore, and the home of a small mine. On the left 
is a monument to David Thompson, and just below it on 
the shore is the David Thompson Park. At 19 m. can be 
seen the peaks of the SEVEN SISTERS in the west ; and at 
20 m. is TRESTLE CREEK, a popular area for camping, 
huckleberrying, and fishing. The flowering bushes along 
this drive in midsummer are chiefly syringa and elder- 

At 26 m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Right on this road are junctions with several other roads, each of 
which leads to its own attractions. Pack River itself rises at Harrison 
Lake and winds for thirty miles before emptying into Lake Pend 
d'Oreille. A fair motor road, following the river most of the way and 
intersecting more than forty tributaries, leads into densely wooded 
regions, but WALSH LAKE 13 m. is the chief objective, with return 
to Sandpoint easy over U S 95. Or the river road may be followed 
to its end from which trails proceed to Chimney Rock or Harrison 
Lake or to the Roman Nose Lookout (7,264 alt.), all of them within 
hiking distance. 

340 IDAHO 

CULVER 28 m. is at the junction with an unimproved 

Right on this road are LIGHTNING CREEK 10 m. and a notable 
stand of virgin white pine. 

BOYER 29 m. is at the junction with an unimproved 

Right on this road is the heaviest growth of western yellow pine to 
be found in the Pend d'Oreille National Forest. 

SANDPOINT 34 m. (2,086 alt.; 3,290 pop.) is the 
seat of Bonner County and the junction with U S 95 
(seeTour 7, Secb). 

State 3 now becomes U S 195 and westward from 
Sandpoint parallels the Clark Fork, lying between hills 
that are covered with pine, hemlock, cedar, and fir. The 
river here is deep and wide and is navigable for small 
boats from Lake Pend d'Oreille to Albini Falls west of 
Priest River. The highway passes through DOVER 37 m., 
a ghost town with a smokeless factory and rows of iden- 
tical empty shacks ; through WRENCO 43 m., from which 
is visible JOHNNY LONG MOUNTAIN on the right ; and 
LACLEDE 48 m., another ghost that was once a pros- 
perous mill town. At Laclede the highway leaves the 
W end of the Pend d'Oreille Forest and approaches the 
Kaniksu and the most popular playground in the northern 
part of the State. 

PRIEST RIVER 56 m. (2,080 alt. ; 949 pop.) at the 
junction of the Pend d'Oreille and Priest Rivers is the gate- 
way of the Priest Lake country. This town has an Italian 
colony, noted for its weedless gardens; a sawmill which 
specializes in white pine lumber of exceptional quality for 
interior woodwork, and a tourist traffic that is rapidly 

1. Right on an improved road is COOLIN 20 m. at the southern end of 
PRIEST LAKE, and NORDMAN 38 m. at the western side of the 
lake. This body of water, regarded by some Idahoans as the loveliest 
lake in the State, lies upon the eastern boundary of the Kaniksu 
National Forest. It is about twenty-four miles long and from one to 

ft •*-• 

\ ^ 

Priest River country 

<^ .«L^^ 


. mi 

'•-Ha- "^*'' ' 

J — - 


fourteen miles in width and is a perfect huge sapphire against a for- 
ested backdrop that is almost as dense as an evergreen area can be. 
The forest is, in fact, almost a phenomenon in itself, and only the 
more adventurous go far into it without a guide. Lying half in Wash- 
ington and half in Idaho, it covers 444,593 acres, and lifts its great 
shoulders under the southern spurs that reach down the Selkirk 
Mountains of Canada. Besides its larger flora of pine and fir and 
spruce, it has a luxuriant undergrowth that is often impenetrable, 
with fern and shrub and wild flower matting the earth and lifting 
tropical gardens shoulder-high. Nearly any part of it will meet the 
most exacting tastes of those seeking wild beautiful retreats; and 
most of it offers fine hunting and fishing. Besides Priest Lake, in 
which fishing is always good, there are smaller lakes and countless 
streams, some of which are rarely fished at all; and the wooded 
regions have thousands of deer, bear, elk, and goats. Both native and 
blue grouse are abundant. 

The right-hand road from Priest River (often called the Coolin 
Road) is bordered on both sides by large evergreens of such ma- 
turity that they give the appearance of a tunnel through the forest. 
.5 m. is interesting for its variety of research related to the wel- 
fare of the National Forests. From here a drive of six miles leads 
easily to the LOOKING GLASS LOOKOUT, where a forty-foot tower 
aflPords an excellent view. Right on this branch road 1 m. up the East 
River are campsites and excellent eastern brook trout fishing. 
COOLIN 25 m. is a small resort town on the southern extremity of 
the lake. Accommodations are available here; and at the PAUL 
JONES BEACH 25.5 m. north and the SHERWOOD BEACH 27 m. 
north there are boats and cabins. At 27.5 m. a right turn leads up 
SOLDIER CREEK, in which there is excellent native trout fishing. 
But the most exciting trips from Coolin are by both water and land. 
One of them is a boat trip from Coolin to INDIAN BAY 10 m., and 
then by trail up INDIAN CREEK to its fork 3 m. and from there 6 m. 
up the south fork to the end of the trail. To reach CHIMNEY ROCK 
it is necessary to cross the creek and make a stiff climb for a half 
mile eastward. Chimney Rock, rising about 200 feet, is triangular 
in shape and was formed by three glaciers that backed in toward 
the divide. A goat trail leads along the north side of the chimney 
to a narrow escarpment extending about a half mile eastward. 
Goats are often seen in this vicinity. The rock itself can not be 
scaled without elaborate mechanical apparatus. HARRISON LAKE 
5 m., north as the crow flies, can be reached from here. This, a 
beautiful glacial cirque of deepest blue, framed in a rock-bound 
setting, is by far the loveliest of all the numerous high lakes along 
the Selkirk Divide. 

2. The v,7est side of Priest Lake can be reached by the west branch 
road by way of Nordman or by a crossroad south of Coolin. From 
the town of Priest River a right turn at 28 m. leads (R) to PRIEST 
LAKE .5 m.; to LUBY BAY at 31 m. (1 m. R) ; and to KALI- 

342 IDAHO 

SPELL BAY at 34 m. (1 m. R). To reach points farther up the lake 
it is necessary to travel by boat or trail. Boats, motors, cabins, 
and other accommodations are available at Coolin, Outlet, Luby 
Bay, Kalispell Bay, and on the mouth of Granite Creek at the head 
of the lake. At Luby and Reeder bays are improved forest camp- 
grounds. The drive between Outlet and Kalispell by way of Luby 
Bay is quite as beautiful as any drive could be. In addition there is 
a variety of side trips into the forest, both by road and trail; and 
one of the easiest of the latter turns off the west branch road just 
south of its junction with the Luby Bay road and proceeds for three 
miles to an eighty-foot steel lookout tower that gives a magnificent 
view of the lake and its background. The Granite Creek road 
penetrates deep into the forest. Four miles from Nordman a right 
turn leads to the river, upon which is a modern fish trap, recently 
completed, and popular with visitors when the fish are being 
impounded and stripped. 

U S 195 crosses the Washington Line at 62 m., 49 m. 
NE of Spokane, Washington (see Washington Tour 6, 
Sec. a). 





THE Primitive Area, almost in the geographic cen- 
ter of Idaho, is a compact but slightly elongated 
unit of 1,087,744 acres. It is bounded on the north by the 
main Salmon River, on the east by the Bighorn Crags, 
Yellowjacket Range, and Sleeping Deer Mountain, on the 
south by a line just south of and paralleHng the Middle 
Fork of the Salmon River to Rapid Creek, and on the west 
by a divide that is the western limit of the watersheds 
of Marble, Monumental, Beaver, and Chamberlain Creeks. 
It is a wilderness of mountains and streams with a few 
upland meadows, a handful of ranches, a little grazing, 
and a few mines. All but a few thousand acres of it lies 
within four of Idaho's National Forests. 

Its topography is extremely varied. It ranges from 
high rolling plateaus and ridges as found in the Cham- 
berlain Basin, Cold Meadows, and Thunder Mountain re- 
gions to precipitous bluffs and deep gorges upon the 
rivers. Mt. McGuire, its highest point, with an elevation 
above ten thousand feet, is on the east side at the head of 
Roaring Creek. Many other peaks, accessible by trail to 
their summits, have altitudes above nine thousand feet, 
and of these, Cottonwood Peak in the northwest probably 
overlooks more territory than any other. Its climate is 
also extremely varied, and a few hours of travel in July 
can easily range through forty-five degrees of tempera- 
ture. There is, strangely enough, little snowfall upon 
the main Salmon and its Middle Fork, but upon parts of 

346 IDAHO 

the area the snow is piled many feet in depth. More than 
90 per cent of this huge playground is forested. The 
commonest trees are lodgepole pine and Douglas fir, both 
of which occur in dense stands at higher elevations, to- 
gether with some Engelmann spruce and limber pine. At 
lower altitudes are forests of matured western yellow 
pine, especially upon Big Creek and the Middle Fork of 
Salmon River. Difficulties in building either highway or 
railway lines place nearly all of this timber indefinitely 
beyond commercial reach. The underflora is typically the 
subalpine varieties found in this latitude, and the wild 
flowers are unusually lovely and numerous. 

There are about fifty lakes in the Area, varying in 
size from ten to a hundred acres. Located for the most 
part at the heads of streams, these are fed by melting 
snows, and the water in any of them is clear and cold in 
all seasons. Most of their shore line is timbered. From 
a historic point of view the most interesting lake in the 
region is that called Roosevelt on Monumental Creek. 
The small mining town of Roosevelt just above Mule 
Creek awoke one day to the realization of a landslide and 
found itself buried under nearly thirty feet of water 
before the next sunrise. The mountain of earth that 
came down here covered two miles of distance in a few 
hours but at no time moved with haste, and gave the 
settlers time to flee with everything but their pianos. 
Hundreds of small streams head in the higher country 
and pour in cascading frenzy to the rivers far below. 
There are many hot springs, most of which are mineral- 
ized and most invigorating to tenderfeet after they have 
spent a few hours in the saddle. Of the several meadows 
that are ideal natural campsites, the most popular are 
Crescent, Cold, Moose, Hand, Chamberlain, and the Mea- 
dow of Doubt. Adjacent to these and to countless others 
are cold pure water, forage for beasts, and an abundance 
of wood. Inasmuch as this is a primitive area, it is not 
planned to equip these sites with stoves and air condi- 
tioners and bathtubs. 


There are no unusual natural phenomena. The Big- 
horn Crags on the eastern border are distinguished by 
being set upon a high divide, and rise perpendicularly 
from it for hundreds of feet to resemble huge monu- 
ments. Southwest of these is Rainbow Mountain, named 
for its colored mists and formations, and especially beau- 
tiful under sunrise. There are a number of caves along 
Big and Camas Creeks and upon the Middle Fork. Used 
formerly by Indians, their walls are often covered with 
paintings and pictographs and innumerable hieroglyphics. 
A group of caves in the upper end of the boxed canyon on 
Big Creek suggest that they were used as a stronghold in 
years past. The gorges of the main Salmon, the northern 
boundary, and of the Middle Fork are two of the deepest 
in North America. The Middle Fork stream itself is 
utterly impassable to any manner of travel now known. 

The Area has not been and will not be improved save 
as may be necessary for protection against fire. There 
are no roads. There are about two hundred miles of trail, 
and other trails are being constructed, and a few more 
bridges will be laid across the streams. "The construc- 
tion of roads, trails, or other improvements will not be 
allowed to mar the landscape or interfere with its primi- 
tive characteristics." Campgrounds will not be improved. 
Signs have been and will continue to be placed until even 
the most terrified dude will be able to retrace his path and 
find his way back to his automobile. 

This is the largest and the most unvisited of all 
Idaho's huge game preserves. The chief big game animal 
is the deer, of which the Area contains more than thirteen 
thousand. Most of these are Rocky Mountain mule deer, 
although some white-tailed deer have entered the region 
from the north. The annual increase of deer is estimated 
at 3,250 head, but they suffer a loss, perhaps not to ex- 
ceed 10 per cent, from predatory animals. There are 
probably five hundred elk, chiefly upon the Chamberlain 
and Disappointment Creek watersheds. Sometimes herds 
of thirty or more are seen on Cold and Cottonwood Mea- 

348 IDAHO 

dows, but during the open season this beast ranges far 
back and is not often taken by the hunter. There are a 
few moose, but for the most part this country is too rough 
for them. Of bear there may be a thousand, and these, 
like the deer, are quite evenly distributed over the whole 
area. Now and then a grizzly is killed and possibly there 
is still quite a number of grizzlies in the more inaccessible 
reaches. Of mountain goat and mountain sheep there are 
about a thousand head. The goats roam the bluffs of the 
larger streams and remain high up until midwinter. The 
sheep inhabit lower and flatter areas. Of predatory ani- 
mals the cougar is the greatest menace, and doubtless 
these huge cowardly cats slay more deer, sheep, and goat 
in a season than all the other predatory animals com- 
bined. A few timber wolves may exist. Coyotes are 
common. The red and gray fox are to be seen, the lynx 
rarely at high altitudes, but the bobcat is abundant in 
the rougher sections. There are also marten, mink, otter, 
badger, wolverine, porcupine, and beaver. 

This Area is an interesting bird refuge because there 
is a mingling of northern Rocky Mountain and Coast 
species. Blue grouse are plentiful in the more isolated 
parts and especially in the Rush Creek country ; and ruf- 
fled grouse are common along the streams. Franklin 
grouse (known also as fool hens) are found chiefly in the 
extensive lodgepole pine areas. There are a great many 
golden eagles, now believed to be destructive of young 
game, and a not inconsiderable number of bald eagles and 
ospreys. Of smaller birds a great many species are found 
in large numbers. Geese and ducks occur as migrants. 

No part of Idaho is more prolific in fish, and it can be 
declared without exaggeration that every stream of 
fishing size is well stocked, and some have never been 
fished. There are great runs in winter and early spring 
of steelhead trout, some of which weigh fifteen pounds. 
Dolly Varden or bull trout are widely distributed, and so 
are the white fish known as mountain herring. The only 
salmon occurring in these waters is the Chinook, and 

Middle Fork of Salmon River 

'*/■'- „. ''•' 



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^.-.^-^ 4 


. ^J ^.^^ 


A Monument on Monumental Creek 


these, coming from the Pacific Ocean, are abundant in 
early fall. There are also native and rainbow trout, the 
former of which, often called black-spotted or cutthroat, 
is the commonest of all. Two excellent fishing streams are 
Big Creek and the Middle Fork, with a road up the 
former and a mountain trail going down the latter to 
Mormon Ranch. Fish Lake, Flossie Lake, and Roosevelt 
Lake are well stocked. 

The chief use made of this Area is by hunters, with 
fishing as a casual pastime of their journey. The whole 
region is open to hunting except two hundred and fifty 
thousand acres upon the Middle Fork State Game Pre- 
serve. Because the hunter has to penetrate a considerable 
distance, pack trips are necessary, and horses and equip- 
ment and guides for these are available at all points of 
entrance. For persons wishing to pack in during the sum- 
mer months when hunting is forbidden, arrangements 
can be made at a great many places upon all but the 
northern border; or foot journeys can be provided with 
guides for those who wish to penetrate any of the hun- 
dreds of places that can be reached only by foot travel. 
Some who could afford it have flown in to land on the 
meadowed fields, particularly in the Chamberlain Basin, 
but sportsmen are in general opposed to the flight of 
aircraft over this Area. "If auto travel is not to be con- 
doned, surely entrance by air should also be discouraged." 

Though the Area is accessible on all sides, the northern 
entrance is extremely difficult and is only for those who 
are willing to proceed afoot for a considerable distance. 
This entrance is by boat down the Salmon River from 
Salmon City (see Tour 5) and strongly appeals to sports- 
men who like a somewhat hazardous journey down the 
magniflcent gorge. Return by boat up the river is out of 
the question; but adventurers choosing this approach to 
the region can climb out of the canyon and be met at 
appointed places by pack strings ; or if they prefer to ape 
the hardy frontiersmen they can take their way over the 
great mountains afoot and with provisions on their back 

350 IDAHO 

and emerge at some automobile terminal south or west. 
Or they can return to the river and proceed by boat to 
Riggins or Lewiston. 

The eastern entrance is by way of Salmon City over 
the Yellowjacket road, or over the Morgan Creek road 
between Ellis and Challis, both of which lead to Yellow- 
jacket or Meyers Cove, favorite jumping-off points into 
the Area (see Tour 5). The southern entrance is by way 
of Stanley (see Tour 5) or out of Boise by way of Low- 
man (see Tour 3, Section b). The western entrance is by 
way of Cascade into Bear Valley (see Tour 6), or by way 
of McCall and Burgdorf to Edwardsburg (see Tour 6). 
For a typical pack trip hunting expedition into the Area, 
see the next chapter. 







^ boating fishing^< 

^•""hunting camping ^ 

.^. hot springs golf ^ | 





^||^j= federal highways 
/^%= state highways 
==paved-gravel highways 
=#= county seat 
=o=^0ther highway towns 

state boundary lines 

^^ -county boundary lines 

park boundary lines 

•~u5!j# rivers -creeks 

-^' v?' MOUNTAINS 

COUNTY SEAT- county 



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HE PRIMITIVE AREA is entered within season 
(July-November) by pack strings which are out- 
fitted from many points on the eastern and southern 
boundaries (see Tour 5, Sec. a), or from many points on 
the western boundary (see Tour 6, side tour from Mc- 
Call). Ordinarily, persons desiring to enter the area 
drive by automobile to such outfitting spots as Forney, 
Meyers Cove, Cape Horn, Landmark, or Stibnite, and 
then pack in ; but some prefer to fly to a dude ranch close 
by the Area, inasmuch as from these ranches, especially 
on the Middle Fork of Salmon River, the journey by pack 
string is much shorter. Most of the expeditions into the 
Area are in the fall when the season is open on big game. 
Some persons, however, seeking primitive wilderness, 
enter during July or August, when both flora and streams 
are at their loveliest, and the weather is less severe. This 
chapter will attempt to suggest, rather than to give in 
explicit detail, an autumn journey by air and by pack 
string after big game. 

Of points of departure by air, McCall (see Tour 6) is 
perhaps the best. Adventurous persons, desiring the 
fullest measure of beauty, like to leave Boise two hours 
before daylight and learn what an undertaking in magic 
the coming of morning can be upon Payette River and 
the mountains that stand like enormous shoulders on 
either side. There are only valleys of darkness at first, 
with the highway looped from summit to summit, and 

354 IDAHO 

with ravines looking like black sunken reefs from the 
Craters of the Moon. When day breaks, the peaks emerge 
into golden light, and the world melts into the soft glory 
of morning dusk. The black water of the river becomes 
luminous flowing shadow ; the night withdraws under pale 
veils of light ; and the leaves of barberry and maple make 
gardens of flame upon the mountainous backdrops. 

The take-off from McCall is no less appropriate. Be- 
low is the deep blue serenity of Payette Lake, and on all 
sides is the delicate lucid green of its streams. Mountains 
adjacent look like mounds of chalk, or like slabs of granite 
adorned with golden furze and tiny subalpine mirrors. 
Ranges now swim into vision, with backbones serrated in 
row on row, with forested depressions and altitudes 
stretching to the farthest reach. The enormous landscape 
eastward is not only a wilderness of peaks and canyons 
and streams. It is also a wilderness of legend, of doings 
both fabulous and real, with the truth of them deferring 
to drama and getting lost in the telling. The few mining 
towns here, each lonely and isolated in the vast sweep 
below, have strange histories that most likely will never 
be told. There is Warren, looking from the air like an in- 
credible carpet of magic : a hundred unchronicled volumes 
sleep there, each of them as perfect in its fact and fable 
as the tale of China Sam. For many decades, this gentle 
and whimsical Chinese gentleman was custodian of the 
town's property and morals, and came to be known, in- 
deed, as the Mayor of Warren and the most honest man in 
Idaho. He was not only watchman-in-chief, the alert 
guardian of residence and mine; he was also tender of 
babies and chopper of wood for overworked housewives, 
mail carrier to prospectors and trappers in outlying can- 
yons, and nurse to the sick and distressed. North, south, 
and east were persons no less charitable or strange. 

Some of them, it is true, were not so gentle as Sam. 
This great Area has known women who could could pick 
a deer up by its heels and antlers and throw it down cellar, 
or murder a husband with an iron skillet and bury him 


and never lose a night's sleep. It has known men whose 
only law was the law of survival, whose only belief was 
the cogent one that it is better to be alive than dead. Far 
eastward in that misty acreage of canyons is a man 
whom, Forest Rangers declare, nobody would be fool 
enough to approach — or lucky enough to approach and 
emerge alive. This hermit never bathes except when he 
falls into a river, and never lays eyes on another human 
being if he can help it. He is bearded and wild and tame- 
less. In some hour, years ahead, his bones will be found in 
his shack, and it will be told of him only that he died alone 
and unconquered, with his gun at his side. Years ago 
there was a wild family here, and none of them, legend 
declares, had ever bathed in all their years of life. One 
of them, a fiercely beautiful girl, was on a pretext lured 
from the wild hermitage of her home and threatened with 
a bath. The Supervisor of a National Forest summarizes 
the picture : "I shall never forget it. She withdrew to the 
farthest room of the house and stood in a corner, trem- 
bling like a fawn, her nostrils distended and her dark eyes 
terrible with fright and scorn. In the majesty of her 
terror and contempt she was the most beautiful thing I 
have ever seen." But not all of the persons living in this 
remote jungle are indifferent to the refreshing kindness 
of water and soap. There are, for instance, John and Jim 
(the names are disguised) , two old-time gamblers : their 
house, immaculate inside and out, and with everything 
fastidiously in its place, is one of the many miracles in 
Chamberlain Basin. 

The plane will probably set down in this Basin, for it 
is, with the possible exception of the watersheds west of 
Jackson Hole in Wyoming, the greatest elk country on 
earth. If, on the way here, a digression is made south- 
ward, the site of Roosevelt will come into view. Once a 
lusty town, it is now a lake; and it is said that adven- 
turous and thirsty men still dive down to the submerged 
saloon and swim around among the beaver, searching for 
the whiskey that is supposed to be there. But Chamber- 

356 IDAHO 

lain Basin, for the wanderer on the trail of buck and big- 
horn, deer and elk, is the first objective. Pilots declare 
that elk here are so abundant that now and then they 
have to be scared off the landing field before the plane can 
set down; deer are so many that the only rancher in an 
area of three hundred thousand acres has to build a nine- 
foot fence around his garden; and trout in Fish Lake 
westward are scooped up by the pailful. And Miles How- 
ard, an old-timer with eyebrows as big as shrubs and a 
beard like barbed wire, declares that blue grouse so infest 
the region that he no longer bothers to use a gun. He 
merely takes a cudgel and knocks their heads oif . Just 
north of this field is the Reeder Ranch. 

It is possible, of course, to fly directly from McCall to 
such a ranch as the Flying W or Double O, but direct 
flight would disregard some most impressive vistas. If, 
from Chamberlain Basin, the plane heads eastward, in 
a few minutes it will be above a magnificent depth of 
spilled peaks and sheer walls where two great rivers join 
their waters. Here, at the junction of Salmon River with 
the Middle Fork, the sculpturing that has been achieved 
by time and erosion is overwhelming. Not far southward 
are the Bighorn Crags, said to be the most rugged range 
in the Northwest. These are really a huge garden of 
granite monuments and turrets, with the highest of them 
reaching an altitude of more than ten thousand feet, with 
most of them as stripped and lonely as the stones in a 
graveyard. Ship Island Lake is an enormous jewel among 

In going up the canyon of the Middle Fork, one of the 
three deepest gorges in North America, anyone who has 
ever heard of him will want to make the detour by way 
of Big Creek to look down upon the remotely silent shack 
where Cougar Dave lived. Famous as a lion hunter, and 
until his death possibly the most remarkable person in 
Idaho, Dave Lewis was a small and unconquerable king- 
dom of his own. Here in the utter loneliness of Big Creek, 
with nothing around him for half a century except peaks 




and wild streams, wild animals and a blue ceiling of sky, 
he lived with his guns and his dogs. He killed many men 
during his time, but he always carefully explained that he 
had to kill them — meaning, but meaning it gently, re- 
morselessly, that he preferred the long end of the draw. 
His eyes were as cold as the back of a hzard, his skin was 
like leather thrice tanned, and his walk had the stealth 
of the cougar itself. Dave was not something that hunted 
adventure: he was adventure itself. Nor was hunting 
lions a theatrical matter with him; it was only the un- 
exciting routine of making a living, of keeping his guns 
oiled and his dogs fed. In July of 1936, at the age of 
ninety -three, he felt a little ill — possibly for the first time 
in nearly a century. Alone, he hiked out of this deep dark 
canyon for more than twenty miles and asked a distant 
friend to take him to Boise. The next day he was dead. 

Just up Big Creek from his shack is the Soldier Bar 
landing field, a small narrow table nearly a thousand feet 
above the stream. Planes land here, and take off, too ; but 
most passengers, after looking down on this tiny white 
strip of land, prefer to continue southward. Southward is 
the barren rocky gorge of the Middle Fork, with a farm 
now and then hugging the river and looking no larger 
than a tennis court, with a winding pack trail, the only 
way out, following the stream. The Blackie Wallace, or 
Flying W, Ranch has a part of its history recorded in 
murders, the most picturesque of which concerns a gen- 
tleman who killed another man with a hay knife, and 
then saddled the assassination on the horns of a bull. 
Blackie Wallace is almost a legend himself, with one of 
the more spectacular of his eccentricities lying in the fact 
that his only son is named Bill Borah. Along this river 
are the Mormon Ranch, the Jones Ranch, the Ramey 
Place, and a few others, each so far from the end of a 
road, each so completely isolated in a canyon more than 
six thousand feet in depth, that persons flying far above 
and looking down are likely to be amazed to learn that 
women and children live there. Around them is the 

358 IDAHO 

largest solid expanse of blue peaks and nebulous moun- 
tainous distance in the United States. In any direction 
for a hundred miles, and in some directions for a much 
greater distance than that, there is only an ocean of thou- 
sands of zeniths, each high and imperturbable in a misty 
blue integrity of its own ; of thousands of lakes, each cool 
and fragrant and perfect; of tens of thousands of wild 
animals hiding below among the millions of trees. From 
peak to peak, from backbone to backbone, the landscape 
lifts and falls until it shimmers in mist and distance and 
withdraws to the far purple horizons that look like 
neither mountain nor cloud. In the far southeast are the 
Sawtooth spires ; in the far northwest is the tumbled blue 
cloudland of the Seven Devils. 

The plane will descend to some landing field upon this 
river, and at some dude ranch the expedition will be out- 
fitted and a pack string will take its way to the country of 
deer or elk, goat or sheep. No matter which direction is 
taken, there will be incalculable wonder north, east, south, 
and west. The path will skirt towering mountains upon 
which the evergreen timber will be so dense that it will 
look like solid growth ; past blue lakes so numerous that 
nobody has ever counted them ; through deep canyons and 
up high ridges from which the streams below will look 
like white strings of beads; across torrents coming in 
tumultuous foaming journeys down from the moraines; 
through autumn gardens aflame with leaf and with flow- 
ers smoking and fragrant under recent frosts ; and along 
rocky flanks where stone, spilled in millions of tons, defies 
everything but sheep and goat or the agile mule. 

Around campfires at night, if the guides have been 
well chosen, there will be many a tall tale. There may be a 
Dave Lewis story of a cougar, skulking, cowardly, and 
waiting for a deer, that was so frightened by the sudden 
screech of a horned owl that it slipped in flight and fell 
a thousand feet down a precipice to break its neck. There 
may be a story of how Dave grunted with scorn at the 
statement that he was a brave man because he climbed 


trees and shoved mountain lions off a limb to the fury of 
his dogs. It may be a Sam Cupp story of an old-timer who 
once homesteaded one of these precipitous slopes and fell 
off his ranch so many times that he gave up in disgust 
and returned to Alaska. Or it may be the story of a 
Missourian who boasted of his coon dog : 

"I remember it was along about 1855 and I set that 
dog on a coon track. Well, he tracked him for two or 
three miles through the woods until he came to a piece 
of ground that had just been plowed and he lost the scent 
because the coon went over that-there ground before the 
plowing. Well, the farmer raised a good crop that year. 
I waited and when he plowed the ground again, what do 
you think happened ? Why, he turned that coon track up 
and that old dog, he just picked up the scent and caught 
that coon in no time. And that was the biggest coon I 
ever saw. ..." 

Around campfires, too, there will be much that any 
man, once he has known it, will wish to return to, or 
that any man, never having known it before, will take 
to his heart. There will be the smell of pine and cedar 
boughs on a friendly fire, fragrance of bacon in a hot 
skillet, and of coffee steaming. There will be the smell of 
old cones and leaf depths, aspen hillsides, mahogany 
reaches, and landslides of stone. Persons who pack into 
this area know the smell of bear or rockchuck, of elk beds 
or beaver slides, goat and golden eagle. They know the 
feel of bridle rein and of gun and saddle horn, the sound 
of cascades, the flavor of mountain trout; the smell of 
wide clean landscapes, the smell of health. They sleep on 
the earth and breathe of it and walk on it all day, re- 
membering the hard pavements of city streets. They 
breathe the fragrance of blue sky, and of winds that 
travel down over evergreen valleys from the fields of snow. 

Persons who pack into this jungle of mountains and 
streams nearly always get their big game: a bighorn if 
they want one, a mountain goat — and a deer and an elk 
with no trouble at all. But the intangible possessions are 

360 IDAHO 

for many of greater importance than those. They learn 
that joy can be deep, a man's appetite ravenous; they 
discover how sweet a crust of bread can be at the end 
of a day's hard journey ; and they discover the depth of 
untroubled sleep. Instead of a ragged and anguished 
weariness of heart, they know the tiredness of muscles 
hungry for nourishment, the deliciousness of food flood- 
ing the mouth. With wolfish appetites, they search the 
camp for signs of food and wonder if there is food enough. 
Far from a beauty-rest mattress, they fall to earth on a 
blanket or on no blanket at all, and sink into dreamless 

And after the pack string returns to headquarters, 
with the mules staggering under their burden of wild 
flesh, the return by air is usually made under the clear 
candor of sunlight. The landing fields in the Area are 
short and a little hazardous, and cautious pilots demand 
an untroubled ceiling and far vision. The more adven- 
turous, of both pilot and hunter, prefer to return by 
moonlight ; because at nighttime this almost infinite wild- 
erness wears a different beauty. It is an especially dra- 
matic experience to climb out of the canyon of the Middle 
Fork after dark, with the plane going round and round 
its orbit and wheeling like a great bird from shadow to 
moonlight, with the plane climbing more than a mile 
before it can clear the lowest peaks and look out over the 
terrain homeward. The daylight journey is one of broad 
plateaus of distance ; the journey under the lazy melon of 
a moon is one of incalculable sorcery, with everything be- 
low softly and indescribably unreal. 

Canyons now are only deep dark valleys of shadow; 
mountainsides are pale golden fairylands; and peaks are 
obscurely solitary with the glory of night. Lakes flash 
like mirrors and fall backward into gloom, and rivers and 
creeks appear and vanish like highways of gleaming sil- 
ver. Forest lookouts are utterly lost in their high and 
remote desolation. A village or a mine, a ranch or a 
landing field, is only a momentary wonder upon the rolling 


carpet of distance. Westward the Seven Devils Peaks are 
less real than the sky above them; and in the southeast 
the bluish monuments of the Sawtooth Range look as if 
they reach halfway to the moon. And upon the ragged 
horizon clear around the compass, stars are tangled in tree 
tops, and clouds are banked like blue cotton upon the 




ALL WESTERN states have buried treasures, some 
beyond all question actual, some legendary, with the 
two often indistinguishable in folklore. A few of many 
have been chosen from Idaho for summary here. All of 
them have been searched for by many persons and for 
many years, and in all cases there is good reason to 
believe that they really exist, even though tradition may 
have exaggerated their sums. Obviously no attempt can 
be made to localize them, even if all the maps, both fabulous 
and real, were available : it is intended only to suggest by a 
few instances the nature of the treasure-hunting industry 
of the State ; for hundreds of persons have spent thousands 
of dollars and a good part of their lives in attempts to 
find buried loot. In some cases (not included here) the 
loot has been found. 

0# U S 191 (Tour 1). In former years the Jackson 
Hole area of Wyoming was a favorite hide-out for rascals 
of all breeds, and four of these men once engineered a 
robbery that netted them $150,000. When a posse pursued, 
two of the robbers were killed, a third was wounded, but 
the leader escaped with the plunder and fled to unfrequent- 
ed mountain trails. Near Rea upon Snake River in Fre- 
mont County the wounded man died and was buried, and 
the leader hid most of the loot near the grave. In Montana 

1 This essay is indebted chiefly to J. A. Harrington, who probably 
knows more than any other man about the hidden treasures of the 

366 IDAHO 

he was captured and wounded and thereupon gave direc- 
tions to the hidden money. The chief factors in this story 
for gold seekers are an old trail, a ford on the river, and 
a grave ; but the area is a large one and though many per- 
sons from time to time have searched here, none of the loot 
has been found. 

Such escapades as this one inspired a man living in 
Teton Basin in the days when horse-drawn coaches took 
visitors to and from Yellowstone Park. With a handker- 
chief over his face and a sawed-off shotgun in his grasp, 
he waylaid coaches again and again until he had con- 
siderable quantities of money and jewels. Some while 
later a part of the stolen jewelry was found in his home 
in the Basin, but he had buried the money and it has 
never been found. The circumstances are hardly definite 
enough to impel gold seekers to action, but the next case, 
much better known, is more promising. 

Off U S 91 (Tour 1 b). This pilfering occurred at 
what is known as Robbers Roost, three and a half miles 
north of McCammon. It was in 1865 that the southbound 
stage was halted and $100,000 was taken after four pas- 
sengers had been killed and the driver wounded. The rob- 
bers fled, but it has always been argued that the amount 
of gold was too heavy for quick flight by horse and that 
in consequence a large part of it must have been buried 
near the scene of the crime. One of the thieves, a man 
named Updyke, was tracked down by vigilantes the next 
year and hanged to a tree in Alturas County. The exact 
site of this robbery is definite. The question is whether 
the men buried a part of the loot or took all of it with 

A man (disguised here as Red) had respectable par- 
ents and an evil temper and joined the army only to 
desert and cast his misfortunes with a notorious band of 
outlaws. After two of them were killed. Red discovered 
that a reward was placed on the head of any member of 
the gang, and so cunningly shot his partner and started 
to flee. He had one pack horse loaded with gold, and the 


weary nag refused at the mouth of Camas Creek in Jef- 
ferson County to travel farther. Red shot the beast and 
with a small sum of gold went his way and eventually 
reached his childhood home, where necessity and not wish 
forced him into an honest life. Years later, when an 
Idahoan visited the town, Red told him he knew where a 
huge store of gold was hidden and offered to return to 
Idaho and find it; but at the last moment he weakened 
and refused to budge. He did, however, tell the story of 
his life and give directions to the cache; and died a few 
days later, appropriately penitent and destitute. This 
buried treasure is estimated at $150,000 ; and though the 
area of its concealment is known, there are no definite 
clues to the spot itself. 

Glowing tales of gold in Idaho in 1863 brought a 
tenderfoot out of Montana and led him to the lower can- 
yon north of Spencer, where he met a man who was 
freighting by pack horses into the mines. This freighter 
was in a hurry and in consequence engaged the young 
man to take the pack train to Virginia City in Montana. 
But the young man got lost and wandered for several 
days; and one morning, while hunting for his horses, 
he stumbled upon a rich ledge of gold and gathered 
samples and proceeded on his way. Upon reaching his 
destination, he displayed the ore, and great excitement 
prevailed among men who were not easily excited. The 
tenderfoot, however, was unable to retrace his journey 
to the ledge, and it doubtless awaits rediscovery. 

Near the present town of Camas in Jefferson County 
the old stage road crossed Camas Creek. Upon a time the 
stage, carrying a large amount of gold, was held up near 
the old Camas station, and the robbers turned south 
with their loot and buried it on the east side of the creek 
near a small lake. A little later they were surprised and 
a running fight ensued. Later, one of the scoundrels com- 
mitted a crime for which he was sentenced to a peniten- 
tiary in the East ; but before his death he drew a map for 
a fellow prisoner to show where the gold was hidden. 

368 IDAHO 

During the year of 1909 and for several years thereafter 
this man appeared with teams and scrapers and a crew 
and excavated here, declaring that he was building an 
irrigation canal. After he became discouraged a crystal- 
gazer came and stared into a glass ball and instructed the 
men as they drove their teams. After plowing up half 
the countryside here, the former jailbird gathered up 
his maps and vanished ; and the treasure remains. 

One day a stage carrying gold approached a rock 
(since known as Hold Up Rock) in Beaver Canyon a short 
distance above Spencer in Clark County. Four heads ap- 
peared, two on either side of the rock, and shots were ex- 
changed; but the robbers got possession of the gold and 
were almost at once hotly pursued. Two of them were 
wounded and captured and hanged to a tree. The other 
two hid the gold just east of the railroad Y in Beaver 
Canyon near the old town of Beaver, and fled. Captured 
later, they described where the loot was hidden, but the 
officers were unable to find it ; and while they were decid- 
ing to force the robbers to guide them, the vigilantes 
swung into action and hanged these two members of the 
notorious Plummer Gang to the beam of a log cabin. 

Off U S 30 (Tour 3 h). Six miles above Boise on the 
south side of the Boise River there was formerly a sec- 
tion covered with brush and willows that was a favorite 
early hide-out for plunderers. Near this spot the east- 
bound stage from Boise was once stopped by a lone rob- 
ber; and though he got possession of the strongbox 
containing $50,000 in gold, he was wounded by a pas- 
senger and only with difficulty dragged the box after him 
into the shrubbery as he fled. On the next day a posse 
from Boise found him dead in the willows not far from 
the scene of the robbery but they were not able to find the 
box. It has been supposed that the man buried the loot 
before he died. 

Near Oakley occurred a robbery that has since become 
well known. Upon the narrows at the head of Raft River 
another lone bandit robbed the stage and escaped, though 


an alarm was later sounded in Strevell and a posse started 
in pursuit. They tracked the robber to the City of Rocks, 
and he was there captured and sentenced to jail; and 
though officials of the insurance company which pro- 
tected this route often visited him in jail, he persistently 
refused to tell where he had hidden the gold. A cattle 
thief later occupied a cell with this robber, and after an 
inquisition by officials the latter confided in the former, 
declaring that upon his release he would return and re- 
cover the plunder. But the robber was stricken with con- 
sumption and died. Though he never divulged the spot, 
it has been assumed that the gold, estimated at $150,000, 
must have been hidden in the rocks of the city; and 
many persons have explored here and some still explore. 

Off State 27 (Tour U). Well known in and around 
Blackfoot was a freighter called Blackie who was a good 
judge of whiskey and Kked a stiff game of poker. His 
associates, wanting in foolhardiness themselves, per- 
suaded him to rob the stage on its way to Blackfoot from 
the Salmon River mines. After watching the loading of 
the gold, the confederates sent word to Blackie, and after 
fortifying himself with several drinks and taking with 
him a bottle from which to sip courage, he took up his 
vigil west of the town and waited. Unable after the rob- 
bery to make off with the heavy box, he buried it among 
the lavas near the road and returned to Blackfoot; and 
on the next day he and his more timid pals got as drunk 
as lords and rode out to get their loot. They were met 
by officers and a barrage of gunshot and fled into dark- 
ness ; and on the next day Blackie was found dying. He 
told as well as he could where the $40,000 in gold was 
hidden, but it still remains in the lava fields. 

In early days before machinery was brought into 
Custer and Lemhi Counties, the rich gold ore was freight- 
ed from the mines by pack train. Across the arid region 
between Blackfoot and Arco a freighter was proceeding 
with a six-horse load of rich ore when he decided to upset 
one of the wagons and hide the wealth for his own use in 

370 IDAHO 

a small cave near by. In Blackfoot he reported that his 
horses had run away and scattered the ore over the desert, 
but the owner of the outfit, after following the wagon 
tracks, became suspicious and had the driver arrested. 
He was acquitted. But he was also closely watched, and 
after several unsuccessful attempts to return unseen to 
his cache, he apparently gave it up and later died while 
working in the mines of northern Idaho. The ore which 
he hid is said to have been worth $2,000 a sack. 

In the late seventies gold bars were regularly shipped 
from the Custer Mine in Custer County. One of these 
shipments was stopped by a lone highwayman on Root 
Hog Divide a few miles east of the Big Butte stage sta- 
tion in Butte County. He was tracked northward up Little 
Lost River but was not overtaken, though later he was 
surprised in a gambling den in Salmon City. He admitted 
that he had five thousand dollars of the loot on his body 
and happily agreed to lead officers to the remainder, which 
he had buried in the lava beds near the spot where it was 
taken. Upon arriving at the scene, he cunningly maneu- 
vered until dark, pretending that he was seeking his land- 
marks; and then put spurs to his horse and rode out of 
sight and was never again seen here. Thirty years later 
a young man came from New Mexico with a map on which 
was marked a cave near the old stage road by the Root 
Hog Divide. The stranger declared that the map was 
made and given to him by the robber who was afraid to 
return; but the New Mexican went back home without 
the gold. 

Off State 28 (Tour 5 a). On the Birch Creek Water- 
shed of the low range west of the junction between State 
28 and State 29, in the extreme southwestern corner of 
Clark County, is a rich ledge of silver ore which assays 
from eight hundred to twelve hundred ounces per ton. In 
1888 William Tyler and Sam Goddard were on a bear 
hunt. When they came upon silver quartz here they for- 
got about bears and remembered the lost Texas Jack Mine 
which had been found in 1885. Texas Jack had died in 


Salmon City but he had drawn a map of his lost mine 
and was very explicit in his directions. The Richard 
Ranch was ten miles southeast, Rattlesnake Point was 
fourteen miles northeast, and a high peak east of Nicholia 
was twenty-five miles north. Among Texas Jack's effects 
after his death was ore that assayed one thousand ounces 
of silver to the ton. But Goddard and Tyler, also finding 
their samples rich, proceeded to harvest their crops and 
upon returning the following year discovered their mine 
to be as lost as Texas Jack's. 

In the summer of 1890 an elderly man applied at the 
Lidy Hot Springs for a job and devoted his spare time 
later to the rolling foothills north. After several months 
he announced that he was unable to find an old pine tree 
that used to be near the springs and asked old-timers if 
it had been cut down ; and said further that when he was 
a guard in a penitentiary he had been given by one of the 
prisoners a map which exposed the location of a buried 
fortune in gold. The map showed a dry gulch north of the 
springs, with a pine tree near ; but trees had been scarce 
and had all been felled, and the fifty thousand in gold 
buried at the foot of one of them may still be there. 

During the gold rush south of Gilmore in Lemhi 
County a small smelter was erected and a town estab- 
lished under the name of Hahn. While mining hme rock 
to be used in the smelter, one of the workmen uncovered 
several bars of gold and quickly re-covered them, intend- 
ing to return later undetected. But winter set in and deep 
snow covered the mountain; and in the next spring the 
smelter ceased operations and the workmen moved away. 
The man attempted to find his gold and failed and there- 
after searched for it annually. Its site is north of the 
spring on the old Davis ranch. 

Two highwaymen named Sy Skinner and Bob Zachery 
were hanged by vigilantes at Hell Gate in 1864. Among 
other robberies, they were charged with that of the stage 
west of Birch Creek in Lemhi County. Of the four rob- 
bers, two were slain at the scene, and their graves are 

372 IDAHO 

still to be seen near Horse Thief Trail, which goes north- 
ward into Montana. The other two, fancying they would 
draw a lighter sentence, told the vigilantes where they 
had hidden the gold, declaring that the spot was near the 
old pack trail skirting Spring Mountain on the gravel bar 
at the mouth of the longest dry gulch running eastward. 
The spot was marked by a circle of round water-sculp- 
tured boulders. But treasure seekers have found more 
than one gravel bar, each with its round boulders, and 
have spent a good part of their time sitting in doleful 
meditation, wondering v/hich is the right one. 

Off State 22 (Tours U and 1). On the northern edge 
of the Craters of the Moon and a half mile east of State 22, 
a large black volcanic rock stands some fifteen feet above 
the surrounding flow. Looked at from the right direction, 
the rock shows as the profile of an Indian chief adorned 
with headdress. In the late seventies the immigrant road 
known as Tim Goodale's Cutoff passed near this rock, and 
stolen gold was hidden in a cave of which the Indian head 
is the chief landmark. The directions given to officers by 
members of the gang follow: on the twenty-first day of 
June, mark the spot where the rising sun casts a shadow 
from the Indian head to a mound of lava westward. Using 
this line as a base, proceed directly from the head south- 
ward one half the distance between the first two spots and 
here a cave will be found which outlaws used as head- 
quarters and in which they hid their gold. Instructions so 
explicit ought to invite any gold seeker to be at Indian Head 
annually on the twenty-first of June. 

In Kelley Canyon just above Heise Hot Springs $50,- 
000 in gold dust is buried. It was on a cold evening in 
September that Jim Kelley was overtaken by a posse and 
hanged near the bank of the river for his indiscreet part 
in a robbery near Mud Lake the previous evening. The 
bandit who fled with the box got out of Idaho by way of 
Bear Lake and had a look at several Eastern States before 
returning. But upon his return he was unable to find the 
gold and, feeling illness, went to Spokane for attention. 


During the ensuing winter he realized that he was dying 
and thereupon gave to his landlady a map of the canyon 
with the loot indicated, and this excited woman thereafter 
annually pitched her tent in the gulch and gave her sum- 
mer to study of the map and vain attempts to find the 
wealth. As with so many others, it seems unreasonable 
to doubt that the buried gold is still there. 

Ojf U S 93 (Tour 5). During the placer days of the 
Boise Basin, there were two robbers who had preyed 
busily on miners and had resolved to get out of the 
country. They had reached a point on the road known 
as the Cottonwoods on Big Wood River in Lincoln County 
near the Shoshone Ice Caves when they were overtaken 
by a posse that shot their horses from under them. The 
robbers took to the lava fields. At some distance eastward 
they erected a barricade but were surrounded and shot, 
and it is supposed that their loot, estimated at $75,000, 
must have been buried not far from the spot where their 
horses fell. 

A prospector with the unfortunate name of Swim 
found gold quartz on the south side of Salmon River near 
Robinson Bar and the mouth of Yankee Fork where a 
storm had unearthed a huge tree. Beneath the roots was 
exposed a ledge of honeycombed quartz that assayed 
$18,000 to the ton ; and the claim was staked and recorded 
at Challis. Having no money to prosecute his claim, Swim 
allowed winter to overtake him, and by the time the deep 
snow had melted in the following spring his story had 
traveled far and he was followed by enough gold seekers 
to fill a town. When the party reached Stanley Basin in 
June, a parley was held, and Swim declared to the multi- 
tude that he preferred to go alone and stake some claims 
for his financial backers. There was vigorous protest. 
Swim thereupon said he would not proceed except alone, 
and the gold hunters yielded and he went down the 
Salmon River. When, after several days, he did not re- 
turn, the others followed him and discovered that his 
horse had entered the river but had not emerged, and 

374 IDAHO 

later its bones were found in a log jam. Swim's ledge of 
rich ore is still unclaimed. 

When placer mines were profitable in the area of Idaho 
City, robbers were almost as numerous as woodpeckers, 
and three of them raided the stage as it swung around a 
bend near the confluence of Grimes and Moore Creeks. 
They took $90,000 in gold dust and fled, but the messenger 
had left and doubled back by way of the next canyon east 
and surprised the rascals by shooting them off their 
horses. But they had hidden the strong box, and it re- 
mains hidden. 

Around Boise. In early winter another stage was 
speeding northward from Silver City when a lone high- 
wayman asked for the express box. The remainder of the 
story is less credible. It declares that as soon as the 
stage had vanished the robber brought forth his horse, 
attached a rope to the strongbox, and dragged it across 
the prairie after him as if he had roped a calf. Tiring of 
so heavy a cargo, he shot the lock off the box and dis- 
appeared with its contents into Kuna Cave. Meanwhile, 
a number of men had started chase and surprised him as 
he entered the cave and then established a vigil at its 
entrance ; but during the night he escaped. It is supposed 
that he buried most of the gold after taking it from the 

Dave Levy was a prosperous and secretive man who 
had a drinking place in Boise. One time when a new 
sidewalk was being laid around his dwelling, he as- 
tonished the workmen by asking them to raise a part of 
the walk and thereupon lifting out a pot of gold. From 
this and from the circumstance of his riding often 
in Rocky Canyon north of Boise came the legend that he 
had buried most of his wealth ; and when, following his 
murder in 1902, the administrator of his estate was un- 
able to find the money which Levy had been known to 
possess, it was suspected that most of it had been hidden 
in the canyon. Since then many persons have spent their 
Sundays exploring there, and even today a favorite pas- 


time with some is a day spent in Rocky Canyon searching 
for Levy's gold. 

Off U S 95 (Tour 7 b.) During the period of heavy 
production of gold from the mines in and near Florence, 
pack outfits carried the mineral to shipping points. Doc 
Noble was paid a dollar an ounce to guard and transport 
gold to Lewiston. When one of his trains was attacked 
and the beasts stampeded, a running fight ensued, the 
horses were frightened beyond control, the guards were 
momentarily overwhelmed, and the highwaymen got their 
hands on $75,000, which they hid in the rocks near the 
trail. The scene of this robbery was on the east side of 
the old pack trail along the Salmon River south of White 
Bird. After concealing the gold, the bandits headed for 
the rough Seven Devils area, but all of them were even- 
tually overtaken and slain before returning to find their 
cache. There can be little doubt that this fortune still 
remains among the rocks in the canyon. 

Among mines that have been most persistently hunted 
is the Lost Cleveland on the Middle Fork of Salmon River. 
A man named Cleveland followed a rich float up the moun- 
tainside a half century ago and uncovered a ledge of very 
rich ore. He gathered all that he could carry and sold it to 
the mint in San Francisco and then returned to his home 
in Missouri to reflect on his good fortune and to visit his 
relatives. The next year and thereafter he was unable to 
find his ledge of gold and he died while still searching and 
today his body lies near the Yellowjacket Mine in Lemhi 
County. The Lost Cleveland Mine has lured many pros- 
pectors into the wilderness of the Primitive Area but has 
never been found. 




MUCH OF Idaho for the sensitive person is lonely 
today with memory of the vigorous and turbulent 
life of towns and cities where there is now only desola- 
tion and a handful of ruins. Where once there were thou- 
sands of persons there may now be only a few shacks, 
or there may be nothing but a stone or a tree and the 
indefinable loneliness of something that is dead. For Idaho 
in one perspective is an area of ghost towns or of spots 
where not even the ghost remains. In mountain basin or 
on hillside or in valleys of sunlight and sage there were 
towns, more than half a century ago, that leapt into 
being in a night or a week and sometimes ran their des- 
tiny within a year. Nor in this State was their number 
few. There were dozens of them, and today they are 
housed in a dilapidated and aging handful of what they 
used to be, or their former existence is commemorated 
by a weedy cemetery and a ruined wall, or they are as 
dead and gone and as forgotten as the men and women 
who made them. Some of them, of course, took on a more 
extravagant importance and not only grew to considerable 
size but were the metropolises of large areas. Others, less 
spectacular, came into being so quickly and precariously 
that a wind could have blown them down ; and vanished 
almost v/ithout leaving a sign. 

There is what once was Springtown just west of the 
present Hansen Bridge. In the eighth decade of the last 
century it sprang into existence on the rim of the Snake 

380 IDAHO 

River Gorge. Today there are only the ruins of some 
mud huts in which Chinese miners are said to have lived 
while they feverishly panned gold. There was Bullion a 
few miles west of the present town of Hailey : it had two 
general stores, a post office, a hospital, many dwelling 
houses, and nobody knows how many saloons. Today 
nothing remains. Or Oro Grande, situated on the west 
side of Loon Creek, had as many as five stores and a 
saloon for every store. The gold here was exhausted in 
about a year, the gulch was abandoned and sold to the 
Chinese who trailed the more enterprising hordes and 
reworked what they left; and now the site of this town 
is indistinguishable from the country which surrounds 
it. Vienna at the base of the Sawtooth Range had almost 
a thousand persons in it and was the largest of the mining 
towns in this region. The last resident left it in 1892. 
One of its competitors. Sawtooth City, flourished for 
many years, but when, in 1897, the postmaster resigned 
there was an exodus, with only five persons remaining in 
possession of everything in sight. These weathered one 
more season and then left Sawtooth City to loneliness and 
the snow. Up north in the Panhandle, Eagle City was 
once the capital of the Coeur d'Alenes and so thriving and 
ambitious a place that extensive improvements were 
made, and town lots, inviting newcomers, lay almost the 
length of a mile. Today Eagle City is not even shown on 
a map. And there were Galena and Kingston, Florence 
and Gem — or Moose City which once had nine thousand 
persons. Today it can be reached only by horseback in 
a journey of three days over the Bitterroot Divide, and 
where once was a city of nine thousand, only one decaying 
log cabin stands now. 

But not all of these cities of a half century ago per- 
ished so completely as these. Many of them are still on 
the maps and have a handful of survivors living in mem- 
ory among the ruins. There is Leesburg a few miles west 
of Salmon City: first settled by immigrants from the 
Southern States and named for General Robert E. Lee, it 


was once a city of several thousands, had a main street 
a mile long, and even a Chinatown. Now, with twenty-five 
inhabitants, it is only a lapful of wretched shacks and 
haunted streets. Leesburg still appears on highway maps, 
but Nicholia, in the same area, has suffered greater indig- 
nities and has only a half-dozen buildings smelling of 
age and ruin, and a population of fewer than ten. More 
impressive in its history, if not in its present appearance, 
than either of these two is Mount Idaho, the first town 
built on the Camas Prairie. In 1876 it was not only the 
county seat of Idaho County; it enjoyed such prestige 
that the first Republican convention in Idaho Territory 
was held here, and the city dreamed obscurely of becom- 
ing the capital of an empire. In 1922 its post office was 
discontinued because no one among the few persons re- 
maining could be induced to apply for the job. Compara- 
ble in its former glory and in its present stubborn yield- 
ing to decay and silence is Pierce City, which blossomed 
out of a gold stampede as early as 1861. It was a county 
seat, too, and had a Chinese population of nearly a thou- 
sand and a joss house which rivaled the courthouse in 
splendor. The courthouse was sold some while ago for 
fifty dollars, to the astonishment of the residents of 
Pierce City, who could not understand how this once 
famous building could be worth fifty cents. This historic 
building, the first of its kind in Idaho, was turned by its 
purchaser into a private residence. 

All of these many ghost towns have had a colorful 
and dramatic past, and it is of interest to look more 
sharply into the history of a few of them. Silver City 
is today the most picturesque of the lot of them and the 
patriarch of the ghosts. Set high in the Owyhee Moun- 
tains of southwestern Idaho, its history began in 1863 
with the discovery of gold in Jordan Creek upon the head- 
waters of which it stands. A few miles down the creek 
from it was Ruby City, a town of eight hundred persons 
and the county seat of Owyhee County, and the two 
entered at once, in the way of frontier towns, into bitter 

382 IDAHO 

competition, and it was clear from the start that one of 
the two would destroy the other. Because of its proximity 
to spectacular mines and because of its geographical pro- 
tection from the high and violent winds, Silver City tri- 
umphed, drew Ruby City's population to its breast, and 
became the county seat. It so completely annihilated its 
rival that the exact spot of Ruby City is not today known, 
though it has in an unfenced cemetery on the northern 
side of Silver City its memorial and the sleeping place of 
many of its dead. 

The discovery of gold and silver in this area was more 
than ordinarily spectacular. Ore from the Poorman Mine 
assayed between four and five thousand dollars to the 
ton, and a mass of solid ruby-silver crystals weighing a 
quarter of a ton was discovered at a depth of a hundred 
feet. Some of these crystals won a gold medal at the Paris 
Exposition of 1866, and Silver City in no while at all be- 
came internationally famous. The city reached its peak 
a half century ago : it had a newspaper then ; a Catholic 
Church was dedicated to "Our Lady of Tears" ; a barber 
shop was advertising baths as a specialty ("Call and be 
convinced") with a photograph of an actual bathtub in 
the advertisement, and it had barrooms with impressive 
mirrors and polished interiors. Silver City needed only 
a fire engine to make it the undisputed rival of Boise. 
And because another of its competitors, the thriving town 
of Fairview on War Eagle Mountain, was without such 
a gadget, everything in it except its cemetery burned 
to the ground in 1875, and Silver City absorbed its 

And in other respects, too. Silver City became famous 
clear to the parlors of Boston. Almost in Silver City's 
dooryard two mining companies recruited thugs and en- 
gaged in desperate warfare; and it was in front of its 
chief hotel that one of the feudists was shot to death. 
The hotels themselves were more than usually interest- 
ing, even in a country where a hotel might be anything 
from the haymow of a livery stable to an enterprising den 


of harlots. The Idaho Hotel was the more magnificent of 
the two, but like the War Eagle, it was a crazy aggregate 
of buildings, varying in height from one to three stories, 
and put together, at least in the case of the second, around 
a small cabin that had been built by an early pioneer. The 
War Eagle, haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had 
died there, was deserted many years later, and in 1917 it 
gave up its precarious and despairing existence and col- 
lapsed. This city, similarly with so many others, boomed 
and receded like the tides; suffered periodic depressions 
or glories; and took its way steadily toward desertion 
and ghosts. But as late as 1898, long after its chief tri- 
umphs had expired, it had six general stores, two hard- 
ware stores, a tin shop, two meat markets, two hotels, 
four restaurants, a photographer's gallery, a brewery and 
a bottling plant, a jeweler, a newspaper, two lumberyards, 
a tailor shop and three barber shops, four lawyers, two 
doctors, and eight saloons. Since then many of its build- 
ings have been torn down, though it still has an Episcopal 
Church looking down from a rocky eminence, a Masonic 
Hall spanning Jordan Creek, a deserted county courthouse 
and several deserted saloons, and a hotel. It suffered its 
most crushing blow in 1935 when the county seat was 
moved to Murphy. Today it lives hopefully from year to 
year, scanning the horizon, meditating on its dead glories, 
and watching its buildings sag and fall. It would be im- 
possible to convince the fifty people now living where 
several thousands used to be that Silver City will not some- 
day make the grass grow in the streets of Boise. 

Dewey, only five miles away, was earlier called Boone- 
ville and came into splendor of its own only after a 
wealthy man took a fancy to it and tried to build it into 
a monument to himself. It was in 1896 that Colonel W. H. 
Dewey bought a mining property and with it the deserted 
town of Booneville. He spent lavishly and was not content 
until he had made Booneville one of the most attractive 
towns in the State and had renamed it after himself. His 
Dewey Hotel, with its cupola and double portico, was for 

384 IDAHO 

a considerable while the pride of Owyhee County; pic- 
tures of the hotel and of its caretaker's house appeared 
on postcards, cream pitchers, china cups, and souvenir 
spoons. This hotel was steam heated, electrically lighted, 
and given every advantage of sanitation that the Colonel 
had ever heard of. Whereupon, still ambitious and still 
endowed with funds, he built stores, a steam laundry, a 
barber shop, an elaborate house for his superintendent 
of mines, a water system with fire plugs that were de- 
clared to secure for the town an "almost perfect immuni- 
ty from fire," and a livery stable more impressively pros- 
perous than most hotels of the period. But for all the 
town's immunity, the Colonel's gaudy hotel burned to the 
ground, though the superintendent's house, with its 
elaborately carved gables and its porch railings, "white- 
crusted and as untouchable as a wedding-cake," stood for 
many years. When its steps rotted away and its railings 
sagged, an enterprising person in Silver City removed 
the bannister and stairway to a house there. And today, 
of all Colonel Dewey's costly memorials to himself, only 
a few deserted buildings remain and not a single per- 
manent resident. A few sheepherders get their mail here 
during the summer months. 

Dewey is five miles from Silver City, DeLamar is 
nine, and their history in some respects has been much 
alike. The latter was once called Wagontown because it 
was only a stopping place on a stage line ; but when Cap- 
tain DeLamar bought the Wilson Mine and adjacent 
claims in 1888, he built a hotel and even a schoolhouse 
and changed the name of the place to honor its benefac- 
tor. In 1891 he sold his interests to an English company, 
and there was an influx of Cornish miners, "a small, dark, 
energetic people, quick of speech and lively of wit" who 
"marked the little town with the peculiar pungency of 
saffron cakes, seedy bun and black tea." By 1898 there 
were a hundred and fifty pupils in the red brick school- 
house. There was a spicy and entertaining newspaper 
called the DeLamar Nugget. Today the town is deserted, 



though down the long winding main street many of the 
buildings still stand, smelling of emptiness and death. In 
the second-story parlor of the hotel, the piano strings have 
been taken by rust; and upon the window ledges of the 
assay office there are dusty bottles and the smell of acid. 
The footprints upon the streets now are those of the 
rabbit and the coyote. 

Such are three of the ghost towns in that picturesque 
and relatively unexplored region known as Owyhee Coun- 
ty. With an area greater than that of Connecticut and 
two Rhode Islands put together, it has a population of a 
few more than four thousand and no town in it appreciably 
larger than the ghost towns themselves. Not very dif- 
ferent from it is the Boise Basin, still another part of 
Idaho where many a thriving city is now almost less than 
a wraith of its former self. Pioneerville, New and Old 
Centerville, Placerville, and Idaho City are a few of these, 
with the last two pre-eminent over all others in the lusti- 
ness of their past and the landmarks of their present 
existence. More than any of the others, they were rich in 
murders and hangings, feuds and melodramatic deaths, 
cemeteries and saloons. 

Placerville is a miracle of persistence because it has 
survived not only desertion but also several destructive 
fires. As late as 1931 a great forest fire came in a deluge of 
smoke and flame across this part of the State, consumed 
Quartzburg and many mines close by, and fell in a roaring 
yellow flood to the edge of Placerville and almost made 
this town curl up like a sheet of paper on a hot lid. It 
burned the trees in the cemetery and poured huge burn- 
ing cinders upon the post office and hotel and made the 
whole place look as if it had been drawn half cooked out 
of a gigantic oven. But Placerville has always clung dog- 
gedly to its life. The town was built around a square 
which, strangely enough, was called the Plaza, and its 
chief saloon, the building of which still stands, went un- 
der the fragrant name of Magnolia. In front of it is 
the old well, still with rope and bucket, that was so im- 

386 IDAHO 

portant a part in tragedies of early days: it was here 
that a man, stopping his mule train while he drank from 
the well, was accosted by a villainous gambler who wished 
to amuse his friends who sat on the Magnolia's porch. He 
first threw a bucket of water into the wanderer's face; 
and then, while the astonished man was half choked and 
sputtering and reaching uncertainly for his gun, he shot 
him dead. The murderer was acquitted, of course, on 
self-defense, inasmuch as in those days it was less trouble 
to acquit a man than to cart him off many miles to a 

Not far from this town occurred a slaying that is 
today known as the murder of the fiddlers of Ophir Creek. 
These musicians, called fiddlers in those days, were on 
their way to Centerville when they were shot in their 
backs by nomadic thugs and robbed. The bodies were 
found at Ophir Creek with the fiddles at their sides and 
were buried, two by lodges and one by the county, in the 
Placerville cemetery. Their graves are now marked by 
four pine trees, with one in each corner of the lot. But 
these were dark and dangerous times. Gold dust was 
legal tender, and a glass of whiskey was worth a pinch of 
it, though a cat, in early days, was worth a whole jug. 
An epidemic of mice sent a thoughtful man on a journey, 
and when he returned he brought a whole wagonload of 
cats and sold them for ten dollars apiece. Before 1864 
mail was brought into the town by horseback at a price 
of fifty cents or a dollar for a newspaper or a letter, 
depending perhaps on the number of thugs patrolling the 
highway. In this year Placerville got a post oflJice, a 
school, and three stage lines. By 1870 the placers were 
exhausted and the boom was over. Today the Magnolia 
still fronts the Plaza, which rests in peace under its weeds 
and tin cans. 

But of all the ghost towns, perhaps Idaho City has 
had the most dramatic and interesting history. It has 
run through the cycles of triumph and defeat, with its 
population flowing in or out by thousands, with its destiny 


moving uncertainly from year to year. At the zenith of 
its power it is said to have been a city almost as large as 
Boise today. It was, beyond all dispute, the metropolis 
of a huge area and one of the centers of activity and 
growth of the entire Northwest. Now it has only two 
hundred persons; and if it still clings to the odds and 
ends of a former glory, it does so chiefly because it is the 
seat of Boise County and a spot of unusual interest less 
than an hour's drive from Boise itself. The turbulence of 
its former life, the violence of its ways, is to be inferred 
from the statement of old-timers that only twenty-eight 
of the two hundred persons buried in its cemetery in 
1863 died natural deaths. 

Its jail was the first in the large territory once called 
Idaho, and this jail, used until 1870, was the scene of 
some stirring episodes. It had two sturdy rows of cells 
and a doughty stockade that enclosed a whole acre of 
land, but long ago it fell under decay and erosion and dis- 
appeared. During its life, it and the cemetery were an 
inseparable picture, because not only were the rascals 
hanged within the stockade and buried there but the 
vigilantes commonly met in the graveyard to plot the 
death of scoundrels who still lived. There was Ferd Pat- 
terson, for instance : gambler, gunman, and murderer, he 
killed the captain of a boat in Portland, scalped his ex- 
mistress, and climaxed his playfulness by slaying the 
sheriff of Idaho City. Ferd was, records declare, a pulp 
villain of the first water: he affected high-heeled boots, 
plaid trousers reinforced with buckskin, a fancy silk vest 
spanned by a heavy gold chain of California nuggets, and 
a frock coat of beaver cloth trimmed with otter. But 
the sheriff whom he killed is described by an early his- 
torian as one of "nature's noblemen," and not fewer than 
a thousand men awaited Mr. Patterson's return with a 
deputy who sailed out to capture him. The mob was bent 
on lynching, but the deputy outwitted them and got his 
prisoner safely into the jail; whereupon the vigilantes 
met in the graveyard, went to Boise and got a cannon. 

388 IDAHO 

and resolved to attack. But the deputy, a man who ap- 
parently was remarkably nimble of wit, got a cannon 
also, cut portholes in the jail wall, manned his fortress 
with a bunch of desperadoes, and waited. And he won. 
It is not recorded that he almost died of chagrin when 
Patterson went to trial and was freed. 

This episode is typical and it is only one of many. 
After a shyster named St. Clair was hanged within the 
stockade, the rope was to be seen for many years in a 
lunchroom with this legend under it: This is the rope 
that hung St. Clair. The Chinese here, of whom there 
were several hundred, also helped to keep monotony out 
of this town. Their Fan-tan Hall was a noted gambling 
resort, and every evening at sunset a lantern was hung 
in front of its door and an attendant bellowed in Chinese 
that the game was open. After the placers were worked 
out, most of the Chinese left, but a few remained, living 
alone and dying off, one by one. 

And today Idaho City is as picturesque and interesting 
a spot as can be found in the State. Like Placerville it has 
suffered the outrage of many fires, and most of its his- 
toric buildings have, in consequence, been lost. It has 
been disfigured by dredging and decay, but its little white 
Catholic Church still stands on a hill, and its streets are 
still vivid with memory of a time when Idaho City was as 
melodramatic a spot as ever came out of frontier life. 

A considerable distance north of Idaho City and just 
west of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is the 
Thunder Mountain district, one of Idaho's most inacces- 
sible and remarkable areas. In early mining days this 
region had two unusual towns, Roosevelt and Thunder 
City, with a population together of nearly five thousand. 
Roosevelt itself had many substantial buildings, including 
a post office and laundry, and every saloon had a piano 
in spite of the circumstance that everything had to be 
freighted in on muleback. The boom in this region was 
as short-lived as it was sensational, though Roosevelt 
years later sprang again into dramatic rehef. At a time 


when a former governor of Kansas was fleeing from the 
wrath of his State, with William Allen White hot on his 
trail, he was caught and killed with a companion known as 
Hot-foot. Roosevelt, White declared, was "a log town 
with one street and no society," and soon thereafter it 
was not that much. A capricious mountain delivered upon 
it all in one blow a landslide and a flood and so completely 
buried the town that only two or three buildings re- 
mained visible. The residents escaped, but one enterpris- 
ing matron of a bawdy house lost her piano and profaned 
mightily at the men who, in full flight with their hair 
standing on end, refused to come to its rescue. Today the 
beaver have taken possession of Roosevelt (which is a 
small lake) and have built their home in the attic of a 
house that was not wholly buried. Thunder City, too, 
was distinguished at one time by severe winters, fabulous 
riches, and the number of its saloons. Escaping sudden 
burial, it has vanished piece by piece off the landscape; 
and today the Thunder Mountain area is very quiet. 

The Yankee Fork district in Custer County is almost 
as rich in ghost towns as it formerly was, and still may 
be, in minerals. There were Bay Horse and Clayton and 
Crystal, Custer and Bonanza, with the latter two prob- 
ably the most widely known. These are only a few miles 
apart, and the truth of one is the truth of the other, save 
that Custer never afforded the luxury of a cemetery. This 
fact assumed considerable importance a few years ago 
when a miner in Custer was blowTi up with dynamite and 
had to be carried through ten feet of snow to Bonanza for 
his burial. Gold in this area was discovered in 1870, the 
city of Bonanza was laid out in 1877, and two years later 
it had grown so impressively that it had five lawyers and 
nine saloons. It had a newspaper, too, the Yankee Fork 
Herald, and a laundry whose owner advertised in this 
fashion : 

Celestial laundry, Charlie Bumboo, Prop. 
Shirts nicely starched and beautifully polished. 

390 IDAHO 

One of the leading gambling houses, the Classy and Hogle, 
is said to have had as much as thirty thousand dollars on 
its tables at one time. 

But the only item of interest in Bonanza today is the 
cemetery. Of one grave, far removed from the others 
and fenced off within its own loneliness, the following 
story is told. A woman of infamous flavor was found shot 
to death in a dance hall, and the respectable folk of Bo- 
nanza did not want to bury her in their brand-new ceme- 
tery which they had proudly fenced ; nor did they fancy the 
custom of Silver City which interred beyond the fence 
the persons whom it scorned. Bonanzans compromised 
by burying her off in a corner of her own and erecting a 
high fence around her; and there she is today, asleep 
under the legend : 

Agnes Elizabeth King, a native of London, England 
Died July 26, 1880 

Bonanza and Custer have no more than fifty persons be- 
tween them now. Bay Horse is even less fortunate, but 
it got used to adversity many years ago when the Federal 
Government refused to allow it the privilege of the name 
it had chosen and rechristened it Aetna. 
And these are only a few of many. 




Tj^VERY Western State has its tall tales, a few of which 
■^ are indigenous but most of which belong to the folk- 
lore of the world and reappear with variations as some- 
thing new under an old name. Of the few given, it is not 
known how ancient their ancestry may be or in how many 
countries and times they have been born anew; but only 
such fables have been chosen as seem likely not to have 
been trademarked by too much use. The first was told 
by Fay Hubbard, one of the first sheepherders in the 

Fay Hubbard's Dog 

Soon after the Oregon Short Line Railway was laid, 
Hubbard went to Omaha with sheep, and after he had 
squandered all his money but five dollars he decided to 
buy a dog and ride the blinds back to his home. But the 
only thing he had ever ridden was a horse and he got 
by mistake on the observation platform, taking his hound 
with him, and was accosted by an angry conductor who 
told him he didn't mind a hobo but he hated a pooch. 
Hubbard said he would tie the dog behind and let him 
follow the train on a leash; and did so, and at the end 
of the first fifty miles the dog was hardly panting. 
Whereupon, more annoyed than ever, the conductor 
yelled for more steam, swearing that he would drag the 
beast to death; but at eighty miles an hour the dog 
trotted serenely, sometimes on three legs, sometimes on 

394 IDAHO 

two, and with a philosophic eye on his master. At Grand 
Island the conductor ordered more speed, and from there 
to North Platte the train did a hundred miles an hour 
and the dog never tightened the rope, though the tele- 
phone poles alongside looked like the teeth of a fine comb. 
Seeing with what nimble ease the hound followed, the 
conductor fell into a great fury and the train was 
whipped up to incredible speed ; and though the dog now 
had to use four legs, he did so with grace and without 
perturbation, with the rope sagging like a clothesline be- 
tween him and the train. At a hundred and eighty miles 
the conductor looked out and saw that the dog had 

"And where is your gad-dinged pooch now?" he asked. 

Hubbard said to look ahead, and as he did so the train 
came to a crashing stop with the boxcars telescoping one 
another like a bunch of egg crates hit with a pile driver. 
For the dog had broken the rope, had taken the red flag 
from the cowcatcher, and had run ahead to flag the en- 
gineer for a washout. And from here the dog rode to 
Idaho, and dogs have been free passengers on Union 
Pacific trains through the State ever since. 

Long Tom 

Thomas Wickersham was an old-timer who as a lad 
was so thin that for two years he traveled with a circus 
as a living skeleton. After he had taken so many reducing 
powders that he rattled when he walked, he invested his 
savings in oil and went out to see his property. But he 
was unable to find it and after many miles he climbed to 
the top of a derrick the better to see and became dizzy 
and fell off. He came down headfirst and went headfirst 
into an eight-inch gas pipe and was swiftly on his way 
underground when it occurred to him to press out with 
his knees and elbows to check his descent. Nevertheless, 
he traveled at lightning speed through the pipe and was 
shot like a cannonball into a vast underground cavern of 
gas where, with unusual presence of mind, he knew he 


would soon suffocate. He wiped his eyes until vision 
cleared and then perceived an opening that led to a still 
larger chamber; and he entered and followed this tunnel 
and it spread to incalculable dimensions, but after several 
miles he came to an underground river which proved to 
be of kerosene. This he swam down for a mile or more 
before he left it to sit on the bank and have a smoke; 
and the match he carelessly threw into the river. The 
whole enormous underground region awoke and burst into 
a sheet of flame, the heat of which was disconcerting; 
and Wickersham took to his heels down the bank. He 
ran for a long time, noticeably distressed by the river 
of fire at his back,, before he came to a tunnel which 
proved to be as round and smooth and almost as small as 
a gun barrel. This he entered upon hands and knees. Be- 
hind him there was a stupendous explosion which fired 
him out into a long parabola and set him down on the 
front porch of 218 San Francisco Street in Boise. There 
were only three Indians in Boise then and two coyotes and 
one of the Territory's absconding governors. 

To Tan a Hide 

His name was John Shipton but in the Hood River 
country he was known as Happy Jack. He came to Boise 
Basin during the gold rush, bringing with him his fiddle 
and its three strings upon which he could make better 
music than other fiddlers on a full set. One day he left 
his mountain retreat to hold the farmers' harvest. Most 
of the ranchers on Silver Creek were Missourians, and 
Happy Jack was an Arkansan with a quaint drawl, and 
both Jack and his native State were held under sarcastic 

"They tell me the women in Arkansas chaw terbacker 
and go barefoot and eat tree mice. Is that so. Jack?" 
"Hey, Jack, and does the men go barefoot, too?" 

"I guess so," said Jack. "And we made the shoes our- 
selves. Hey, I remember one time back in 1840 and pap, 
he sent me out huntin to git a hide for to make a pair 

396 IDAHO 

of shoes. He counted the bullets and measured out the 
powder and I had to fetch a hide for every bullet or I 
got a tannun. Well, I hunted all day and didn't see nothin 
to shoot at except a few squirrels. So long about sundown 
I reckoned I'd kill a squirrel but every time I'd go to 
shoot at them dad-burned things they'd hide behind a 
tree and I couldn't see nothin but the head and I didn't 
want to shoot the head for pap warned me to bring the 
brains of anything I killed to tan the hide with. Well, I 
finally got mad and shot one in the head and I just about 
blowed all the brains out. That made me feel pretty bad. 
Well, I was in for a wallopun when I happened to re- 
member there was a settlement of Missourians over the 
hill just about as far as I could see and twice as far as I 
could holler. Well, so I decided to go down there and 
shoot one them-there Missourians for some brains to tan 
that squirrel hide with." 

"Oh, the heck you did," said one of the men. 

"Yes, and I did," said Jack. "But that ain't the worst 
of it. Say, you know I had to kill nine of them-there 
Missourians to get enough brains to tan that hide?" 

The Death of Sam Rich 

Sam Rich was brought up in Cassia County. After 
he got his first spurs he was riding the lava beds in 
southern Idaho when he saw a bunch of painted savages 
following him. And they were beyond all question 
savage. They crowded close upon him and he raced 
pellmell for the roughest lava fields and the arrows fell 
around him like confetti on New Year's Eve and he was 
forced to leave his horse. He jumped into a narrow rift 
and fled down it, and behind him came thousands of In- 
dians whooping like mad and slicing the air with their 
tomahawks and biting their fingernails; and then sud- 
denly the crevice came to an end. There was a deep 
waterfall in front of him, a straight wall on either side 
of him, and so many Indians behind him that the earth 
was shaking with their enthusiasm. . . . When Sam Rich 


reached this point in his story he always paused and 
looked forlorn and abject and nodded his head with tri- 
umphant unreason. And when the silence was broken 
with an anguished whisper, "My God, Sam, what did you 
do then?" Sam looked around him with awful woe and 
dropped his voice to a pouting falsetto. "They killed me," 
he said. 

Idaho's Boom 

An insurance salesman, down at heel and scurvy of 
disposition, was sitting in unspeakable melancholy one 
morning, wondering how he could make a living now that 
no one in Boise ever died, when he had a thought. He 
leapt to his feet and kissed his wife, a circumstance suf- 
ficiently strange, inasmuch as no one in Boise had kissed 
his wife in months. He remembered that a wealthy man 
had come from the East to buy land, and with him he 
vanished into the lava domains, not stopping for blow- 
outs (of which there were none) and running over several 
pedestrians, all of them from California. "Now here," 
said the salesman, "is the chance of your life — of a dozen 
lives like yours, in fact. Are you from Boston ? Anyway, 
you're looking at the greatest unexploited stretch of land 
on earth — on any earth, and I don't care where your earth 
is. In fact, you're looking at ground that is practically 
worth its weight in gold — and it's heavy ground. Will you 
lift a hunk of it? Try that pile of basalt. Try that hill. 
Or don't you Easterners lift hills any more?" 

"But what," asked the wealthy Easterner, "would I 
do with this ground? What could a man grow on land 
like this?" And he fell to his knees and looked with 
singular earnestness into the lidless gaze of a horned 
toad. He rose and knocked a pile of basalt from his knee. 
"What?" he said. 

"Anything. Cocoanuts and bananas and avocados, 
grapes and oranges, melons and grapefruit and pecans. 
Or orchids. Or even wheat. The question is : what do you 
want to grow?" 

398 IDAHO 

"Well, now," said the Easterner cannily, "anything 
that will make money." 

"Very well. Up there is a reservoir to irrigate it. 
There is the sun. You need only sun and water to make 
anything grow. And it never freezes here." 

"Not here?" said the Easterner, politely amazed. "Not 
in this land," he said, looking around him, "which I should 
judge to be in Idaho?" 

"Never. It never freezes and it never thaws." 

"I don't understand," said the Easterner urbanely. 
And he sneezed. "Pardon me," he said. 

"It's a secret. You see all these piles of lava? Or 
what," asked the salesman, "are you looking at? Now 
this lava absorbs the heat from the sun in the daytime 
and holds it all night and when it's fifty below in Boston 
it's like the middle of June here." 

"I can't believe it," said the Easterner, and sneezed 

"Place your hand on that rock." And the Easterner 
did, and it curled up like a bacon rind on a hot stove. 

"It is rather warm," he said. But to make sure he 
sat on a stone and his flesh began to steam, and he added : 
"It is very comfortable here. How much do you want for 
this land?" 

"A thousand dollars an acre — and that includes fifty 
boulders to the rod. A hundred boulders to the rod will 
cost you more." 

The Easterner rose and looked around him happily 
for he had never seen such a bargain. He bought two 
hundred acres and set to work, and before he had plowed 
up the first acre of stone he uncovered $125,000 in gold 
that was buried here by Bitch Creek McDade and his gang 
after they had robbed the Arco stage. He averaged there- 
after a buried treasure to the acre and started drilling 
and in the second month sank a shaft right through the 
center of the Lost McElmore Mine.^ He turned up the 

1 See the essay on Buried Treasures. 


John R. Rudd mine next, a very rich vein that had van- 
ished in 1871 and had never again been heard of; and 
then took the Lost Bonanza, the Lost Gilpin McCreary, 
and both Lost Rivers in turn. A town, the Winnie Mae,^ 
sprang up overnight and within a year had a population 
of fifteen thousand. Lost mines were yanked to the sur- 
face all over this terrain, and buried treasures stood 
around as thick as bags of potatoes in a field in October. 
Winnie Mae is a ghost town now between Shoshone and 
Arco, but persons still go to the area and dig up minor 
treasures, though they usually do not average more than 
fifty thousand dollars to the pot. 

Why Idahoans Are Careful With Fire 

Sam Strickland was a member of a threshing crew 
when the men lit their fags and Sam gave his lecture. 
"Careless smoking," he said, "leads to a sad experience. 
I'll tell you. When I was a kid and didn't know any bet- 
ter, I was working in a Du Pont powder mill. I was mak- 
ing rifle powder and I had my pipe full of Durham but 
it wouldn't burn and I lit it a dozen times and it wouldn't 
burn and then I got me a hickory coal and laid on the pipe. 
That coal must have rolled off when I didn't know it 
because when I went to the grub house for dinner I saw 
a big smoke rolling up from the mill and I just about 
knew that mill was on fire. I finished my dinner as quick 
as I could and then the gang of us went over but we dallied 
along too much. I lost my job that time. For twelve 
tons of the best powder we had burnt up before we could 
put that fire out." 

A Crack Shot or Two 

Carl Buck of eastern Idaho was a crack rifleshot. He 
could trim the whiskers off a cat at a hundred yards or 
shoot between the legs of a hummingbird at fifty. One 

1 Named for Winnie Mae Spooner, the mistress of Deadshot 

400 IDAHO 

morning he saw a coyote out in a field and seized his gun 
and at just a little over half a mile blazed away. The 
coyote did not budge. It was strange, Carl reflected, that 
he had missed so easy a shot; and after approaching a 
hundred yards nearer he fired again. And still that coyote 
stood there beyond the sagebrush and looked at him. Carl 
examined his gun and approached another hundred yards 
and again fired — and again drew nearer and fired and 
drew nearer. When he was only fifty yards away, he sat 
and took a dead rest and delivered six shots — and still 
that beast stood without batting an eye and stared at him 
across the sagebrush. At this point Carl began to have a 
weird sense of unreality, and for perhaps an hour he 
wiped his brow and looked at the coyote and the coyote 
looked at him. He thereupon decided to approach with- 
out firing, and learned to his amazement that he had 
with his first shot struck the beast exactly in the center 
of the forehead and had put twenty-six more bullets 
through the same hole. The coyote's chin had caught in 
the fork of a sagebrush and there the villain had hung 
as dead as a doornail while its body from its neck clear 
to its tail was being shot completely away. 

The On and Off Country 

Much of the country in northern Idaho is so precipi- 
tous that old-time prospectors and trappers there always 
had to level the ground for a spot to rest their bed on. 
A few years ago three gentlemen from Minneapolis came 
out to invest in fruit lands, and were accompanied from 
area to area by two real-estate agents. They had not 
gone far when a great boulder fell at their feet, and while 
they were staring up at the mountains and the sky around 
them, a whole cargo of stones came down and spilled 
around them. Amazed and apprehensive, they proceeded ; 
and a little later a tree came down and crashed into 
splinters across their path, followed after a moment by 
a pig, seven chickens, and a team of mules. They waited 
in horror, wondering if the sky was coming after the 


mules, when a man came down with an awful bang and 
rose in fury to his feet and shook himself. "Confound 
this country!" he roared. "This is the third time today 
that I have fallen out of my fruit ranch !" 

Snake Medicine 

The cowpunchers of the Salmon River country grew 
tired of their sowbelly and doughgods and resolved on a 
change of fare. With spades they dug for earthworms 
and filled a tobacco can, and the next morning bright and 
early they saddled their nags and set out to fish the Mid- 
dle Fork of the Salmon. On arriving, they learned that 
they had forgotten their worms, and while looking around 
for bait one of them saw a bull snake that had partly 
swallowed a frog and was resting in his labors. The cow- 
puncher massaged the snake's throat and worked the 
frog upward and released it but the snake looked up at 
him so reproachfully that he said, "That's a devil of a way 
to treat a poor snake what has been out earnun his livun 
just like us." So he drew his flask of whiskey and opened 
the snake's mouth and gave the reptile about a half a 
finger. The snake stuck out its tongue and looked very 
benign in its eyes and then began to wiggle its tail and 
roll over as if exceedingly happy. The cowpunchers used 
the frog for bait; but after awhile one of them was 
attracted by something that tapped insistently on his 
boot. He looked down and there was that bull snake, 
gazing up at him hopefully and holding another frog in 
its mouth. 

Paul Bunyan Was Here Too 

And of course all old-timers in Idaho remember the 
night when Paul Bunyan drank nine kegs of rum in Idaho 
Falls and started for Seattle with his blue ox. It was a 
black wet night full of rain, and Paul wandered stupen- 
dously in a great drunken stupor, with his crooked trail 
behind him filling with water. The trail since that time 
has been known in all geographies as Snake River. 

402 IDAHO 

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction 

But legends in Idaho are in many instances no taller 
than the truth itself. Of authenticated but almost unbe- 
lievable stories of actual events, the following is typical 
of many. William Howell and Andrew Morrison were once 
accosted by Indians in early days, and when the red men 
learned that the two invaders were unarmed they let off 
a terrific whoop and two confederates came to the scene. 
Howell wanted to run but Morrison swore that he would 
never run from an Indian. They strove, in consequence, 
to make peace, but one of the Indians declared that a 
white man had killed an Indian on Battle Creek and they 
were on the warpath to avenge the murder. The white 
men offered their team but it was their scalps that the 
Indians wanted. They then persuaded the Indians to go 
to town with them and mounted their load and started, 
but the wagon got stuck in a crossing and while Howell 
and Morrison were laboring to get it out, they were at- 
tacked. Morrison was struck by an arrow. He shouted 
to Howell to flee and Howell did so, escaping the flying 
arrows. Morrison was struck twice, one arrow lodging 
below his collar bone and the other below his heart. The 
arrow below his collar bone he pulled out but the head 
of the other broke off. Howell, meanwhile, sounded an 
alarm and the Indians fled. A messenger went all the 
way to Salt Lake City with a team of mules and the front 
half of a wagon and returned with a doctor, but the doc- 
tor said the spike of the arrow was too near the man's 
heart. He said Morrison could live only a few days at 
most. But Morrison lived for twenty-seven years with 
the spike lodged near his heart and his spine. 






MOST of the names of places and things in Idaho have 
been derived from Indian v^^ords, from some geologic 
or topographical aspect, or from animals and persons. 
Those have been omitted in which the derivation is ob- 
vious ; all the goose and elk and sheep and bear and deer 
creeks, or such names of counties as Washington or Jef- 
ferson, or such names of towns as Fairfield and Cascade. 
The following list does not affect completeness : it includes 
the Rees investigations to which are here added about a 
hundred more. 

ADA: For Ada Riggs, the first white child born in Boise. 

ADDIE : For Addie Greenway, wife of an old-timer. 

AGENCY CREEK: For the Lemhi Indian Agency, established in 

ALBION: Named because an old-timer thought the word meant 
mountain lion. 

ALMO : Named because of the cottonwoods there. 

ALTURAS: A Spanish word meaning mountainous heights. Still 
the name of a lake, it was also once the name of a county. 

AMERICAN FALLS: These falls on Snake River were called 
American for a party of trappers of the American Fur Com- 
pany that ventured down in canoes and was unexpectedly pitched 
over the cascade. 

ARCO: Rees says this town was named after a city in Austria, 
but another authority declares it was named for a visiting Count 
Arco. Possibly neither was right. The original settlers called 
the town Junction, but the U. S. Post Office Department decided 
it had too many Junctions already. 

ARIMO: An Indian word (air'-i-mo) which means that the uncle 
bawls like a cow. 

406 IDAHO 

ASHTON : Named for one of its founders. 
ATHOL : For an Indian chieftain. 
ATLANTA: For a battle in the Civil War. 

BEAR LAKE: The river under this name was first called Miller, 
but the Indians called it Quee-yaw-pah, meaning the stream 
along which the tobacco root grew. The lake was given its 
present name by McKenzie in 1818. 
BENEWAH : Ben'-e-wah: for a chieftain of the Coeur d'Alenes. 
BISUKA: Bee-soo'-ka: Indian for not a large place. 
BITCH CREEK: An unhappy corruption of Biche Creek. The 

French word means doe. 
BITTERROOT: Named for the bitterroot, the State flower of 
Montana. The root of this plant, though edible and formerly 
used for food, is extremely bitter. 
BLACKFOOT: Uncertain. The Blackfeet Indians called them- 
selves Siksika because their feet are said to have been blackened 
by wading in ashes. 
BLISS: Named not because of the town's happiness but for one 

of its settlers. 
BOISE: Named by French Canadians who, after a long journey 
through semiarid regions, exclaimed Les Bois! upon seeing trees. 
In pronouncing this word, Boiseans today neither anglicize 
the word nor retain the French. Some call it Boy'-see and 
some, Boy'-zee. 
BONNERS FERRY: For E. L, Bonner, who built a ferry on the 

Kootenai River here in 1864. 
BONNEVILLE: For that indefatigable explorer, B. L. E. Bonne- 
BOVILL: For Hugh Bovill. 

BRUNEAU: The river, canyon, and town, all in Owyhee County, 
were named by French Canadians. The word means brown or 
gloomy water. 
BUFFALO HUMP: This name was given to the volcanic cone 

by Indians. Their word was see-nimp. 
BUHL: For Frank Buhl, an early empire builder. 
BURGDORF: For Fred Burgdorf, who discovered the springs. 
BURLEY: For an agent of the Union Pacific Railroad. 
CACHE : From the French cacher, meaning to hide. 
CALDWELL: For a Senator from Kansas. 
CAMAS: This is from the Chinook and means sweet. 
CANFIELD: For one of the few survivors of the Whitman 

CARMEN: For an early settler. 

CASSIA : Named for the cassia plant along the creek. 
CAT A: Cah'-tah: Indian for hard ashes or cinders. 


CAVENDISH : For the town in Vermont. 

CENTERVILLE: This ghost town was first called Hogum be- 
cause some of the settlers wished to declare their contempt for 
the greed of their neighbors. Outraged patriotism later threw 
Hogum away and called the place Centerville because it was 
midway between Placerville and Idaho City. 
CHALLIS: For A. P. Challis, who founded the town. 
CHILCO : Uncertain but probably of Indian origin. 
CHINOOK : An "aspirated, gutturalized, sputtered, and swallowed" 
jargon widely used by both whites and Indians in early days. 
It was a dialect of French, English, and Indian. 
CLARK FORK: Named, of course, for the explorer, this river has 

been called Bitterroot, Deer Lodge, Hell Gate, and Missoula. 
CLEARWATER: This river was called Kookooskia by Indians. 

The word means clear water. 
COCOLALLA: Indian for cold water. 

COEUR D'ALENE: The origin is still uncertain. The best au- 
thority seems to favor heart of an awl, a derisive term applied 
(in Indian language, of course) to greedy trappers from Can- 
ada, who thereupon applied the epithet to the Indians themselves. 
COLTKILLED CREEK: When oppressed by hunger, Captain 

Clark was always unfelicitous in his choices. 
CONANT: This creek and valley are called Coonard by those who 
live there. They were named for a man who came within an inch 
of losing his life in the stream. 
CONDA: A diminutive of Anaconda. 
COOLIN : For an early settler. 
CORBIN: For an early settler. 
COUNCIL: It was in or near the present town that Indians 

gathered for powwows. 
CRAIG : For William Craig, a comrade of Kit Carson. 
CULDESAC: Meaning literally in French the bottom of a bag, 

the word more loosely indicates a place with only one outlet, 
CUPRUM: From the Latin meaning copper. 
DEARY: Not intended as an endearment, this town took its name 

from an early settler. 
DECLO: Dek-lo: for two pioneer families, Dethles and Cloughly. 
DENT: For one of its founders. 
DOLBEER: For an early settler. 
DRIGGS: For an early Mormon. 
DUBOIS: For a former Senator, Fred Dubois. 
EDEN: A former Senator named this town (but not facetiously) 

from the Bible. 
EMIDA: After the surnames of the first three families to settle 
there : ^ast, Miller, and Dawson. E-mi'-da, 

408 IDAHO 

EMMETT: For Emmett Cahalan, the first white boy born there. 

FILER: For Walter G. Filer. j 

FIRTH: For one of its founders. 

FORT HALL: For Henry Hall. I 

FRANKLIN: Named for the leader of the Mormons who settled it. s 

GEM: This county was perhaps named gem because it has been i 

supposed that Idaho means gem of the mountains. | 

GENESEE: For the town in New York. \^ 

GILMER: For John T. Gilmer. > 

GOODING : For former Governor Frank Gooding. [ 

GRANITE: Named for the stone formerly quarried here. 

GUYER: These springs were named for Captain Henry Guyer. 

HADEN: Named for a man named Hayden. { 

HAILEY : For John Hailey. 

HAMER: For Thomas R. Hamer. ? 

HARPSTER : For an early settler. 

HAWLEY : For former Governor James H. Hawley. 

HEISE: For Richard Clamor Heise, an old-timer. 

HOPE: Like Bliss, this town was named for a man and not be- 
cause the settlers were depressed. 

HYNDMAN PEAK: This, the second highest peak in the State, 
was named for Major William Hyndman, a veteran of the Civil 

IDAHO: The name, pronounced I'-da-ho, is a contraction of Sho- 
shoni words "Ee-dah-how," which have been translated with utter 
disregard of accuracy as "gem of the mountains." The first In- 
dian syllable is intended, as nearly as we can tell, to convey the 
idea of coming down, and is the generic root in such Shoshoni 
words as raining and snowing. The second syllable is a root for 
either sun or mountain. The third is almost precisely the equiva- 
lent of the English exclamation mark. Bearing in mind, there- 
fore, the way language evolves and the manner in which words 
become either more or less pregnant with meaning, it seems 
reasonable to suppose that for the Indian mind, Ee-dah-how 
once declared that the sun was coming down the mountain, and 
that this recognition of morning was so pleasant to the Indian 
that he made it exclamatory. Later, however, in the way of 
language, the expression came to mean both more and less, to 
become emotionally nebulous in content on the one hand, and 
on the other to become more definite and exact in its actual 
symbolism. Thus Ee-dah-how seems quite certainly to have been 
an exclamatory greeting equivalent to It's sunrise! or It's 
morning! and to have indicated to the Indian mind the circum- 
stance of another day and the need to arise and go to work. 
But any expression of that kind, either in the Indian or in any 
other mind, is also, of course, invested emotionally beyond the 


reach of definition and precisely or even obscurely what the 
exclamation meant to the Indian beyond the fact of sunrise we 
do not and can hardly hope to know. 

Idahoans of the past, taking their lead from poetic fanciers 
who suggested the matter, have persisted in translating the 
term as gem of the mountains, indifferent to the enormous in- 
congruity of calling an empire resting upon a granite batholith 
two hundred thousand square miles in area a gem. There is, of 
course, more poetry in the simple cry, "It is morning!" with its 
investment of eternities and awakening and renewal than in all 
the gems in existence. One Idaho historian says that the In- 
dians "beheld a lustrous rim of light shining from the mountain 
top. This radiant mountain crown or diadem was likened to a 
gem glittering from a snowy peak." If the notion of a gem 
glittering from a snowy peak had been in the Indian's mind, it 
seems unreasonable to suppose that he would have characterized 
the vision in words which declare the sun is coming down the 

It is said that the name was first used in 1859 when Idaho 
Springs, the first permanent settlement in Colorado, was found- 
ed, and that the word was familiar to these settlers through 
their contact with the Comanche Indians whose dialect was much 
like that of the Shoshoni tribe. In the autumn of 1860 the 
name was given to a steamboat launched at Victoria by a man 
who had lived in Soda Springs. In 1862 the Washington legis- 
lature gave the name to a county which is now the largest in 
Idaho. When in 1863, the Idaho Territory was established. 
United States Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts thought 
Idaho the most appropriate of all the names suggested, possibly 
because a colleague from Oregon declared that the word meant 
gem of the mountains. It is thought that the spelling was 
changed to its present or to very similar form by Joaquin 

INKOM: Ink'-um: an Indian word meaning red hair. 

JEROME : Named for Jerome Hill. 

JOSEPH: For that brave warrior. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces. 

JULIAETTA: For Julia and Etta Snyder. 

KALISPEL: Indian meaning canoe or boat people. Kullyspell is 
a corruption. 

KAMIAH : Kam'-e-eye : from Kamiaken, a chieftain of the Yakima 

KANIKSU: Ka-nick'-su: an Indian name for a priest who was 
buried in what was once Kaniksu but is now Priest Lake. 

KELLOGG: The original name of the famous mining town was 
Milo but it was changed to honor Noah Kellogg, who discovered 
the Bunker Hill Mine. 

KENDRICK: First called Latah, the name was changed to honor 
an engineer. 

410 IDAHO 

KETCH UM : Once called Leadville, this town was changed to honor 

David Ketchum. 
KEUTERVILLE : For Joseph Keuter, a pioneer farmer, 
KIMAMA: Kee'-mah-mar : an Indian word meaning butterfly. 

KOOSKIA: A shortened form of Kookooskia (see Clearwater). 

KOOTENAI: A corruption of Kutenai, the Indian name for them- 
selves. The word means water people. 

KUNA : Indian meaning green leaf or good to smoke. 

LACLEDE: Apparently for an engineer of the Great Northern. 

LAPWAI : Nez Perce Indian word meaning place of the butterflies. 

LATAH : First syllables of two Nez Perce words : la-kah meaning 
pine tree and tah-ol meaning pestle. 

LEESBURG: Soldiers from the Civil War quarreled over the 
naming of this mining town and finally had both a Leesburg 
and a Grantsville, the latter of which was absorbed. 

LEMHI: A corruption of Limhi, a character in the Book of 

LOLO: Named by the Flathead Indians for a man named Law- 
rence. Loulou was as near as they could come to pronouncing 
his name. 

MALAD: Named by French Canadians because they became ill 

MALTA: For the island of Malta. 

MEN AN : An Indian word meaning going home. 

MIDAS: Named for Midas in the hope that the feverish touch 
of prospectors would turn the place into gold. It did not. 

MINIDOKA: A Shoshoni word meaning broad expanse. 

MONTOUR: Named by a woman who sought a word expressive 
of the beauty of the mountains. 

MONTPELIER: Named by Brigham Young after his birthplace 
in Vermont. 

MORA : Moo'-rah : Indian for mule. 

MOSCOW: Said to have been named by a Russian with the un- 
believable name of Hogg. 

MULLAN: For Captain John MuUan. 

NAMEKO: Nam'-e-ko: Indian meaning drive away. 

NAMPA: Two Shoshoni words namp and puh meaning bigfoot 
and referring to a chieftain who is said to have had a foot six 
inches wide and seventeen inches long. 

NAPATA: Nah-pah'-tah: Indian for by the hand. 

NAPIAS: A Shoshoni word meaning money. 

NEZ PERCE: Means pierced nose, of course, though inasmuch as 
these Indians never pierced their noses it is probable that nez 
presse (flattened nose) was intended. 

NOTUS: Indian for "it is all right." 


OAKLEY : Named for a stage superintendent. 

OMANI: Oh-mah'-nee : Indian meaning to walk or travel. 

OREANA: This word seems to mean an unbranded yearling. 

OROFINO: Spanish words oro and fino meaning pure gold. 

OWINZA : Oh-ween'-zah : Indian meaning to make a bed of or use 
for a bed. 

OWYHEE: A corruption of Hawaii. 

PAGARI: Pah'-gah-ree : Indian for lake or pond. 

PAHSIMEROI: From the Shoshoni words pah meaning water, 
sima meaning one, and roi meaning grove. This one grove of 
evergreens by a stream in the Pahsimeroi Valley was miles from 
any other trees. 

PALOUSE : A French word meaning grassy spot or place. 

PAYETTE : For Francis Payette, a Hudson's Bay trapper. 

PEND D'OREILLE: Whether the name was given to the Indians 
because of their earrings or because in shape the lake is said to 
resemble an ear is not known. The first seems more probable. 

PETTIT (Lake): For Tom Pettit. 

PICABO : This Indian word, commonly pronounced peek'-a-boo, 
means come in, and is correctly pronounced pee-kah'-bo. 

PINA : Pee'-nah : Indian for sugar. 

PINGREE : Named for its founder. 

POCATELLO: From the Shoshoni words po (road), ka (not), 
and tello (to follow). Though some residents of Pocatello 
strenuously object, it seems nevertheless that this Indian chief- 
tain was a shifty fellow who refused to follow the road. Or 
perhaps he lived his name down. 

PORTNEUF : Uncertain. Perhaps the ninth gate or the river of 
nine gates. 

POTLATCH: From Chinook, it means giving. The story is told 
of a Nez Perce Indian who ferried prospectors across the river 
on a cayuse. One time the pony stumbled and a huge Irishman 
was thrown into the stream, whereupon the Indian yelled, 
"Potlatch quarter! Then drown if you want to!" Most likely the 
Irishman swam out. 

PRICHARD: For one of the discoverers of gold in this area. 

RAFT RIVER: So named because early settlers had to cross its 
mouth on rafts inasmuch as beavers had filled the river with 
dams. Why the settlers did not cross on dams seems not to have 
been declared. 

RATHDRUM: Named after Rathdrum in Ireland. 

REXBURG: A corruption. Named for Thomas Ricks. 

RIDDLE: For an early family. "There were so many Riddles that 

it was riddle-riddle everywhere." 
RIGBY : For William Rigby, a Mormon. 

412 IDAHO 

RIGGINS: For R. L. Riggins, an old-timer. 

RIRIE: For a Mormon bishop. 

RUPERT: For a reclamation engineer. 

ST. ANTHONY: Named for St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota. 

ST. MARIES: Named by Father De Smet. 

SAMARIA: "Ever since the first ones settled here, and even to 
this day, those who come among us are always taken care of so 
well that we have always been called The Good Samaritans." 

SELWAY: A Nez Perce word meaning stream of easy canoeing. 

SHELLEY: Named for an old-timer. 

SINKER: A creek so named because settlers used gold nuggets 
for sinkers on their fishing lines. 

SKELETON BUTTE: The skeleton of Lew Landers was found 

SNAKE RIVER: The name Snake was loosely and incorrectly 
attached to Bannack, Paiute, and Shoshoni Indians. The origin 
of the name is disputed. One says the name means inland; a 
priest has declared the Indians were so named because, like 
reptiles, they dug food from the earth; and a third says these 
Indians ate serpents. A fourth declares that when an Indian 
was asked the name of his tribe he made a serpentine move- 
ment, intended to suggest not snakes but basket weaving. The 
last seems the most probable. The Shoshonis themselves called 
the river Yam-pa-pah, the stream where the yampa grows; 
though later after the Oregon Trail followed it they called it 
Po-og-way, meaning river road. 

STITES: For one of the founders. 

SWEET: Not intended as raillery, the town was named for an 
early settler. 

TAKAB: Tah-kawb: Indian for snow. 

TARGHEE: From a Bannack chieftain. Correctly spelled Tygee. 

TENDOY: For a chieftain of the Lemhis. Unten-doip: he likes 
broth. Tendoy was very fond of coagulated blood in boiled meat. 

THUNDER MOUNTAIN: Indians called it yag'-gi, meaning 
clouds crying. 

TICEKSA : Tee-chay'-shak : Indian for top of a tent or house. 

TIKURA: Teekoo'-rah: Indian for skeleton of a tent. 

TOPONIS: To'-po-nis: Indian for black cherries. 

TUNUPA: Too'-nah-pah : Indian for boy. 

TYHEE: From Indian tee-hee, meaning like a deer, 

USTICK: Named for a doctor. 

VICTOR: Named for an old-timer. 

WAHA: An Indian word meaning beautiful. 

WALLACE: For Colonel W. R. Wallace who established the 


WAPELLO: For a town in Iowa. 
WARDNER: For James Wardner. 

WEISER: Wee'-zer: named for a Hudson's Bay trapper. 
WILDER: For an author of that name who once tried to write 

WINSPER: For an old-timer. 



Bailey, Robert G., The River of No Return, Lewiston, Idaho, 1935. 
A history and travelogue containing interesting facts and 

Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of the Pacific States of North 
Ajyierica, San Francisco, 1890. A summary of Idaho from 1862 
to 1889, with general accounts of Indians, topography, re- 
sources, and development. 

Bird, Annie Laurie, Boise, the Peace Valley, Caldwell, Idaho, 1934. 
A history of the early days and later progress of the Boise 

Brosnan, C. J., History of the State of Idaho, New York, 1935. 
An elementary textbook. 

Brown, Jennie Broughton, Fort Hall on the Oregon Trail, Cald- 
well, Idaho, 1932. A trustworthy source of infoi'mation based 
largely on letters, narratives, and diaries. 

Defenbach, Byron, The State We Live In, Caldwell, Idaho, 1933. 
A history of Idaho. 

Driggs, B. W., History of the Teton Valley, Caldwell, Idaho, 1926. 
A history of Pierre's Hole drawn largely from recollections of 
early settlers. 

Elliott, Wallace W., and Company, Editors, History of the Idaho 
Territory, San Francisco, 1884. Interesting only as a historical 

Erwin, Richard P., Indian Rock Writing in Idaho, Twelfth Bien- 
nial Report of the State Historical Society, Boise, 1929-30. 

French, Hiram T., History of Idaho, Chicago, 1914. 3 volumes. 
The first is history, the other two are biographies. 

Gregg, Herbert C, Idaho, Gem of the Mountains, St. Paul, 1893. 
The official souvenir book of Idaho's exhibit at the World's 
Columbian Exposition. 

Hailey, John, The History of Idaho, Boise, 1910. A history of 
Idaho Territorial days based largely on personal experiences of 
the author. 

416 IDAHO 

Hebard, Grace R., Sacajawea, Glendale, California, 1933. A schol- 
arly treatment of the printed and unprinted material relating to 

HoSMER, James K., Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 
Chicago, 1904. 2 volumes. 

Irving, Washington, The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, New 
York, 1868. A romantic account of the explorer. 

JUDSON, Katharine B., Myths and Legends of the Pacific North- 
west, Chicago, 1910. An interesting source book. 

McConnell, Wm. J., Early History of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho, 1913. 
The author's reminiscences. 

Meeker, Ezra, Ox Team: or the Old Oregon Trail, 1908. An ac- 
count of Meeker's journey over the Trail to mark historic sites. 

Parkman, Francis, The Oregon Trail, New York, 1931. Treats 
chiefly of Indian life and character. 

Rees, John E., The History of Lemhi County. An unpublished 
manuscript in the State Historical Society. 

, Idaho Chronology, Nomenclature, Bibliog- 
raphy, Chicago, 1918. A valuable but very incomplete source. 

SCHULTZ, James W., Bird Woman, New York, 1918. Sacajawea's 
story is she is supposed to have told it to others. 

Smythe, Wm. E., Conquest of Arid America, New York, 1905. 

Walgamott, Charles S., Reminiscences of Early Days, Caldwell, 
Idaho, 1935. 


Arnold, R. R., Indian Wars of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho, 1932. 

Hebard, Grace R., Washakie, Cleveland. An account of Indian re- 
sistance of invasion of their territory. 

McBeth, Kate C, The Nez Perces Since Lewis and Clark, New 
York, 1908. 

Howard, 0. O., Nez Perce Joseph, Boston, 1881. 

See also under Chapter I; and various reports and publications of 
the Bureau of American Ethnology (notably the 45th) of the 
Smithsonian Institution (notably Bulletin 30). 


Eldridge, George H., A Geological Reconnaissance Across Idaho, 

Washington, D. C, 1895. Pp. 217-282. 
Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology, Pamphlets 10, 12, 27, 40; 

and Bulletin 3. U. S. G. S. Bulletins 430, 620, 713, 62, 199, 530, 

580, 528, 732, 774. 
Stearns, Harold T., Guide to the Craters of the Moon, Caldwell, 

Idaho, 1930. 



Frye, T. C, Fenis of the Northivest, Portland, Oregon, 1934. In- 
formation both scientific and popular. 

Haskin, L. L., Wild Flowers of the Pacific Coast, Portland, Oregon, 

HoTTES, A. C, The Book of Trees, New York, 1932. Trees from the 
point of view of the horticulturalist. 

Keeler, Harriet L., Our Native Trees, New York, 1900. Trust- 
worthy and fairly complete. 

LONGYEAR, Burton O., Trees and Shrubs of the Rocky Mountain 
Region, New York, 1927. A scientific study of Rocky Mountain 

Parsons, Frances T., How to Kno^v Wild Flowers, New York, 

1900. A guide to names, haunts, and habits. 
Piper, C. V., and Beattie, R. K., Flora of the Northivest Coast, 

Pullman, Washington, 1915. 

Rogers, Julia E., The Tree Book, New York, 1905. A popular 

Rydberg, P. A., Flora of the Rocky Mountains, New York, 1917. 
The standard source. 

Saunders, C. F., Western Wild Flowers, New York, 1933. A popu- 
lar discussion, limited largely to California. 

St. John, Harold, Flora of Idaho. An unpublished manuscript in 
the possession of The Caxton Printers, Ltd. The only exhaustive 
treatment of Idaho flora. 


Bailey, Florence M., Handbook of Birds of the Western United 

States, Boston, 1921. A standard source. 
Blanchan, Neltje, Birds that Hunt and Are Hunted, New York, 

1905. A popular treatment. 
Daglish, Eric F., The Life Story of Beasts, New York, 1931. The 

habits and peculiarities of the better-known mammals. 
Ditmars, Raymond L., The Reptile Book, New York, 1907. A 

scientist's popular presentation. 
Eliot, Willard A., Birds of the Pacific Coast, New York, 1923. 

An account of distribution and habits of 118 species. 
Mathews, F. S., Field Book of Wild Birds and Their Music, New 

York, 1921. Literal transcription of bird song. 
Mills, E. A., In Beaver World, Boston, 1913. Besides a study of 

the beaver, it contains some data on the trapping era in the 


Seton, Ernest T., Lives of Game Animals, New York, 1929. 4 
volumes. A popular account. 

418 IDAHO 

U, S. Bureau of Ornithology and Mammalogy, Bulletin 5. A 
Biological Reconnaissance of South Central Idaho. Washing- 
ton, D. C, 1891. 


GiDLEY, J. W., Hunting Fossils on the Old Oregon Trail, Smithsonian 
Institution, pp. 31-6. 

, Continuation of the Fossil Horse Round-up, 

ibid, 33-44. 

Idaho Digest and Blue Book, Caldwell, Idaho, 1935. 

LUKENS, Fred E., Idaho Citizen, Caldwell, Idaho, 1925. 

Miller, H. H., Democracy in Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho, 1935. 

Rose, C. E., Civil Government of Idaho, New York, 1919. 

U. S. G. S., Professional Paper No. HO, "Flora of the Latah Forma- 
tion," Washington, D. C, 1926. 


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for 
materials used in this book : 

K. D. Swan, United States Forest Service, Missoula, Montana, for 
pictures titled: Timber; Power Plant at Moyie Falls; Rapid River 
Falls; The Lochsa River; Pierce City; the St. Joe River; Coeur 
d'Alene National Forest; The Mullan Tree; Priest River Coun- 
try; Priest Lake; Grave of an Old-timer; the Old Hotel at Flor- 
ence; Typical National Forest Lookout. 

BiSBEE Studio, Twin Falls, Idaho, for pictures titled: Snake River 
Gorge: the Footprints of Time; Idaho's Big Potatoes; Sego 
Lily: Utah State Flower; A Row of Onions; Twin Falls; Icicle 
Cove; Snowbank Falls at Blue Lakes; Perrine Coulee; Balanced 
Rock; Phantom Walls; Malad Gorge; Salmon Dam. 

Johnson and Son, Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled: White Bark 
Pine: Two Grotesques; Hunting is Good in Idaho; The Limit: 
Cutthroat and Rainbow; Snake River Sturgeon; Wild Geese 
and Ducks; A Boise Sky; A View in Boise; A Profile in Sucker 
Creek; Alice Lake; Imogene Lake; Payette Lake; The Salmon 
River from the North-and-South Highway; Journey's End; A 
Monument on Monumental Creek; Frontispiece: Idaho State 
Flag ; Pettit Lake ; Government Pack String on the Selway River. 

M. S. Benedict, Forest Supervisor, Caribou National Forest, Mont- 
pelier, Idaho, for pictures titled: Roaring Lake; Panning for 
Gold; Twin Falls-Jerome Bridge; Mount Borah; Crystal Falls 
Cave: Crystal Falls; Crystal Falls Cave: a backdrop; Crystal 
Falls Cave: a corridor; Crystal Falls Cave: a ceiling; Corridor 
of the Kings; Cavern of the Idols; The Bride; Shoshone Falls; 
Galena Summit; Dog Team on Wood River. 

Robert Jewell, Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled : Junction of Middle 
Fork and Main Salmon; Submerged Town of Roosevelt. 

Lewis Longteig, Boise, Idaho, for picture titled: White Pine and 

420 IDAHO 

E. L. Fuller, Boise, Idaho, for picture titled: Deer on Moore Creek. 
Noel Studio, Lewiston, Idaho, for picture titled: Elk in Winter. 
Charles J. Belden, Pitchfork, Wyoming, for picture titled: Ante- 
lope in Flight. 
Idaho State Chamber of Commerce for picture titled: Mountain 

Shipler, Boise, Idaho, for picture titled: Thousand Springs. 
United States Forest Service, for pictures titled : Matured Yellow 

Pine; Sheep. 
Standar's Studio, Idaho Falls, Idaho, for pictures titled: Jim 

Marshall; three studies of Fort Hall Indians; Balsam and 

Lupine; Along the Salmon River. 
D. F. Davis, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Salt Lake City, 

Utah, for picture titled : Upper Mesa Falls. 
U. S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, for 

picture titled: A Lava Field Near the Craters of the Moon. 
Intermountain Aerial Surveys, Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled: 

Looking Northeast Tov^'ard Atlanta from Arrowrock Dam; An 

Aerial View of Boise. 
John W. Graham, Spokane, Washington, for pictures titled : Win- 
chester Hill ; Surf-riding on Lake Coeur d' Alene ; Hayden Lake ; 

Spirit Lake; Beauty Bay, Lake Coeur d'Alene; Sunset on Lake 

Coeur d'Alene; Lake Pend d'Oreille. 
The 15th Photo Section, Air Corps, U. S. Army, for picture titled: 

Teton Peaks. 
Grove Studio, Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled: Arrowrock Dam; 

South Fork of Payette River. 
H. C. Shellw^orth, Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association, 

Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled: Cougar Dave and His Dogs; 

Mountain Goat Country. 
Harold T. Stearns, U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D. C, for 

pictures titled : Indian Tunnel : Entrance — Craters of the Moon ; 

Lava Flow — Craters of the Moon ; Impression of Charred Log in 

Lava — Craters of the Moon. 
Rinker's Studio, Kellogg, Idaho, for picture titled: The Sunshine 

W. M. Irvine, Seattle, Washington, for picture titled: Syringa: 

Idaho State Flower. 
Ted Cramer, Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled: The Outlet of Red- 
fish Lake ; Stanley Lake ; Trail Creek near Ketchum. 
Hill Studio, Gooding, Idaho, for picture titled: Gooding City of 

Hodgins, Moscow, Idaho, for pictures titled: A Campus View; The 

Lewiston Hill. 
Frank Palmer, Spokane, Washington, for picture titled: Forest 

Trail from Hayden Lake to North Fork. 


Dr. a. E. Weaver, Boise, Idaho, for pictures titled: Map of the 
United States; Historic Table Rock, Bruneau Canyon; Middle 
Fork of Salmon River; Packing In. 

Lyman Marden, U. S. Department of the Interior, for picture 
titled: Natural Bridge Near Arco. 

National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, for 
pictures titled: Aspen; Tag Alder; Mountain Ash; Elderberry; 

Wildlife Division, National Park Service, San Francisco, Cali- 
fornia, for pictures titled : Indian Paintbrush ; Marsh Marigold ; 
Colorado Blue Columbine. 

Burns Studio, Lewiston, Idaho, for picture titled: A Lettuce 

Burns, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, for pictures titled: Trainload of Logs; 
Sluicing Logs; U S 95 Through the Pines of Northern Idaho; 
Fernan Lake and Beyond. 

The 116th Photo Section, 41st Division Aviation, Washington 
National Guard, for pictures titled : Saw^tooth Mountains West 
of Stanley; Bayview on Lake Pend d'Oreille; Lew^iston; The 
Seven Devils; The Sawtooth Mountains East of Stanley; Coeur 
d'Alene; Chimney Rock near Priest Lake. 

Wesley Andrev^^s, Portland, Oregon, for pictures titled: Rocky 
Mountain Sheep: Beginning of a Battle; Elk: Finish of a 
Fight; Monoliths at Sunset and Volcanic Crater — Craters of the 
Moon; Cave Mouth and Formation of Cave Interior — Craters of 
the Moon; Indian Tunnel Corridor — Craters of the Moon. 

Rainier National Park Company, Tacoma, Washington, for pic- 
tures titled : Bear up a Tree ; Come on Down ! 

J. F. Anderson, Lewiston, Idaho, for pictures titled: White Pine 
Lumber; through the Clearwater National Forest; Marble 



Academy of the Immaculate 

Heart 188 

Agate 175 

Agriculture 165, 177 

Ahsahka 319 

Albion 236 

Alder, white (tag) 99 

Alice Lake (see Lakes) 

Alpine beauty 109 

Alturas Lake (see Lakes) 

American Falls 232 

American Falls Dam (see 

American Falls Reservoir 

(see Reservoirs) 
American Fur Company ....20, 24 

Amethyst 176 

Amsterdam 290 

Anderson Mountain Look- 
out (see Lookouts) 

Antelope, description 123 

number 123 

range 155 

Arco 266 

Arrowhead 112 

Arrowrock Dam (see Dams) 
Arrowrock Reservoir (see 

Ash, Rocky Mountain 98 

Ashley, General William .... 21 

Ashton 201 

Ashton dog derby 201 

Aspen, quaking 98 

Astor, John Jacob 20 

Athol 303 

Atlanta 257 

Auger Falls (see Falls) 


Badger 126 

Balanced Rock 244 

Bald Mountain Resort 285 

Ballard, David W 35 

Balsamroot 116 

Baneberry 101 

Basque, colony 187 

Batholith, Idaho 76 

Bay Horse 389 

Bavs, Beauty 325 

Blue Creek 335 

Carlin 325 

Indian 341 

Kalispell 342 

Luby 342 

Reeder 342 

Squaw 325 

Turner 325 

Wolf Lodge 335 

Bear, black, description 120 

grizzly, description 119 

range 155 

Bearberry 101 

Bear Grass 115 

Bear Lake (see Lakes) 
Bear Lake Hot Springs (see 

Hot Springs) 
Bear Lake Valley (see 

Beartrap Lookout (see 

Bear River (see Rivers) 
Beauty Bay (see Bays) 

Beaver 124 

Beavertail Point 225 

Bechler River (see Rivers) 
Bellevue 285 


I D A H 

Benewah Lake (see Lakes) 
Big Butte (see Buttes) 
Big Cinder Butte (see 

Big Creek Hot Springs (see 

Hot Springs) 
Big Lost River (see Rivers) 
Big Redfish Lake (see Lakes) 
Big Springs Lookout (see 


Big Springs 199 

Inn 199 

Lookout 199 

Bilberry, dwarf 100 

Birch, red 99 

Bittern 139 

Blackbird 143 

Black Canyon Dam (see 

Blackfoot 211 

Blackfoot Reservoir (see 


Black Bear Inn 314 

Black Lake (see Lakes) 
Black Top Butte (see Buttes) 

Bliss 247 

Bloodstone 175 

Bloomington Lake (see 


Blow Hole 244 

Bluebird 146, 147 

Blue Creek Bay (see Bays) 
Blue Lakes (see Lakes) 
Bluenose Lookout (see 


Boa, rubber 129 

Bobcat 121 

Bobolink 149 

Boise 253 

Boise Basin 32, 34, 385 

Boise Junior College (see 

Boise River (see Rivers) 
Boise Valley (see Valleys) 

Bonanza 281, 389 

Bonners Ferry 301 

Bonneville, Captain B. L. E. 23 

Borah, W. E 37,254 

Bostetter Campground (see 

Boulder Peak (see Peaks) 
Box Canyon (see Canyons) 

Boyles Ranch 282 

Bozanta Tavern 304 

Bracken 105 

Brayman, Governor 34 

Bridger, Jim 23 

Bridges, Hansen 239 

Manning 313 

Natural (Arco) 270 

Natural (Jarbridge) 250 

Sandpoint 302 

Taylor Toll 209 

Twin Falls-Jerome 289 

Brundage Lookout (see 

Bruneau 249 

Bruneau Canyon (see Can- 
Bruneau River (see Rivers) 
Brutality, white instance .... 24 

Buckbean 112 

Buckbrush 114 

Buffalo Campgrounds (see 

Buffalo Horn 48 

Buhl 244 

Bungalow 320 

Bunker Hill and Sullivan 
Mine (see Mines) 

Burgdorf 294 

Burgdorf Hot Springs (see 
Hot Springs) 

Buried treasures 365-375 

Burke 332 

Burley 236 

Burley Wind Cave (see 

Burning bush 103 

Buttercup, western 107 

Buttes, Big 265 

Big Cinder 269 

Black Top 269 

Lizard 261 

Menan 206 

Middle 265 

Twin 265 

Buzzard (see vulture) 

Cabinet Gorge (see Gorges) 

Cache National Forest 218 

Caldwell 262 

Camas, blue 107 

Camas Prairie 48, 49 

Cambridge 317 

Campgrounds, Bostetter 238 

Buffalo 200 

Cold Springs 312 

Cougar Point 279 

Evergreen 315 

Golden Gate 295 



Meadow Creek 323 

Pentstemon 292 

Pettit 292 

Sheep Springs 312 

Smoky 314 

Spring Creek 318 

Torrev's 281 

Twin Creek 274 

Canyons, Box 316 

Bruneau 249 

Cronks 280 

Emigration 214 

Fourth of July 334 

Grand (Seven Devils). .89, 316 

Grand View 272 

Jump Creek 261 

St. Charles 219 

Spar 272 

Sucker Creek 262 

White Bird 29 

Cape Horn 81 

Cape Horn Ranch 283 

Carey 270 

Carey Act 37 

Caribou National Forest .... 218 
Carlin Bay (see Bays) 

Cascade 296 

Castle Rocks 249 

Cataldo 334 

Cataldo Mission (see Mis- 
Cave Falls (see Falls) 

Caves, Burlev Wind 239 

Clay ' 239 

Crystal Falls 203 

Formation 224 

Higby 252 

Hot 290 

Ice 226 

Kuna 259 

Minnetonka 219 

Shoshone Ice 286 

Sunbear 269 

Cedar, Giant Arborvitae 94 

ground 104 

Rocky Mountain red 94 

Centerville 385 

Chamberlain Basin 355 

Challis 280 

Champagne Spring 223 

Chatcolet Lake (see Lakes) 

Cherokee Bob 31 

Chickadee 144 

Chilcoot Pass (see Passes) 

Chilly 271 

Chimney Rock 341 

Chinese (see Racial Ele- 

Chipmunk 128 

Chokecherry 99 

Clark Fork 338 

Clark, William 19,41 

Clark Fork River (see 

Clarkia Ill, 328 

Clarkston 308 

Clay Cave (see Caves) 

Clavton 272, 281, 389 

Clear Lake (see Lakes) 
Clearwater National Forest 319 
Clearwater River (see Rivers) 

Cleft 252 

Cleveland Lake (see Lakes) 

Cocolalla 302 

Coeur d'Alene Lake (see 

Cold Springs Campground 
(see Campgrounds) 

Colleges, Boise Junior 190 

Coeur d'Alene Junior 190 

Gooding 190 

Northwest Nazarene 190 

of Idaho 190,262 

Ricks (Rexburg) 190 

Columbine 107 

Colville Indian Reservation.. 46 

Conda 224 

Conner, Alexander H 34 

Coolin 340 

Coolwater Lookout (see 

Connor, Col. P. E 45 

Coot 141 

Coral root 108 

Corbin 303 

Cormorant 137 

Coston Cabin 255 

Cottonwood 98 

Coeur d'Alene 304 

Coeur d'Alene Indian Reser- 
vation 51 

Coeur d'Alene Junior Col- 
lege (see Colleges) 

Coeur d'Alene Lake 83, 325 

Coeur d'Alene Mission 43 

Coeur d'Alene River (see 

Cougar, description 120 

Cougar Point Campground 
(see Campgrounds) 

Council 315 

Cowbird 138 



Crabtree Museum 240 

Cranberry 102 

Crane 138 

Crane Creek Reservoir (see 

Crater Rings 252 

Craters of the Moon Na- 
tional Monument 267 ff. 

Creeper 145 

Cronks Canyon (see Can- 

Crook, General ...., 34 

Crooked River (see Rivers) 

Crystal 389 

Crystal Falls Cave (see 

Crystal Lake (see Lakes) 

Cuckoo 148 

Culdesac 310 

Cuprum 316 

Currant 102 

Custer 389 


Dago Peak (see Peaks) 

Dams, American Falls 232 

Arrowrock 257 

Black Canyon 259 

Deadwood 295 

Milner 86, 238 

Minidoka 86, 235 

Oakley 238 

Post Falls 336 

Salmon 291 

Daisy, mountain 107 

Darling Lake (see Lakes) 

Darrow, Clarence 37, 254 

Deadwood Dam (see Dams) 
Deadwood Reservoir (see 

Declo 236 

Deer, description 123 

number 123 

range 154 

Deer Lake (see Lakes) 

DeLamar 384 

De Smet 26, 306 

Devil's club 101 

Devils Kitchen (Tour 3, 

Sec. a) 226 

Devils Kitchen (Tour 3, 

Sec. b) 245 

Dewey 383 

Dewey, Col. W. H 383 

Dickey 272 

Dickey Peak (see Peaks) 

Dogwood, red-osier 101, 103 

Downey 213 

Dover 340 

Driggs 205 

Dry Diggins Lookout (see 

Dubois 216 

Ducks, kind and range 156-58 

Duck Lake (see Lakes) 
Duck Valley Indian Reser- 
vation 46, 51 

Dunes, Sand 202 


Eagle 133 

Eagle City 333, 380 

Eagle Rock 209 

Eastport 300 

Education, status 188-90 

Egret 142 

Elderberry 101 

Elk City 323 

Elk, description 122 

number 123 

range 154 

Emerald Lake (see Lakes) 

Emida 329 

Emigrant Rock 235 

Emigration Canyon (see 


Emmett 259 

Evergreen Campground (see 

Experiment Station, Priest 

River 341 

Experiment Station, U. S. 

Sheep 217 

Exports 177 

Fairy bell 113 

Fairy slipper 109 

Falcon (see hawk) 

Falls, Auger 244 

Cave 201 

Lady Face 283 

Mesa 200-01 

Moyie 301 

Perrine Coulee 242 

Selway 322 

Shoshone 86, 242 

Twin 242 

Farms, experimental 189 

Fernan Lake (see Lakes) 
Ferns 104-05 



Festival, Cherry Blossom.... 


Filer 244 

Filipino (see Racial ele- 

Finch 148 

Fir, Alpine 97 

balsam 96 

Douglas 93 

white 96, 97 

Fireweed 113 

Fish, enemies 125, 126 

kinds 158-62 

range 158-62 

Fish Haven 222 

Fish Lake (see Lakes) 

Fleabane 110 

Flicker 144 

Florence 31, 312 

Flycatcher 144 

Formation Cave (see Caves) 

Forney 278 

Fort Boise 20,45 

Fort Hall 20, 21, 24, 51, 212 

Fort Hall Indian Reserva- 
tion 46,51 

Fort Henry 21,204 

Four S Ranch 224 

Fourth of July Canyon (see 

Franklin 25, 214 

Freezeout Hill (See Hills) 
French Creek Hill (see 

Fruitland 263 


Galena Summit 80,284 

Game laws 152 

Garden of Yesterday 241 

Garden Valley (see Valleys) 

Garnet 176 

Gaskill Botanical Garden.... 241 

Geese 158 

Gems 175-76 

Gentian 108 

Ghost towns 379-90 

Gibbons Pass (see Passes) 

Gibbonsville 274 

Gilbert Hill (see Hills) 
Glassford Peak (see Peaks) 
Goat, mountain, description 124 

number 124 

range 155 

Golden Gate Campground 
(see Campgrounds) 

Goldenrod 113 

Goldfinch 149 

Gooding 288 

Gooding City of Rocks 288 

Gooding College (see Col- 

Gopher 127 

Gopher snake 130 

Gooseberry 103 

Goose Creek Reservoir (see 

Goose Lake (see Lakes) 

Gorges, Cabinet 337 

Malad 248 

Pass Creek 270 

Royal 280 

Seven Devils (Grand Can- 
yon) 316 

Williams Creek 279 

Wood River 286 

Goulder, W. A 26 

Grace, hydroelectric plant.. 226 
Grand Canyon (see Can- 
Grandjean Hot Springs (see 

Hot Springs) 
Grand View Canyon (see 

Grandview Point 200 

Grangeville 311 

Granite 302 

Granite Lake (see Lakes) 

Grape, Oregon 113 

Grass, blue-eyed 108 

Grays Lake (see Lakes) 

Greenleaf Academy 188 

Grebe 139 

Grosbeak 146 

Groundsel, morning 109 

Grouse 155 

Grouseberry 100 

Gull 142 


Hackberry 102 

Hagerman 246 

Hagerman Valley (see Val- 

Hailey 285 

Hansen 239 

Hansen Bridge (see Bridges) 

Harebell 113 

Harpster 322 

Harrison 326 

Harrison Flats 327 

Harrison Lake (see Lakes) 



Harvard 330 

Hauser Lake (see Lakes) 
Ha-Wah-Na Hot Springs 
(see Hot Springs) 

Hawk, kinds 134-35 

Hawley, James H 34 

Hawthorn 99 

Hayden Lake (see Lakes) 
Hazard Lake (see Lakes) 

Headquarters 320 

Heath 317 

Heather 103 

Hecla Mine (see Mines) 
He Devil Peak (see Peaks) 
Heise Hot Springs (see Hot 

Hellebore 112 

Hell's Half Acre 210 

Hell Roaring Lake (see 

Hemlock 97 

Henry 225 

Henrys Lake (see Lakes) 

Henry, Major Andrew 21 

Heron 138 

Heyburn State Park 305 

Hidden Lake (see Lakes) 
Higby Cave (see Caves) 
Highways, State 

State 3 337 

State 7 319,328 

State 9 309,319,322 

State 11 319 

State 14 323 

State 15 258,293 

State 17 298 

State 19 262 

State 22 207, 248, 249, 267 

State 23 288 

State 24 248, 288 

State 27 211,265 

State 28 217,278 

State 29 266 

State 33 205 

State 34 224, 226 

State 35 219 

State 36 213 

State 44 258, 293 

State 45 260 

State 47 201 

Highways, U S 

U S 2 300 

U S 10 331 

U S 30 218 

U S 30 S 236 

U S 91 210, 216 

U S 93 273 

U S 95 300, 337 

U S 95 Alt 325 

U S 191 197 

Hills, Culdesac 310 

Freezeout 259 

French Creek 313 

Gilbert 321 

Lewiston 307 

Timmerman 285 

White Bird 312 

Hollister 290 

Hollyhock Ill 

Hooded tresses 108 

Hoodoo Lake (see Lakes) 
Hoodoo Valley (see Valleys) 

Hooper Spring 223 

Hope 339 

Horse Shoe Bend 298 

Horsetail, swamp 104 

Hot Cave (see Caves) 

Hot Creek 250 

Hot Springs, Bear Lake 222 

Big Creek 276 

Burgdorf 294 

Grandjean 258 

Ha-Wah-Na 227 

Heise - 207 

Indian 233 

Lava 226 

Lidy 217 

Magic 292 

Meadows Valley 314 

Mud Bath 227 

Nah Supah 290 

Pincock 205 

Red River 323 

Riggins 313 

Royston 259 

Howard, General 30, 47, 49 

Huckleberry 100 

Hudlow Mountain Lookout 

(see Lookouts) 
Hudson's Bay Company ....19, 20 

Hummingbird 147 

Hunting, areas 154 ff. 

Hyacinth HO 




Ice Cave (see Caves) 

Idaho, batholith 76 

climate "74 

from the air 73 ff. 

game department 153 

game laws 152 



geology 77 

name first used 409 

origin 408 

original boundaries 73 

racial elements 185-87 

territory 35 

topography 74 ff. 

university 188 

Idaho City 258, 385-88 

Idaho Falls 208 

Idaho Hotel 33, 383 

Imogene Lake (see Lakes) 

Imports 178 

Independence Lake (see 

Indian Bathtub 250 

Indian Bay (see Bays) 

Indian Pipe 112 

Indian Springs (see Hot 

Indian, artifacts 63 ff. 

celebrations 67 

legends 68 ff. 

music 66 

pictograph, instance 260 

tribes 41-52, 57-70 

Indian Reorganization Act.. 52 
Information, general for 

tourists 194 

Inkom 228 

Irving, Washington 22 

Island Park (Tour 1) 200 

Island Park (Tour 5) 278 


Jackson Hole 207 

Jasper 175 

Jay 148 

Jerome 289 

Joseph, Chief 29-31, 46-48 

Joseph, Old Chief 44, 46 

Julia Davis Park 255 

Jump Creek Canyon (see 

Junco (see snowbird) 
Juniper, mountain 94 

Kalispel House (Kully- 

spell) 19, 338 

Kalispell Bay (see Bays) 

Kamiah 321 

Kellogg 333 

Kelso Lake (see Lakes) 

Ketchum 284 

Kildeer (see plover) 

Killarney Lake (see Lakes) 

Kingfisher 137 

Kingbird 147 

King Hill 248 

King Hill reclamation proj- 
ect 37 

Kinglet 146 

Kingston 380 

Kinnikinnick 101 

Kinport Peak 229 

Knox 295 

Kooskia 322 

Kootenai River (see Rivers) 
Kuna Cave (see Caves) 

Kutenai Public Domain 51 

Lady Face Falls (see Falls) 

Lakes, Alice 284 

Alturas 80 

Bear 221 

Benewah 305 

Black 316, 326 

Bloomington 219 

Blue 242, 326 

Chatcolet 305 

Clear 245 

Cleveland 236 

Cocolalla 302 

Coeur d'Alene 83, 325 

Crystal 328 

Darling 338 

Deer 323 

Duck 296 

Emerald 316 

Fernan 335 

Fish 323 

Granite 302 

Goose 293 

Grays 211, 225 

Harrison 341 

Hauser 336 

Hayden 304 

Hazard 293 

Hell Roaring 284 

Henrys 198 

Hidden 305, 326 

Hoodoo 303 

Imogene 283 

Independence 238 

Kelso 302 

Killarney 326 

Lowell 261 

Lye 247 

Market 217 

Mud 217 



Payette 294, 296, 354 

Pend d'Oreille..20, 83, 302, 339 

Priest 340 

Rainbow 248, 323 

Redfish, Big 283 

Redfish, Little 283 

Roosevelt 355 

Rose 326 

Round 305 

Ruby 323 

Spirit 303 

Stanley 282 

Swan 326 

Thompson 326 

Toxaway 284 

Trinity 249 

Twin 284, 303 

Walsh 339 

Warm 295 

Wild Horse 323 

Yellow Belly 284 

Lakota Resort 222 

Land 165 

Landmark 295 

Lapwai 310 

Lapwai Creek 25 

Lapwai, Fort 47 

Lapwai Indian Reserva- 
tion 46, 48, 51 

Larch 93, 97 

Larkspur 107 

Laurel, mountain 97 

Lava Hot Springs (see Hot 

Lavas, The 210 

Leadore 278 

Lee, Jason 24 

Leesburg 277, 278 

Lemhi, Fort 278 

Lemhi, Valley 278 

Lemhi Indian Reservation. .46, 50 
Lewis and Clark Expedi- 
tion ..19,41 

Lewis, Meriwether 19, 41 

Lewiston 25, 87, 308 

Lewiston Hill (see Hills) 

Lewiston Orchards 308 

Lidy Hot Springs (see Hot 

Lily, kinds Ill, 114-15 

Lily of the valley 108 

Lincoln 209 

Little Lost River (see 

Little Redfish Lake (see 

Livestock, kinds 168 

Liza, Manuel 21 

Lizard Butte (see Buttes) 

Lizard, kinds 131 

Lochsa River (see Rivers) 

Logan, Utah 215 

Lolo Trail 47,320 

Long Valley (see Valleys) 
Long Tom Lookout (see 

Looking Glass Lookout (see 

Lookouts, Anderson Moun- 
tain 273 

Beartrap 276 

Big Springs 199 

Bluenose 276 

Brundage 293 

Coolwater 322 

Dry Diggins 314 

Hudlow Mountain 304 

Long Tom 276 

Looking Glass 341 

Marble Creek 323 

Oreana 276 

Packer John 297 

Roman Nose 339 

Shafer Butte 258 

Lookout Pass (see Passes) 

Loon 139 

Lost River Sinks 266 

Lost Valley Reservoir (see 

Lowell 322 

Lowell Lake (see Lakes) 

Luby Bay (see Bays) 

Lye Lake (see Lakes) 

Lyon, Caleb 34 


Mackay 271 

Mack's Inn 199 

Magic Hot Springs (see Hot 

Magic Lake Reservoir (see 


Malad City 213 

Malad Gorge (see Gorges) 
Malad River (see Rivers) 

Mammoth Soda Spring 223 

Manning Bridge (see 


Maple, mountain 98 

Marble Creek 328 

Marble Creek Lookout (see 




Market Lake (see Lakes) 

Marion More tragedy 33 

Marston, Gilman 34 

Martensia 109 

Martin's Ranch 267 

Massacre Rocks 233 

Massacre, Whitman 27 

Mavfield 252 

McCall 296 

McLoughlin, John 20, 260 

Meader trout farm 230 

Meadow Creek Campground 
(see Campgrounds) 

Meadow lark 150 

Meadows Valley Hot Springs 

(see Hot Springs) 
Menan Butte (see Buttes) 

Meridian 259 

Mesa 317 

Mesa Falls (see Falls) 

Meyers Cove 279 

Middle Butte (see Buttes) 
Middle Fork of Clearwater 
(see Rivers) 

Milner 238 

Milner Dam (see Dams) 

Minerals, kinds 171 

range 172-77 

Miners, history 31 ff. 

Miners' lettuce 114 

Mines. Bunker Hill and 

Sullivan 333 

Hecla 333 

Morning 332 

Sunshine 333 

Minidoka Dam (see Dams) 
Minidoka Reclamation 

Project 37 

Minidoka National Forest.. 236 

Mink 126 

Minnetonka Cave (see Caves) 

Missions, Cataldo 334 

Spalding Log Cabin 310 

Whitman 25 

Missouri Fur Company 21 

Mockingbird 149 

Mole 128 

Monkey flower Ill 

Montpelier 219 

Moose, description 122 

range 154 

Moose City 380 

Mormons 25, 27 

Morning Mine (see Mines) 

Moscow 306 

Moss 104 

Mount, Borah 80, 272 

Hyndman 80 

Idaho 381 

Independence 238 

Sherman 224 

Mountain goat 124, 155 

Mountain Home 248 

Mountain lion (see cougar) 
Moyie Falls (see Falls) 
Moyie River (see Rivers) 
Mud Bath Hot Springs (see 

Hot Springs) 
Mud Lake (see Lakes) 

Mullan 332 

Mullan Tree 334 

Muskrat 125 

Nah Supah Hot Springs (see 
Hot Springs) 

Nampa 260 

Nampuh, Chief 17,260 

Natural bridge, Arco (see 

Natural bridge, Jarbridge 

(see Bridges) 
Negro (see Racial Elements) 

New Meadows 315 

New Plymouth 263 

Nezperce 321 

Nez Perce War 48 

Nicholia 381 

Nordman 340 

North Fork 275 

North Fork of Snake River 
(see Rivers) 

North West Company 20 

Northern Pacific railroad.... 36 
Northwest Nazarene Acad- 
emy 188 

Northwest Nazarene Col- 
lege (see Colleges) 

Nutcracker 145 

Nuthatch 145 

Oakley 236 

Oakley Dam (see Dams) 

O'Farrell Cabin 255 

Ohio Match Company 336 

Old Maid's hair 116 

Onyx 176 

Opal 176 

Orchard 252 

Orchards, Lewiston 308 

Mesa 317 



Orchid, phantom 108 

Oreana Lookout (see Look- 

Origins of names 405-13 

Oriole 148 

Orofino 319 

Oro Grande 380 

Otter 125 

Our Lady of Lourdes 

Academy 188 

Ouzel 146 

Owl, kinds 135-37 

Owl Clover 116 

Owyhee County ....84-86, 121, 385 


Pacific Company 20 

Pack rat 128 

Packer John Lookout (see 

Pahsimeroi Valley (see Val- 

Paintbrush 113 

Paleontology 190-92, 246 

Palouse country 28 

Palouse River (see Rivers) 

Panhandle 82 

Paradise Valley (see Val- 

Parker, Samuel 24,26 

Paris 219 

Passes, Chilcoot 295 

Gibbons 273 

Lookout 331 

Targhee 197 

Pass Creek Gorge (see 

Payette 263 

Payette Lakes (see Lakes) 

Peaks, Boulder 284 

Dago 333 

Dickey 272 

Glassford 284 

He De\il 76 

Rainbow 295 

Sawtelle 198 

Seven Devils 89, 316 

Wildcat 267 

Pearly everlasting 114 

Pelican 138 

Pend d'Oreille Lake (see 

Pentstemon 107 

Pentstemon Campground 
(see Campgrounds) 
Perrine Coulee Falls (see 

Perrine Museum 241 

Perrine Ranch 241 

Perry, Capt 29 

Pettit Campground (see 

Phalarope 140 

Phantom Walls 244 

Pheasant, Chinese 155 

Phosphates 222 

Pictographs, Indian 260 

Pierce 320, 381 

Pierre's Hole 21,205 

Pincock Hot Springs (see 
Hot Springs) 

Pine, kinds 94,95 

Pineview 258 

Placerville 385 

Plantain 112 

Plover 141 

Plummer 31, 305 

Pocatello 213, 228 

Pollock 314 

Pond's Lodge 200 

Population, elements 185-87 

Poplar 207 

Porcupine 121 

Portneuf River (see Rivers) 

Post Falls 336 

Post Falls Dam (see Dams) 

Potatoes 78 

Potlatch 330 

Potlatch Forests, Inc 308 

Potlatch River (see Rivers) 
Powder River (see Rivers) 

Preston 214 

Price's Resort 249 

Prickly Pear 116 

Priest Lake (see Lakes) 
Priest River (see Rivers) 
Priest River Experiment 

Station 341 

Primitive Area, boundaries.. 345 

entrances 350-53 

facilities 347 

natural phenomena 347 

typical expedition 353 ff. 

tonography 345 

wild life 348 

Pussytoes 114 


Quartsburg 385 

Quail 142, 156 


Rabbits 129 

Racial elements 185-87 



Rail 140 

Rainbow Lake (see Lakes) 
Rainbow Peak (see Peaks) 

Ranch, 4 S 224 

Rathdrum 303 

Rattlesnake, kinds 130 

Ravalli, Father 334 

Raven 146 

Reclamation 166 

Reclamation Act of 1902 37 

Redstart 147 

Red River Hot Springs 

(see Hot Springs) 
Red River (see Rivers) 
Reeder Bay (see Bays) 

Reservations, Indian 51-52 

Reservoirs, American 

Falls 86, 232 

Arrowrock 257 

Blackfoot 224 

Crane Creek 317 

Deadwood 295 

Goose Creek 238 

Lost Valley 315 

Magic Lake 286 

Resources, natural 165 ff. 

Rexburg 206 

Rhododendron 110 

Richfield 270 

Ricks College, Rexburg (see 

Rigby 206 

Riggins 313 

Riggins Hot Springs (see 
Hot Springs) 

Ririe 207 

Rivers, Bear 222 

Bechler 201 

Big Lost 77 

Boise 253, 262 

Bruneau 85 

Clark Fork 83, 337 

Clearwater 30, 321 

Clearwater, Middle Fork.. 322 

Coeur d'Alene 83, 331, 332 

Crooked 323 

Kootenai 83, 301 

Little Lost 77 

Lochsa 83, 322 

Malad 246 

Moyie 301 

Palouse 83 

Potlatch 83 

Portneuf 227 

Powder 23 

Priest 340 

Red 323 

Salmon 34, 77, 80, 275 

Selwav 322 

Snake 20, 75, 76, 79, 230 ff. 

Snake, North Fork 199 

Spokane 83, 336 

St. Joe 83, 328 

St. Maries 83, 328 

Warm 202 

Wood 75 

Robbers Roost (Tour 3, 

Sec. a) 225 

Robbers Roost 366 

Roberts 217 

Robin 143 

Robinson Bar Ranch 281 

Rockchip 130 

'Rockchuck 129 

Rocky Mountain Club 283 

Rogerson 291 

Roman Nose Lookout (see 

Roosevelt 295, 346, 388 

Roosevelt Lake (see Lakes) 
Rose Lake (see Lakes) 
Round Lake (see Lakes) 
Royal Gorge (see Gorges) 
Royston Hot Springs (see 

Hot Springs) 
Round Valley (see Valleys) 

Ruby 176 

Ruby City 381 

Ruby Lake (see Lakes) 

Running pine 104 

Running Springs Ranch 283 

Rupert 235 

Sacajawea 19, 41 

Sack's Cabin 199 

Sacred Heart Mission 306 

Sage hen 155 

Sager family 251 

Salmonberry 102 

Salmon City 277 

Salmon Dam (see Dams) 

Salmon, kinds 161-62 

Salmon National Forest.. . .274 ff. 
Salmon River, description 

(see Rivers) 

Sand Dunes 202 

Sandpiper 141 

Sandpoint 302, 340 

Sandpoint Bridge (see 

Santa Creek 328 



Sapphires 176 

Sapsucker 145 

Sawtelle Peak (see Peaks) 

Sawtooth City 380 

Sawtooth Mountains 283 

School, for deaf and blind... 188 

Industrial Training 188 

Normal 188 

Scouring brush 104 

Sego, peacock 108 

Selway Falls (see Falls) 
Selway River (see Rivers) 

Serviceberry 99 

Settler's Tunnel 250 

Seven Devils Gorge (see 

Seven Devils Peak (see 

Shafer Butte 258 

Shafer Butte Lookout (see 

Sheepeaters' War 49 

Sheep, mountain 124, 155 

Sheep Rock 316 

Sheep Springs Campgi'ound 
(see Campgrounds) 

Shelley 210 

Shootingstar 114 

Shoshone 287 

Shoshone Falls (see Falls) 
Shoshone Ice Caves (see 

Shoup 276 

Shower Bath Springs 282 

Shrew 128 

Shrike 137 

Silent City of Rocks 236 

Silver City 84, 261, 381 

Sinks, Lost River 266 

Siskin, pine 145 

Skunk 127 

Skunk cabbage 112 

Smiths Ferry 296 

Smoky Campground (see 

Snake River (see Rivers) 
Snake River Valley (see 

Snakes 130-31 

Snipe 141 

Snowberger Botanical Gar- 
dens 263 

Snowberry 102 

Snowbird 144 

Snowbunting 144 

Soda Mound 224 

Soda Point 226 

Soda Springs 223 

Solitaire 149 

Solomon's seal 109 

Sorrel, mountain 108 

Southard, Lydia 290 

Spalding 309 

Spalding, Rev. H. H 25, 26, 42 

Spalding Mission (see Mis- 
Spar Canyon (see Canyons) 

Sparrows 143 

Spencer 216 

Spirit Lake (see Lakes) 
Spokane River (see Rivers) 
Spring Creek Campground 
(see Campgrounds) 

Springtown 240, 379 

Spruce, Engelmann 96 

Blue 96 

Spud Day (Shelley) 210 

Squaw Bay (see Bays) 

Squirrel 128 

Stampede Park 224 

Stanley 282 

Stanley Basin 81 

Stanley Lake (see Lakes) 

Starkey 315 

State University 306 

Steamboat Spring 223 

Steptoe, CoL E. J 28 

Steunenberg Monument 254 

Stibnite 294 

Stilt 141 

Stites 323 

St. Anthony 202 

St. Charles Canyon (see 

St. Gertrude's High School.. 188 

St. Joe National Forest 329 

St. Joe River (see Rivers) 

St. Maries 327 

St. Maries River (see Rivers) 

St. Teresa's Academy 188 

Sucker Creek Canyon (see 

Sunbear Cave (see Caves) 
Sunshine Mine (see Mines) 

Swallows 143 

Swans 142 

Swan Lake (see Lakes) 
Swan Valley (see Valleys) 
Syringa 106 


Table Rock 257 

Tall tales 393-402 

Tanager 146 



Targhee Pass (see Passes) 
Taylor Toll Bridge (see 


Tendoy, Chief 51, 278 

Tern 140 

Teton Basin 21, 205 

Teton Peaks 84, 200, 202 

Thimbleberry 100 

Thompson, David 19,338,339 

Thompson Lake (see Lakes) 

Thompson Trading Post 338 

Thousand Springs 245 

Thrasher 150 

Three Island Ford 248 

Thrush 150 

Thunder Mountain Area. .295, 388 

Tiger lily Ill 

Timber 169-71 

Timmerman Hill (see Hills) 

Too-lah 29 

Torrey's Campground (see 

Toxaway Lake (see Lakes) 

Transportation 183-85 

Trapping, history 19 ff. 

Trenner Memorial Park 232 

Trillium Ill 

Trinity Lakes (see Lakes) 

Trude 200 

Tulips, Mariposa 115 

Turner Bay (see Bays) 

Twinberry 101 

Twin Buttes (see Buttes) 
Twin Creek Campground 

(see Campgrounds) 

Twin Falls 86,240 

Twin Falls (see Falls) 
Twin Falls-Jerome Bridge 

(see Bridges) 

Twinflower 104 

Twin Lakes (see Lakes) 
Twisted-stalk 112 


Umbrella plant Ill 

Union Pacific railroad 36, 185 

United States Sheep Experi- 
ment Station 217 

University of Idaho 188 

Ursuline Academy 188 


Vale 128 

Valleys, Bear Lake 218 

Boise 82, 253 

Garden 297, 298 

Hoodoo 303 

Hagerman 245 

Long 297 

Pahsimeroi 280 

Paradise 306 

Round 297 

Snake River.. ..37, 75, 78, 230 ff . 

Swan 207 

Weiser 263 

Valley View Ranch 197 

Vantage Point 205 

Vetch 104 

Victor 206-07 

Viola 216 

Violet 110 

Vireo 150 

Vulture, turkey 134 


Wallace 332 

Wallace, William 34 

Walsh Lake (see Lakes) 

Wapato 112 

Warbler 149 

Wardner 333 

Ward party 44 

Warm Lake (see Lakes) 
Warm River (see Rivers) 

Warm River Inn 201 

Warren 294 

Warren, Eliza Spalding 26 

Water, irrigation 166 

power sites 167 

resources 166 

Waxwing 147 

Weasel 126 

Weaver Museum 241 

Weippe 320 

Weiser 263 

Weiser Valley (see Valleys) 

Whiskey Rock Lodge 303 

White Bird 29,312 

White Bird Canyon (see 

White Bird Canyon, battle.. 47 
White Bird Hill (see Hills) 

Whitman, Marcus 24, 246 

Whitman Massacre 27 

Whitman Mission (see 

Wildcat Peak (see Peaks) 
Wild Horse Lake (see 

Williams Creek Gorge (see 

Willow 99 



Willow Creek 209 

Winchester 311 

Winchester Hill (see Hills) 

Wolf 121 

Wolf Lodge Bay (see Bays) 

Woodchuck 129 

Wood nymph 109 

Woodpecker 144 

Wood River Gorge (see 

Wood River (see Rivers) 
Wren 148 

Wright, Col. George 28, 43 

Wyeth, Nathaniel 20, 22 


Yankee Fork district 281, 389 

Yellowbell 110 

Yellow Belly Lake (see 

Yellowjacket 278 

Yellow-legs 145 

Young, Brigham....20, 25, 45, 214 
Young Ranch 201