Stories From Stanley, Idaho

Salmon River Scenic Byway

Salmon River Scenic Byway

Are you ready for our road trip on the Salmon River Scenic Byway? We’re going to cover a lot of pavement (and dirt roads!) between Salmon and Stanley. Sit back and take in 161.7 miles of scenic views, history, natural wonders, ghost towns, hot springs and points of interest. Salmon If you’re passionate about fishing and rafting, Salmon is the place to be. The Main Salmon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River among other major tributaries entice visitors from all over the globe. Whether you are a beginner or expert in these activities, the local outfitters will make it an educational experience. If it’s history or culture you crave, Salmon has that too.

  • The Lemhi County Historical Society & Museum exhibits a large collection of Lemhi Shoshoni artifacts and mining memorabilia.
  • Did you know Sacajawea was born in this valley and the Lewis & Clark Expedition navigated through this land? Grab a map from the museum and follow their route.
  • The Salmon Arts Council was established to ‘foster growth, awareness and education of the arts and humanities in Lemhi County”. Events are scheduled throughout the year.

Main Street is the heart of this town. Local favorite eateries include Odd Fellows’ Bakery, Wally’s Café and Bertrum’s Brewery.

Main Street, Salmon

Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Educational Center Sacajawea may have more parks and statues in the United States named after her than any other person. She earned that honor! The Sacajawea Interpretive Center is dedicated to commemorating her life through detailed exhibits, artifacts and narratives of her history. Here is a glimpse of Sacajawea’s remarkable story:

  • Grew up as an Agaidika Shoshone (the Salmon eaters) in Agai-Pah (Salmon and Lemhi River valleys).
  • Captured by the Hidatsa warriors.
  • Sold to a French Canadian fur trapper then married him.
  • Played a significant role in the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Explore the beauty of Sacajawea’s homeland on scenic nature trails. Along the walk, learn some words in Sacajawea’s native language, discover the importance of a sweat lodge and find out why a tipi faces east.

Tipi on nature trail at Sacajawea Interpretive Center

Live like it’s 1805! The Outdoor Program’s 10 day primitive experience in August recreates the skills necessary to endure life like Lewis and Clark did back in the day. Activities include basket weaving, making stone and bone tools and sleeping in a brush lodge. Are we tough enough to survive this experience? Absolutely! For more info on the interpretive centers hours, outdoor programs and other summer events, please visit the Sacajawea Interpretive Centers website.

Brush Lodge on nature trail at the Sacajawea Interpretive Center

Salmon River Scenic Byway Every bend in the road brings us an awe-inspiring view of the diverse landscape.

Views along the Salmon River Scenic Byway

45th Parallel We are halfway between the equator and the North Pole.

45th Parallel on the Salmon River Scenic Byway

Challis Challis is an underestimated town. During the mining days, it was the hub supplying necessary provisions to area mines. Today, it is a hub for recreational activities and exploring:

  • Self-guided walking tour of the historic buildings on Main Street
  • Fly fishing, hiking, rafting and hiking
  • Bird watching and rock hunting
  • Golf on a challenging 9-hole course
  • Custer Motorway Adventure Road was completed in 1879. This 35 mile toll road was used to take supplies from Challis to Bonanza. A one-way trip took two days. Today, high-clearance vehicles can drive this narrow, dirt road and see remnants of the Eleven Mile Barn, Fannie’s Upper Hole and the Toll Gate.
  • Challis Hot Springs: the original boarding house used to be a getaway for the local miners to socialize and bathe in the hot springs. It now operates as a bed and breakfast with RV and tent camping sites. The hot springs pools are open to the public (adults only).

Historic Challis Building on Walking Tour

Yankee Fork Interpretive Center Challis and the surrounding area are bursting with history. The Yankee Fork Interpretive Center breaks it all down for us through timelines, town histories, commerce, influential people, transportation systems and Idaho’s mining heritage.

Land of the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center

Off Highway Travel (OHT): the 14 mile Lombard Trail begins at the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center and drops into Bayhorse. From there, connect to other ATV trails that lead to Stanley. Challis Bison Kill Site:  Were the bison forced to jump off the 30’ cliff by prehistoric people or were they ambushed at the base of the cliff? Let’s put our super sleuth skills to work and solve this 750 year old case.

Bison Jump

Bayhorse Ghost Town In 1872, a lead-silver vein was discovered near Bayhorse Creek. A shout out in the newspapers was all it took to get people to Bayhorse. Saloons, general stores, meat markets and boarding houses were built to support the growing population. During the most productive years of the Bayhorse Mining District (1882 – the 1890s), ten million dollars worth of metals were extracted from the region. Like other mining towns, this one didn’t survive either. The self-guided walking tour lets us view the buildings that are still standing.

Mill at the Bayhorse Ghost Town

Malm Gulch Millions of years ago, volcanic ash from Twin Peaks caldera, located outside of Challis, covered giant sequoia trees creating a forest of petrified wood.

Malm Gulch Brochure - Challis BLM Field Office, Challis, Idaho

East Fork If we're lucky, we can catch a glimpse of wild horses roaming in the area. The East Fork offers us a wide range of activities including hiking, horseback riding, camping and fishing. Railroad Ridge: this four-wheel drive on a primitive jeep trail (not for the faint of heart!) leads you smack dab into an awe-inspiring view of the White Cloud mountains. The elevation at Railroad Ridge is 10,425 feet with views of Crater Lake and the Chinese Wall.

Railroad Ridge

Clayton With a population of 7, this town refuses to turn into a ghost town. Clayton Silver Mine produced lead, silver, copper and zinc until the 1980’s. Let’s stop in at the Clayton Museum to learn why this mighty town fights to keep its mining roots alive.

Clayton Museum

Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area This area is a history buff’s dream! Custer, Bonanza and Chinatown were once major players in this areas mining industry, each for their own reasons. Custer was home to the General Custer Mill where gold ore was processed beginning in 1879. Bonanza was founded on the basis of the economic and social center for the Custer mine. When the Chinese were forbidden to live in Bonanza, they created Chinatown. The Chinese made their living from the miners which included laundry services, providing hot baths and selling chickens, pigs and garden vegetables. By 1911, they were all ghost towns.

Bonanza Ghost Town[/caption] Take a self-guided walking tour through Custer, Bonanza and Chinatown. There are buildings you can enter in Custer including the old school house which has been converted to a museum. Don't miss the side trip to Boothill Cemetery to read about the fate of Lizzie King.

Boothill Cemetery

Yankee Fork Gold Dredge was built in 1940 and ran until 1952. The goal of this 988 ton contraption was to dig up rock and wash out the gold. Visitors can take a self-guided tour. Sunbeam Dam The Sunbeam Dam started in 1909 and was completed in 1910 by the Sunbeam Consolidated Gold Mines Co. The 36 foot high dam was created using 300 tons of cement. Poles and power lines were strung to the mill located 15 miles away and supplied 2500 HP. A year later, the mill shut down due to financial problems and the dam became obsolete. In 1934, dynamite was used to destroy part of the dam to allow the salmon to migrate home again.

Sunbeam Dam

Sunbeam Hot Springs This stone building was built in 1937 as a bathhouse for the Sunbeam Hot Springs. Makeshift rock-wall pools that vary in temperature were created along the river bank. Submerge our bodies for a therapeutic soak or dip our feet in.

Sunbeam Hot Springs

Boat Box A local hot spot! Soak on the banks of the Salmon River. The dark skies make this an ideal place for star gazing.

Boat Box - Located between MM 192 and 193 on the Salmon River Scenic Byway[/caption] Lower Stanley This view of the Sawtooth Mountains and Salmon River sure makes a statement!

View of Salmon River and Sawtooth Mountains from Lower Stanley

The Stanley Historical Museum is located on the last bend of the Salmon River Scenic Byway. Stanley’s history is portrayed through artifacts and photographs and housed in the Valley Creek Ranger Station built in 1933. Lavish stories from eclectic miners, ranchers, explorers, Native Americans and fur trappers who have traveled through or homesteaded in Stanley are held within its walls.

Stanley Historical Museum

Stanley We are now where the Salmon River, Sawtooth and Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byways intersect. We’ll take a right onto Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway (Highway 21) and head into downtown Stanley. Are you craving the Sawtooth Special pizza from Papa Brunees or the Alaskan Salmon Fillet from Stanley Sluice? There’s also music playing tonight at both the Kasino Club and the Mountain Village Saloon. Yay! Ok, it’s settled…..let’s stay and play in Stanley! DoStayEat. Words and photos by Erica Cole.

View of Stanley

Source Url: http://stanleycc.org/salmon-river-scenic-byway/



Featured Local Events

DATE: January 26,2018

LOCATION: Stanley Outdoor Ice Rink

The Boise Curling Club will be hosting the sixth annual Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel (the “S.O.B.”) from January 26th through January 28th. The 2018 S.O.B. will be a 16-team, three-day open bonspiel (curling tournament) on the outdoor ice rink in Stanley. The S.O.B. will begin at 5pm on Friday and end at noon on Sunday. Curling teams from Wisconsin, Michigan, California, Arizona, Washington, Montana,and Utah will be traveling to Stanley to compete in this year’s S.O.B.

Games will take place Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning. Up to five curling games will be played simultaneously in a series of 2-hour “draws”, which start at 5pm on Friday. Spectators are welcome to come and watch the Bonspiel for free. Each of the sixteen teams plays at least three games during the weekend. There will be a free “Learn to Curl” class on Saturday at noon (weather permitting) for those who want to learn how to curl.


LINK: http://www.sobidaho.com

TEL: 208-310-1207

CONTACT: Jared Beisher jared@boisecurlingclub.org

DATE: February 9 - 11, 2018

LOCATION: Multiple locations around Stanley

The 9th Annual Stanley-Sawtooth Winterfest has been scheduled for February 9th through February 11th with events for everyone. All events are FREE!

Events planned for 2018:

  • Glow in the Dark Pub Crawl and Parade
  • Beach Party
  • Fat Bike Fondo
  • Ski Plane Fly-in
  • Kid’s Concert with the Boise School of Rock
  • Street Dance on Ace of Diamonds
  • Outhouse Race
  • “Wild ‘n’ Woolley” Drag Race
  • Three-Legged Race
  • “Howlin’ Wolf” Raft Ride
  • Bridge Street Chicken S__t pool

Live Music at Mountain Village and The Kasino Club! No cover charge


LINK: stanleywinterfest.com

TEL: 614-260-4468

CONTACT: info@stanleywinterfest.com

DATE: February 17, 2018

TIME: Mulitple times

LOCATION: Mountain Village Resort Restaurant & Lounge/Parking Lot

The Salmon River Snowmobile Club 2017 Snowmobiler’s Ball & Fun Run has been scheduled for February 17th, 2018

  • 10:00am – Snowmobile “Fun Run” begins at Mountain Village Resort parking lot. Sign up from 10:00am to 12:00noon. Riders will leave from the parking lot and must be back by 3:00pm.
  • 5:00pm to 9:00pm – “Meet, Greet, & Eat”
  • 9:00pm – Raffle, Silent Auction, and Prizes at the Mountain Village Resort Restaurant and Saloon. Restaurant is available to all ages, Saloon 21 years and older. The $20 Raffle will be for the following prizes: 1st: 2018 Polaris Pro RMK 163″; 2nd: Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chain Saw; 3rd: $100 Cash


LINK: mountainvillage.com

TEL: 208-774-3609

CONTACT: Gary Cvecich cvecich@ruralnetwork.net, salmonriversnowmobileclub@gmail.com

DATE: March 2 - 4, 2018

TIME: Multi-times

LOCATION: Park Creek Ski Area, Alturas Lake Ski Area, Community Building, Stanley, ID

March 3rd & 4th, 2018 — Sawtooth Ski Club 16th Annual Ski Festival

  • SATURDAY, March 3rd, Park Creek Ski Area
    Highway 21, 7 miles W. of Stanley
    11am-2pm Homemade Chili & Treats
    Poker Run!!!
    Winning hand called at 1:30 pm
  • SATURDAY EVENING 5:30-8:30pm
    Stanley Community Building
    Dinner Extravaganza
    Incredible Silent Auction, bring your checkbook!
  • SUNDAY, March 4th
    Alturas Lake Ski Area
    Highway 75, 20 miles S. of Stanley
    11am-3pm Soup Kitchen Social
    Great ski trails and a great time!!!

The Sawtooth Ski Club will host the 16th Sawtooth Ski Festival March 3rd and 4th. Come ski, play, feast, dance, shop and socialize, all while supporting Cross Country Skiing in Stanley Sawtooth Country! At 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3rd at the Park Creek Ski Trails, homemade chili and treats will await eager participants at the annual Poker Run. Donating fun lovers ski or snowshoe a fun course, stopping at stations to collect cards and when the game is called at 1:30, whoever has collected the best poker hand wins a most excellent prize! At 5:30 Saturday evening at the Stanley Community Building, our ski club celebrity chef will present a delicious dinner and at the same time an amazing silent auction will take place. Many local businesses, arts and crafts people and friends of the club donate lovely things, wonderful services, ski and fashion accessories and deliciously fantastic items to the auction. At 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 4th at the Alturas Lake Ski Trails Soup Kitchen Social, enjoy great skiing along with with trailside soup and cookies. All events are donation based, so be sure to bring your check book or cash for the donation jars. The Sawtooth Ski Festival is our only fundraising event of the year. We depend on memberships, donations and Ski Festival proceeds to fund our efforts to provide quality groomed cross country ski trails at Park Creek and Alturas lake. Call Karen Keiski at 208-774-3487 if you wish to volunteer for any of the events or donate to the silent auction. See you at the Festival!


LINK: http://sawtoothskiclub.com/

TEL: 208-774-3487

CONTACT: David or Karen keiski@ruralnetwork.net


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