If you are in central Idaho which is northeast of Idaho Falls, perhaps going to Missoula, make time to see Salmon, Idaho. It is a quaint town loaded with western history. Salmon’s claim to fame is Sacajawea was born there. She was the main interpreter for Lewis & Clark on the trek to the Pacific Ocean. At the east end of town there is an interpretative center about Sacajawea. If you love history this is well done and very informative, it tells an important part of America’s discovery of the west.
If you need a nice meal and perhaps a cold beer, go to Bertram’s one block south of Main Street. Good food with nice atmosphere. There are a few bars and diners all in historic buildings. We have had good food in the quaint diners on the main street, a step back in time. There are motels that have rooms that look out over the beautiful Salmon River. If you go north of Salmon, check out Wagonhammer’s RV Park along the rushing Salmon River.
Ten years ago we were in a small diner in Salmon, having lunch. In walked 3 trappers in buckskin clothes. There was a 45 year old man and a young couple in their 20’s. When their meal was served, the older man salted his meal and put the shaker in his pocket! When he got up to pay the bill, we noticed he had a 45 long colt pistol in his holster! We drove up to look at the river after we left the diner. There we saw the 3 trappers getting on their horses, they had left the horses to drink from the Salmon River. They rode north in the barrow pits of the highway. It is a sight we will never see again.
Our favorite drive is to leave Salmon on Hwy 93 going to Challis, a town in central Idaho. Idaho is truly a scenic state, be sure and look for wildlife. Our last trip from Salmon to Challis we saw a herd of mtn. sheep, antelope, deer, a flock of wild turkeys, two osprey and a bald eagle!!
On this drive you will follow the amazing Salmon River all the way to Challis. Turn at the end of Challis at the Yankee Fork to proceed to Stanley Idaho. Stanley caters to tourists for rafting, fishing, hiking, biking and sightseeing. In the winter Stanley is often the coldest spot in the nation!
Stanley is the cross road for several sightseeing adventures.
To Boise: From Stanley you can go over the Sawtooth Mtns. to Boise ID. On route will be small towns and you can follow the mighty Payette River. On this route you will follow the rushing Payette River which has several classes of rapids, something for everyone. This is truly a scenic drive.
After leaving Challis one option is to go through the old mining town of Lowman . From Lowman you can go to Garden Valley and Crouch. We like to stop in Horseshoe Bend at Kits Riverside Restaurant for food and a drink.
While at Idaho City, be sure to stop at Donna’s Place for ice cream and good food. You will pass the beautiful Lucky Peak Dam on the way to Boise. Boise is a trip all in itself, plan to stay awhile. Do your homework and enjoy Idaho’s Capital City.
To Sun Valley: An extremely nice trip from Challis back to “civilization” is to drive over the Galena Summit to Sun Valley. It is another scenic mountain pass at the head of the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River. You will also pass Red Fish Lake, named for the mass migration of the Sockeye Salmon from the Pacific Ocean.
In reality, “Sun Valley” is a planned village complete with a lodge and condos. It is the smallest of the 4 towns that make up what the locals call Sun Valley. It is very easy to find great real estate and rental housing year around in the valley. Enjoy the skiing, golfing, hiking, biking, trap shooting and fishing all nearby.
Ketchum, it is largest of the 4 towns that make up what the locals call Sun Valley. In Ketchum you will find high end resort shopping, great bars and also fine dining. Hemingway lived in Ketchum and helped put it on the map. This area was started by Averell Harriman as a ski resort for the railroad executives.
The next city is Hailey, which has the airport for the area. Don’t be fooled by the small town feel, there are lot of airlines and flights to choose from. The next town is Bellevue which is a nice normal town, more removed from the Sun Valley resort life. You will find large horse ranches and farms. Bellevue is not far from The Craters of the Moon National Monument. Idaho is spread out so make sure your gas tank is full when you leave a populated area.
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