Nestled in the majestic central Idaho Mountains, in scenic Long Valley, Lake Cascade is a year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Just a ninety-minute drive from Boise, Idaho’s fourth largest lake is well known for fishing and boating in summer and for ice fishing in the winter. Prevailing winds make it especially well suited to sailing and windsurfing. During winter, snowmobilers enjoy approximately 800 miles of groomed trails. There are also 27 kilometers of Nordic ski trails. A challenging nine hole golf course sits on the lake shore. Cascade, Idaho, a small community with a population of 977, sits at the southern end of Lake Cascade. Cascade is the gateway to Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness Area, as well as a center for hunting, camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and rafting. The recent opening of Tamarack Resort, the first golf, ski and lake resort to be fully permitted in the United States in more than twenty years, bodes change for both communities. The resort, on the northwest shore of Lake Cascade, planned over $52 million in worth of construction projects in 2004 to build chalets and cottages and ready the resort for alpine skiing operations in the winter of 2004-2005, to complete the golf course scheduled to open in 2005, and to develop new hiking and mountain biking trails.
The tiny town of Donnelly, population 138, sits at the northern tip of Lake Cascade. Donnelly’s annual Huckleberry Festival draws crowds each August. About 1.5 miles east of Donnelly is the Long Valley Museum, in the old Finnish community of Roseberry. The museum is housed in several buildings, two of which remain from Roseberry’s early days.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Coeur d’Alene, the Lake City, is the heart of the Panhandle—the hub of the varied activities and diverse communities that make up North Idaho. With a population of 37,262 (2003), Coeur d’Alene, the region’s largest city, is only thirty minutes from Spokane, Washington. Those seeking water-related sports, a welcoming four-season lifestyle and many of the benefits of much larger communities have found what they’re seeking in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s “Lake City.” Coeur d’Alene perches at the north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Termed one of the world’s most beautiful lakes by the Encyclopedia Britannica, Lake Coeur d’Alene stretches 23 miles to the south. It is Idaho’s largest lake. With nearly 135 miles of shoreline, Lake Coeur d’Alene is home to a large variety of fish, most notable Chinook salmon and cutthroat trout. Other species include trout, crappie, perch, large-mouth bass, bullheads, blue gills, sunfish, channel catfish, northern pike and tiger muskies. Not just a haven for fishermen, the lake is a site for a variety of water activities, including water skiing, windsurfing, jet skiing, parasailing, boat cruises, seaplane rides and more. Sea kayak on the lake or find whitewater rafting adventures within two hours of town.
Drive into the “valley of plenty,” via Highway 16’s Freeze-out Hill and you’ll see orchards and fields stretched out before stark foothills where a century ago outlaws found refuge. Head on into Emmett and you’ll soon feel that legendary small-town serenity. New housing developments are nearly hidden in the rolling hills surrounding town. From the tree-shaded park across from the railroad depot to the drive-in café where neighbors meet over a flavored soda, Emmett is a town linked to its past but poised for the future. Since the late 1800’s, the town has been known for its abundant cherry, apple, peach and apricot orchards, and Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer, you can find fruit, produce and other local products in the Farmers Market. This June marks the 70th year of the annual Cherry Festival, an event that culminates in a fun run and a parade that brings as many as 50,000 people to this community of 6,000.
”The Big Apple of Idaho”! No, it’s not a bustling metropolis – it’s Fruitland! A small community of just over 4,000, the original town site was 160 acres mostly planted with apple and prune orchards that give the city its name. Although Fruitland holds proudly to its agricultural heritage it has grown to include a diversity of new business and light industry.
Garden Valley, ID and Crouch, Idaho
Just an hour north of Boise, Garden Valley lies in a valley formed by the confluence of the South and Middle Forks of the Payette River. Here you’ll find the leisurely pace and friendliness of a small mountain town, and some of southwestern Idaho’s most prestigious housing subdivisions. The tiny town of Crouch is part of Garden Valley, and its old buildings retain the rustic flavor of the old West. The community is on the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway, eight miles east of Highway 55. Mountain peaks soar to 7000 feet above the town and below it stretch meadows bisected by the meandering South Fork of the Payette River. Those meadows provide winter range to large herds of elk and deer and host numerous migratory birds such as Canadian geese and eagle, osprey, heron and hawks. The Payette River system offers whitewater classifications from I to IV. Outfitters offer half-day, full day and overnight trips spring through autumn.
The town of Gooding was established in 1907 on 160 acres of land owned by Frank R. Gooding, a former Governor and Senator in Idaho. Gooding combines all of the conveniences of a larger city with friendly atmosphere of a small western community. The population growth has been steady rather than spectacular, and Gooding County has kept true to the resources that gave it birth. The Big and Little Wood Rivers remain the basis for a richly irrigated agriculture and a thriving livestock industry. Gooding’s mild climate compares favorably with the some of the extremes found in other parts of the state. With a four season environment, the weather features a definitive spring, summer, fall and winter. The average high temperature of 76 degrees, average low temperature of 28 degrees and average precipitation of 8.93 inches. Golfing, skiing, boating, hunting, camping, bowling, horseshoes and summer city recreation programs are all part of the local year round scene. Softball diamonds, indoor swimming pool, 3 city parks and tennis courts are all close to the downtown area. Major employers in the area include Glanbia Foods, Gooding County Memorial Hospital, The Walker Center, Idaho State School for the Deaf and Blind, Gooding Rehabilitation and Living Center, amongst others.
The City of Hagerman, which gives the Hagerman valley its name, was originally the site of a stagecoach stop, on the Overland Trail Route, along the Oregon Trail. Remains of this historic pioneer route can still be seen along the west side of the Snake River. Hagerman was officially established in 1892 when Stanley Hageman and Jack Hess opened a combination Post Office/General Store. The town was actually named for Stanley Hageman but a misspelling in the central post office registry changed its official name to Hagerman. Today, the valley is the largest producer of commercial trout in the world. The mild climate and abundance of year round open water make the valley a preferred stop-off for migrating waterfowl. So much open water also provides numerous water sport opportunities, making the Hagerman Valley a tourist’s wonderland and a sportsman’s dream. The area is also rapidly becoming known as an ideal retirement spot because of its climate, beautiful scenery, diverse recreational opportunities and comfortable small town atmosphere.
Located in south-central Idaho, the city of Jerome is surrounded by an efflorescing agricultural countryside, with beautiful mountains to the north and the meandering Snake River Canyon to the South. The county seat of Jerome County, Jerome was established in 1907 by the Kuhn Brothers, as part of the North Side Twin Falls Canal Company. It takes its name from Jerome Hill, one of the investors in the project, and a brother-in-law of W.S. Kuhn. The city of Jerome became a municipal corporation on March 24, 1919. Today the city of Jerome is the economic center of Jerome County. Farming and Agricultural related industries still dominate the economy of Jerome, but the city is broadening its economic base in the service sector, as well as the manufacturing and retail trades. Jerome has a rich architectural heritage, which is evident in the city’s downtown, handsome homes, and numerous lava rock structures. With a relatively compact city center, a diversifying economy, and attractive neighborhoods Jerome is in an advantageous position for growth in the coming years.
Kamiah, Idaho is nestled on the beautiful banks of the Clearwater River, surrounded by scenic foothills. Heritage meets the modern day world as the forward looking residents of this quaint town focus on the future without losing site of the past. Before history was recorded in this part of the west, Kamiah was the winter home of the Nez Perce Indians. It was here they came to fish for steelhead, a mainstay in their diet, and to manufacture “Kamia” ropes, hence the name Kamiah, meaning the place of “many rope litters”. Lewis and Clark camped here for several weeks during the early spring of 1806 waiting for the snow to melt before they could continue their journey east. The valley is rich in the heritage and legends of the Nez Perce and it is here, among the ancestors of the present day Nez Perce, that the Appaloosa horse was first bred, primarily as a war animal. Today the town is moving fast towards the future, and this is reflected in the restoration of the main business district to a Western/Victorian style, an up-to-date school system, modern sanitation facilities and water filtration plant, efficient fire and police departments, a modern medical clinic with an outstanding emergency medical unit. Come visit the past in a place where the future is happening today – Kamiah!
Located where the Snake and Clearwater Rivers meet, sister city to Clarkston in Washington, Lewiston, Idaho is rich with cultural and natural resources sure to please the outdoor enthusiast and historical adventurer alike. A city which has now grown to a population of 31,028, when Lewis and Clark first visited these lands made home by the Nez Perce tribe they called it “paradise”. In that respect not much has changed since those early days as Lewiston and its surrounding area still holds true to its wondrous beginnings. Warm coastal air pours through river valleys providing an ideal climate for wildlife and residents both. The summers stay mild, usually in the low 90’s and the winter temperatures in the 40’s are rarely harsh, making a great environment for many activities year round. Founded in 1860, named for Meriwether Lewis of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition, Lewiston is Idaho’s only seaport as well as its oldest city. In 1863 Lewiston was made the state capital of Idaho, a title which it retained for only a few years until the capital was moved to where it resides today in Boise.
McCall is the premier community in idyllic Long Valley, a fifty-mile long mix of pastureland and forest surrounded by snow-capped peaks. At an elevation of 5025 feet, McCall sits at the southern end of Payette Lake. McCall has just over 2,000 residents. Once a sawmill town, McCall is now a world-class, year-round resort community with a down-home feel. The Payette Lake offers every kind of water sport imaginable in summer, and the Payette National Forest provides more than 21,100 miles of trails, 2,500 miles of roads, 15,000 miles of streams and rivers and 30 campgrounds. Hiking, rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird and wildlife watching are all activities enjoyed in and near McCall. McCall is also home to the only 27-hole golf course in the region plus several private golf courses. You’ll also find art galleries and plenty of restaurants, from home-style to elegant. McCall is the premier community in idyllic Long Valley, a fifty-mile long mix of pastureland and forest surrounded by snow-capped peaks. At an elevation of 5025 feet, McCall sits at the southern end of Payette Lake. McCall has just over 2,000 residents. Once a sawmill town, McCall is now a world-class, year-round resort community with a down-home feel. The Payette Lake offers every kind of water sport imaginable in summer, and the Payette National Forest provides more than 21,100 miles of trails, 2,500 miles of roads, 15,000 miles of streams and rivers and 30 campgrounds. Hiking, rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird and wildlife watching are all activities enjoyed in and near McCall. McCall is also home to the only 27-hole golf course in the region plus several private golf courses. You’ll also find art galleries and plenty of restaurants, from home-style to elegant.
Nestled between Moscow Mountain and the rolling hills of the Palouse, Moscow is located in beautiful northern Idaho. Small-town friendliness meets a great location for higher education, Moscow being home to the University of Idaho, with Washington State University just across the state line. After settlers arrived in 1871, the town became know as “Paradise Valley”. In 1877, Samuel Neff filed for a postal permit under the name of Moscow because the area reminded him of his hometown of Moscow, Pennsylvania – not Moscow, Russia as some may be likely to presume! In 1875, the city’s first store was opened on what is now Main Street. Like many western towns Moscow grew with the arrival of the railroad, in 1885. The town became incorporated two years later and was chosen as the site for a land-grant institution, the University of Idaho as Idaho achieved statehood in 1890. A ninety-minute drive from Boise, Idaho’s fourth largest lake is well known for fishing and boating in summer and for ice fishing in the winter. Prevailing winds make it especially well suited to sailing and windsurfing. During winter, snowmobilers enjoy approximately 800 miles of groomed trails. There are also 27 kilometers of Nordic ski trails. A challenging nine hole golf course sits on the lake shore.
Mountain Home, Idaho
Mountain Home is a high desert community that is a crossroads of the West. Originally a home station on the stage route, it was located 10 miles northeast of its present location and called Rattlesnake Station. It was moved to its present site when the railroad was completed in 1883. Mountain Home is about 45 minutes east of Boise, across a high chaparral desert where you’ll frequently see antelope. With 11,427 residents, Mountain Home is a friendly, safe community – a place where many still don’t lock their doors. The downtown has shops, a museum, boutiques, restaurants and parks. A short walk away, tidy homes sit in groomed yards beneath shade trees. The town is a close neighbor to the Mountain Home Air Force Base, home of the Air Force’s 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. The Air Force brings people from all over the world to Mountain Home, making it an international community. The base offers a number of community activities, including an annual air show attended by thousands.
New Plymouth, Idaho
New Plymouth is located in Payette County, Idaho. It was incorporated on February 15, 1896, and was the first planned community west of the Mississippi. The community was the combined project of a group of people supposedly dissatisfied with city life in Chicago, who formed what they called “The Plymouth Society of Chicago” in 1895. William E. Smythe, was a key founder and the chairman of the executive committee of the National Irrigation Congress and a famous irrigation promoter. Mr. Smythe was determined to found a colony to serve as a striking argument in favor of his project: irrigation. He spoke throughout the east, urging young and old men to go west in colonies and develop the country with the help of irrigation. He wanted the first colony to be called New Plymouth and wanted it located in southwestern Idaho in Payette Valley, which he had found apt for his purpose because of the extraordinary water supply from the nearby Payette River. The history of irrigation is still visible today, in the many original waterwheels that were built in the 1920’s. The city itself has a unique “horseshoe” shaped layout, with the open end facing North, the middle of which is home to a beautiful park and the main boulevard of the city. The community was at first called the New Plymouth Farm Village and was governed by a colony board of directors until it incorporated as a village in 1908, dropping the last two words in its name. New Plymouth was designated a city in 1948.
Orofino, Idaho is a land of all seasons, with something for everyone the whole year round. Beautiful mountains, crystal clear rivers, babbling brooks and turquoise lakes surround this cozy town of just over 3,200. Orofino got its start in 1898 due to the inflow of settlers and the construction of the railroad up river. The name Oro Fino means “fine gold” in Spanish. It was taken from a gold rush town called “Oro Fino” that was located near Pierce that later burned down. The post office objected to a two- word name and the town joined the two words and it became Orofino. In 1905, the Idaho State Hospital was opened. Located four miles northwest of the town of Orofino, Dworshak Dam is a hydroelectric, concrete gravity dam in Clearwater County, Idaho, on the North Fork of the Clearwater River. Originally the name was slated to be “Bruces Eddy,” but the name was changed to honor Henry C. Dworshak, a United States Senator from Idaho. The dam is the highest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, and the 22nd highest dam in the world. Construction began in June 1966, the main structure being completed in 1972, with the generators coming online in 1973. The generating capacity of the dam is 400 megawatts, with an overload capacity of 460 MW. Dworshak Dam is part of the Columbia River Basin system of dams. Dworshak Reservoir, is formed behind the dam, stretching 53 miles upstream. The North Fork of the Clearwater River, runs 2 miles downstream from the base of the dam, until it joins the South Fork of the Clearwater to form the Clearwater, which flows to the Snake River at Lewiston. Dworshak Dam Visitor Center is located at the top of the dam, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits highlight the history and wildlife of the area. Tours are also available through the interior of the dam. Dworshak reservoir is easily the least used body of water in the state. Over 54 miles in length, with over 100 mini-camps, it’s a great place to fish or just get away from it all. Best known for its Kokanee salmon and Smallmouth bass, currently it holds the state record for the largest smallie, at a whopping 8 1/2 pounds! With close to 250 miles of shoreline, you can leave your worries about being cramped or disturbed at home, there is plenty of room here even in the busiest of seasons. Truly this man made lake is an anglers paradise with a variety of fish species to test your skills against!
Located near where the Payette River and Snake River meet, the city was originally named Boomerang signifying a roundhouse on the railroad – the Oregon Short line. The city changed its name for François Payette, a French-Canadian fur trapper and later the head of the Fort Boise trading post for the British Hudson’s Bay Company from 1835-1844. A large high-spirited man, he was highly regarded for his helpful assistance to the many travelers who came through the fort. After his retirement in 1844, Mr. Payette returned to Montreal, where the rest of his life falls into mystery. Today the city of Payette is a small close-knit community of families, and is the county seat of Payette County. It offers residents and visitors a taste of small-town life steeped in history, with the convenience of a modern locale.
Post Falls, Idaho
People are discovering that the western gateway city to North Idaho is much more than that. In fact, Post Falls, Idaho’s River City, lays claim to being the fastest growing community in Idaho. It has grown from 7,350 residents in 1990 to over 20,000 today. Only 25 minutes from downtown Spokane, Washington, and ten minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene, this thriving community has become a favorite for corporate relocation. Newcomers like Buck Knives, a premier manufacturer of hunting and fishing knives, Harper’s, a major furniture manufacturer, and the Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research at the University of Idaho Research Park are bringing diverse jobs and people to town. Like many North Idaho communities, Post Falls provides a refreshing mix of commercial and recreational opportunities. The Spokane River winds right through town, roaring over falls at Falls Park. Q’emiln Riverside Park offers swimming, picnicking and a boat launch, and not far away, some of the region’s best rock climbing. Or take a walk up to Treaty Rock, in the heart of town, where Frederick Post signed a treaty with the local Coeur d’Alene tribal leader Seltice, and built his sawmill and town. Not far away are long scenic hiking trails and emerging popular white water kayak training locations.
Lakes and rivers provide a striking contrast to the lands surrounding Sandpoint, Idaho. A town of just over 7,500 located far north in the panhandle of the Gem State in Bonner County, Sandpoint is a glimmering jewel. The history of Sandpoint as a settlement dates back to the year 1880 when Robert Weeks opened a general store and traded in furs. The town was known then and for a long time as “Pend Oreille” and actually existed east along the lakeshore from the current site. The small community grew at a slow pace until the construction of the Great Northern Railroad in 1892. This railroad brought L.D. Farmin to Sandpoint as a Great Northern agent. He filed claim on the original town site and laid out Sandpoint in 1898, ten feet above the lake’s high water mark.
Twin Falls, Idaho
Twin Falls was laid out in 1904 as a planned community to serve settlers arriving to take advantage of a new irrigation project and land grant act. Water allowed prosperous farms to spring up on the vast volcanic plains, giving rise to the name Magic Valley for what has become one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. As the retail and services hub for more than 225,000 people, this city of 37,000 is also becoming known as a leader in education, health care, and transportation. Twin Falls is located at the edge of the Snake River Canyon, where the Perrine Bridge rises 486 feet above the canyon to link the town to I-84 just to the north. Two golf courses and a community park are in the canyon, and a canyon rim trail provides spectacular views. A few miles upriver Shoshone Falls, “The Niagara of the West,” plummets 212 feet over a 1,000 foot-wide basalt base. The heart of downtown Twin Falls is its City Park, some three miles east of the river and the site of frequent community arts and cultural events. Quiet streets, early nineteenth century bungalows surrounded by shade trees and well-trimmed lawns, make up much of the downtown residential area. While some new developments are interspersed in this district, many of the newer housing developments are northeast of town, in the direction of Shoshone Falls. Housing costs in Twin Falls are at least 20% below the national average.
Located at the confluence of the Weiser and Snake Rivers, the City of Weiser is the county seat of Washington County. Revolutionary War hero, Peter Weiser, who was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and mountain man, named the town over 200 years ago. Weiser takes pride in its rich history and is represented by many of its original buildings, which are now on the National Historic Register. Some of these historic buildings include the Galloway House, Pythian Castle and the Union Pacific Train Depot. Today, the City of Weiser is lovely quiet city tied together through traditional family values and a deep sense of community. Weisers’ motto says it all: “We Love Our Kids”! Strong natural resources, agricultural and ranching heritage, continue to play a key role in the City of Weiser and the cities sense of price can be seen in our recent downtown revitalization, which includes several new parks and our beautiful new Vendome Events Center. New industry is growing here as well with businesses in forest products, food processing, and technical innovations making their new homes here for the future. Weiser could easily be called the “fiddling capital of the world” and its claim to that right is the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest that has been held here since 1953. Fiddling is nothing so new-fangled though, as there have been fiddle contests of one kind or another held here as far back as 1914. The festival is held at the beginning of summer, during the third full week in June. It draws national media coverage and thousands of people from all around flock to the Weiser area. Hometown fiddler’s Vanessa Carr and twin sister Stephanie Carr have gained national and local honors as being the only duet fiddlers to win 4 consecutive titles, which has earned them the title of the “Master Fiddlers of Weiser.