Sawtooth National Recreation Area

We arrived in Hailey, Idaho on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  As we pulled into town, the scent of lilacs filled the air.  We continued up past Ketchum and found a beautiful spot up on the West Fork of the Big Wood river.  With the sound of the river right out our windows and beautiful flowers surrounding our spot, it was perfect.

Neither of us had ever been to this area but we both had looked at it many times.  It was just spectacular!  If we didn’t have a prior commitment in Oregon this summer, I was more than ready to spend the next 3 months in this area.  We spent the next 7 days hiking up the various creeks in the area and found some beautiful valleys hidden far away from the road.

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We decided to go up an extremely rough 4wd road and hike to a ghost town.  The Boulder  Basin ghost town had several cabins and structures still standing.  The first mining claim was filed in 1879 for the area.  The mining in the Boulder Basin between 1884 and 1949 amounted to nearly 8,000 tons of ore and several hundred tons of old tailings. The processing of this raw material yielded 610 ounces of gold, 111,620 ounces of silver, 48,094 pounds of copper and 1.3 million pounds of lead. Between 1884 and 1894, one estimate put production value at $1 million for a block of claims known as the Golden Glow group.

I was surprised how well several of the structures had weathered the years.  The other interesting fact about the cabins that I noticed is that the corner of each cabin was dovetailed.  This is the first time that I have ever seen cabins with corners like these.  I don’t know if it’s normal for this area or if it was unique to these miners.

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On our way back down, the wildflowers that filled the field were just to beautiful to pass by without taking pictures.

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After a picnic in a beautiful meadow at the base of the mountains, the dogs happily took a much deserved rest!


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