Sep. 9, 2016

85. Main Street Idaho City

Ever since I moved to Idaho over 20 years ago, Idaho City has been a favorite place to visit. Not only because you can make a day trip out of it from Boise, but also because of the many adventures available around the area.

Idaho City was once a huge mining camp. Back in the 1862 it was the location of one of the most valuable gold strikes in the US. Many of the same building that existed back then are still there! Overnight it was the biggest town in the territory. And those miners made for some pretty rowdy town residents. The strike didn’t last long so the miners were quick to scatter. Fires also ravaged Idaho City many times over, but the town always bounced back.

I love visiting the old building there and reading about the history of the area. When I first moved here they used to have staged gun battles in the middle of the street during the summer. They don’t do that anymore, but they do have a fantastic museum, beautiful scenery, a unique graveyard (See #86 on the Bucket List) and it is relaxing to walk along their wooden planked sidewalks.

Location: Take I-84 from Boise headed towards Mountain Home. Take Exit 57 towards E. Gowen Rd. with a left onto Hwy 21. Go 35 miles and you will run right into Idaho City. Turn left from Hwy 21 onto Main Street.

Lodging: Motels/Cabins/B&B

Trudy’s Kitchen & RV/Cabins / 208-392-4151 / Contact for Pricing
One Step Away B&B / 208-392-4938 / Contact for Pricing

There are tons and I mean TONS of camping options around Idaho City

Private Campgrounds:

Rock City RV and Trailer Park / 208-392-2233 / Contact for Pricing
Cowboy Campground / 208-392-6023 / Contact for Pricing

Campgrounds maintained by the USFS: You may contact the USFS about any of these sites at 208-392-6681. You can make a reservation or show up. Website:

Grayback Gulch / RV and tent sites / $10-30
Bald Mountain / RV and tent sites / Free
Bad Bear / RV and tent sites / $15
Ten Mile / RV and tent sites / $15
Troutdale / RV and tent sites / Free
Steamboat Gulch / RV and tent sites / Free

There are also many primitive camp sites in the forest around Idaho city that are maintained by the Forest Service.

Dining: There are several general stores around the town to get groceries for camping in case you forget to stock up before you leave.

Diamond Lil’s Steakhouse & Saloon / ** My personal favorite….best steak around! ** / 208-392-4400 / Hours depend on business but they are usually open for lunch and dinner.

Donna’s Place / ** This place has burned down twice and been rebuilt THREE TIMES! Talk about resilient. ** / I like to eat here. The food is really good, reasonably priced and the service is fast. They have AMAZING ice cream. / 208-392-6060 / Also, they have a well-stocked grocery store.

Goldmine Grill & Saloon / ** These guys specialize in pasta during the week and prime-rib on the weekends. ** / 208-392-2233 / Hours 11 am to 10 pm daily

HD’s Hide Out / 208-392-4773

Trudy’s Kitchen & RV/Cabins / ** Great homecooked food. ** / 208-392-4151 / Gift shop

Sasprilla’s / ** I would be neglecting my readers if I did not mention this Ice Cream Parlor. Best ice cream ANYWHERE. ** / 208-392-4484

Special Notes: Bring the kids…bring the pets….great for a day trip or a whole vacation. There is so much to do up here in Idaho’s little historical goldmine!