Flickr album link: Silver City Ghost Town
Silver City is located way up in the mountains in southwest Idaho between the Oregon Border and Bruneau. There are several ways to get to this very remote ghost town and a high ground clearance vehicle is the best choice for the trip. Most visitors tend to be 4x4 riders participating in an organized tour and very few mainstream tourists venture up into these hills, simply because this destination is so far off the beaten path. There are many dispersed camping options to be found along the trails, which makes planning an overnighter easy to do. There also is a campground in Silver City along with a few old time lodges. There are a few places to get a bite to eat in this old mining camp, but other modern conveniences are very limited. For this reason it is best to stock up and top off the tank before starting the tour.
Silver City was founded in 1864 when silver ore was discovered nearby on War Eagle Mountain. This little mining camp quickly evolved into a boom town with over 70 tall buildings. Silver City soon became the county seat and it was one of the first towns in this entire region with electric power city wide. Everything was rosy for a few decades, until the placer mines and lode mines petered out in the early 1890s. Most of the residents abruptly left for more prosperous horizons and the remaining citizens soon called it quits too. By the 1940s only one resident was counted in the census and Silver City was basically forgotten about by the modern world.
Rebirth came during the 1970s historic site preservation movement and Silver City soon entered the ghost town tourism market. Because of the remoteness, this old west ghost town was never commercialized, so Silver City definitely is a time capsule from the past. Most of the original buildings still stand tall and there are several ongoing rejuvenation projects underway. Old time arts and crafts abound in the main street area, while plenty mining artifacts are on display throughout this charming community. Old Silver City is now a living ghost town and it is well worth going out of the way to visit. There certainly are some dramatic landscapes to view on the way there, so be sure to chalk this historic spot high on the list!
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