Flickr album link: Wickahoney Post Office & Stage Stop
First and foremost, a high ground clearance 4x4 will be needed to get to this destination, unless hiking or biking is preferred. The old historic Wickahoney Post Office is located way out in the middle of nowhere and there is no cel phone service, so you will truly be on your own and it will be a long walk back to civilization if things go wrong. There are no fueling stations anywhere near the Jacks Creek Wilderness in this end of Idaho, so fuel management will be a concern. To top it all off, several barbed wire cattle gates must be opened and closed along the trail and there is a small muddy water crossing. With all these disclaimers out in the open, it is easy to see why very few mainstream tourists visit this remnant of the old wild west.
The Jacks Creek Wilderness is located in the basalt plateaus of southwest Idaho and the terrain is composed of sagebrush covered gently rolling hills. Small creeks and dry washes in the lowland areas definitely can be tricky to traverse in this region, because where the basalt cap has eroded away there are deep gulleys and ravines. For this reason it is best to explore the trails that meander through the high ground and Wickahoney is along one such route. The dirt road trail to Wickahoney is only about 10 miles long, but the going is slow because of the chunks of lava rock laying around.
When the old post office finally comes into view in the distance, it is easy to assume that a fire burnt this building down because of the black color of the stone blocks. Upon arrival a closer inspection will reveal that most of the building materials are chunks of black basalt lava and there is no smoke damage at all. The lava rock walls still stand tall, even though most of the cement mortar has eroded away. The door and window frames are still square, but the sunlight shining through the gaps around the lava blocks impart a surreal appearance. Several old iron relics and a complete hearth oven can be seen around the grounds, so there is plenty to ponder over while taking the sights in.
Wickahoney came to be during the peak of western mining industrialization back in the 1890s. This community sprouted up along the original route to the mining districts in northeastern Nevada. As time progressed a more feasible way to get to this end of Nevada from Elko was created and Wickahoney was just left in the dust. The post office closed in 1911 and the all in one stage stop soon followed as the horseless carriage entered the picture. Soon Wickahoney was completely forgotten about and the very remote location in the high desert ensured that this old site would remain fairly intact. The old Wickahoney Post Office and Stagecoach Station is now protected with national historic site status and it sits all alone waiting for visitors to arrive!
Leave no trace!
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