Silver City Idaho – the Queen of Ghost Towns

By Jan Jackson

Rough road up the mountain.

I’ve been to many ghost towns in my time, but I wasn’t prepared for Silver City. Instead of a street or two line with little weathered one-story shacks, there were vintage houses, churches and shops. We brought a picnic lunch, found a picnic table by a small stream on the outskirts of town and marveled at the sights.

Armed with cameras, we walked the streets and visited with the locals. A walk through the old hotel made me want to come back and stay awhile.

Silver City, nestled in a 6,200-foot valley in Idaho’s 8,000-foot high Owyhee Mountains, is one of the few towns of its type that has not burned down or become commercialized.

The old bar inside the Idaho Hotel

Masonic Hall in Silver City.

Built in the 1880s, it was a gold and silver mining town with a population of around 2,500 and approximately 75 business. Out of the original 300 buildings about 75 of them remain. About 75 percent of the people who own property there, are part of the old families. To keep the flavor of the place, any new additions are outlawed by local ordinance and almost all of what’s left is privately-owned.

Silver City is about a two-hour drive from Boise, but the road into the mountain town is not maintained in the winter months. Its a 20-mile drive off Highway 78 if you are coming from Boise or 1 h 12 min (26.3 mi) via Yturri Blvd. to return via Jordon Valley, Oregon

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Photos by Morris Pike


Travel Right Photo by Shutterstock

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