- Picabo Angler
- P.O. Box 718 - Picabo
- Idaho 83348 - United States
- (208) 788-3536
- [email protected]
Blaine County, Idaho, has a fascinating history that dates back to the early days of exploration and settlement in the American West. Here's an overview of the historical developments that have shaped Blaine County into what it is today:
Early Native American Inhabitants: Prior to European settlement, the region that now comprises Blaine County was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Shoshone and Bannock peoples. These tribes had a rich cultural history and lived off the land's natural resources, engaging in activities such as hunting, fishing, and gathering.
Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, passed through present-day Blaine County during their famous journey across the western United States in the early 19th century. Their expedition opened the region to further exploration and eventually led to the arrival of fur trappers and traders in the area.
Fur Trapping and Trading: In the early 1800s, fur trappers and traders, including those associated with the Hudson's Bay Company, began venturing into the region in search of valuable pelts. The pursuit of beavers, in particular, drove much of the early exploration and interaction with Native American tribes in the area.
Oregon Trail and Settlement: The mid-19th century saw a significant influx of settlers moving westward along the Oregon Trail. Blaine County, with its fertile soil and ample water sources, became an attractive area for homesteaders and ranchers. Settlements started to spring up, and the county began to take shape.
Formation of Blaine County: Blaine County was officially established in March 1895. It was named after James G. Blaine, a prominent political figure of the time who served as a U.S. Secretary of State. Hailey, the county seat, was named after John Hailey, a miner who staked the first mining claim in the area.
Mining and Agriculture: The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a boom in mining activities in the region. Silver, lead, and other minerals were extracted from the local mines, contributing to the county's economic growth. At the same time, agriculture, particularly sheep and cattle ranching, remained an essential part of the local economy.
Development of Sun Valley Resort: One of the most significant events in Blaine County's history was the establishment of the Sun Valley Resort in 1936. Built by Averell Harriman, the chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, Sun Valley became the first destination ski resort in the United States. It attracted Hollywood stars, celebrities, and tourists, putting both Blaine County and Idaho on the map as a winter sports destination.
Modern Blaine County: Today, Blaine County is known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and vibrant arts and culture scene. It remains a popular destination for tourists, with Sun Valley Resort continuing to draw visitors year-round.
Throughout its history, Blaine County has experienced various economic shifts and social changes, but it has managed to maintain its unique character and attract people from all walks of life who appreciate the region's stunning landscapes and rich heritage.
Top Tourist Attractions
Blaine County, Idaho, is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Blaine County:
- Sun Valley Resort: Sun Valley is one of the most famous and iconic attractions in Blaine County. It offers world-class skiing and snowboarding during the winter months, as well as a wide range of outdoor activities in the summer, including hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and golfing. The resort also hosts numerous events, concerts, and festivals throughout the year.
- Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA): The Sawtooth NRA is a vast wilderness area that encompasses over 700,000 acres of stunning landscapes, including jagged mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and dense forests. It offers fantastic opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.
- Silver Creek Preserve: A renowned fly-fishing destination, the Silver Creek Preserve is located near Picabo in Blaine County. The crystal-clear waters of Silver Creek are famous for their trout populations, attracting anglers from all over the world.
- Bald Mountain (Baldy) and Dollar Mountain: These two mountains are part of the Sun Valley Resort and offer excellent skiing and snowboarding terrain during the winter. In the summer, they are popular spots for hiking and mountain biking, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Ketchum and Hailey: These charming towns offer a mix of art galleries, boutique shops, restaurants, and cultural events. Ketchum is known for its vibrant arts scene, and Hailey features historical sites like the Blaine County Historical Museum.
- Sawtooth Botanical Garden: Located in Ketchum, this garden showcases native plants of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. It provides a serene setting for nature walks and educational programs about local flora and conservation efforts.
- Galena Lodge: Situated in the mountains north of Ketchum, Galena Lodge is a popular spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as delicious meals at the lodge's restaurant.
- Hemingway Memorial: Ernest Hemingway, the renowned American writer, spent several years in the Sun Valley area and is buried in Ketchum. The Ernest Hemingway Memorial, located near the Sun Valley Lodge, pays tribute to his life and legacy.
- Shoshone Ice Caves: Located southwest of Hailey, these unique caves maintain ice formations throughout the year due to their volcanic origin and insulation from the outside temperature. Guided tours allow visitors to explore this fascinating geological wonder.
Please note that the availability and accessibility of attractions may vary, so it's always a good idea to check for updates and any potential changes in operating hours or regulations before planning your visit.
Blaine County is located in central Idaho and is known for its diverse landscapes, including mountains, forests, and high-desert regions. The county encompasses popular destinations such as Sun Valley and Ketchum, making it a significant tourist attraction for outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Here's an overview of the climate in Blaine County:
- Summer: Summers in Blaine County are generally mild and pleasant, with warm daytime temperatures and cooler nights. Daytime temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 24-28°C). This makes it an excellent time for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and enjoying the numerous scenic trails and parks in the area.
- Autumn: Fall brings cooler temperatures to Blaine County, with daytime highs ranging from the 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 15-23°C). As the season progresses, the region's lush forests turn into a beautiful array of colors, making it a popular time for photography and leaf-peeping.
- Winter: Winters in Blaine County are cold, and the region is renowned for its exceptional ski resorts and winter sports opportunities. Daytime temperatures during winter can range from the 20s to 30s Fahrenheit (around -6 to 4°C), while nighttime temperatures often drop below freezing. Snowfall is common, creating excellent conditions for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and other winter activities.
- Spring: Spring in Blaine County is marked by milder temperatures and a transition from snow to rain. Daytime highs can range from the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (around 10-20°C), depending on the elevation and location. As the snow melts, the rivers and creeks swell with water, creating excellent conditions for rafting and fishing.
- It's worth noting that due to the region's varied topography, microclimates may exist within Blaine County. High-altitude areas, such as those in the mountains, tend to be cooler year-round, while lower-altitude regions, like the Wood River Valley, might experience slightly milder temperatures.
If you plan to visit or live in Blaine County, it's always a good idea to check local weather forecasts for more precise and up-to-date information on the climate in specific areas within the county.
The county's geography contributes to its natural beauty and provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Here are some key features of Blaine County's geography:
- Sawtooth Mountains: The northern part of Blaine County is dominated by the majestic Sawtooth Mountains, part of the larger Rocky Mountain range. These rugged peaks are known for their dramatic and jagged appearance, offering breathtaking vistas and excellent opportunities for hiking, climbing, and backcountry exploration.
- Wood River Valley: The central and southern part of Blaine County is home to the Wood River Valley, which includes the towns of Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey, and Bellevue. This valley is surrounded by mountains, with the Pioneer Mountains to the east and the Smoky Mountains to the west. The Wood River flows through the valley, providing scenic beauty and recreational opportunities like fishing and kayaking.
- Big Wood River: The Big Wood River is the primary waterway in the Wood River Valley. It meanders through the area, nourishing the surrounding landscapes and providing important irrigation for agriculture.
- High Desert Areas: Some parts of Blaine County, especially in the southern regions, have a high-desert climate. Here, you'll find vast open spaces with sagebrush and unique desert flora. The elevation drops as you move southward, transitioning from mountainous terrain to flatter desert landscapes.
- National Forests and Wilderness Areas: Blaine County is home to several national forests, including the Sawtooth National Forest and the Challis National Forest. These forests provide abundant recreational opportunities like camping, hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. Additionally, the Sawtooth Wilderness Area within the Sawtooth National Forest offers protected and pristine wilderness for more adventurous outdoor enthusiasts.
- Sun Valley Resort: Blaine County is famous for being home to the Sun Valley Resort, one of the premier ski destinations in the United States. The resort offers world-class skiing and snowboarding during the winter and transforms into a hub for outdoor activities and events during the summer months.
Overall, Blaine County's geography showcases the diverse and stunning landscapes that Idaho is known for. Whether you're interested in mountain adventures, exploring valleys, or experiencing high-desert environments, Blaine County offers something special for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.