Visit Salmon Valley, Idaho

Ghost Towns

Gilmore: Follow Highway 28 South of Salmon (approximately 60 miles), and you will reach Gilmore Summit and the old mining town of Gilmore. Deserted during the depression of 1929, about 40 buildings still remain. The Gilmore & Pittsburg Railroad, better known as the G & P or “Get Off and Push” Railroad, ran between Armstead, Montana, Salmon and Gilmore, Idaho.

Leesburg: Along with four friends, Frank Barney Sharkey discovered gold in 1866 below the North Fork of the Salmon River. The mining town of Leesburg grew to a population of seven thousand in a few short years. It is estimated that as much as $40 million in gold has been removed from the mines of Leesburg, a town named after General Lee by it’s residents, mostly soldiers of the Civil War. By the end of World War II the town was mostly deserted – only a few cabins stand today.

Nicholia Charcoal Kilns: Nicholia was established in 1885 when a two stack smelter was built. By 1889, Nicholia had a population of over fifteen hundred people. The Viola Mine was located high on a ridge behind the town and tramways brought the ore to the smelter. Evidence of the old tramway can still be seen. The charcoal kilns built to supply the smelter with fuel are located across the valley. Four of the original sixteen kilns remain standing today. Self Guided Tour.

Shoup: Along the River Road, West of North Fork, on the banks of the Salmon River, is the Historic township of Shoup, established in 1881. Once a thriving gold mining town, Shoup, re-named after Idaho’s Governor Shoup, still survives as a remote outpost (population 4) servicing the many adventurers who come to enjoy the river canyon each year. Although most of the mining cabins are in ruin, many historic cabins remain in tact and in use, not least the old log schoolhouse, which now provides lodging for fishermen, hunters and rafters. Many historic mills and mining equipment also remain along the canyon, and until 2004, gold mine tours were available daily at the largest gold mine in the area. Now, tours are available only through guided river trip operators. Explore this living relic and learn how the “ River of No Return” got its name.

Other Ghost Towns around Salmon, Idaho: Blackbird, Cobalt, Grantsville, Hahn, Junction, Kingville, Lava, Leadville, Reno, Smithville, Summit City, Yellowjacket

For more information, please visit the Lemhi County Historical Museum.