The Abandoned Town In Idaho That Most People Stay Far, Far Away From
Atomic City, Idaho: Sitting forlorn at the edge of the sprawling 890-square mile Idaho National Laboratory complex, this modern-day ghost town has a shocking nuclear history that drove residents away in the ’50s and continues to keep visitors at a distance. Here, in 1961, the country’s first fatal nuclear explosion took place – not even a decade after a dangerous reactor meltdown left the town paralyzed with fear. Today, while not fully abandoned, Atomic City stands desolate and scarred by the radioactive fatalities of the past with only a handful of residents remaining as a living legacy of the tragic events.
But while most people stay far, far away from this nuclear town, the haunting remnants of the community do draw a few brave souls every year – one of whom recently documented these bleak modern ruins in his book Wilderness to Wasteland. The book captures the chilling, dystopian afterlife of America’s most polluted and contaminated places via poignant photography. But perhaps even more humbling than the photos is an in-depth look at the history of this forgotten town itself:
Where were you when the SL-1 explosion rocked this town? Have you ever visited the area around the INL?
Super-rad musician, scholar, and cat enthusiast who digs Idaho sunsets and spontaneous nature walks. When not basking in Idaho's awesomeness for Only In Your State, you can find me lovingly concocting environmental goodness at TheBlueReview.org.