This Hike Into An Abandoned Silver Mine In Idaho Is Terrifyingly Fun
Mining is a huge part of Idaho’s history. There’s really no telling what Idaho would look like today if silver mining hadn’t taken off like it did in the Gem State. It turns out there’s one hiking trail in Idaho’s Silver Valley that lets you experience our mining history firsthand. The Pulaski Tunnel Trail leads you through a breathtaking bit of forest and straight to an abandoned silver mine shaft. However, this isn’t just any ol’ silver mine. There’s a fascinating story behind this mine shaft and how this hiking trail got its name. Keep reading to learn all about it and plan to experience this trail for yourself!
One of the most fascinating hiking trails in Idaho can be found just minutes away from the town of Wallace. The Pulaski Tunnel Trail is a stunning hike through a beautiful region of the Panhandle National Forest. However, there's a lot more to this hike than meets the eye...
The 2-mile-long trail leads hikers through the forest and eventually arrives at an overlook of the Nicholson mine adit—an abandoned silver mine shaft. The mine is also referred to as the Pulaski Tunnel and it's where a man named "Big Ed" Pulaski saved all but six of his 45-man firefighting crew in a massive fire that took place over a century ago.
The Great Fire of 1910 occurred during a year of extremely hot and dry weather conditions. By August of that year, there had been approximately 1,400 wildfires burning out of control in this region of the northwest.
Pulaski and his crew were fighting a fire around Placer Creek, just 10 miles southwest of Wallace. The fire became too dangerous and the men were forced to evacuate. However, another fire surrounded them and trapped them in the forest as they retreated.
Pulaski was extremely familiar with the area so he led his crew into an abandoned silver mine. The mine was just 6-feet high and 5-feet wide, with a length of only 250-feet. It was just enough to shelter the crew.
During their time in the tunnel, five men had died of smoke inhalation (another one died from a falling snag on the way to the mine). The rest survived. This historic event is something that the northern Idaho community will never forget.
The Forest Service worked with citizens to restore the tunnel and improve the trail to the site. Today, the trail represents a fascinating tidbit in Idaho history. And the surroundings aren't too shabby either!
As you make the trek along the Pulaski Trail, you can't help but think of Big Ed and his crew. The fact that the silver mine is still here and easily observable is an outstanding result of what happens when citizens work together to preserve an important piece of history.
Did you know the story behind this abandoned silver mine? There’s really no better combination than hiking and history. Check out this
Stunning Canyon Hike In Idaho That Leads You To A Beautiful Old Ranch for another fascinating hike with remnants of Idaho’s past.
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