Idaho July 24, 2017
One Of The Smallest Towns In Idaho Is Also One Of Its Most Beautiful
Small towns are a dime a dozen in Idaho. It seems like you’re always coming across another one that you’ve never heard of before! This is a truly small town, though, with a whopping population of 86 permanent residents at the 2010 census. The city is called Hope, Idaho, and along with its charming name is a town with amazing scenery. This place looks like heaven on earth, and is a good reminder of the beauty to be found in the small places of the Gem State. Not only is it incredibly beautiful, Hope also has a fascinating history. You’re definitely going to be putting Hope on your list of places to visit!
Hope, Idaho is located way up in the panhandle on the northern shore of Lake Pend Orielle, about 12 miles from Sandpoint. You simply can't just pass through this hidden gem of a town. You'll have to stop and check it out.
Located right beside one of the most beautiful lakes in Idaho, Hope contains beautiful and expansive waterfront views. The lake's shores are like something out of a fantasy, and are perfect for relaxing on a summer day.
Hope's outstanding beauty is what draws a lot of visitors to the town. Even the way of getting to Hope, via the International Selkirk Loop, is considered one of the best and most scenic drives in the country.
The Hope Peninsula is simply awe inspiring. The peninsula itself looks like an island in the middle of the Lake Pend Oreille, and is home to Sam Owen State Park. This park is contains an excellent campground, and should definitely become your next camping spot.
Looking out onto the lake, you'll wonder why more people don't know about this incredible view!
Water activities are obviously abundant in Hope. There are several marinas along the lake's shore, and the good majority of homes in Hope are situated along these marinas. Can you imagine living right next to a view like this?
Along with Hope's beauty is a unique history that gives this small town a character of its own. Believe it or not, Hope was actually the largest town of the surrounding area in the 1880s.
It all starts in 1882, with the coming of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The population seemed to grow overnight and the town immediately became a hot spot of activity. Back in the day, the town was bustling and saloons and hotels were capitalizing off of this sudden growth.
The town was officially named after a popular veterinarian who worked for the railroad and took care of the construction horses. Dr. Hope was a widely respected member of the town's population and his legacy remains with the town over a century later.
One of the most prominent historic points of the city is the Hotel Hope, which saw its prime during the initial days of the railroad. The present building is just a replacement for the original wooden one, which sadly burned to the ground in 1886.
Several trains would stop a day on the trip from Missouri to Portland, Oregon, so this hotel saw a lot of visitors. Hope Hotel has also attracted a lot of famous visitors back in its heyday, such as Bing Crosby, J.P. Morgan, Gary Cooper, and even Teddy Roosevelt!
Although the hotel has seen a variety of different owners over the decades, the love for the building itself has stayed. The first level contains a saloon that has been carefully replicated to look how it did over a century ago. The building even contains the same doorknobs as the original hotel. Even more fascinating is the fact that in the basement are still the tunnels that were used so many years ago by guests to go to the railway station.
When you're done taking in the town's history, you can head over to one of the many waterfront restaurants! Enjoy an awesome meal right next to one of the most beautiful views you've ever seen.
Perhaps the most famous eatery in Hope is the Old Ice House Pizzeria. Many people will argue this place has the best handmade pizza in the entire region. With amazing pizza, local brews, and a unique charm of its own, the Ice House is a must stop.
And perhaps the most unique aspect of Hope is the famous castle, aptly named the Idaho Castle, that looks out onto the lake. The Idaho Castle is available to rent and offers a more grand experience than any hotel!
The stunning castle is truly like something out of a fairy tale. Can you imagine staying in a place like this?
Have you been to Hope, Idaho? What do you think is the most beautiful small town in Idaho? Let us know in the comments!
Be sure to check out our list of other
amazing small Idaho towns you have to visit!