Island Park, ID (Click on Pictures to Enlarge)
We decided to take a break from Yellowstone NP yesterday and explore some of the attractions near us. We learned something new about the "City" of Island Park as well. We had been somewhat confused since arriving here as we saw a roadside sign indicating the beginning of the city's limits just after getting into Idaho, but were confused as most maps show Island Park many miles further south on US20.
From the official City of Island Park's government website:
The City of Island Park, for all other descriptive words, is "unique" in it's (sic) entirety. It was incorporated May 16, 1947, to meet a state law requiring businesses that serve or sell alcoholic beverages to be within incorporated towns. The City's government at the time drew up the City's boundaries to include all the businesses from the Last Chance area north to the Montana border that desired licenses to serve and sell alcoholic beverages. All other areas of what is now known as the Island Park Recreational area remains in Fremont County. .... Since 36.8 miles of Highway 20 are in the City, the City of Island Park proudly boasts that it has the "Longest Main Street in America".
We read about an area called Big Springs in some local literature. Since it was only a short drive south of us we decided to take a drive. Big Springs, by some accounts, is the 40th largest spring in the U.S. Its' waters are derived from the Yellowstone Plateau and flow into Henry's Fork of the Snake River.
Johnnny Sack's Cabin. Johnny Sack was of German descent who leased a tract of land from the US Forest Service in 1929 and shortly thereafter built this cabin and a small pump house using only hand tools and with only little assistance. He was the lone winter resident in the entire area.
Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. The route is 28.7 miles and begins at FS294 in the north and ends in the town of Ashton (at US20) to the south. It generally follows Henry's Fork of the Snake River along the drive.
The main attractions on this drive, aside from the landscape along the road itself, are the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls.
Big Falls Inn. The structure was built in 1915, but has served many purposes throughout the years.
The Byway ends in a few miles at Ashton after traveling through some huge open farming areas. A short, easier sightseeing day was a welcome change.
Thanks for dropping by to take a look!