On Tour

Where the heck is Yellow Pine?    Page Updated 03-20-04

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From Boise take Highway 55 north to Cascade.  It is a 2 hour drive along the North Fork of the Payette River scenic by-way.

Just north of Cascade after crossing the North Fork of the Payette river, turn off onto the Warm Lake road.  (See photo)

Photo courtesy of the Valley County Weed Department

Go up and over Big Creek summit and down into the canyon.  Watch for a sign on the left for Yellow Pine.  Take that turn off and drive along the scenic South Fork of the Salmon River for about 32 miles.  This is the best route for trailers.  At the junction with the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River road, turn right, and it is only another 17 miles to Yellow Pine on a good dirt road.

Map from "The Idaho Rambler"
by Betty Derig & Flo Sharp, Copyright March 1982

In the summer you can stay on the Warm Lake road, and continue on over Warm Lake summit.  Watch for the sign to Yellow Pine, (the turnoff is on the left before Landmark,) and drive into Yellow Pine down Johnson Creek, 25 miles of dirt road.  A good summer route, but steep.

A scenic summer loop to return to Highway 55 from Yellow Pine, is to go out the Lick Creek road to McCall.  52 miles of dirt road.  High clearance vehicles are recommended.

Click here:  For a map of Yellow Pine from TopoZone

Mining, moon shining and more recently tourism, Yellow Pine is a community with a history as rich as the nearby Stibnite, Profile, and Thunder Mountain mining districts.

As you are coming into Yellow Pine, SLOW DOWN and take time to look around.  It helps keep to the dust down, and local dogs and elk have the right away.  As you travel into the village from the cross roads you will see many of the following sights as you head north on the "main street" (a.k.a. Yellow Pine Ave.)

The Yellow Pine Country Club boasts the most challenging course in Idaho.  Members have preferred tee times, and on course refreshment privileges.  Elk have the right of way on the un-fairways.

The first 9 holes were laid out by John Hansen and "Rockslide" - by hurling a softball to mark the next hole!  Those first 9 holes have been refined and 9 more added over the years, by club pros John Hansen and Bud Boyd.

There are now
two annual golf tournaments!! The original one, held on the Saturday following the 4th of July, benefits the Yellow Pine Volunteer Fire Department.  The Ron Welch Memorial Tourney is held on Saturday during Labor Day weekend and benefits the Yellow Pine Pioneer Cemetery.
Photo by Billie Greenway

The Yellow Pine School.  The present one-room school was built in 1936, replacing an earlier log structure.  The first school was held in a tent in 1920 with eight students.  In the early 1930's, lessons paused when the ore trucks rumbled by.  The largest enrollment was 27 students the school year of 1941-42.  The school received electricity in 1964.  In later years the students made the "University of Yellow Pine" sign.

The school district closed the school in early 2001, when attendance dropped to one student. 
Photo by Billie Greenway

The Yellow Pine Volunteer Fire Department--
This new building was constructed by local volunteers and keeps our fire trucks from freezing in winter!
Photo by Billie Greenway

The Yellow Pine Community Hall--The diesel plant and generators that powered the town up until the 1960's was housed here.  Originally a Forest Service building, later it was turned over to Valley County.  YPFD Engine No. 1 has been retired and is now on display.
Photo by Billie Greenway

Main street
Yellow Pine
Christmas Day
2003

"Down town" Yellow Pine, the information kiosk.
Photo by Billie Greenway

The Yellow Pine General Store.  Built in the late 1920's, from rough hewn logs.  At one time the post office was housed in a lean-to on the north side of the building.   Many years ago there was local telephone service and the telephone office and operators were also in the building.

The store is now owned by Kif & Dawn Brown, and stocks all kinds of supplies, propane, fuel. It is also the local liquor store, laundry mat, and has a 2 room motel.

The Yellow Pine Café & Tavern.  Built by Murphy and Mary Earl in 1940, it has been in the Earl family since that time.  The log bar top originally extended further back than it does today.  There were outhouses, and icehouse and a generator shack out back.  The story goes that Murph Earl and Blondie McGill were flying into Chamberlain Basin where McGill had cattle interests.  They set down in Yellow Pine and were unable to buy a drink as there were no bars open.  Being saloonkeepers from Idaho City and Boise, they decided to remedy that situation and build a bar. 

Known by names like the Stumble Inn, the Mahogany Bar, and the Silver Dollar Bar.  The earlier bar top was embedded with silver dollars, mementos from big poker winners and from hunters.  [Del Davis used to take his hunters in to add to the collection.]  The bar top was lost to the area when the building sold in the early '50's.  The present bar top was locally made of strips of mountain mahogany.  It is now open as the "Silver Dollar Grill" after extensive remodeling by the Holloway family.

The Yellow Pine Lodge, built by Fay Kissinger.  At its grand opening in 1932, it had only one story and was not completed, but it had a dance with a local orchestra and a large bonfire in the street.
Current owners Robert and Darlene Rosenbaum offer rooms and home style meals.
Photo by Billie Greenway

The Corner Bar "Home of the Ugliest bar top in the world" - Built by Fay Kissinger in the early 1930's.  The brick was made locally by Kissinger.  The present owners, Craig and Vicki (Martineau) Lamb serve beer, wine and pizza.  On weekends there is live music, and/or karaoke and dancing.
Photo by Billie Greenway

Goodwin Repair--You Tear it, We Repair it!
(the Green Shop next to the Corner Bar)

Sight Seeing…..

Riordan Lake  ~  Photo by Bad Apple

Devil's Bathtub ~ Photo by Cathy Brackly

Forest Fires, August 2003
Left:  Satellite photo of Idaho fires
Above:  Little Marble Creek Fire, Big Creek area