Council Visitor Center
The Visitor Center in Council in located in an old Forest Service Building. Itis operated by the Council Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the US Forest Service and the Council Learning Center. Currently the Visitor Center is staffed from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday-Friday.
Easily accessible off Dartmouth Street and US Highway 95, the old ranger station is an ideal site to disseminate information to the traveling public. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The ranger station was built on land purchased from the Pacific and Idaho Northern Railroad Company and looks very much as it did when constructed in 1933. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
It consists of five frame buildings, good examples of structures constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps for the Forest Service between 1933 and 1936. The CCC also landscaped the property with ponderosa pine, alder and spruce trees, juniper and dogwood shrubs, and rose bushes along the sidewalks.
Once the district office, the frame construction is covered by shiplap siding and tin roofing with a concrete double-hung windows and a centrally located brick chimney. The architecture is distinctive and consistent with the simple frame construction painted white with green trim.
Places to Visit
A.O. Huntley Historic Barn (National Register of Historic Places)
Adams County possesses one of the largest barns of its period in Idaho. It stands in spacious meadows surrounded by forest at the intersection of the road that leads to Cuprum and the Kleinshmidt Grade. A.O. Huntley operated a ranch starting in the 1880s, later grubstaking miners who went on to discover the gold, that kicked off the Thunder Mountain gold rush.
With his proceeds, he built this substantial barn as well as a magnificent Queen Anne residence. The residence, unfortunately, burned to the ground in the 1930s. Privately owned and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the A.O. Huntley barn is a board and batten three-story structure with a steep gambrel roof. Over 100 feet long and 40 feet wide it sits on a raised concrete foundation and once housed cattle. The two upper floors are open and were used for hay storage with small hay door openings in the gables at each end.
The barn, although sturdy, is in need of repair. The roof is greatly deteriorated and must be re-roofed in the near future if the barn is to survive. This is a major architectural landmark at a key intersection in rural Adams County.
A real adventure in the Council area is entering the Snake River Canyon via the Kleinshmidt Grade.
It is said that the grade has one of the largest elevation drops in the shortest road distance in North America. The 22-mile roadwork was begun in 1890, and completed in 1891.
Albert Kleinshmidt who had purchased shares in the area mines planned and built the road to reach from his mines to the ferry on the Snake River, where he was confident boats could be relied upon to transport his ore to the railroad at Old Ferry, near Weiser. Unfortunately, the steamboat "Norma", built for the purpose, failed to meet the need and along with poor copper prices and economic turndowns, mining operations stalled. German visitors often seek out this unique site.
Council Valley Museum
The museum is open to the public from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays.
Some of the largest apple and peach orchards in the West were once found in the Council region. Located seven miles south of Council, Mesa was home to one of the largest individually owned and operated apple orchards in the world.
On the rolling hills were 1,200 acres, which in harvest time demanded a crew of six hundred. The orchard was equipped with two huge cellars and an elaborate irrigation system that brought water over the hills by means of a network of siphons and flumes.
A unique feature was the electrically operated tramway. As fast as the fruit was packed, it was conveyed over the tram to the railroad, a distance of 4 miles. The fragrance of this orchard in bloom is said to have drenched the air for miles. Other fruit growing areas can be found east of Council.
Seven Devils Mountains
Council is the gateway to the Seven Devils, with a short drive displaying their ruggedness, color, grandeur, and depth. This range, the eastern skyline of the deepest canyon in North America - Hells Canyon, runs almost 40 miles between the Snake and Little Salmon rivers. Upon the flanks are at least 32 lakes and 7,900 feet below the highest summit, He Devil Peak, the Snake River forms the boundary between Idaho and Oregon. The range takes its name from seven serrated peaks, which stand in a semicircle.
The Weiser River Trail (Rails to Trails) is one of the first long-distance mountain biking trails in Idaho. With wooden trestles, wildlife and river country, the trail spans desert canyons, farmlands, forests and meadows. The extensive trail offers a variety of experiences for hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, cross-country skiers,bird watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
The trail is operated by the Friends of the Weiser River Trail, a non-profit corporation established in 1997, to get the railroad corridor rail banked for recreational use. Its mission is to preserve the integrity of the rail corridor, manage it as a public trail, and conserve the natural habitats along its length. The trail extends 84 miles from Weiser to Ricon, near New Meadows.
Events to Enjoy
World Famous Porcupine Races
The Council Chamber of Commerce hosts the Fourth of July festivities which include the World Famous Porcupine Races. The day begins with a fresh cooked breakfast. It then continues with a parade through downtown, followed by the porcupine races. Other activities include logging contests, kids activities and of course fireworks.
Adams County Fair & Rodeo
From arts & crafts, swine & sheep to barrel racing and roping, this local event is filled with fun for all. Held the last full week of July, the Adams County Fair & Rodeo is a true highlight for visitors and residents.
Council Mountain Music Festival
The third weekend in August brings music to the town of Council. Both local and outside talent converge to perform for two days. Admission is free. For more information, please visit the Council Mountain Music Festival website.