Visitor Information

Council Visitor Center

 

The Visitor Center in Council is located in an old Forest Service Building. It is 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 info@councilchamberofcommerce.com 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

  1. 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.

 

Kleinshmidt Grade

 

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 Council Valley 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.

 

 

Mesa Orchards

 

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.

 

Weiser River Trail

 

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.