What started out as a curiosity-satisfier turned into the ideal afternoon scenic drive for anyone visiting us in Boise.

Our recent move to Idaho was painful.  For our first month in our new house and new city, every evening and weekend [read: all of my free time] was spent unpacking and buying closet organizers and hanging wall art and buying another closet organizer for that downstairs closet we initially forgot about.  After finally getting the house in order and setting so many cardboard boxes at the roadside that our recycle guys had to bring in a bigger truck, we decided we just wanted to get out of town for a little bit.

So we looked over an Idaho Ghost Towns map we had recently purchased, and found the closest one to Boise:  Idaho City.  We’d make an afternoon of it.

This former gold mining boom town, now reduced to a few hundred residents, is an easy one-hour drive north of Boise along Highway 21.  The gold rush-style wooden architecture is clumped on a couple blocks of Main Street, and have mostly been converted into tourist tchotchke shops.  Trudy’s Cafe on Highway 21 is your best bet for lunch.  They serve hearty American classics, although you should save room for their luscious huckleberry cheesecake.

But the real treat with Idaho City is getting there.  The stretch of Highway 21 between Boise and Idaho City is beautiful in the winter, wrapping around snowy cliffs and bending along with the iced-over Mores Creek.  My parents are visiting us in Boise for the first time and were looking for an easy, scenic day trip — this jaunt up to Idaho City gave them a good taste of the terrain, and of Trudy’s huckleberry cheesecake!




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