For folks who love finding fascinating historic small towns on the Blue Line Highways … with the added convenience of being on both an Interstate and first-class bike trail … take a moment to consider the old silver mining town of Wallace, Idaho.
If you’re heading east or west across the Bitterroot Range on I-90 between Washington and Montana, and can make the time, this is a must stopover.
Many skiers and bicyclists find Wallace a tremendous location because it is nestled between Silver Mountain and Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area. The town sits right on the 72-mile paved Trail of the Coeurs d’Alenes bike path and near the 14-mile Route of the Hiawatha with its breathtaking views of the Bitterroots.
On one recent visit, we ate dinner at the Smoke House Barbecue and Saloon (my generous platter of delicious smoked pulled pork with choice of two homemade sides was only $12.95; draft pints $3.50) and breakfast at the 1313 Club Saloon and Grill (amazing eggs over-easy, crispy hashbrowns and biscuit for around $5).
In addition to exploring the town looking into the many shops, art galleries and historical buildings … activities to keep you busy include taking a narrated trolly tour of the town and Sierra Silver Mine ($12/regular, $11/seasoned travelers, $8.50/children); watching and frequently participating in the Sixth Street Theatre and Melodrama; and checking out the colorful Oasis Bordello Museum.
BTW, those of you traveling by bicycle or want a night out of the RV, across the street from the former brothel is the small, walk-up Ryan Hotel which features clean, no-frills accommodates with shower or tub for $38/double, tax included.
Photo: Smoke House Barbecue and Saloon. Courtesy Historic Wallace Idaho Website.