Historic Wallace

Historic Downtown Wallace Idaho Center of the Universe

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Welcome to Historic Wallace!

Exploration. Adventure. Culture. Those are the things I personally look for when skiing & snowboarding. Growing up a Midwest kid, I’ve always looked for mountains and ski-towns that were different and untainted… Special gems that are less corporate and more pure. The town of Wallace along with Lookout Pass Ski Area and Silver Mountain Ski Resort fit that requirement to a tee. Who knew nestled in the Idaho panhandle something so special and pure existed.

Why is Wallace “Historic”?

Wallace in Winter with mountain backdropIf you ask anyone in town they’ll tell you it’s because Wallace is the only city where the ENTIRE TOWN is on the national historic registry. Wow… But how does an entire town earn that designation?

The only stoplight on I-90

Back in 1978, Wallace was slated to be razed by the Department of Transportation, placing I-90 right through the middle of it. The community knew if this happened, it was the end for this special place. To fight the government, the residents worked tirelessly and had the ENTIRE town put onto the national historic registry. This classification halted the I-90 construction for over 17 years! During this period, Wallace was the only traffic light for the 3,000 mile expressway, from Boston to Seattle. Just imagine doing 55 mph, potentially for thousands of miles, and running into a traffic light. Amazing that this little hamlet could halt the government and hold strong as a community! Today, I-90 is complete but as an elevated ramp on the side of the valley instead of through Wallace, keeping the entire town dating back to the late 1800’s, exquisitely preserved and intact.

Things to do

Wallace might be known for its summers, but offers a TON of stuff to do even in the winter. From some of the easiest backcountry access we’ve ever seen to two ski areas filled with amazing terrain, and some of the best cuisine out there for affordable prices. Just like Robert Frost stated, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood… and I took the one less traveled by.” Get off the main drag and visit a place filled with history AND fun.