Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Relics of Idaho's wild western history remain scattered across the vast lands of the state. Locally, old farms, fields, towns, and buildings stand in various conditions: memories of rugged life in the untamed west. Heading south from Upper and Lower Mesa Falls, along the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, this abandoned and collapsing train tunnel rests, carved into the hillside. Park in the Yellowstone Trail Parking Lot, then cross the road and follow the trail southeast into the forest, then turn north and hike along the ridge overlooking the Warm River. Walk only a quarter mile until you reach the tunnel!
The tunnel is marked with a sign explaining its brief history. There are metal fences blocking both ends of the tunnel, for safety reasons, as the collapsing roof is very unstable. Enter at your own risk! You can get some neat pictures inside, but beyond the adrenaline of doing something kind of stupid, there isn't much to the short tunnel. I say stupid, even though I have been 3 times now lol. Again, enter at your own risk. I personally prefer the overlook of the warm river and have actually used the vista as a subject in a recent painting! The trail continues past the tunnel for many miles, so other hikers have told me, though I have never personally tested that theory. There are also other trails on both sides of the road, so, a lot to explore year round! I haven't spent a lot of time up there besides in the winter time, but from what I have seen, this is a great spot to get out and explore!
I'd love to hear your adventures in this area and what else you find in these historic hills! Here are a few pictures from my recent adventures around the train tunnel. Enjoy!!