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Inside Idaho: Why is Lucky Peak… lucky?


You may have lived here your whole life or you may have just moved here, but do you know why things are the way they are in Idaho?

This new series takes a look ‘Inside Idaho’ and finds the answers to questions about the people, places, and things that make Idaho, Idaho.

The first on the list:

Lucky Peak

Located eight miles southeast of Boise sits what is known as Lucky Peak – a state park and reservoir which hosts over 100,000 visitors each year. It’s known for three major features: the lake, the park and the river.

In 1955, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction on the Lucky Peak Dam and named it after the nearby mountain – also known as Shaw Mountain.

The peak of Shaw Mountain, also known as Lucky Peak, is the most southern of the Boise Mountains standing just over 5900 ft tall.

So why is it lucky? That’s because gold had been mined from the Shaw Mountain range starting in the late 1800s. It once had over 9 mining sites including the largest – the Adelmann Mine.

If you happened to strike it rich with a big gold strike, you’d call the peak lucky, too.

A lucky hike at Lucky Peak

According to the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology, gold, silver and zinc were mined here intermittently until the beginning of World War II.

Today, hikers make the 20 minute drive on Highway 21 from Boise to the trailhead for a 4.7 out and back trek to see the mine – which is still standing.

To get to the ‘lucky peak’ of Shaw Mountain, hikers take the 10 mile trail up to the top.

Once home to gold mines, for anyone who struck it rich – they definitely found Shaw Mountain to be a ‘lucky peak.’

Next week in our Inside Idaho series: Why is Idaho really called the gem state?

If you have Inside Idaho story ideas, please email them to [email protected]

You’ll get a new Inside Idaho every Monday in our Idaho First newsletter. Sign up here!

Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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