Sulphur creek tagging and the lodge

Sulphur creek lodge has a long and colorful history.  I’m not sure when the area was settled, but it was owned by a father and son team that brewed moonshine.  During World War II, the lodge was a bordello, gambling hall, and of course booze.  It served the men and bigwigs from the Airforce, and one of our crew last year spotted what had to be a lookout post on the ridge south of the lodge.  I’m sure it was for the military to watch out for the BATF.  There used to be an old slot machine and the “rooms” upstairs are still there.  Here’s a tour.

The lodge at the west end of the airstrip.

The pool table,

lounging and reading area,

  kitchen and dining tables,

 a dilapidated but quaint ping pong table,

  and an ancient coin operated “Shoot the Bear” game.  I haven’t seen one of these for over 40 years.

Do any readers know what this is?  The answer is at the end of this blog entry!

They also have their own fishing pond, about 3 acres.  We pay $125 pp per night for lodging and food.  Except for the fish stuff, this is like a vacation.  Only access is by aircraft or trail.


In the evening the caretakers release the lawn mowers, no way they could be free while the aircraft are flying in and out.  This ranch is THE place in the Idaho backcountry for breakfast.  A long, wide runway, a safe, open approach, normally favorable wind conditions, short distance from Boise, and great food makes this a Mecca on the weekends for back country pilots.  Amateur pilots looking for a bit of adventure can safely negotiate this runway as they practice up for the more difficult airports.  A meal is $18.

Enough fun, I’ll drag myself back to work.

Yes, we really do work out here.  Praxy smiles as Steve shoots a picture of one of the collection crews working

    their way upstream.  The weather gets warm here and we usually knock off around noon.  Today Rick and I went back after we were done and covered our equipment a little better.  Thunderstorms rolled in in the afternoon of the 30th.  I didn’t want to risk a big wind storm ruining our tagging gear.


I flew out last year, but the lighting was horrible.  I only shot three photos of the flight.  First was the lodge, second was the crew hiking out near the end of the runway, third was the Middle Fork of the Salmon River canyon, downstream from the mouth of Sulphur creek.  Later on I will have some spectacular views of the mountains of central Idaho.

This is an ancient liquid fire extinguisher, I haven’t seen one of suckers in use for over 45 years.  A person would throw this into a room with a fire and the glass would break, releasing a liquid that turns to gas and sucks the oxygen out of the air.  At least, that was what I was told by my daddy.  Needless to say, they are extremely dangerous if broken accidently.  You throw this at the fire and run like hell.

About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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