Shoshone is a small town in South Central Idaho, and is the county seat Lincoln County. In contrast to the Shoshone Native American tribe for which it is named, the city's name is correctly pronounced "Show-shown", with a silent "e".
Founded in 1882 during the construction of the Oregon Short Line, Shoshone has long been considered the main railroad station in south central Idaho's Magic Valley region. The much larger community of Twin Falls, 26 miles to the south, never developed a strong railroad presence due to the logistical issues presented by its location south of the Snake River Canyon. For many years, Shoshone was the only Amtrak stop in south central Idaho.
The Union Pacific Railroad opened the Sun Valley resort in 1936 (and owned it until 1964), and its pre-existing spur route to Ketchum connected in Shoshone. The spur first headed northeast, following today's US 93, to Richfield and Tikura, then peeled northwest to Picabo and on to Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum, so the distance was greater than today's more direct 55-mile drive north on Highway 75.
About 15 miles north of Shoshone are the Shoshone Ice Caves. The caves are lava tubes that stay cool enough for the ice inside them to remain frozen throughout the summer. In the days before refrigeration, this feature, coupled with the railroad, made Shoshone popular with travelers as "the only place for hundreds of miles where one could get a cold beer."
Shoshone is located a the convergence of US 26, US 93, SH-24, and SH-75. Traffic between the Magic Valley and Sun Valley passes through Shoshone, maintaining its early heritage as a brief rest stop for travelers.
Considered the oldest town in the Magic Valley region, Shoshone had large number of historic buildings which can be seen along the self-guided Shoshone Historic Walking Tour.
- Neher Park (located at N 200 E HWY 26 right outside of Shoshone). Named after a late doctor; no firearms hunting, no trapping and no overnight camping is allowed, so the animals and other wildlife may enjoy the habitat there.
- 1 Shoshone Ice Caves (16 mi N of Shoshone on SH-75).
- Black Magic Slot Canyon. Fall & early winter. The smooth lava rock came from the Shoshone Lava Flow, but about 10,000 years ago the Big Wood River powerfully carved through the lava rock creating this canyon. It is similar in texture to the Utah slot canyons, and is even more intense with the harsh black walls! This adventure is only accessible in the fall and early winter. Flash Floods can occur all other times of the year, and there is no warning when the canyon will fill up with water. Be sure to check water conditions before visiting.
- Mammoth Cave & Shoshone Bird Museum Of Natural History, 251 Wesy Thorn Creek Road, ☏ .
- Governor’s Mansion (Mansion Inn), 315 South Greenwood Street, ☏ .
- Gateway Motel, 412 North Greenwood Street, ☏ .
|Routes through Shoshone|
|Boise ← Mountain Home ←||W E||→ Craters of the Moon → Idaho Falls|
|Ely ← Twin Falls ←||S N||→ Craters of the Moon → Missoula|
|END ←||S N||→ Sun Valley → Stanley|