“The site of the town is admirably adapted to the purpose of building. It is a picture of serene loveliness reposing quietly in the midst of rugged grandeur and sublimity. It would seem as if the wildest dream of a poet-prospector had been realized…The town of Atlanta is situated on a smooth plain of about 200 acres, surrounded on all sides by rugged and lofty mountains. The ground slopes gradually to the river… Across this area runs a creek of good size, affording abundant water power for mills and machinery. The best timber for every needed purpose abounds in the immediate vicinity. The town contains two hotels, two stores of general merchandise, two butcher shops, two saloons, one drug store... There is an excellent school. Here water, exactly of the right temperature for bathing, gushes out from near the top of the high perpendicular bank and is caught in a cistern below where graceless bipeds go to revel in the luxuries of the bath in full view of all the salmon in the stream.” -W.A. Goulder, 1876
Gold was discovered in Atlanta, Idaho in 1863. Over the years, Atlanta has witnessed gold rushes, busts, fires, engineering feats, triumphs, misfortune, tragedy, abandonment and rebirth. Contemporary Atlanta is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to 19 full time residents. The town is a refuge for artists, historians, individualists, miners and naturalists. Atlanta is situated at the gateway to the Sawtooth Wilderness area. Resting near the origin of the Middle Fork of the Boise River, Atlanta boasts excellent fishing, hiking and natural hot springs in spectacular settings. Read more about Atlanta’s accommodations and student information. Read more about the history and people who live here, on Atlanta Archives.
Getting to Atlanta, Idaho
Boise, Idaho is the closest major city to Atlanta. Driving is the only way to get to Atlanta from Boise. The best driving conditions are through Idaho City, which is a 45 minute drive from Boise. Once you fuel up at the gas station in Idaho City (your last chance for gas), clear the odometer. When it hits 19 miles out of town, you should see a sign and turn on your right side for Edna Creek campgrounds. This is where you'll hit dirt road. Keep following signs to Atlanta.