Galena Lodge is a BCRD owned seasonal day lodge nestled in the Rocky Mountains, 23 miles north of the Sun Valley Resort and Ketchum, Idaho. The historic Galena Lodge is open in both summer and winter as a hub for hikers, bikers, Nordic skiers and snowshoers. Offering great hospitality, delicious food, equipment rentals, clinics and lessons and yurt stays. Surrounded by incredible trails, natural beauty, and a vibrant history, Galena Lodge is a fantastic place to get away from it all with friends and family. For details and Galena Lodge's calendar visit www.galenalodge.com.
A Little History: Galena was originally founded as a mining town in 1879. During its heyday with 800 or so residents Galena was the largest community in the Wood River Valley boasting several hotels, stables, a meat market & the Daisy Saloon. By the 1890s the residents all moved on as the veins of ore became less profitable then expected and Galena was left virtually a ghost town.
In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Sawtooth National Forest into existence. While silver no longer lured prospectors, other natural resources began attracting visitors. The Galena Store served as the last Wood River Valley outpost in the early 1900's for the hunter and fisherman drawn to the "Switzerland of America".
|Don Shepler and Erin Zell are the fantastic concessionaires at Galena Lodge. Together, they provide a warm welcome to all visitors, great food and drink, and they are a wealth of knowledge about the history of the Lodge and the surrounding area. Don and Erin invite you to spend time with your friends and family and enjoy a different pace of life in the mountains. |
From 1924 to 1959 the Galena Store and several outbuildings were operated by Charles & Pearl Barber. When asked how she came to believing in such a place, Pearl answered in two words: good fishing! The development of Sun Valley brought the first skiers to Galena. The Barbers erected a rope tow powered with an old Ford Engine on a hillside south of the store. In 1941 Charles suffered a stroke and died three years later leaving Pearl to operate the Galena Store on her own.
Pearl sold Galena in 1960. Galena went through a succession of ownership transfers until it was purchased by the Gelsky's who constructed Galena Lodge in its present location, using remnants of the old townsite for much of the interior construction. In 1976 a seven member ownership team purchased the lodge and a cross country trail system was developed utilizing the old mining and logging roads around Galena. A couple of years later the resort was sold again to the Fullers who submitted an ambitious master development plan to the Forest Service in 1982. The project was deemed too large and it was never approved. In 1987 the Fullers sold the lodge to Steve Haims who spent over $300.000 renovating the lodge and improving its trail system. Haims came up with a master plan for Galena that included overnight accommodations and trail development but chances for making the resort a profitable wintertime enterprise were handicapped by the Lodge's remote location, difficult access for employees and the lack of a reliable source of power. Haims master plan was abandoned and the resort was closed. For 18 months the lodge sat cold and empty and there were discussions about tearing it down.
Community Effort Saves Galena Lodge: In 1994 a community wide effort known as the Help Save Galena Campaign was launched. Over $500,000 was raised by the community in just a few short months and Galena was donated to the Blaine County Recreation District. Today the lodge is operated as a concession and owned and managed by the BCRD who rely solely on donations & trail fees to cover expenses. Without consistent annual donations Galena could not exist as it stands.
15187 Idaho 75
Ketchum, ID 83340
If you would like to read more about Galena Lodge and its history, the BCRD can send you the publication "The Unique History of Galena". Please call 208-578-BCRD. There is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of book production.