Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Campgrounds and RV parks are available on the highways leading into Bonners Ferry.
The story behind the name of this small city comes from the gold rush era in the 1860s. Edwin Bonner, a merchant from Walla Walla, WA, operated a ferry on the Kootenai River where the Wildhorse Trail crossed it. This trail was the customary route of prospectors heading west towards the East Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia. Even after the ferry business was leased by another business man, the name Bonners Ferry (or sometimes simply Bonners) stuck and stayed.
The Kootenai tribe, a people who had, unlike other Native American tribes, never signed a treaty with the US government, declared war in 1975. The result of this usually forbidden initiative was an unusual concession by the federal government and the granting of a 10 and a half acre section of land which is now known as the Kootenai Reservation.
The lumber business became more dominant as the mining prospects dried up, although Bonners did continue as a supplier, with both rail and water routes used to transport goods. Farms also contributed to the economy.
The population is around 2,500 and several sources say that tourists have recognized Bonners Ferry as one of the friendliest towns in Idaho. A renewed entrepreneurial attitude, a sense of community pride, in addition to the beautiful scenery and the Old West feel make it a desirable destination for travellers.
- Kootenai Wild Life Refuge
- wild life, including many species of migratory birds and a caribou herd populate the area
- less than 30 miles from the Canadian BC border
- Katherine Haynes' Gallery
- Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway
- Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway
- fishing, white water rafting, snowboarding and skiing
- West Bonners Ferry trail system, and other hiking trails, most rated as intermediate or difficult
- Boundary County Historical Society and Museum
- The Barber Ship, a unique barbershop