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Hells Canyon ~ Idaho ~ Sterling Cabin ~ Snake River ~ Kirkwood Ranch

Posted on November 10, 2015 at 12:55 AM

Hells Canyon ~ Idaho ~ Sterling Cabin ~ Snake River ~ Kirkwood Ranch

Latitude: 45.56779 Longitude: -116.497783 Elevation: 1230

 

The Sterling Cabin plaque reads as follows:

 

 

 

STERLING CABIN

 

CONSTRUCTED IN 1952, THE STERLING CABIN WAS BUILT BY DICK AND BONNIE STERLING FOR BUD WILSON, THEN OWNER OF THE KIRKWOOD RANCH. DICK WAS THE PACKER AND BONNIE WAS THE COOK FOR THE KIRKWOOD OPERATION. CONSTRUCTED OF LODGEPOLE PINE LOGS, CUT IN THE HEAD OF LOST VALLEY CREEK, THE CABIN FUNCTIONED AS A BUNKHOUSE FOR THE KIRKWOOD RANCH HANDS. ALTHOUGH LESS THAN FIFTY YEARS OLD, (NORMALLY A REQUIREMENT FOR NATIONAL REGISTER ELIGIBILITY), THE STERLING CABIN WAS PLACED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES IN 1984 BECAUSE OF ITS ARCHITECTURAL VALUE AND ASSOCIATION WITH OTHER HISTORIC BUILDINGS.

 

 


Hells Canyon Wilderness rich with Native American history spans more than 200,000 acres, sliced by Snake River, depicting the banks of Oregon and Idaho allows you to also step into early pioneering days of Idaho by visiting the Sterling Cabin.

Sterling Cabin located at the historically known Kirkwood Ranch can be accessed by multiple opportunities. 



Kirkwood Ranch established in 1855 by the first Euro-Americans, Jay Kirkwood and his family. Kirkwood Ranch was a cattle ranch in 1885 after the Kirkwood’s moved to Lewiston, but later  the steep and rugged terrain demonstrated to be too much for cattle, owners established a large sheep operation on Kirkwood landscape that sustained through the 1970s.


Len and Grace Jordan acquired the Kirkwood Ranch in the 1930s. They raised their children there and are a very well known family throughout Idaho. Grace Jordan is the author of Home Below Hells Canyon. After stepping foot in the Sterling Cabin it was hard to get canyon pioneer, Grace Jordan to release her grasp of my attention. Still months after my visit to her home I feel astonished a graced with the opportunity to see precisely where she homesteaded in Hells Canyon as far back as 1930s, the well-understood depression era.



Walking through the Sterling Cabin, which is now utilized as a museum, struck me with awe at the way these Hells Canyon families established such evolving life far below the prominently praised canyon walls. Grace Jordan was disciplined and very good about keeping written diaries and journals and she was sharing of her life through her book Home Below Hells Canyon.

I look forward to getting a copy and learning more about this truly beautiful area of Idaho I was lucky enough to spend a day and night exploring, by land and water.




I made my stop to Sterling Cabin by raft and enjoyed my stay on Snake River with America’s Rafting Company of Idaho. There are many different routes to reach Kirkwood Ranch and if you plan to backpack in, this stop has flushing toilets!



I hope these photos give you another great reason to visit the deepest river gorge of North America. Yes, deeper than the Grand Canyon.




RELATED ARTICLES:


 

* Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part One: Backpacking Gear


 

* Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part Two: The Crew


 

* Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part Three: Backpacking - Through the Seven Devils Mountain Range




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