Idaho City’s Boot Hill

a wood plank with a fence in the background

If visiting Idaho City, a trip to the Pioneer Cemetery, aka Boot Hill, is a must.

a path in a forest with trees
Pioneer Cemetery in Idaho City

One of my family traditions while growing up was to visit cemeteries wherever we traveled, reading the inscriptions and speculating on what life was like. This is a habit I’ve continued with my travels.

And most of those have been neatly mown or perhaps slightly weedy squares set off the side of the road. The Pioneer Cemetery was breathtakingly different. Over 3,000 people are buried there as early as the 1860s (from what I could see), though most of the markers are missing due to fires and age.

a gate in a forest
Entrance to the Pioneer Cemetery
a wood sign with writing on it
Wooden map of the cemetery

A mix of old and newer graves set among towering pines with nature having taken over almost everything.

a group of tall trees

a person walking in a forest
Pioneer Cemetery trails

What I thought were hiking trails (though it seemed strange) wound up being paths to various sections where graves had been identified, though their markers were long since broken or destroyed by time and fire.

a sign in a forest
Unknown graves throughout the undergrowth

a wood plank with a fence in the background

a wooden sign on a white fence

a sign in a forest

It was beautiful and slightly melancholy.

a tree next to a fence
Most pine trees were outside the graves, this one square in the middle

a close-up of a tree trunk

a forest with trees and grass

a metal fence with yellow flowers

a fenced in area with trees
Top of Boot Hill

Some had elaborate stones or enclosures. Others just a wooden sign. Some local celebrities who played a role in Idaho City’s history.

a close up of a metal gate

a white statue in a cemetery

a metal fence with a design

a tombstone in a cemetery
Mary Pinney, the wife of Idaho City’s 5 time mayor

a path with tombstones in the middle of a forest

a wooden structure with a flag

Can’t quite explain why it affected me so, but it was a highlight to my trip and I definitely recommend a stop if you’re anywhere in the area.

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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