Tom Blanchard

The Goodale Trail

Tim Goodale was an early trapper, explorer and route guide in the league with such notables as Jim Bridger, Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith. In 1862, Goodale pioneered a new route through Southern Idaho for Oregon Trail travelers headed towards Boise and on to Oregon. During this later trail period, Idaho represented, more than any other area, the quintessential trail experience – long bleak stretches of desert, frequent Indian encounters, lack of contact with the “civilized” world, and difficult river crossings. Goodale’s cutoff became the preferred route for thousands of westering pioneers during the 1860’s through the 1880’s. But it was not an easy journey. A waterless, thirty-five-mile journey from Ft. Hall to Butte Mountain followed by torturous lava fields of the present day Craters of the Moon taxed every traveler. And it was not without great impact on the areas adjacent to the trail.