Wednesday we decided to finish loading the RV then take a short road trip up north west of McCall into the Payette National Forest to an old mining town called Warren. We drove on a paved road then on a gravel road then on a dirt road for about 60 miles.
In 1862, the discovery of gold in the Warren Creek area in what was then Washington Territory led to the formation of the settlement, making it one of the oldest settlements in present-day Idaho. Shortly after its founding Warren reached a population of over 2,000. In its heyday Warren was known for its significant Chinese population. The population plummeted when mining declined, but enjoyed a brief renaissance in the 1930s with the introduction of dredge mining in the area. A modest gold mining industry remains in the area. There are tailings everywhere for several miles and this is where some gold is still found.
The town has been threatened several times by forest fires, most recently in 1989, 2000 and 2007. Recent fires have made the Warren area a haven for morel mushroom hunting. Warren currently has a full-time population of 12 to 16. This is a picture of their post office with small greenhouse attached!
Morel mushrooms are prized in this area and people go out and hunt them especially in the areas where a forest fire burned in the recent past. Used by gourmet cooks, there is even a restaurant near here named Morels.