Elmore County Idaho: History, Demographics, and Attractions


The Entering Elmore County sign on I 84 east of Glenn's Ferry.

Elmore County, Idaho, is a unique and beautiful area that has something to offer for everyone. From its rich history to its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational activities, the county is a must-visit destination. In this article, we will explore the history, demographics, and attractions of Elmore County, Idaho.

The Elmore County Court House in Mountain Home, Idaho
Elmore County Court House

Elmore County History

Established in 1889 and named after the Ida Elmore mines, which were discovered in 1864,Elmore County is located in the southwestern part of the state and covers an area of 3,101 square miles. The county seat is located in Mountain Home, which is also the largest city in the county.

During World War II, Mountain Home was chosen as the site for the Mountain Home Army Air Base, which was later renamed as Mountain Home Air Force Base. The base has since become a vital part of the community and a major employer in the area.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Elmore County has a population of approximately 28,000 people. The county is primarily rural, with only a few small cities and towns. The largest city in the county is Mountain Home, with a population of around 14,000 people.

The racial makeup of the county is predominantly White, with Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and African American communities also present. The median household income in the county is $52,500, which is slightly higher than the national average.

Elmore County's Historic Opera Theatre in Glenns Ferry, Idaho.
Glenns Ferry Historic Opera Theatre

Attractions in Elmore County

Elmore County is home to several natural and man-made attractions that are worth exploring. Here are some of the top attractions in the area:

1. Bruneau Dunes State Park

Bruneau Dunes State Park is a unique attraction that features the tallest sand dunes in North America. Visitors can climb the dunes, hike the trails, or explore the nearby observatory to stargaze.

2. Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

The Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area is home to over 800 pairs of nesting raptors, including eagles, falcons, and owls. Visitors can take a guided tour to see these magnificent birds up close.

3. Three Island Crossing State Park

Three Island Crossing State Park is a historic site that commemorates the Oregon Trail. Visitors can explore the museum, hike the trails, or go fishing in the nearby Snake River.

4. Mountain Home Air Force Base Museum

The Mountain Home Air Force Base Museum is a fascinating attraction that showcases the history of the base and the Air Force. Visitors can see vintage aircraft, uniforms, and memorabilia from the early days of aviation to the present.

5. Miracle Hot Springs

Miracle Hot Springs is a natural hot springs that offers visitors a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The site features several pools with varying temperatures, as well as a sauna and massage services.

Farmland in eastern Elmore County, Idaho
A Cattle Ranch in eastern Elmore County


Elmore County, Idaho, is a hidden gem that is worth discovering. From its rich history to its stunning natural beauty and unique attractions, Elmore County has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or just a relaxing getaway, Elmore County is a destination that should not be missed.

Just to the west lies Ada County, home to Idaho’s Capital City, Boise. You can read about it here Also, the photo of the cattle ranch above is available in a variety of sizes at my Etsy shop, www.lightintoart.com.