Picabo, Idaho

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Picabo, Idaho
Hills, mountains, and irrigated fields of Picabo
Hills, mountains, and irrigated fields of Picabo
Coordinates: 43°18′21″N 114°04′04″W / 43.30583°N 114.06778°W / 43.30583; -114.06778Coordinates: 43°18′21″N 114°04′04″W / 43.30583°N 114.06778°W / 43.30583; -114.06778
CountryUnited States
State Idaho
CountyBlaine County
Physiographic regionSnake River Plain
 • Total40.0 sq mi (103.5 km2)
Elevation4,839 ft (1,475 m)
 • Total128
 • Density3.2/sq mi (1.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (Mountain Standard Time (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (Mountain Daylight Time (MDT))
Postal code
Area codes208, 986

Picabo /ˈpkəb/ is an unincorporated community in Blaine County, Idaho, United States.[1]


Ernest Hemingway bird-hunting at Silver Creek near Picabo, with Gary Cooper and local Bobbie Peterson, January 1959

Picabo is located along U.S. Route 20, about 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Carey, 19 miles (31 km) southeast of Hailey, and 31 miles (50 km) northeast of Shoshone. It has a gas station, country store, post office, and a small airport.[2] The community is surrounded by large ranches and irrigated fields. The 2000 United States census for this ZIP Code shows a population of 128 in 56 housing units in 104 km2 (40 square miles).

Picabo is located about 56 miles (90 km) north of the Snake River along the northern edge of the Snake River Plain, a topographic depression that cuts across the Basin and Range Mountain structures of southern Idaho. The nearest flowing stream is Silver Creek, a scenic spring-fed tributary of the Little Wood River, a key source of irrigation water for eastern Blaine County. The pristine Silver Creek is renowned among fly fisherman and was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, who enjoyed hunting and fishing along the stream with local rancher, Bud Purdy.[3]


The name "Picabo" supposedly derives from a Native American term translated as "silver water".[4] The name "Picabo" was made familiar by Picabo Street, an Olympic skier who grew up in nearby Triumph.[5]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Picabo
  2. ^ "AirNav: ID82 - Picabo Airport".
  3. ^ Miller, M. "Hemingway Memorial: celebrating a Silver Creek Legacy". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  4. ^ Boone, L.P. 1988. Idaho place names: a geographical dictionary. Moscow, Idaho : University of Idaho Press, p. 293.
  5. ^ Fanselow, J. 2006. Idaho Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places, 6th Edition. Morris Book Publishing, p. 171.

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