Valley County, Idaho

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Valley County, Idaho
Seal of Valley County, Idaho
Map of Idaho highlighting Valley County
Location in the state of Idaho
Map of the United States highlighting Idaho
Idaho's location in the U.S.
Founded February 26, 1917
Named for The Long Valley of the North Fork of the Payette River
Seat Cascade
Largest city McCall
 • Total 3,733 sq mi (9,668 km2)
 • Land 3,665 sq mi (9,492 km2)
 • Water 68 sq mi (176 km2), 1.8%
 • (2010) 9,862
 • Density 2.7/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Valley County is a rural county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,862.[1] The county seat is Cascade,[2] and the largest city is McCall.

Established in 1917, it was named after the Long Valley of the North Fork of the Payette River, which extends over 30 miles (50 km) from Payette Lake at McCall south to Cascade to Round Valley. The valley was formerly a summer pasture for livestock from the Boise Valley. Since the completion of the Cascade Dam in 1948, much of the northern valley has been covered by the Cascade Reservoir.

Valley County is home to the Idaho ground squirrel.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,733 square miles (9,670 km2), of which 3,665 square miles (9,490 km2) is land and 68 square miles (180 km2) (1.8%) is water.[3] It is the fifth-largest county in Idaho by area.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Cascade Dam & reservoir


  • SH-55 - Payette River Scenic Byway

The county's primary highway is the north-south State Highway 55, the Payette River Scenic Byway, a designated national scenic byway. It heads north from Eagle in Ada County to Horseshoe Bend in Boise County, and climbs the whitewater of the Payette River to Cascade and McCall. The route turns west at Payette Lake in McCall and ends at New Meadows in Adams County, at the junction with US-95.[4]


The county has public-use airports owned by the state, by the U.S. Forest Service, and by local municipalities.[5]

Government and politics[edit]

Valley County has long been a Republican stronghold, like most of Idaho. In 2004 George Bush defeated John Kerry by a 21% margin (59-38%). In 2008 Valley County was much more competitive than in recent years, as John McCain defeated Barack Obama by only 7% (52-45%).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 2,524
1930 3,488 38.2%
1940 4,035 15.7%
1950 4,270 5.8%
1960 3,663 −14.2%
1970 3,609 −1.5%
1980 5,604 55.3%
1990 6,109 9.0%
2000 7,651 25.2%
2010 9,862 28.9%
Est. 2013 9,606 −2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 7,651 people, 3,208 households, and 2,252 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 8,084 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.43% White, 0.69% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Black or African American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.10% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. 1.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.1% were of German, 16.4% English, 11.3% American and 10.1% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 3208 households out of which 28.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 5.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 24.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 4.40% from 18 to 24, 24.90% from 25 to 44, 32.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 105.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,927, and the median income for a family was $42,283. Males had a median income of $31,113 versus $21,777 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,246. About 6.20% of families and 9.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.10% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.


View from the top of West Mountain at Tamarack Resort, overlooking Lake Cascade to the east


Unincorporated communities[edit]

  • Big Creek
  • Lake Fork
  • Roseberry
  • Smiths Ferry
  • Warm Lake
  • Yellow Pine

Ski areas[edit]

See also[edit]


Payette Lake at McCall
  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ Idaho Byways - Payette River Scenic Byway - accessed 2009-05-18
  5. ^ Public and Private Airports, Valley County, Idaho
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°44′N 115°34′W / 44.74°N 115.56°W / 44.74; -115.56