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Near Arco in Butte County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Goodale's Cutoff

 
 
Goodale's Cutoff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 8, 2019
1. Goodale's Cutoff Marker
Caption: Reenactment of pioneers on Goodale's Cutoff; (insert) Map of Goodale's Cutoff.
Inscription.  Beginning in the 1850s, armed skirmishes broke out between Shoshone Indians and emigrants traveling by wagon train to the west. Many pioneers tried new paths through Idaho that would avoid the Snake River, where they were most vulnerable to attack. Most travelers chose Goodale's Cutoff, named for Tim Goodale, an early guide on the route. In this area, the cutoff ran along the base of the Pioneer Mountains about a mile north of here.
To avoid crossing the lava fields the emigrants funneled through a narrow passage between treacherous lava flows and the steep mountains. One driver related, "When some steep point or bluff would run out into the rock, we would expect to see our wagons smashed." Most emigrants, however, passed through unharmed.
Portions of the trail are covered by the modern highway, but remnants are visible and marked with white markers in many locations.

It was a desolate, dismal scenery. Great must have been the relief of the volcano, powerful the emetic that poured fourth such a mass of black vomit. Julius Caesar Merrill, 1864
 
Erected by National Park Service/Bureau
Goodale's Cutoff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 8, 2019
2. Goodale's Cutoff Marker
of Land Management.
 
Location. 43° 25.115′ N, 113° 37.423′ W. Marker is near Arco, Idaho, in Butte County. Marker is on U.S. 26/93 near North Laidlaw Park Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Arco ID 83213, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pronghorn Passage (here, next to this marker); Big Cinder Butte (a few steps from this marker); Just Down the Road (approx. 2.9 miles away); Silent Cone (approx. 2.9 miles away); Volcanoes Along the Rift (approx. 2.9 miles away); Are We Loving Them to Death? (approx. 3.7 miles away); Where's the Volcano? (approx. 4.2 miles away); North Crater Lava Flow (approx. 4.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arco.
 
Also see . . .  Goodale's Cutoff -- National Parks Service. In 1862 an emigrant party asked guide Tim Goodale to lead them west from Fort Hall on the cutoff pioneered by Jeffrey. They hoped the alternate trail would enable them to reach the Salmon River gold fields more directly. Goodale succeeded in leading a group of 1,095 people, 338 wagons, and 2,900 head of stock safely from Fort Hall to Boise. It took this enormous wagon train -- the largest to travel any section of the Oregon Trail -- over 3 hours to get into or out of camp. (Submitted on September 23, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
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Categories. Natural FeaturesRoads & Vehicles
 

More. Search the internet for Goodale's Cutoff.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 23, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 69 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 23, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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