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Shoshone, Idaho
Location of Shoshone in Lincoln County, Idaho.
Location of Shoshone in Lincoln County, Idaho.
Country United States
State Idaho
County Lincoln
Founded 1882, 142 years ago
 • Total 1.20 sq mi (3.10 km2)
 • Land 1.17 sq mi (3.04 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
3,963 ft (1,208 m)
 • Total 1,461
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,280.48/sq mi (494.23/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
83324, 83352
Area code(s) 208, 986
FIPS code 16-73900
GNIS feature ID 0400083

Shoshone is the county seat and largest city of Lincoln County, Idaho, United States. The population was 1,461 at the 2010 census. In contrast to the Shoshone Native American tribe for which it is named, the city's name is correctly pronounced "Show-shown", with a silent "e".


Founded in 1882 during the construction of the Oregon Short Line, Shoshone has long been considered the main railroad station in south central Idaho's Magic Valley region. The much larger community of Twin Falls 26 miles (42 km) to the south never developed a strong railroad presence due to the logistical issues presented by its location south of the Snake River Canyon. For many years, Shoshone was the only Amtrak stop in south central Idaho.

The Union Pacific Railroad opened the Sun Valley resort in 1936 (and owned it until 1964), and its pre-existing spur route to Ketchum connected here. The spur first headed northeast, following today's US 93, to Richfield and Tikura, then peeled northwest to Picabo and on to Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum, so the distance was greater than today's more direct 55-mile (90 km) drive north on Highway 75.

About 15 miles (25 km) north of Shoshone are the Shoshone Ice Caves, hollow subterranean lava tubes that stay cool enough for the ice inside them to remain frozen throughout the summer. In the days before refrigeration, this feature, coupled with the railroad, made Shoshone popular with travelers as "the only place for hundreds of miles where one could get a cold beer."


Shoshone is located at 42°56′12″N 114°24′28″W / 42.93667°N 114.40778°W / 42.93667; -114.40778 (42.936, -114.406), at an elevation of 3,963 feet (1,208 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.16 square miles (3.00 km2), of which, 1.14 square miles (2.95 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. The Little Wood River runs through the town.

Much of the land around Shoshone is lava rock, which can make excavation for building problematic, and limits the amount of useful farmland.


  • US 26.svg - US 26
  • US 93.svg - US 93
  • ID-24.svg - SH-24
  • ID-75.svg - SH-75 - Sawtooth Scenic Byway

The four highways converge in Shoshone, the southern terminus of SH-75. Traffic between the Magic Valley and Sun Valley passes through Shoshone, maintaining its early heritage as a brief rest stop for travelers.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,155
1920 1,165 0.9%
1930 1,211 3.9%
1940 1,366 12.8%
1950 1,420 4.0%
1960 1,416 −0.3%
1970 1,233 −12.9%
1980 1,242 0.7%
1990 1,249 0.6%
2000 1,398 11.9%
2010 1,461 4.5%
2019 (est.) 1,502 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,461 people, 542 households, and 349 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,281.6 inhabitants per square mile (494.8/km2). There were 647 housing units at an average density of 567.5 per square mile (219.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.0% White, 0.1% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.5% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.4% of the population.

There were 542 households, of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.6% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.29.

The median age in the city was 33 years. 29.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.6% were from 25 to 44; 22.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.


Today, Shoshone still has one bar, but also boasts a cafe, a movie theater, and a grocery store—unusual for such a small town. While limited retail jobs exist, Shoshone is primarily a farming and dairy community.

Shoshone is home to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) facility. The town also has a small medical clinic, and recently built a new K-12 school building.

In recent years, Shoshone has become a bedroom community for workers of neighboring Blaine County, due to a significant difference in cost of living. The resort cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley are about an hour north on Highway 75. This commuting phenomenon has contributed greatly to recent growth in the Shoshone area. Shoshone also has a few historical buildings.

Notable people

  • Jack M. Murphy (1925-1984) - American politician. Murphy is a former 32nd lieutenant governor of Idaho.
  • Tim Ridinger - American politician. Ridinger is a former mayor and member of Idaho House of Representatives.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shoshone (Idaho) para niños

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