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Syringa, Idaho facts for kids

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Syringa, Idaho
Country United States
State Idaho
County Idaho
Lowest elevation
1,411 ft (430 m)
Time zone Pacific (UTC -8)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 208

Syringa (pronounced \sə-ˈriŋ-gə\) is an unincorporated town in Idaho County, Idaho, United States. The town is named for the shrub which grows in the area [Philadelphus lewisii], and is the Idaho State Flower. It is in the Pacific Time Zone, (-8 UTC). The climate is mild with an average precipitation of over 25 inches per year.


The town lies at the base of the Clearwater Mountains, a subset of the Rocky Mountains, along the banks of the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River (MFCR). The area is on the edge of the Idaho Batholith, though Columbia River Basalt Flows are mere miles to the west. Three creeks run into the MFCR within a mile of each other near Syringa. The creeks are Little Smith Creek, Smith Creek, and Syringa Creek. The close proximity of the creek mouths form a large alluvial plain surround by sylvan forests.


The area is within the home territory of the Nez Perce people or Nimi’ipuu (Nee-me-poo), but eleven miles east of the current reservation boundary. The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery National Historical Trail, also known as the Northern Nez Perce Trail, is ten air miles directly north. In 1877, during the Nez Perce War, the Nez Perce crossed the trail followed by General Oliver Otis Howard fleeing the reservation. Settlers moved into the area by the 1880s and Homesteads were established in the early 1900s. Lumber mills were once the main industry, now replaced by recreation and governmental land management. The Middle Fork Ranger station (No. One) sat 1 mile to the west until 1939. The Great Fire of 1910, also known as the Great Burn effected the area as did the Pete King Fire of 1934. The Woodrat Fire threatened the town in 2015.

Geography and Political Boundaries

It is at Latitude 46.1507362 N and Longitude 115.7270822 W. The elevation is 1411 to 1430 feet.

The Northwest Passage Scenic Byway U.S. Route 12, one of three main east to west routes across Idaho, is the main access to Syringa. The town is within the Middle Fork Wild and Scenic River Corridor managed by the United States Forest Service. The Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forest surrounds Syringa. The Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area is to the east. Syringa is in Mountain View School District #244 and students are bused to Kooskia, Idaho. The area code is 208, but Idaho will be adding the 986 area code in 2017.


The climate is similar to that of Kooskia, Idaho fifteen miles to the west, but with a shorter growing season (by a few days) little more moisture. The valley's low elevation and ridge alignment give Syringa a mild, moist climate. This has resulted in flora of White and Red Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Ponderosa Pine. Cottonwood trees grow near the creeks. Ferns and underbrush can become thick, especially on the northern slope faces.

  • 1. Idaho Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary, Lalia Boone, University of Idaho Press, Moscow, ID, 1988 pg367
  • 2. Roadside Geology of Idaho, David D. Alt, Donald W. Hyndman, Mountain Press Publishing Co. Missoula MT 1993 pg 128
  • 3. Major Fenn's Country: A history of the lower Lochsa, the lower Selway and the upper Middlefork of the Clearwater, and surrounding lands, Neal Parsell, Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forest Association, Seattle, WA, 1990
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