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Horseshoe Bend, Idaho is the largest city in rural Boise

County with a population of 868 at the 2018 census. It is

named for its location at the horseshoe-shaped U-turn

of the Payette River, whose flow direction changes from

south to north before heading west to Black Canyon Dam

near Emmett. With an elevation of 2,600 feet, the area

was originally settled in the 1860’s by prospectors as they

waited out the winter snows in order to gain access to the

Idaho City gold fields. When the gold fields slowed down,

ranchers and loggers moved into the area and the railroad

quickly moved in to transport goods to Emmett in the

west and Long Valley in the north. Until 1867 the

settlement was known as Warrinersville – named after a

local sawmill operator. Logging continued to be a primary

employer in Horseshoe Bend until 1998 when Boise Cascade closed the local sawmill. Today, many residents take the short commute over Horseshoe Bend hill into Boise for employment. Horseshoe Bend’s strategic location along State Highway 55 - the primary north-south route out of Boise – is changing the current culture to one of ranching, recreational tourism and a growing bedroom community for nearby Boise.

Elevation: 2,631′

Area: 1.1 mi²

Population: 862 (2019)

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