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Orofino, meaning "Fine Gold" in Spanish, was settled around 1865 by gold miners from California. 60 years earlier the Lewis and Clark expedition passed nearby on their way to the Pacific. Orofino is located on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, and the Clearwater River runs through the town.
The area offers an array of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Attractions include Dworshak Reservoir - a 53 mile long lake created by Dworshak Dam. It is the largest straight axis dam in North America. Boating, fishing and water play are popular here.
Dworshak Dam visitor center is located at the top of the dam; it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits highlight the history and wildlife of the area. Tours are also available through the interior of the dam.
Nez Perce National Historic Park located about 1 mile from the junction of highway 12 and 95 at Spalding. Stop at the visitors center and orient yourself to the park. The uniformed staff can answer your questions, whether they pertain to the history of the region and the Nez Perce or how to get around. There is also a museum in the visitors center with Nez Perce exhibits and artifacts.
The Clearwater River is home to large Steelhead Trout, some weighing in over 25 pounds. Chinook Salmon also frequent the river in late fall. The Dworshak Fisheries Complex is largely responsible for the success of these runs. The hatchery is well worth a visit, an enjoyable field trip for the whole family.
Orofino has its own golf course. It's 9 holes and very difficult, according to a few of the high handicap locals. The course is at 5415 feet, par 70, for 18 holes.
Other points of interest include the Bald Mtn SKi Area, The Lolo Motorway Trail, the Howard Bradbury Museau, the Clearwater Historical Museum, the Canoe Camp of Lewis and Clark Camp, 1806 and Idaho's first courthouse built in 1860. Lolo Motorway (Trail) is part of the original Lewis & Clark Trail from Clearwater County to Montana. From now throughout 2006, there will be special events commemorating the Corps of Discovery journey with Lewis and Clark.
Learn more about Orofino as a destination including things to do.