Underwriting provided by:
The Laura Moore Cunningham

Five Mile Bar

Five Mile Bar is the former home of one of the Salmon River's most famous residents. This is the location where Sylvan Hart, better known as Buckskin Bill carved a life for himself out of the wilderness. Hart first came here in 1929 and lived out his life on the property. In all, Buckskin Bill spent fifty years on the Salmon River.

A vintage photo of Buckskin Bill

The property is now looked after by a colorful couple who've been here a long time themselves. Heinz and his wife Barbara have spent three decades on the Salmon. They first came to the canyon in 1981 and got the job caretaking Buckskin Bills place a few years later.

In the 1990s they were able to buy one of the lots around Buckskin's place where they built their own house. They also created the Buckskin Bill Museum and Store. In addition, Heinz began guiding river trips, and driving a jet boat and eventually bought an outfitting business from long-time guide Zeke West. Like Buckskin, they've made a life for themselves on the Salmon River.

Heinz and Barbara in their garden

"We never had the opportunity to meet Buckskin when he was still alive but over all these years we met a lot of people who had an experience with Buckskin. I think he was a great man. Look at it. He came in here sometime 1929, 1930 and he lived and stayed here and made a living and survived in the wilderness doing everything himself. Now I don't think we're doing the same thing but I think we're not too far away, he's right there. He's present. So for us taking care of what is left over that he created is really an honor."
--Heinz, co-owner Five Mile Bar