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The Laura Moore Cunningham

Lost Gold Trails Loop

The Lost Gold Trails Loop winds through the high desert terrain from Dubois to Spencer east of Interstate 15. The byway follows much of the route of an early-day gold trail that winds along Beaver Creek towards Montana's gold mines.

At the southern end of the loop is Dubois, which used to be known as "Dry Creek." It has a number of historical buildings, including the Dubois Hotel and Heritage Hall Museum. The town is also known as a gateway to the Nez Perce Trail. In the late 1800s the Nez Perce used part of this route along the foothills of the Centennial Mountains to elude the U.S. Calvary.

Another highlight of this byway are the opal mines just outside the town of Spencer. The mines are privately owned, but for a small fee there are areas where you can do your own rock hounding. Or course if you prefer, you can pick up some great gems at one of the high grade opal shops in the area.