Pulaski Tunnel Trail
Less than 10 minutes from downtown Wallace, the two-mile Pulaski Tunnel Trail takes hikers back into local history. In the summer of 1910 great fires ravaged more than 3 million acres of Idaho, Montana and Washington, culminating in what’s now known as “the Big Blowup,” when hurricane-force winds set off “a veritable red demon from hell” in the words of one survivor. Ranger “Big Ed” Pulaski led a fire crew of 43 men into the Nicholson mine – now known as the Pulaski Tunnel – and saved all but six; across the region at least 85 people died in the fires.
This trail follows part of the route the crew took along cascading West Fork of Placer Creek and brings hikers to an overlook across from the tunnel. Today’s lush spruce and fir forest belies the damage and tragedy of that century-old fire but interpretive signs along the way tell the story of the fire and miraculous escape.
Details: 4 miles round-trip; moderate difficulty.
Directions: The trail begins at a well-marked trailhead about a one mile south of Wallace, on Forest Service Road 456.