• Photographed by Tom Holman

Regions

Pulaski Tunnel Trail - 4 miles round trip
5 minutes from downtown Wallace, the two-mile Pulaski Tunnel Trail takes hikers back in time to the summer of 1910 and one of the largest forest fires in American history. Hurricane-force winds turned small fires into a blowtorch that ravaged more than 3 million acres of Idaho, Montana and Washington, culminating in what’s now known as “the Big Blowup.” At trails-end is the tunnel and commemorative markers indicating where Ed Pulaski saved all but six of the 45 firefighters under his command by holding them at gunpoint in a mine tunnel. The 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 forest belies the damage and tragedy of that century-old fire but interpretive signs along the way tell the story of the fire and the miraculous escape. Both the trail and the mine are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Pulaski Tunnel Trail is a nice and easy hike located at a well-marked trailhead soon after King Street leaves Wallace’s city limits (about half-mile south) of Wallace.

Interpretive signs along the trail tell of the calamitous summer of fire and the people who suffered its scars.

Allow two to four hours for the four-mile round trip to the Pulaski Tunnel overlook.

Accessibility:

First 725 feet of trail are accessible to visitors with disabilities.

Directions:

From I-90, take exit 61 toward I-90 BUS/Wallace. At off-ramp stop sign, turn and head south. Turn left on I-90 Business Route. Turn right onto 2nd Street. Continue to follow 2nd Street. Turn right onto Bank Street. Bank Street turns left and becomes King Street. King Street turns slightly left and becomes National Forest Road 456/Moon Pass Road. Continue on FS Road 456 for about one mile until you see the well-marked parking area on your left.

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