Relaxing in Atomic City.

Atomic City

Field review by the editors.

Atomic City, Idaho

At one time, the glorious road to the nuclear future bisected Atomic City, Idaho. But today, all this place has going for it is a funny name. About 25 people live in a flat, isolated ghost town-to-be, and the main road in is unpaved. The gas station is also the post office and bar. The weedy and faded Atomic City Raceway may be ironic or just abandoned. Still, the signs around town do provide for one of the country's best photo opportunities.

The few locals we met were friendly enough, offering cool beers from a nearby double-wide trailer instead of killing us and burying our corpses under the raceway. No one commented about our anti-radiation suits, perhaps a common site in town.

Other attractions help justify the 50 mile drive from Idaho Falls. Nearby Butte City is still home to secret government research, and not far away, Arco offers tours of the World's First Nuclear Power Plant. Picnic tables are thoughtfully provided under a pair of house-sized experimental atomic jet engines.

Atomic City

Atomic City

Address:
US Hwy 26, Atomic City, ID
Directions:
West of Idaho Falls on US Hwy 26, about five miles east of its split with US Hwy 20. South side; watch for the turn-off.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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July 26, 2014

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