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Elmore County was named for the Ida Elmore mines, the area's greatest silver and gold producer of the 1860's. The Oregon Trail crossed the Snake River at Three Island Crossing near Glenns Ferry. A station on the overland stage route, originally named Rattlesnake Station, was moved to the railroad line and became Mountain Home which is the county seat was moved to Mountain Home.
Elmore County features several campgrounds and camping areas along with rivers and lakes for fishing. Many people also visit for the hiking trails as well as the snowmobiling and cross country skiing trails. Boating, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and rafting are other popular activities along with rock climbing in the Castlerock area.