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About the Park

Mary McCroskey State Park was given to the State of Idaho in 1955 and is dedicated to the memory of frontier women and the hardships they endured. Local conservationist, Virgil T. McCroskey, gradually bought up land endangered by logging and cobbled his purchases into a 4,400-acre parcel.

To make the land more attractive to tourists, McCroskey cut viewpoints into some of the slopes, built picnic areas, planted flowers, and established a road. The Idaho legislature, however, had serious doubts about the new park, thinking it would not generate enough revenue to justify the loss in taxes, and agreed to accept the gift only if McCroskey would maintain the park at his expense for the next 15 years. McCroskey, then in his 70s, accepted the terms, and lived exactly 15 more years, fulfilling his obligation to the State of Idaho just weeks before his death in 1970 at 93.

McCroskey named the park in honor of his mother, a pioneer woman who came to Eastern Washington with her husband and children to establish a homestead near Steptoe Butte, north of Colfax, Washington.

Skyline Drive is an 18-mile-long, unimproved road that rises through a dense cedar forest and Ponderosa pines to spectacular vistas of the rolling Palouse prairie. The road provides access to 32 miles of multi-purpose trails for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) riders. The road is not safe for large RVs or trailers, and it may be too rough for your family car, but if you’ve got a suitable rig and are willing to explore, you won’t be disappointed.

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