Saltese is a mining town almost on the Idaho border and named in honor of Chief Saltese, a Nez Perce leader from the area. Saltese, whose main street and railroad tracks strong out along a narrow canyon, is a supply point for the many small silver and gold mines in the nearby mountains. The town was first known as Silver City but was renamed in 1891. Even before the silver boom, the site was known to packers, trappers, and prospectors, who called it Packer's Meadow. It was a good campground and stopping place on the difficult trail to the Mullan Road. (from Cheney's
Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company) Beautifully situated in the Bitterroot Range in
Lolo National Forest, a number of National Forest Trails begin in Saltese. The
Old Montana Bar & Grill is located in this old mining and logging town. The building has been here since the early 1900s. It features a beautiful old oak antique bar here that is over 100 years old. From Saltese you can visit the nearby remnants of
Taft, a mining camp that once had 2,000 residents. The town drew many of its inhabitants with construction, its logging industry, and bootlegging. It was destroyed in a forest fire from the Coeur d'Alene forests, in 1910. Just past Saltese on the Montana-Idaho Border (Exit 0),
Lookout Pass Ski Area provides a great skiing experience. The snow comes early, it snows regularly, and the climate results in snow that tends to be light and fun to ski. Enjoy a day on the slopes and then a warm meal while sitting next to the toasty-warm fire in Lookout Pass's rustic lodge.