BIG SPRINGS JOHNNY SACK CABIN
In 1929, Johnny Sack leased a small tract of land from the United States Forest Service and began building his log cabin at Big Springs. Little did Johnny know when he first acquired the choice building site, his home would become a landmark one day discussed in the United States Congress.
Due to its unique location and picturesque setting, Johnny’s cabin and nearby water-wheel have long been one of the most photographed sites in Island Park. The cabin attracts thousands of visitors each summer interested in the log and stone structure as well as the building’s colorful creator.
The cabin is open to the public from mid-June through mid-September, and visitors are invited to visit and see firsthand the unique craftsmanship of one of Island Park’s early settlers. One of Johnny’s trademarks is the split bark decoration used in the cabin’s furniture and interior. He took great pride in detail work. One ceiling lamp, still hanging in its original location, contains seventy-two individual handcrafted pieces of wood. A double bed was made of ninety-six wood pieces which Johnny nailed and glued together. Today many of the individually crafted pieces of wood furniture Johnny created for his home remain in their original location.
Moose frequent the area and can be viewed dining on the watercress in the crystal clear spring waters.
MESA FALLS scenic byway
A thunderous curtain of water – as tall as a 10-story building – pours over remnants of an ancient volcanic super-eruption. From Ashton, Idaho, the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway heads northeast into the lush landscape of the Targhee National Forest. It’s a loop that runs for nearly thirty impressive miles all the way to the Island Park area.This byway includes the popular Warm River campground and two of the most spectacular waterfalls in the West — lower and upper Mesa Falls. At the upper falls you can stop at the historic Big Falls interpretive center to learn about the geology and history of the area.
Plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. fill up on gas and pack a picnic lunch.