About Atomic City
Atomic City is nearly a ghost town, located in the deserts of the Snake River Plain. The land is mostly flat for many miles around with the exception of Big Butte, a good sized-mountain, which stands a ways to the west and a couple smaller buttes scattered around. In the distance to the north, the Lost River Mountains can be seen.
Atomic City used to be called Midway, but its name was changed to reflect its proximity to the site where atomic energy was developed in the 1950s. The Idaho National Laboratory is located just north of the town, occupying a large area of land, where atomic power was developed.
U.S. Highway 26 used to pass right through Atomic City, but a newer alignment takes it a few miles to the east. Because of that and the decreased workforce at Idaho National Laboratory, Atomic City has seen most of its population leave, leaving it just 25 residents, most of whom are old. A raceway in Atomic City brings weekend visitors to the town.
The surrounding land is too dry for much farming. Much of it is ancient lava fields. The elevation is 5,017 feet. The old highway is a dirt road that can still be followed for a long ways through the desert. Atomic City is in Bingham County, But the Butte County line reaches nearly to the city on the northwest.
For More Information:
See Wikipedia’s Atomic City, Idaho article.
Atomic City Road|
Twin Buttes Road