About Minidoka County
Minidoka County covers 1,976 acres of farmland and desert in the Snake River Basin. It is part of an area called Magic Valley, because of its conversion from desert to farmland with irrigation water from the Snake River. The river forms the county's southern boundary, and to the north, it extends far into the lava beds near Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Its county seat is at Rupert. The population is 20,174, as of the 2000 census. Idaho Highway 25 crosses the county east to west and Idaho Highway 24 enters the southern boundary heading northeast, then takes a sudden turn to the northwest. Interstate 84 passes along the southern edge of the county. It's lowest elevation is on the surface of Milner Lake, a reservoir on the Snake River at 4,134 feet. Most of the county is relatively flat around 4,500 feet, but with a rugged terrain marked by outcroppings of lava and pits and depressions. Two volcanic cones jut above the plain, Kimama Butte, reaching 5,074 feet in the northwest corner, and Bear Den Butte, the county's highest point at 5,104. feet in elevation.
The name Minidoka comes from the Dakota Sioux language and means a fountain or spring of water. The name was used in 1883 as the name of a spur of a railroad. The town of Minidoka grew up at a watering station on that spur. Then the Minidoka Dam, completed in 1904 on the Snake River was given the same name, and Minidoka County received the same name when it was created by the state legislature on January 28, 1913. Previously it was part of Lincoln County, which lies to the west.
The town of Burley is the County seat of Cassia County, which lies to the south, but it has spilled over into Minidoka County.