Clearwater County has four incorporated cities within its boundaries. With Orofino, established as the County Seat pursuant to the authority of the Idaho State Legislature; and has a population of 3,247 and houses the Federal Government’s Forest Services, several State of Idaho offices including the State Prison, Department of Lands Office, Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protective Association, and a State Hospital North. The Clearwater County Courthouse as well as its City Hall is located in Orofino; and
Pierce, with a population of 617 lies some 40 miles east of Orofino and is named for E. D. Pierce who discovered the first gold in Clearwater County. Weippe lies about 10 miles South of Pierce and 28 miles southeast of Orofino and has a population of 416. Elk River is almost due north of Orofino 33 miles and was born because of logging and boasted the largest sawmill in the area at one time. The mill closed many years ago and the population has dwindled to around 156. The areas boost a wealth of recreational opportunities.
Clearwater County is a vast area covering 1,575,424 acres, ranks the County 10th largest of Idaho’s 44 counties. Elevation ranges from 1,000 feet above seal level at Orofino, Ahsahka and Greer to peaks nearly 8,000 feet which are located in the Clearwater National Forest. Most of the land in Clearwater County averages from 2,000 to 3000 feet.
Clearwater County contains within its boundaries a large portion of the Clearwater National Forest. The Clearwater National Forest covers 800,000 acre from the jagged peaks of the Bitterroot Mountains in the east to the river canyons and the rolling hills of the Palouse Prairie in the west. This Forest is a recreational haven in Clearwater County. The recreational uses are plentiful and recreational information can be obtained from the Clearwater National Forest supervisor’s office located in Orofino, Idaho.
The Clearwater River is the main river of Clearwater County and it’s tributaries are the Lochsa River and the South Fork, North fork and Middle Fork of the Clearwater River. The Clearwater River empties into the Snake River at Lewiston, Idaho.
Dworshak Dam, on the North Fork of the Clearwater River, whose major purpose is flood control, recreation, and electric power generation, has created a 53.6 mile long 17,090 acre Dworshak Reservoir and has made recreational uses more plentiful. Boating, camping, fishing, hunting, swimming are the main recreational uses.
Dworshak State Park is located among trees and meadow on the western shores of Dworshak Reservoir. The park is comprised of three units, Freeman Creek, Three Meadows Group Camp, and Big Eddy Marina. This park is a valued recreational asset in Clearwater County.
Clearwater County is rich in Idaho and local history and houses several museums in the County, the Clearwater County Museum, located in Orofino, Idaho; H Howard Bradbury Memorial Logging Museum and Old Pierce Courthouse located in Pierce, Idaho Weippe Discovery Center located in Weippe, Idaho and Elk River Museum located in Elk River, Idaho.
The current acting Board of Clearwater County Commissioners opens this year of centennial celebration for the County, honoring its founders, and congratulating the citizens of said County on this anniversary; and
The County has created a Centennial Coin to commemorate its centennial celebration and the County will be celebrating it’s Centennial throughout the entire year of 2011 and will be hosting several events to celebrate this monumental occasion.