Orofino dates back to 1895 when the Nez Perce Reservation was opened to settlement. Clifford Fuller built the first homestead and established a small trading post along the Clearwater River. Founded in 1896, Orofino, a Spanish word for "fine gold," was named after Orofino, an early gold rush town near Pierce. Today Orofino offers all-season recreation and is the gateway to rugged backcountry adventure.
When Potlatch Lumber Company came to Elk River in 1906 there were no roads into the backcountry. During spring runoff, the North Fork of the Clearwater River became a waterway used to transport logs to the mills in Lewiston. Loggers with crosscut saws harvested white pine logs that were skidded by horses and steam donkeys to the river's edge. To learn more about Elk Creek's logging history visit the Clearwater County Museum located in Orofino.