Idaho's Byways

Northwest Idaho

White Pine Scenic Byway White Pine Scenic Byway

The White Pine Scenic Byway spans approximately 68 miles from the town of Potlatch to Elk River in northern Idaho, offering travelers a glimpse into the region's rich history and stunning natural beauty. The route winds through lush forests, past sparkling lakes, and alongside rushing rivers, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, sightseeing, and cultural exploration. Starting in Potlatch, travelers can visit the McConnell Mansion Museum, a beautifully preserved Victorian-era home that offers insight into Idaho's pioneer history. Continuing eastward, the byway passes through the Palouse region, known for its rolling hills and fertile farmland, before entering the dense forests of the Clearwater Mountains.

As the byway approaches Elk River, travelers are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness, including the rugged peaks of the Bitterroot Range and the pristine waters of Elk Creek Reservoir. Outdoor enthusiasts will find ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing in this remote and unspoiled corner of Idaho. The byway also passes by the Elk Creek Falls, one of Idaho's tallest waterfalls, where visitors can hike to several viewpoints for stunning views of the cascading water. With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and abundant recreational opportunities, the White Pine Scenic Byway is a must-visit destination in northwest Idaho.

Pend Oreille Scenic Byway 

Stretching for 33 miles along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho, the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway offers travelers a scenic drive through one of the state's most picturesque regions. Beginning in the town of Sandpoint, the byway follows Highway 200 eastward, passing through charming lakeside communities, lush forests, and rolling farmland. Along the way, travelers can stop at scenic overlooks to admire panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains or visit historic sites such as the Hope Peninsula and the Cabinet Gorge Dam.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing in this scenic and tranquil setting. Lake Pend Oreille is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for swimming, kayaking, and sailing. The byway also provides access to several state parks and recreation areas, where visitors can camp, picnic, and explore the natural beauty of northern Idaho. With its stunning landscapes, recreational opportunities, and charming communities, the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway offers a delightful journey through one of Idaho's most beautiful regions.

Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway 

The Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway winds around the stunning Lake Coeur d'Alene, offering travelers panoramic views of sparkling waters and lush forests. This 35-mile route takes visitors through charming lakeside communities and offers numerous opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.

Northwest Passage Scenic Byway 

The Northwest Passage Scenic Byway traces the historic route of Lewis and Clark, stretching from Lewiston to Lolo Pass. The 202-mile journey through the Clearwater and Bitterroot Mountains offers breathtaking views, rich history, and ample opportunities for outdoor adventures, including fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

St. Joe River Scenic Byway 

The St. Joe River Scenic Byway offers a scenic 85-mile drive along the St. Joe River, from St. Maries to St. Regis, Montana. The route provides stunning views of the river, lush forests, and abundant wildlife, making it a perfect destination for fishing, boating, and hiking enthusiasts.

International Selkirk Loop 

The International Selkirk Loop is a 280-mile scenic drive that circles through northern Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia. This byway offers breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, and rivers, and provides opportunities for hiking, boating, and exploring charming small towns.

Southwest Idaho

Payette River Scenic Byway

The Payette River Scenic Byway meanders for 112 miles through the picturesque Payette River Valley, offering travelers a journey through some of Idaho's most stunning mountain landscapes. Beginning in the town of Banks, the byway follows the winding course of the Payette River as it flows through dense forests, rocky canyons, and verdant meadows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Along the way, travelers can explore charming mountain towns, visit historic sites, and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking.

The byway also passes through the beautiful Boise National Forest, where visitors can hike on scenic trails, camp in tranquil forest settings, and fish in pristine rivers and lakes. One of the highlights of the byway is the Payette River, which is renowned for its excellent whitewater rafting opportunities. The North Fork of the Payette River features challenging rapids that attract experienced rafters, while the South Fork offers more gentle stretches for beginners and families. With its scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and charming communities, the Payette River Scenic Byway is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway 

The Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway takes travelers on a journey through Idaho's volcanic landscape, spanning approximately 163 miles from Shoshone to Carey in south-central Idaho. Following the route of ancient lava flows and volcanic eruptions, the byway winds its way through rugged canyons, vast lava fields, and towering mountains, offering panoramic views of the surrounding terrain. Along the route, travelers can explore Craters of the Moon National Monument, a surreal landscape of cinder cones, lava tubes, and other volcanic features, or visit the nearby city of Sun Valley, known for its world-class skiing and outdoor recreation.

The byway also passes through the stunning Lost River Range, home to some of Idaho's tallest peaks, including Mount Borah, the state's highest point. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike on challenging trails, climb rugged mountains, and explore remote wilderness areas in this dramatic landscape. The byway also offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, with chances to see bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of bird species. With its unique geological features, stunning mountain scenery, and abundant recreational opportunities, the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway is a fascinating destination for visitors of all ages.

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

 Stretching for 218 miles along the Snake River, the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway offers travelers a journey through one of the deepest river gorges in North America. Carved by the Snake River, Hells Canyon offers stunning views of towering cliffs, rushing rapids, and dramatic scenery. Along the way, travelers can explore historic sites, visit charming small towns, and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and river rafting.

The byway provides access to numerous viewpoints and overlooks, where visitors can marvel at the sheer size and beauty of Hells Canyon. One of the highlights of the byway is the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, which encompasses over 650,000 acres of wilderness, offering endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Visitors can hike on scenic trails, camp in remote wilderness areas, and fish in the pristine waters of the Snake River. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural history, and abundant recreational opportunities, the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is a must-see destination for adventurers seeking to experience the wild beauty of Idaho's backcountry.

Western Heritage Historic Byway

The Western Heritage Historic Byway, running through the scenic Snake River Plain, provides travelers with views of the expansive lava fields, rugged canyons, and historic sites. This 50-mile route offers a glimpse into Idaho’s rich cultural and natural heritage, with opportunities for hiking, photography, and exploring geological wonders.

Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway

The Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway, also known as the "Mud Flat Road," spans 101 miles through the remote and rugged Owyhee Canyonlands. The byway offers dramatic views of deep canyons, high desert landscapes, and opportunities for solitude, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Glenns Ferry Historic Byway

The Glenns Ferry Historic Byway follows the path of Oregon Trail pioneers through the Snake River Plains, spanning approximately 26 miles. The route provides historical context with interpretive sites, historic landmarks, and stunning views of the Snake River.

Northeast Idaho, Gold Rush Historic Byway 

The Gold Rush Historic Byway takes travelers on a journey through Idaho's rich mining history, spanning approximately 66 miles from the town of Pierce to Elk City in north-central Idaho. Following the route of the original gold rush miners of the 1860s, the byway winds its way through rugged mountains, dense forests, and historic mining towns, offering glimpses into Idaho's pioneering past. Along the route, travelers can explore historic sites such as the Orofino Bridge, the Elk City Wagon Road, and the Gold Rush Cemetery, where pioneers and prospectors laid rest.

Interpretive signs and visitor centers provide insight into the challenges and triumphs of Idaho's early settlers, while preserved mining artifacts and structures offer a tangible connection to the state's mining heritage. The byway also offers stunning views of the Clearwater River and the surrounding wilderness, with opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping in this remote and beautiful region. With its combination of historical significance and natural beauty, the Gold Rush Historic Byway is a fascinating destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Elk River Back Country Byway

The Elk River Back Country Byway offers a 57-mile journey through scenic backcountry roads, passing through dense forests and along pristine rivers. This route provides opportunities for camping, hiking, and exploring the natural beauty of northeast Idaho.

Sacajawea Historic Byway

The Sacajawea Historic Byway traces the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, spanning 132 miles from Salmon to the Montana border. The byway offers scenic views of the Bitterroot Mountains, historical sites, and opportunities for hiking, fishing, and learning about the expedition's journey through Idaho.

Post a Comment