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Idaho's Most Scenic and Roads and Byways


International Selkirk Loop

Following rivers and lakeshores most of the way, the byway encircles the Selkirk Mountains in northeast Washington, north Idaho, and southeast British Columbia. This section of the byway passes through the Idaho panhandle's scenic recreation area, including several sections of the Panhandle National Forest and between Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake. The Panhandle National Forest provides a variety of year-round recreational opportunities, including downhill skiing and snowmobiling, snowboarding, bicycling, hiking, fishing, boating, horseback riding, and hunting. The public lands bordering the loop are home to the largest diversity of wildlife in the lower 48 states with more than 50 mammal and 265+ bird species.

Start and Endpoint: A loop route through northern Idaho, northeastern Washington, and southeastern British Columbia. The Idaho section of the byway runs from the Washington state border near Oldtown, east on US 2, then north on US 95 and SR 1 to the US-Canadian border near Porthill, Idaho. The entire byway in the United States and Canada, designated an "All-American" Road, spans 280 miles including an 89-mile section in Idaho and a 166-mile section in Washington.

For further information, contact: The International Selkirk Loop

Northwest Passage Scenic Byway

The 202-mile byway traces the historic route of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they searched for a passage between the Missouri and Columbia rivers. The 1.8-million-acre Clearwater River offers opportunities for kayaking and whitewater rafting. Along the route visitors can explore Lewis and Clark Expedition campsites, numerous Nez Perce historical and cultural sites, and the Nez Perce National Historical Park Museum at Spalding.

Start and Endpoint: Follows US 12 from Spalding along the Clearwater River to Kooskia, Idaho. From there it follows Idaho SR 13 to Grangeville.

For further information, contact: North Central Idaho Travel Association

Payette River Scenic Byway

Passing through Boise and Payette National forests, this 112-mile scenic route offers travelers views of mountain forests, Payette Lake, Cascade Reservoir, and Payette River, where visitors can enjoy whitewater rafting and other recreational activities. Points of interest include the resort towns of Cascade, McCall, and New Meadows, the Thunder Mountain Historic Train Ride and Horseshoe Bend, and Rainbow Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Start and Endpoint: Route begins at the junction of US 95 and New Meadows and parallels the Payette River along SR 55 south to a junction with SR 44 in Eagle.

For further information, contact: Donnelly Chamber of Commerce

Pend Oreille Scenic Byway

Byway provides access to the region's rugged mountain scenery and abundant water recreation opportunities. It flanks the eastern edge of Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth deepest lake in the United States, and skirts the western side of Kaniksu National Forest, which offers opportunities for camping, hiking, and mountain biking. In the winter, the Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

Start and Endpoint: From west to east, byway runs 33 miles from the junction of US 95 north of Sandpoint along ID 200 to the Montana state line. It passes through the small towns of Hope, East Hope, and Clark Fork.

For further information, contact: Hope-Clark Fork Chamber of Commerce

Pioneer Historic Byway

Many of the historical and cultural milestones along the route can be traced to the mid 1800s, when Mormon pioneers began settling the area. Areas of interest include: Franklin, Idaho's oldest city; the Bear River Massacre National Historic Site, where 250 Native Americans were killed by an American army unit; Sheep Rock, the first split of the Oregon-California Trail; Hooper Springs Park in Soda Springs; Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Caribou Mountain; Tincup Canyon in Caribou National Forest; and 500,000-year-old Niter Ice Cave.

Start and Endpoint: The 127-mile byway follows ID 34 from the Wyoming state line south to Soda Springs, where it crosses the Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway (US 30). From there it continues south on ID 34, then follows US 91 to the Utah state line.

For further information, contact: Pioneer Country Travel Council of Southeastern Idaho

Western Heritage Historic Byway

The 40-mile byway traverses dramatic landscapes, historic sites, and 21 miles of the 600,000-acre Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, home to the densest population of breeding raptors in North America. The conservation area is used by 24 species of birds of prey including hawks, eagles, falcons, osprey, harriers, and owls. Areas of interest along the byway include historic Kuna, the Silver Trail, Swan Falls Dam, and Celebration Park, Idaho's first archeological park.

Start and Endpoint: From Meridian, byway runs along ID 69 to East Avalon Avenue in Kuna, then south on Swan Falls Road to Swan Falls Dam.

For further information, contact: Idaho Transportation Department

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