FARMS AND FORESTS (2dNW's northern region)

Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway - ID

This winding route takes you from Coeur d'Alene to Harrison on Idaho 97 where it meets Idaho 3; 36 miles. Watch for bald eagles and the largest population of nesting osprey in the West. Hike Mineral Ridge Trail to catch panoramic views of the Coeur d'Alene Lake and surrounding mountatins. Stop in historic Harrison to eat huckleberry ice cream in a colorful, historic lakeside town. 

St. Joe River Scenic Byway - ID


From St. Maries to Avery is 47 miles of paved road along the beautiful St. Joe; the world's highest navigable river. Between May and November, the byway extends another 42 miles of gravel road to the Idaho-Montana border. East along the St. Joe, watch for eagles and osprey, especially in early spring. From deep and still to shallow and rapid, this river is a draw for boaters, bird-watchers and anglers. Dolly Vardins, rainbow, cutthroat and other species of trout can be found in these waters. 

White Pine Scenic Byway - ID

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(Photo: Cataldo Mission by Alison Meyer)

From Cataldo to St. Maries is 83 miles of scenic highway that takes you along the largest stand of white pine in the nation. Idaho 6 cuts through the St. Joe National Forest, and marshlands around the St. Joe River. At the north end, the road ends near Cataldo Mission, the oldest Idaho building still standing. 

More at Idaho Byways dot com...


PALOUSE HILLS (2DNW'S central region)

Palouse Scenic Byway- WA

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(Photo: Palouse Perfect View by Alison Meyer)

208 miles criss-crossing southeastern Washington. Of all byways in the Two Degrees NW region, this is the longest because its network of roads cross each other. Rolling hills abundant with wheat, pea, lentil, mustard seed and canola crops paint this land in shifting colors each season (early to mid summer is best forbright yellows and deep greens). The Palouse’s hilly farmlands (drive backroads linking Rosalia, Oaksdale, Palouse, Colfax or Tekoa) and channeled scablands (east on 26) were all carved some 13,000 years ago when Lake Missoula glaciers dissolved into floods raging up to 20 miles wide and 600 feet deep! Whitman county activists won Washington scenic byway designation for these roads following Indian and wagon trails in 2003 and now aim for federal status. More maps and information available here

Elk River Back Country Byway - ID

Orofino to Boville via Elk River; 57 miles. It’s mostly gravel from Elk River to Orofino. A great back road to see forests and wildlife. From Orofino: Wells Bench road from Idaho 7, cross the North Fork of the Clearwater at Dent Bridge, then to Elk River where it joins Idaho 8 to Bovill. It is maintained year round, but isn’t recommended for a winter drive! Be sure to stop in Elk River for a burger, cold drink or huckleberry ice cream cone.

 

RIVERS AND PRAIRIES (2dNW's southern region)

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(Snake River region photo by Alison Meyer)

Northwest Passage Scenic Byway - ID

202 miles of the Lewis and Clark trail through the ancestral homeland of the Nez Perce people, this National Scenic Byway, All American Road - and Northern Rockies Top 10 Scenic Drive takes travelers from Lewiston Idaho to Lolo Pass on U.S. Highway 12. At Kooskia the byway splits with a stem running south on Idaho 13 to Grangeville and the Camas Prairie. This national treasure follows the middle fork of the Clearwater River past the confluence of the Selway and Lochsa rivers, then up along the Lochsa Wild and Scenic River to the pass between Idaho and Montana.

Gold Rush Historic Byway - ID

Greer to Weippe and Pierce; 30 miles one way. A wonderful detour from U.S. Highway 12’s Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Cross the Clearwater at Greer and follow Idaho 11 up a steep grade to Weippe and Pierce. Allow 90 minutes each way or more for stops at scenic turnouts and visits to local businesses and historical sites in Pierce (where Idaho’s gold was first discovered) and Weippe, where native camus roots, prized food for Native Americans, still flower in the spring.

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(White Bird Grade by Alison Meyer)