Gold Rush Historic Byway

Immerse yourself in scenery, history and wildlife on this 43-mile route from Greer to Weippe and Pierce. This is a wonderful detour from U.S. Highway 12’s Northwest Passage Scenic Byway.

From the junction with U.S. 12, cross the Clearwater River at Greer and follow Idaho 11 up a steep grade to Weippe and Pierce. Take in panoramic views of the Clearwater Valley along the way.

Allow 2 1/2 hours 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. 

Camping, fishing, riding and hiking are on tap in summer. During winter, ski and snowmobile on 350 miles of groomed and open trails. The byway can be icy during the winter months.

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Elk River Backcountry Byway

This is a low-key, off-the-beaten path adventure, stretching 57 miles along back roads replete with forests, wildlife and access to backcountry adventure.

The byway connects Orofino to Boville via Elk River. It’s mostly gravel from Elk River to Orofino. 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.

Allow two hours for this drive, which 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. Take advantage of plentiful camping, boating and fishing in season. During the winter, take advantage of trails for snowmobiling and skiing along the route.

Choose your campsite in the forest lands along the byway are open to unimproved camping. Remember to “Pack it in, Pack it out.”

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Palouse Scenic Byway

Ramble all day on this 208-mile scenic drive that criss-crosses 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 for bright 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.

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See map, and more information at www.palousescenicbyway.com

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White Pine Scenic Byway

From Cataldo Mission, Idaho’s oldest standing building, to the picturesque town of St. Maries and Potlatch, the 83 miles of the White Pine Scenic Byway passes lush forests, farm land, mountains, lakes and marshlands to the St. Maries and St. Joe rivers. The largest stand of white pine in the country lies along Idaho 6 in the St. Joe National Forest. And Potlatch was once site of the largest white pine lumber mill in the world.

Allow two hours for this 83 mile drive, plus time to wet a fishing line, take a hike, strap on cross-country skis, or explore the towns along the way. Begin at the junction of Interstate 90 and Idaho 3, south on Idaho 3 to Idaho 6, then southwest to U.S. 95 at Potlatch.

The White Pine Byway (Idaho 3) runs through the St. Joe National Forest and the entrance to the St. Joe Scenic Byway, intersecting with the Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway (Idaho 97). Then follows along the Coeur d’Alene River until it intersects with Interstate 90.

Full services in St. Maries.

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St. Joe River Scenic Byway

St. Joe River Scenic Byway follows the course of the beautiful St. Joe River, the world’s highest navigable river. Enjoy picturesque mountain landscapes and watch for bald eagles and osprey overhead, and deer, moose, elk and bear along the river’s edge.

The byway follows 47 miles of paved Forest Highway 50 from its junction with Idaho 3 in St. Maries to Avery. Between May and November (depending on snow) the byway extends another 42 miles of gravel road to the Idaho-Montana border. East along the St. Joe River, watch for bald eagles and osprey. At first deep and still, at St. Joe City, the river becomes shallower with more rapids. You’ll see (lr catch) Dolly Vardins, rainbow, cutthroat and other species of trout.

Allow 2 1/2 to 3 hours, one way, for this drive along a two-lane road with numerous pullouts and points of interest. Full services available in St. Maries and Avery; partial services in Calder. Enjoy the many recreation opportunities along the St. Joe Wild and Scenic River and in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

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Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway

Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway traverses an area where the lakes, mountains, and beautiful summer weather have made it one of the most famous summer playgrounds and resort destinations in the Pacific Northwest. It’s also home to a variety of wildlife, including moose, deer, elk, bear and several bird species.

The byway begins at the junction of Interstate 90 and Idaho 97 and follows Idaho 97 south and east along Lake Coeur d’Alene to Idaho 3. Take your time to explore along this two-lane, paved winding road.

Great for year-round visits, even in December and January when the eagles congregate between Wolf Lodge Bay and Beauty Bay. Wildlife is diverse throughout the year, and Lake Coeur d’Alene is home to the largest population of nesting osprey in the Western states. Summer attractions include camping, boating, water sports, cycling, bird watching, and fishing. During the fall you can enjoy the leaves changing colors along the lake.

Allow 1 1/2 hours for this 36-mile drive. You’ll want more time to explore the outdoors and a mid-way stop at the town of Harrison for huckleberry ice cream and a dose of Idaho history. Take a break and stretch your legs on the Mineral Ridge Trail, which offers panoramic views of the lake, as well as several learning stations describing the area’s botany and animal life.

At Idaho 3, the byway meets up with the White Pine Scenic Byway.

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