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There’s A Little Known Historic Road In Idaho… And It’s Truly Breathtaking

It seems like no matter where you turn, Idaho offers something new, beautiful, and historic to explore. For your next road trip, take a scenic journey through Northern Idaho, meandering with ease across a fantastic landscape that was once thought to be impenetrable by all except one man: John Mullan. He was tasked with devising a way to connect the vital outpost at Fort Benton in Montana, the head of navigation on the Missouri, with Walla Walla near the highly navigable waters of the Columbia. While the Columbia was already accessible further south via the Oregon Trail, this new trail blazed across the forested mountain landscape of the Idaho Panhandle with greater ease than the terrain of the arid Southern Idaho desert.

Today, Interstate 90 follows the original Mullan Road closely, but not exactly. In fact, one of Idaho’s greatest unsolved mysteries is discovering precisely where John Mullan’s original road went. This adventure will take you from border to border, and will offer nearly unlimited opportunities for urban exploration, recreation, beach lounging, and much more… and even offer some off-road opportunities for you and the family to hunt for old wagon ruts. Check it out!

While Lewis and Clark have undoubtedly received most of the glory for their discovery and shaping of the west, Mullan — a first lieutenant in the US Army — accomplished the very engineering landmark in the 1850s that exceeded everything the two pioneer explorers could have imagined.

What an adventure! For more Idaho road trips or summer adventure ideas, check out this One Easy but Unforgettable Hike, this Beautiful Back-Country Road Trip, or our list of 11 Amazing Scenic Overlooks across the state.

Jennifer
Super-rad musician, scholar, and cat enthusiast who digs Idaho sunsets and spontaneous nature walks. When not basking in Idaho's awesomeness for Only In Your State, you can find me lovingly concocting environmental goodness at TheBlueReview.org.