This Idaho Road Trip Takes You From The Sawtooth Mountains To The Panhandle
The Gem State is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery but often, we take the road VERY frequently traveled and we miss many natural wonders, unique attractions, and gorgeous views along the way. That’s why we created this road trip that takes you throughout the majority of the state — starting in the Sawtooth Mountains and ending in the panhandle. It’s time to fall in love with Idaho all over again!
This road trip begins in Sun Valley and will take you all the way to Sandpoint in northern Idaho. The itinerary covers more than 540 miles and requires approximately 10.5 hours of drive time. You can use this
to personalize your trip if you wish to add even more stops along the way.
1. Sun Valley Lodge, Sun Valley
Sun Valley Resort, 1 Sun Valley Rd, Sun Valley, ID 83353, USA
Our road trip begins in beautiful Sun Valley. While you can always spend time in the mountains, stop by the
Sun Valley Lodge
for relaxation, food, and views. Take the time to walk along the lodge's halls and view the images of celebrities and influential people who have visited this area. Then, sit back and watch the ice skaters on the outdoor ice rink. If time allows, walk around the Sun Valley Village, where you’ll find excellent shopping opportunities, and grab a cup of coffee and freshly-baked European pastries at Konditorei, a charming eatery.
2. Kirkham Hot Springs, Lowman
Kirkham Hot Springs, Idaho 21, Lowman, ID, USA
Just a few miles outside of the small town of Lowman is
Kirkham Hot Springs
. These delightful pools are easily accessible and feature beautiful waterfalls, adding even more to the magic of the area. You’ll find both natural and human-made pools and the temperatures vary from warm to steamy! We recommend you plan this stop on a weekday morning and avoid weekends as these hot springs can become quite crowded.
3. Ponderosa State Park, McCall
Ponderosa State Park, 1920 Davis Ave, McCall, ID 83638, USA
Ponderosa State Park is one of the
most beautiful state parks in Idaho
and offers a long list of things to do and see. In fact, if time allows, spend at least one full day at this state park before continuing on this road trip. Ponderosa State Park is nearly 1,500 acres in size and is home to multiple hiking trails, overlooks, and water activities.
4. Confluence Overlook, Lewiston
Located in the panhandle is one of the most beautiful and
little-known overlooks in Idaho
— the Confluence Overlook. You will find this viewpoint on U.S. Highway 95, approximately 9 miles north of Lewiston. As you stand at this overlook, you will be able to see many of Idaho’s natural wonders such as the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Bitterroot and Wallowa Mountains, and Hells Canyon. You will also enjoy the most stunning view of Lewiston and Clarkston, Washington, down below.
5. Palouse Region, Moscow
No matter what type of road trip you take in northern Idaho, you must take the time to drive through
. This natural wonder in Idaho is beautiful regardless of the time of year and features small hills that were formed thousands of years ago from dust and silt that blew into the area from dust storms. This area is technically 18,000 square miles and encompasses parts of north-central Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. However, one of the best places to explore the Palouse in Idaho is around the small town of Moscow.
6. Waterfront Boardwalk, Coeur d’Alene Resort
The Coeur d'Alene Resort, 115 S 2nd St, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, USA
While you can easily spend all day exploring the beautiful town of Coeur d’Alene, if you only have a few hours, visit the waterfront boardwalk at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. This boardwalk takes you all around the marina and at 3,300 feet long (0.75-miles), it is considered the
longest floating boardwalk in the entire world
! Make sure you bring your camera because you can capture some of the most incredible views of the lake along the way!
7. Cedar Street Bridge, Sandpoint
Cedar Street Bridge Public Market, 334 N First Ave, Sandpoint, ID 83864, USA
The final stop on our Idaho road trip is the one-of-a-kind
Cedar Street Bridge
in downtown Sandpoint. While technically a bridge over Sand Creek, this is also a unique marketplace with more than a dozen restaurants, boutique shops, and more for you to explore. Grab something to eat, spend some time browsing the various products (many are locally made!), and admire the water views from the bridge. It’s the perfect ending to this incredible adventure.
What do you think of this road trip through Idaho? Are there any stops you would add? If so, let us and your fellow travelers know in the comments!
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