Idaho Nature May 27, 2022
Enjoy A Scenic Drive Along Idaho’s 7 Most Beautiful Backroads
Idaho is one incredible place to explore. Fortunately, you don’t always have to head into the mountains and tackle a difficult hiking trail to admire some of the Gem State’s greatest scenery. In fact, some of the best views are from the comfort of your own vehicle! To catch just a small glimpse of Idaho’s natural beauty, here are seven of the most beautiful backroads that are just waiting for you.
1. Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway
Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA
This two-lane road is 35 miles and will take you along the shores of the majestic Lake Coeur d’Alene. This is one of the best ways to capture the beauty of the lake without actually hopping in the water. If you drive the
Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway
between December and January, it isn't uncommon to see several eagles as they soar in the sky.
2. Elk River Back Country Byway
Elk River Back Country Byway
will take you through north-central Idaho. This scenic byway in Idaho travels from Orofino to the small town of Elk River and your 57-mile journey will take you past some remarkable features like Dent Bridge, Dworshak Dam, and Elk Creek Falls. If you love driving through forests, near lakes, and by rivers, this backroad will not disappoint!
3. Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway
Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho, USA
Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway
takes you along Highway 93 and Highway 26. It is actually one of the most diverse scenic drives in Idaho as you will travel from the mountains to the lava flows in approximately 140 miles. If you complete this drive in its entirety, you will capture views of Mount Borah, Idaho’s tallest mountain peak, and large fields of lava flow near Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.
4. Sacajawea Historic Byway
Sacajawea Historic Byway
takes you through some of the most remote country in eastern Idaho. This backcountry road is packed with history like the Lewis and Clark expedition and the 1800s mining boom. You’ll pass through areas like the small town that calls itself the birthplace of Sacajawea and the charcoal kilns that were used to process lead and silver more than 100 years ago.
5. Teton Scenic Byway
Teton Scenic Byway, 6535 ID-33, Tetonia, ID 83452, USA
When considering scenic backroads in Idaho, the
Teton Scenic Byway
is often overlooked. However, it is one of the best road trips you can take in America. This scenic byway in Idaho is 70 miles and takes you from Swan Valley to Ashton. You will drive through beautiful small towns and can capture the most incredible views of the Grand Tetons.
6. Thousand Springs Scenic Drive
Thousand Springs State Park - Ritter Island, 1205 Thousand Springs Grade, Wendell, ID 83355, USA
One of our favorite scenic drives in Idaho is the
Thousand Springs Scenic Byway
. This 67-mile road takes you between the small towns of Bliss and Hansen, and you’ll drive through some of the most extraordinary natural features in the Gem State. Along this drive, you can explore areas of Thousand Springs State Park, visit the remarkable Balanced Rock formation near Buhl, and even stop to see the Perrine Memorial Bridge and Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls on your way.
7. Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway
Payette River, Idaho, USA
Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway
is another lesser-known backroad in Idaho but it certainly deserves your attention. This road connects Highway 21 and Highway 55 in southern Idaho and is 33 miles long. You will follow the South Fork of the Payette River and will not only enjoy gorgeous river views but you may just see some wildlife in this remote area of the state as well.
What is your favorite backroad in Idaho? Did it make our list? Let us know in the comments!
Address: Elk River, ID 83827, USA Address: Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA Address: Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho, USA Address: Salmon, ID 83467, USA Address: Teton Scenic Byway, 6535 ID-33, Tetonia, ID 83452, USA Address: Thousand Springs State Park - Ritter Island, 1205 Thousand Springs Grade, Wendell, ID 83355, USA Address: Payette River, Idaho, USA