Clearwater Scenic Drives - Idaho

Lewis and Clark Highway (US. 12)
Constructed through canyons once accessible only to the most hard prospectors and trappers, the Lewis and Clark Highway is now a modern, two-lane road which passes through some of northern Idaho's most beautiful scenery. Several interpretive stops, the Lochsa Historical Ranger Station, Lolo Pass Visitor Center, and camp and picnic areas along the way add to the appeal of this scenic drive. The Lochsa and Middle Fork of the Clearwater River are part of the National Wild and Scenic River System. The Lochsa is popular among kayakers and rafters during peak spring runoff from about May 15 through the first week in July. Motorists can watch experienced white-water enthusiasts from turnouts along the highway. Sightings of elk, deer and moose are common along this route.

Lolo Motorway and
Lewis-Clark National Historical Trail

Built in the 1930's this road (#500) winds for 100 miles along a high divide following the route used by Indians and explorers, including the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition. The route became known as "The Lolo Trail" and was later used by trappers, gold miners, highwaymen and settlers. In many places the path is still evident, worn into the earth, and one can walk in the steps of early travelers.

North Fork Drive

The gravel road along the North Fork of the Clear-water River between Canyon and Kelly Forks Work Centers is another scenic drive which provides opportunities for camping, fishing and picnicking. By leaving the headquarters and traveling down the Beaver Creek Road (No. 247) and then returning on Road No. 250 across French Mountain to Pierce, a pleasant daylong loop is possible. Please note that commercial services are only available along this route at Pierce.

White Pine Drive

This six-mile drive east of Potlatch along State Highway 6 begins two miles north of the Laird Park turnoff and passes through majestic, cathedral-like stands of white pine.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »