Idaho’s Scenic Byways

Embark on a captivating exploration of Idaho’s 31 scenic byways, including North America’s exclusive multinational scenic route, as you discover the unparalleled beauty of the Gem State. These picturesque routes offer a seamless blend of intrinsic qualities recognized by the United States Department of Transportation—archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic.

Whether winding through charming communities, visiting state parks, or indulging in local cuisine, Idaho’s scenic byways promise an immersive journey enriched with diverse experiences. Add one (or more) of these winter-friendly byways to your travel itinerary to unlock the full essence of Idaho. For a comprehensive guide, visit, where you’ll find details on all 31 scenic byways, including routes, videos, and recommended stops along each enchanting route. The journey and the destination converge in Idaho, inviting you to explore and savor every moment.

St. Joe River Scenic Byway

Length: 87.3 miles, 140.50 km

Drive Time: 2 hours, 21 minutes

Region: Northern

Set out on a scenic adventure along the St. Joe River Scenic Byway, where nature unfolds in a picturesque spectacle. This captivating route traces the cottonwood-lined St. Joe River, creating a haven for birdwatchers and anglers alike. Witness the majestic presence of bald eagles and osprey, calling the cottonwoods home and indulging in a feast of fish from the pristine waters below. As you journey along the byway, the crystal-clear waters transition to shallower depths, providing an ideal habitat for various trout species. Keep your eyes peeled along the river’s edge for glimpses of deer, elk, moose, and bear, completing the immersive wildlife experience that defines this extraordinary scenic byway.

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International Selkirk Loop – Idaho Portion

Length: 89.2 miles, 143.55 km

Drive Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Region: Northern

This extraordinary 89-mile Idaho portion connects with the full 280-mile International Selkirk Loop—the sole multinational scenic drive in North America. This enchanting route circles the majestic Selkirk Mountains, weaving through the breathtaking landscapes of Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia. Immerse yourself in the splendor of the Idaho portion, where crystal-clear rivers and lakeshores unfold, creating an unforgettable road trip experience. The International Selkirk Loop beckons, promising a lifetime of scenic wonders and unparalleled exploration.

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Gold Rush Historic Byway

Length: 42.3 miles, 68.08 km

Drive Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Region: North Central

Uncover the rich tapestry of history along the Gold Rush Historic Byway in north central Idaho, where mining tales come alive amidst stunning scenery. This captivating route offers panoramic vistas of the Clearwater Valley, picturesque rolling fields of grain, and thriving forests teeming with wildlife. Immerse yourself in the allure of Pierce, where Idaho’s first gold discovery unfolded, or explore the historical sites associated with the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark. The Gold Rush Historic Byway seamlessly weaves together a narrative of the past with the breathtaking beauty of the present, ensuring an enriching exploration of Idaho’s fascinating heritage.

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Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway

Length: 143 miles, 230.14 km

Drive Time: 2 hours, 27 minutes

Region: Central

Embark on an unparalleled exploration of Idaho’s diverse landscapes along the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway—an extraordinary route hailed as the state’s most diverse stretch of road. Traverse a captivating journey that unfolds from sky-piercing peaks to mesmerizing craters. Immerse yourself in the surreal beauty of a vast ocean of lava flows at Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. Discover the towering grandeur of Mount Borah, Idaho’s tallest peak, and delve into the historical significance of Arco, the first city lit by atomic energy. Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway promises an extraordinary odyssey, showcasing the incredible variety that defines Idaho’s scenic wonders.

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Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway

Length: 53 miles, 85.30 km

Drive Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Region: Southwest

Indulge in the charm of southwestern Idaho as you traverse the Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway, a delightful 53-mile journey through the region’s bountiful agricultural lands. Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes adorned with orchards and vineyards, offering a delightful array of rural experiences. Unwind and savor the flavors of Idaho’s award-winning wineries along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail, nestled within this distinctive wine-growing region. While on this scenic drive, explore historical sites such as Map Rock, complemented by breathtaking vistas that enhance your overall journey. Discover the allure of the Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway, where every mile is an invitation to embrace the beauty and richness of southwestern Idaho.

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Teton Scenic Byway

Length: 67.6 miles, 108.79 km

Drive Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Region: Eastern

Discover the allure of Idaho’s natural beauty along the Teton Scenic Byway, showcasing rugged, panoramic views from “the quiet side of the Grand Teton Mountains.” This enchanting route invites exploration, offering ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the region’s picturesque landscapes. As you journey along, be captivated by sweeping vistas that seamlessly transition to expansive fields, creating a truly unforgettable experience in eastern Idaho. From cascading waterfalls and untamed wilderness to vast open spaces, the Teton Scenic Byway promises an adventure that resonates with the pristine charm and grandeur of this captivating corner of Idaho.

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Oregon Trail–Bear Lake Scenic Byway

Length: 92.8 miles, 149.35 km

Drive Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Region: Southeast

Embark on a journey of natural splendor and thrilling adventures as you explore southeastern Idaho through the Oregon Trail–Bear Lake Scenic Byway. The allure of Bear Lake, with its shimmering turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and breathtaking views, has rightfully earned it the title of “The Caribbean of the Rockies.” Along this scenic route, discover unique attractions like the world’s only captive geyser and the enchanting Minnetonka Cave. Immerse yourself in history at various historic sites, and experience the rich tapestry of the Oregon Trail woven into the landscapes of this captivating region. Uncover the magic and beauty that define southeastern Idaho’s Oregon Trail–Bear Lake Scenic Byway, a destination promising both serenity and exploration.

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