Eastern Idaho Byways

Fort Henry - See the first white settlement marked by the Fort Henry Monument, from which this byway gets its name. A new monument now replaces the old one at the original site. The old monument relocated in an adjoining field can be viewed from the original site. This route trails along BLM land, desert and mountain ranges; where herds of deer and elk, as well as Sharp Tail and Sage Grouse can be seen as you journey along the Red Road... 

Lewis and Clark | Printable Booklet - Two hundred years ago, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark stood high on a ridge-line that divides continental waters, and began the discovery of the Pacific Northwest. Stands of fir and oine trees, high-mountain meadows and rolling, jade-colored hills look much the same today as when the famous explorers journeyed to the crest of Lemhi Pass in 1805...

Lost Gold - This loop travels southwest along the desert-lava rolling hill terrain where cattle and wild game peacefully share spring and fall months grazing. This early-day Gold Trail closely follows Beaver Creek towards the Montana gold mines. At Spencer the Gold Trail of yesterday becomes the Opal Trails of today and passes several high grade Opal Shops within the original Wood Livestock town site. Leaving Spencer, the trail heads east to Idmon. This early day Nez Perce Trail has spurs off of its main roadway to private opal mines, Caribou-Targhee Forest fishing and primitive camping areas, and an old cemetery, connecting again to the Fort Henry Historic Byway at the old Idmon town site... 

Mesa Falls - The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway begins where the Teton Scenic Byway reaches its northern end in Ashton, at the junction of U.S. 20 and Idaho 47. From there, the route travels through the town of Warm River toward its main attractions: the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls. The Mesa Falls are the only major falls in Idaho not used for irrigation or hydroelectric projects, and as such maintain a look and feel of nature undisturbed. At 110 feet and 85 feet, respectively, the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls offer equally spectacular views in a beautiful forest setting...

Oregon Trail-Bear Lake - Bear Lake straddles the Idaho-Utah border and boasts sandy beaches, great water sports, fishing, boating, and the famous Bear Lake State Park. This byway follows Bear Lake north on U.S. 89 to Montpelier, then north on U.S. 30, where you leave the Cache National Forest and enter the Caribou National Forest... 

Pioneer - On this route, travelers can retrace some steps of Idaho’s early pioneers and follow the historic path taken by early-day Yellowstone Park visitors. From Franklin, Idaho’s oldest settlement, this byway heads north to Soda Springs and on to the Wyoming border. This route offers the shortest distance and time between Salt Lake City and Yellowstone Park... 

East Fork Salmon River Canyon - This 30-mile one way drive will lead visitors through sagebrush plains at 5,400 feet and through alpine forests at 10,000 feet, as the road parallels the East Fork of the Salmon River and its feeder streams. This route also offers visitors the chance to see chukars, red-talked hawks, prairie falcons, moose and mule deer at lower elevations and mountain bighorn sheep, elk and golden eagles at higher elevations. You may even catch a glimpse of the Challis wild horse herd around Road Creek and Spar Canyon. The East Fork Road is generally open and plowed during the winter, but secondary roads are usually impassable. Travel can be limited due to the four BLM Wilderness Study Areas along East Fork Road. Obtain a bird checklist from the Challis Forest Service at (208) 774-3681 or (208) 726-7672. Location: 153 miles east of Boise; 20 miles southwest of Challis, Idaho


Driving into Challis at sunset on the Custer Motorway


Custer Motorway - This 46-mile drive is a backcountry adventure on gravel and unimproved dirt roads, following a historic wagon road from Challis to the gold mining towns of Custer and Bonanza over an 8,800-foot mountain pass. The road is rough and narrow, with no services available along its entire length. Special attractions: The Custer Motorway itself; backcountry forest scenery; ghost towns of Custer and Bonanza; historical exhibits at Custer; the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge; and the possibility of sighting mountain goats on the slopes above Bonanza. Location: Route ends at Sunbeam, approximately 10 miles downstream of Stanley on Highway 75.

Morgan Creek: Shrub steppe, riparian areas and timbered uplands along this 19-mile stretch provides a diverse environment that supports a variety of songbirds including yellow and MacGillicray’s warblers, warbling vireo, veery, song sparrow, Brewer’s and red-winged blackbirds, rock wren and Clark’s Nutcracker. From November to May, you are likely to see mule deer, pronghorn, elk and bighorn sheep. Location: Morgan Creek Summit is 19.4 miles west of Highway 93 and approximately 30 miles northwest of Challis.

Sacajawea - Sacajawea, an "Agaidika" Shoshone woman born around 1788, is known around the world as a trusted and valuable member of the famed Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. A lesser-known fact, however, is her historical tie to Idaho's Lemhi Valley where she was born and raised until the age of twelve. Captured by the Arikira Indians and forced to live among them in the Mandan Villages of North Dakota, Sacajawea would not see her home again until becoming part of the Corps of Discovery in 1805. It was during this expedition that she would help Lewis and Clark find the Salmon River and revisit her people... 

Teton - The jagged teeth of the Teton Mountain Range are actually in Wyoming, but Idahoans prefer “the quiet side” on the western slopes, along the Teton Scenic Byway. At nearly 10 million years young, the Tetons are the newest mountains in the Rockies. In fact, they continue to grow today at the snail-like pace of about an inch every hundred years. In fact, the largest peak on the range, Grand Teton, now stands at 13,772 feet.

Thousand Springs Valley - Numerous springs unite in this valley to form Chilley Slough and Mackay Reservoir. The area features impressive views of the Lost River Range, including geologic vistas of Mount Borah to the east and the White Knobs to the southwest. The resident wildlife of this area includes bald eagles, herons, ducks, mule deer, antelope and coyotes and sagebrush dominates the mid-elevation slopes. The over 1,000-acre Chilly Slough Wetland and Mackay Reservoir sit at the base of the 12,662-foot Mt. Borah and abound with many species of wildlife throughout the year. This birdwatcher's paradise comes alive in spring and fall when thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl, including cinnamon and green winged teal, mallards, shovelers, pintail, scaup and Canadian geese, flock to the area’s mudflats. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including willets, sandhill cranes, sora rail, marsh wrens, red tailed hawks, golden eagles, northern harriers and tundra swans. A half-mile nature trail enables visitors to see the diversity of life found in the marsh up close.  Location: 98 miles west of Idaho Falls; 5 miles north of Mackay, Idaho; If you continue driving about 10 miles north of Mackay Reservoir along Highway 93, you will find the Whiskey Springs Wildlife Viewing Site.