America's Scenic Byways

Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage Scenic Byway

28.5 miles - Allow 40 minutes

Traverse the river route that explorer David Thompson first canoed in 1809 in search of a passage to the Columbia River, and let the scenic beauty and history along the Pend Oreille (pond-er-ay) River enrich your drive through Idaho's Panhandle.

The Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage begins at the Washington State line, follows the northern shore of the Pend Oreille River through Oldtown, Priest River, and ends in Sandpoint. Enjoy driving along miles of soothing river scenery that reflects the pastoral beauty of surrounding forests and farms; pull over and be entertained by varying seasonal wildlife, birds of prey, and waterfowl; or stop and absorb the history of northern Idaho in three different museums along the byway. Convenient access to the Pend Oreille River at four recreation areas provides opportunities to swim or boat along spacious, gently-flowing waters. Winter recreation includes snow sports on state and federal lands, ice fishing when it is cold, and downhill skiing at Schweitzer.