The Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway starts in Boise, the "City of Trees" and Idaho's capital. From there it follows Idaho 21 north to the historic mining town of Idaho City, where you can still pan for gold in a nearby streambed.
North of Lowman, before arriving in Stanley, the roadway squeezes between two of Idaho's wilderness areas. On the right, the Sawtooth Wilderness Area and its 217,000 pristine acres of ponderosa pine and steelhead fishing, to the left, the Challis National Forest, entryway to the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. There are more acres of road-less wilderness in this region than anywhere else in the lower 48 states.