Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage

The Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage begins at the Washington state line and follows the northern shore of the Pend Oreille River on US 2 through Oldtown, Priest River, and ends in Sandpoint. This byway is the southern leg of the International Selkirk Loop which extends into Washington on the west and heads into British Columbia on the Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway from Sandpoint on the east.

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. This history extends back to the ice age and the Great Missoula Floods. 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 enough, and downhill skiing at Schweitzer.

US 2 is a two-lane road with no passing lanes. It can be icy during winter months. The byway can be seen year-round. Eagles populate the area in the winter, osprey in the summer, and waterfowl in the spring and fall. Nature’s palettes of vegetation colors are particularly abundant in spring and fall. Travelers should allow at least 40 minutes for this 28.5-mile trip.

Reprinted from Idaho Department of Transportation Brochure

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