Salmon River Scenic Byway

The northern end of the Salmon River Scenic Byway begins on the Montana border at the Lost Trail Pass (elevation 6,995 feet). Lewis and Clark came this way in 1805, and the spectacular view from this vantage point has changed little since that famous exploration of the West two centuries ago. The route follows the Salmon River – also called the River of No Return – through Salmon-Challis National Forest through the historic city of Salmon. The river and its forks serve as important natural pathways into Idaho’s rugged backcountry. The deer, elk, and moose that often graze along the hills and meadows that line this road provide a glimpse of the wild country beyond.

Along the way, the town of Challis and the Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area are just two points of interest, the latter being among Idaho’s most famous mining areas. And as you head southwest along Idaho 75 toward Stanley, you’ll begin to see glimpses of the majestic Sawtooth Mountains ahead before beholding their full splendor as you drop into town.

The byway begins at the Montana state line south on US 93 to Challis, then west to Stanley on Idaho 75. The byway is a two-lane road with no passing lanes and some 25-mph curves. Best weather for travel is April to November, although access to the backcountry is best from July to October. Travelers should allow at least 3.5 hours for this 161.7-mile trip.

Reprinted from Idaho Department of Transportation Brochure

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