Idaho’s Most Scenic Drives: Breathtaking Routes

Idaho is a state with a diverse landscape, from the towering Sawtooth Mountains to the vast Snake River Plain. With so much natural beauty to offer, it’s no wonder that the state is home to some of the most scenic drives in the country. Whether you’re looking for a short day trip or a longer, multi-day adventure, there’s a drive in Idaho that’s perfect for you.

Short Day Trips

If you’re short on time, but still want to experience some of Idaho’s beauty, there are a number of great day-trip drives to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Sawtooth Scenic Byway: This 62-mile drive winds through the Sawtooth Mountains, offering stunning views of jagged peaks, alpine lakes, and cascading waterfalls. The byway is open from late May to early October, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Idaho.
  • The Salmon River Scenic Byway: This 100-mile drive follows the Salmon River through the rugged Sawtooth National Forest. The byway offers stunning views of the river, as well as opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping.
  • The Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve Scenic Drive: This 7-mile drive winds through the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, a vast lava field that was formed by volcanic activity over the past 2 million years. The drive offers stunning views of the lava flows, as well as opportunities for hiking, biking, and camping.

Longer Multi-Day Adventures

If you have more time, there are a number of longer, multi-day drives in Idaho that are sure to take your breath away. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Idaho Alpine Loop: This 320-mile drive takes you through some of the most scenic parts of Idaho, including the Sawtooth Mountains, the Salmon River Canyon, and the Teton Mountains. The drive is open from late May to early October, and is best completed in a high-clearance vehicle.
  • The Beartooth Highway: This 68-mile drive is one of the most challenging and scenic drives in the country. The highway winds through the Beartooth Mountains, offering stunning views of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The drive is open from late June to early October, and is best completed in a high-clearance vehicle.
  • The Lolo Pass Scenic Drive: This 60-mile drive follows the Lolo National Forest Scenic Byway through the Bitterroot Mountains. The drive offers stunning views of the mountains, as well as opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping.

No matter how much time you have, there’s a scenic drive in Idaho that’s perfect for you. So get out there and explore!

Additional Resources

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