Scenic USA - Idaho

White Pine Scenic Byway

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Clearwater Mountain View - White Pine Scenic Byway, Idaho

Photo by Mark Nielsen
Mark's Independence Rock Website

   With its large tracts of timberland and wilderness areas, its not hard to believe that Idaho holds the largest stand of white pines in the nation. The pine forest lends its name to the White Pine Scenic Byway, found just to the south of Interstate 90. Following State Routes 3 and 6, the byway passes by the lower Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe and St. Maries rivers. In Cataloo, the old Mission of the Sacred Heart, dating to the 1840s, is Idaho's oldest historic building. Further to the south, Idaho Route 6 cuts through St. Joes Forest and on to the rolling hills of the Palouse.
   This late day view in the Clearwater Mountains takes in some of the most rugged territory of the Idaho panhandle. A subrange of the Rocky Mountains, the highest peak just tops 9000 feet. Here, the St Joe National Forest covers a large section of four counties and over 850,000 acres. This huge forestland is home for a variety of wildlife species which include deer, elk, moose, black and grizzly bear, timber wolf, cougar, marten, bald and golden eagles, numerous owl species, cutthroat trout and the elusive wolverine. This forest area is a haven for outdoor lovers, and offers many campgrounds, RV grounds, cabin rentals and group campsites. Forest guests enjoy hiking, biking, horse riding, gem hunting, wildlife viewing and fishing.
   With its immense forestland, historic towns, picturesque farms, sparkling rivers and magnificent mountains, the 80 mile byway is a great way to explore the lower Idaho panhandle.

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