Scenic USA - Idaho

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


White Pine Scenic Byway

White Pine Scenic Byway - Western Larch

Photo by Mark Nielsen

     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. Route 6 cuts through St. Joes Forest, and the rolling hills of the Palouse.
     This view, looking toward the Hoodoo Mountains along Route 6, shows off the western larch in a blaze of golden needles. The larch, a standout among the scattered white pines, are a deciduous conifer. Known as Tamaracks to the locals, the deep rooted western larch is native to the northwest and naturally puts on its showy color in the fall. The western larch can sometimes reach to 150 feet in length and live as long as 900 years. During autumn the needles give way to gravity, and St. Joes Forest hikers find the forest floor covered in a carpet of gold.
     With its immense forestlands, historic towns, picturesque farmlands, sparkling rivers and magnificent mountains, the 80 mile byway is a great way to take in northern Idaho.



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