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If you’re interested in taking the scenic route, most any road within the Boise National Forest will do. Travelers can take any route and witness majestic trees, mountain peaks, expansive vistas, and rushing rivers or serene lakes. In fact, three Scenic Byways ramble through portions of the Forest offering unrivaled natural beauty and multiple recreation opportunities. Visit Idaho's Scenic Byways.
Length: 112 miles
Route: The route runs along the beautiful and often wild Payette River on Highway 55, passing through Banks, Smiths Ferry and Cascade before reaching the popular resort town of McCall. Description: The byway meanders through foothills, mountain valleys, canyons, forests, and wide-open valleys with expansive vistas. Numerous pull-offs along Highway 55 invite you to soak in the sounds of the rushing water in this narrow river valley. In the calmer sections, you can find a sandy beach for a picnic. Along the way are some great locations for camping, hiking, boating, fishing and guided commercial float trips.
Route:From Boise, the byway follows Highway 21 northeast to the historic mining town of Idaho City, where you can still recreationally pan for gold in a nearby stream bed.
Description: This byway passes a variety of river scenery through forested landscapes. Fall and spring are awash in color! This is a journey through the heart of the Stanley Basin, winding down along the South Fork of the Payette River. At the cutoff road to Grandjean, the Byway leaves the Payette River and squeezes between two of Idaho’s wilderness areas, the Sawtooth Wilderness on the right and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to the left. It is a narrow, winding road with some steep grades, with two lanes and some passing lanes available. In winter, severe avalanche conditions exist in the Banner Summit area and road closures can be frequent.