Scenic Byways


View along South Fork Payette River



If you’re interested in taking the scenic route, three Scenic Byways ramble through portions of the Boise National Forest offering unrivaled natural beauty and multiple recreation opportunities. The Payette River National Scenic Byway runs along the beautiful and wild Payette River on Highway 55, passing through Banks, Smiths Ferry and Cascade before reaching the popular resort town of McCall. Along this 112 mile byway are some great locations for camping, hiking, boating, fishing and guided float trips.  The 131 mile long Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway starts in Boise and follows Highway 21 northeast to the historic mining town of Idaho City, where you can still pan for gold in a nearby stream bed.  Campgrounds and fishing opportunities dot the route from Idaho City to Lowman and along the South Fork Payette River.



Winter Elk Range



On the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway, herds of elk numbering near 100 are not an unusual sight, especially in the winter.  Mule deer, whitetail deer, wild turkeys, eagles and bearsare also common. Some campgrounds along the byway have natural hot springs for weary travelers to enjoy, and for the more active, there are several trails for hiking and biking.  The 33 mile long byway travels along the Banks-Lowman road, with access at Banks along Highway 55 or Lowman along Highway 21.  Either point of access brings the traveler back to a route leading to Boise.