- 28.5 miles (45 km)
- Allow 40 minutes
Traverse the river route that explorer David Thompson first canoedin 1809 in search of a passage to the Columbia River, and let thescenic beauty and history along the Pend Oreille ("pond-er-ay") River enrich your drive through Idaho's Panhandle.
The Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage begins at the Washington Stateline, follows the northern shore of the Pend Oreille River throughOldtown, Priest River, and ends in Sandpoint. Enjoy driving along milesof soothing river scenery that reflects the pastoral beauty ofsurrounding forests and farms; pull over and be entertained by varyingseasonal wildlife, birds of prey, and waterfowl; or stop and absorb thehistory of northern Idaho in three different museums along the byway.Convenient access to the Pend Oreille River at four recreation areasprovides opportunities to swim or boat along spacious, gently-flowingwaters. Winter recreation includes snow sports on state and federal lands, ice fishing when it is cold, and downhill skiing at Schweitzer.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Albeni Falls Dam Visitor Center (ID)
The Albeni Falls Dam Visitor Center is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The dam was built in the early 1950s at the site of a natural falls to produce electricity and control flooding. The center offers visitor information about local attractions, indoor/outdoor education about dams, hydropower, the Pend Oreille/Columbia River System, natural resources and wildlife. There is a scenic overlook of the Pend Oreille River, public restrooms, parking and picnic area.
Priest River (ID)
At the confluence of the Priest and Pend Oreille Rivers, Priest River developed as a timber town. Its first sawmill was built in 1897, and logs were driven down Priest River to sawmills from 1901 to 1949 by the "river pigs." The Diamond Match Company used boats called "bateau's" on the log drives, and one is on display at the Keyser House Museum and Visitor Center, in the heart of Priest River's Historic District. A walking tour showcases 20 historic buildings and sites.