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Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway

Basics
Length:
59.2 miles (95 km)

Description

Travel the Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway and find yourself traversing the Kootenai tribe's historic path to fishing grounds at Lake Pend Oreille, following the trail to gold discovered in Wild Horse Creek, and moving along one of the railroad's main freight lines - all in one journey! The Wild Horse Trail has seen many uses over the years and has provided a route through scenic wonders for generations.

Bonners Ferry is a prominent place on the byway that you won't want to miss. Edwin Bonner created the ferry crossing in 1864 to accommodate gold seekers as they made their way north. As you wander through the historic buildings in the downtown district, you will be reminded of bygone days when the town was crawling with gold seekers.

Just south of Bonners Ferry a stunning wide glacial valley comes into view. One of the best ways to take in this natural scenic beauty is by cycling. The grades are not too steep, and the wide open expanse invites the serenity of a bike ride versus the sound of motor vehicles.

However you decide to travel the Wild Horse Trail, you will be richly rewarded with its scenic beauty and historic overtones.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Elk Mountain Hop Farm (ID)

View the largest contiguous hops farm in the world (1800 acres) from an excellent vantage point.

Historic Bonners Ferry (ID)

Bonners Ferry's revitalized downtown district and Historical Museumrelate Bonners Ferry's origins and its role in providing a rivercrossing to the Wild Horse Creek gold strike in British Columbia.

Idaho Panhandle National Forests (ID)

Idaho Panhandle National Forest, Northern Region, ID Predominantly in the Selkirk Mountain Range, the PNF manages over 2.5 million acres. During the spring, summer and fall a variety of activities can be found, including hundreds of hiking trails. There is a great variety of wildlife, fish, clear lakes and rivers and ancient cedar groves. In winter, hundrds of miles of groomed trails beckon nordic skiers and snowmobilers.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (ID)

Located 5 miles west of Bonners Ferry is an exceptionally scenic refuge that offers a key resting and feeding area along the Pacific Flyway and offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. There are many hiking trails, photo blinds and an auto-tour route.

Lake Pend Oreille (ID)

The lake is 43 miles long, 6 miles wide and has depths of more than 1,000 feet. Sandpoint, ID is nestled on its shores. The lake holds the world record for the largest Kamloops Trout caught in the late 1940s. Historically the lake was part of the original freight roadthat became known as the Wild Horse Trail, supplying transportation to the gold fields in British Columbia.

McArthur Lake Wildlife Corridor and Wildlife Management Area (ID)

A natural migratory route between the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains, intersected by the Wild Horse Trail route as Hwy 95 travels north.

Sam Owen Campground (ID)

A beautiful camping and recreational site situated on the shoresof Lake Pend Oreille and within a game preserve. 80 camping spotsscattered throughout the trees are managed by the U.S. ForestService as a user-fee based facility. Sam Owen Campground is namedfor the man who originally donated the land for the campground in1940.

Directions

Take ID 200 east from Ponderay, then go north into the Kanitsu National Forest.

Sandpoint (ID)

In 2004, Sandpoint was named "Best Small Town in the West" bySunset, a "Top 20 Dream Town" by Outside,and a "Top 10 Great Adventure Town" by National GeographicAdventure because of its outdoor lifestyle. The historicdowntown has eclectic shops, galleries, cafes, and the unique CedarStreet Bridge with Coldwater Creek's flagship store. Adjacent todowntown, City Beach Park on Lake Pend Oreille has a huge sandybeach, swimming, picnicking, lake cruises, and fishingcharters.

Schweitzer Mountain (ID)

Schweitzer Mountain not only offers exceptional skiing in the winter, but it also draws hikers, mountain bikers and shoppers during the summer.

Directions

Schweitzer Mountain is located just north of Sandpoint, Idaho, overlooking the town, and, west of U.S. 95.

Snow Creek and Roman Nose Lakes Recreation Area (ID)

Roman Nose Lakes are set in a beautiful sub-alpine granite bowl, offering the only wheelchair-accessible mountain lake in the Selkirks.

Directions

Snow Creek and Roman Nose are located just south and west of Bonners Ferry, west of U.S., 95.

Details

Length:
59.2 miles (95 km)
Main Roads:
US-95 N

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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