Cities and Towns of North Central Idaho
More Idaho Activities
North Central Idaho, sandwiched between the state's two most populated regions, is best known for the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (HCNRA), which shares the border between Oregon and Idaho and spans more than 600,000 acres in total. A favorite location for wilderness excursions and river rafting expeditions, HCNRA is touted as the deepest gorge in North America. Most of the roads to the recreation area can be found on the Oregon State side, although a number of forest roads are accessible from the Idaho side of the Snake River.
The Pittsburg Landing boat launch is accessible from White Bird, ID via FR 493. The landing is also home to ancient petroglyphs and to a 27-mile recreation trail. FR 517 links the town of Riggins with Heaven's Gate Overlook and spectacular vistas of the canyon. Visitors should check road conditions, vehicle clearance requirements and access routes when using forest roads. although there are campgrounds on the Idaho side of the HCNRA, some are located within the Hells Gate Wilderness Area and are only accessible by foot.
The Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area, located on the eastern edge of the region, spans more than 1,300,000 acres across Idaho and Montana. Dramatic, glacier-carved peaks, winding canyons of coniferous forests and lush valleys make up this wilderness area, which is popular with wildlife photographers and river rafters during the summer months. Hundreds of miles of foot and horse trails stitch the wilderness area, offering unlimited opportunities for backcountry recreation.
Small towns dot the north central landscape and can be easily reached by Highway 12 and secondary roads. Lewiston and Moscow, on the western edge of the region, offer a moderate selection of accommodations, restaurant and shopping amenities as well as a number of historical and local attractions for the touring visitor.
Dworshak Lake and National Fish Hatchery - created along with a dam, located 3 miles west of Orofino in Ahsahka at the confluence of the North Fork and Clearwater River.
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area - deepest gorge in North America
Nez Perce National Historic Park and Museum - a mighty Indian nation
Northwest Passage Scenic Byway - Slightly over 200 miles in total distance, this byway starts in Lewiston following Highway 12 to the Idaho-Montana border, passing through the Nez Perce National Historical Park areas of Spalding and Kamiah and the towns of Orofino and Kooskia. At Kooskia the byway splits with one road turning south on Highway 13 towards the Camas Prairie and Grangeville. The other section continues east on Highway 12 along the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River and the Lochsa Wild and Scenic River.
Three Rivers junction - the Selway and Lochsa combine to form the beautiful Clearwater River
Grangeville Border Days - July, Grangeville - Idaho's longest running rodeo (since 1912). This is a three day event
Kamiah BBQ Days - Labor Day Weekend, Kamiah
Pierce 1860 Days Celebration - August, Pierce - Celebrating the first gold rush town in Idaho. Fun for the whole family with live music, contests, food and craft vendors plus more.
Raspberry Festival - August, Cottonwood - Annual fundraiser featuring a variety of events and activities, chapel tours, visits to the museum and much more.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Idaho Road & Recreation Atlas (Benchmark Maps: Idaho), 3rd Edition. Discover Idaho's recreational activities and beautiful scenery with this atlas that contains field checked Landscape Maps TM, an updated recreation guide and a usable GPS grid. Learn all about the Gem State before visiting. Order now...
Moon Idaho, Sixth Edition by James P. Kelly. This food, wine and travel writer offers his own unique perspective and local knowledge of Idaho by providing original trip ideas along with all the details to plan your vacation. Discover hot springs, birding, skiing and much more. Order now...
Idaho Off the Beaten Path, 8th: A Guide to Unique Places by Julie Fanselow. This book features what travelers want to see and experience. This guidebook features the best in local dining, quirky cultural tidbits, hidden attractions and unique finds. Order now...
Compass American Guides: Idaho, 3rd Edition by John Gottberg. Written by longtime Idaho residents, this book provides in-depth coverage of the history and culture. Also features are photographs, insider tips and detailed color maps. Order now...
Insider's Guide to the Heart of Idaho by Michele Leavitt. This insider's travel guide gives directions to towns and where to find beautiful scenery, describes area attractions and history, provides information on hiking, biking, hot springs and fishing locations. Order now...
Backcountry Roads Idaho by Lynna Howard, Author and Leland Howard, Illustrator. A beautiful, informative and practical guide to the Gem State's hidden treasure of roadways. Enhanced by 140 photos this guidebook is also a work of art. GPS coordinates, expedition maps, and detailed descriptions are provided. Order now...
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