Exploring Three Byways in Central Idaho

The Journey is the Destination… And You’re Gonna Love It.

Exploring the three Scenic & Historic Byways in the hidden regions of Central Idaho is easier than you might expect. These byways are not one, long drive but a series of short drives with a bunch of fun stops, excursions, historical points, viewpoints, quirky restaurants, shops, and friendly people all along the way.  

We’re not going to tell you where to start on this journey because you could be coming from any direction as you partake of these three byways. The Sacajawea Historic Byway, the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, and Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway all reside in the most remote and pristine region of the lower 48. So grab your favorite shoes, a fishing pole, a bike helmet, a camera, an appetite, and a sense of adventure as we highlight these must-see stops along the way.

Craters of the Moon

This site sits at the southwest end of Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway. Even though it looks like it just erupted you’ll enjoy hiking trails through unexpected wildflowers and groomed cross-country ski trails in the winter.


This place is sooo pretty. And why are they so nice here? Seriously, it’s not normal… what are they up to? Rich in mining and ranching history, the Challis area is home to historic hot pools, museums, ghost towns, hiking, biking, and UTV trails. Plus, delicious hometown restaurants.


The first City on Earth to be powered by nuclear energy and the famous Atomic burger and a variety of other small and super-tasty local favorites. The “Number hill” stands out with yearly updates from the local graduating class or the annual high-water marks…you decide.


Drop-dead gorgeous! Clear, unspoiled lakes, jagged peaks, meadows, rustic-yet-well-appointed hotels, RV parks, restaurants, rafting, biking and fishing everywhere. What is most surprising about Stanley, Idaho is the number of winter activities for the hearty and fun-loving cold-weather fan.


Mackay is full of historical points and it’s just-plain cool, as it sits below the strikingly majestic Mt Borah (the tallest peak in Idaho 12,662’). Mackay is known for the “Wildest rodeo in Idaho” and 6 peaks over 12,000 ft in elevation! Check out the video under the QR code to see for yourself.


Known as the birthplace of Sacajawea and named for the famous fish who make the 900-mile journey to the headwaters of the Salmon river to spawn each year. Two of the byways intersect here and you’ll enjoy the Sacajawea Historical & Interpretive Center for tours in summer and groomed XC skiing in winter. New breweries, historical stops, lodging, biking, and Guided river trips abound in Salmon

As you plan your trip to Explore these three Central Idaho Byways make sure and check out the video “Central Idaho’s 3 amazing Byways” on our website at: ExploreCentralIdaho.com.

Remember, the journey is the destination as you Explore Central Idaho!

Avrey Evans
Avrey Evanshttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Avrey Evans is the Digital and the Nightlife Editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has been writing for city publications for six years and enjoys covering the faces and places of our salty city, especially when a boozy libation is concerned.

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