Elk River Backcountry Byway

Elk River Backcountry Byway is an off-the-beaten-path adventure. The route crosses Idaho’s tallest bridge–the Dent Bridge, spanning the Dworshak Reservoir–and winds its way through the vast evergreen forests of the Clearwater Mountains. Along the way, stop at Dworshak State Park for fishing, hiking, biking and camping. Keep an eye out for elk, bears and small woodland creatures as you continue on to the quaint community of Elk River.


57 miles
91.7 km

Time Icon


2 hours one way


North Central

When to Visit


31 Byways. 31 Ways to Be Inspired.

A variety of scenic, natural, historic, recreational, archeological and cultural experiences can be found on Idaho’s 31 scenic byways. View the video to get a taste of the adventures that await you, and start planning your next road trip.

Road Trip Tips

Turn-by-Turn Direction: The byway begins in Orofino at Idaho 7 and the junction of Wells Bench Road, crosses the North Fork of the Clearwater at Dent Bridge, then to Elk River where it joins Idaho 8 to Bovill.

Road Conditions: Icy in the winter

Full Services in: Orofino and Elk River

Partial services in: Bovill

Full services: When gas, food and lodging are available

Partial services: When gas and a few other facilities are available

Nearby Adventures

Discover sky-high waterfalls, explore a state park and revel in the beauty of Idaho’s stunning backcountry.

Download Before You Hit the Road

Start planning your epic Idaho road trip with the help of these free travel publications.

Idaho Roadsider

State Highway Map

Travel Tips

Need some ideas for your next Idaho road trip? Check out these travel tips and start planning your adventure.

Want to Explore More Scenic Byways?

Wendy Liu