Northwest Passage Scenic Byway is Idaho’s longest byway, which at 202 miles, follows the route Lewis and Clark took through north-central Idaho. This beautiful route begins on US 12 at Lewiston, and traverses the winding Clearwater River Canyon. At Kooskia the byway splits with one segment heading south on Idaho Highway 13 toward the Camas Prairie and the town of Grangeville. Another segment continues east on US 12 along the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River, and the Lochsa Wild and Scenic River, through a magnificent wilderness culminating at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center.
Location: Begins in Lewiston and follows U.S. 12 northeast to the Idaho-Montana border; also follows Idaho 13 from Kooskia to Grangeville and the junction of U.S. 95.
Roadway: Idaho 13 and U.S. 12 are winding, two-lane, paved roads with occasional passing lanes and slow vehicle turnouts. Winter driving conditions may include black ice in the canyons and snow-covered roads at higher elevations.
Length: Lewiston to Montana, 175 miles, allow 4 hours. Kooskia to Grangeville, 27 miles, allow 40 minutes.
Special Attractions: U.S. 12 parallels the Lewis & Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails. Sites include Tsceminicum sculpture; Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor Center (Spalding); Canoe Camp; Heart of the Monster; Kooskia Crossing; Fenn & Lochsa historic ranger stations; DeVoto Cedar Grove; Lolo Pass Visitor Center; Hells Gate; and Dworshak state parks.
When to Visit: Boating, fishing, heritage sites, and wildlife viewing year-round. Whitewater opportunities in spring and summer.
Plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip (fill up on gas, pack water and food, etc.).