North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway

This drive through Colville National Forest is a favorite of outdoor adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts and visitors curious about the area’s natural and human history. Tour a hydro-electric dam, experience the largest big-game population in the lower 48 states, visit a town that was a Kevin Costner movie set and spelunk in a former bootlegger’s cave. Watch the Kalispel tribe's buffalo herd graze lazily in the noonday sun and see a 4,000 camas oven in Newport.

CLICK TO EXPLORE ON MAP to find more things to do, places to stay and eat along this route.

1. Tiger

Tiger can be found at the junctions of Highways 20/31, four miles south of Ione. At this junction is the Tiger Historical Center and Museum, the only remaining building of the once thriving community of Tiger. The store was built in 1912 and served as a general store and Tiger’s post office until 1975.

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2. Ione

Timber, trains and the mighty Pend Oreille; the story of Ione is one steeped in legends of the timber industry, the railway and the lore of the river. Ione has been a timber town since it was settled at the turn of the century, with the community building its first sawmill 1901

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3. North Pend Oreille Lions Club Railriders

North Pend Oreille Rail Riders: Riders will enjoy the unique experience of a four seated, pedal powered, railroad bicycle along the Pend Oreille River. First ride south through scenic pastureland then north, up to the impressive Box Canyon Trestle. The ride is approximately 12 miles round trip.

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4. Box Canyon Dam Tours

The Box Canyon Hydroelectric Project was completed in 1956 and today provides its customers with clean and reliable energy. It is located on a narrow portion of the Pend Oreille River and tours begin at the visitor center. In addition the site also provides camping, swimming and an excellent spot for a picnic.

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5. Sweet Creek Falls

This paved trail is perfect for little legs and begs visitors to pack a picnic lunch for an afternoon to enjoy the multi-tiered falls.  There are multiple picnic tables along the short paved hiking trail leading to the falls. On a hot day, visitors can play in the shallow pool below the falls. Interpretive signs and restroom are included.

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6. Big Meadow Lake Wildlife Observatory

This forested mountain lake and wetlands are a magnet for wildlife typical of this area. An observation tower allows for a birds-eye view of the wildlife that call this place home. Overnight camping is available.

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7. Boundary Dam Vista House

The Vista House is perched on cliffs above the east side of the Pend Oreille River, overlooking Boundary Dam. Exhibits cover such subjects as the hydroelectric project, indigenous wildlife and the border patrol. A trail loops down to an overlook, cantilevered over the edge of the canyon high above the dam; the view is spectacular.

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8. Boundary Dam Tours

The Boundary Hydroelectric Project, located on the Pend Oreille River in Northeastern Washington, supplies more than one-third of Seattle City Light's power. Discover the Boundary Hydroelectric Project nestled in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains and positioned along the banks of the scenic Pend Oreille (pronounced "pond-ah-ray") River.

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9. Gardner Cave

Pend Oreille County-settler Edward E. Gardner lends his name to Gardner Cave as its apparent discoverer circa 1900, although there are other discovery claims. Gardner Cave was reportedly found during a hunting foray by the homesteader, farmer, placer miner, future Metaline saloon keeper and alleged bootlegger during Prohibition. Edward Gardner homesteaded adjacent land on the Pend Oreille River, but never owned the cave. 

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10. Sullivan Lake Campground

The Sullivan Lake Basin provides a wide variety of outdoor adventure including camping, swimming, biking, fishing, boating, and hiking.  A 4.2 mile trail offers viewpoint of the lake and is a popular day-hike for all ages.

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