Whether you’re hiking, driving, rafting, or biking through Central Idaho, you’ll find that exploring the Gem State is exciting regardless of how you do it. Of course, if you want to cover more ground and experience a wide variety of landscapes, attractions, and activities in our area, we recommend checking out one of these incredible scenic drives in Idaho.
For more ways to make the most of your time in the Sawtooths, be sure to request our complimentary Vacation Guide!
Discover the Best Scenic Drives in Idaho
Salmon River Scenic Byway
The Salmon River Scenic Byway follows about 162 miles of Lewis and Clark’s route through the Gem State! Stunning views and beautiful landscapes greet you as you drive through forest-lined gorges, past granite outcroppings, and around ghost towns. If you’d like, there are several stops along the way that can help you learn about the area. Otherwise, you could spend hours marveling at the beauty while traveling on one of the most scenic drives in Idaho.
The Stanley Museum is a great way to learn about the town’s mining and ranching history. The museum itself is in a former Valley Creek Ranger Station, and you can see artifacts from years past.
Sunbeam Hot Springs
Stop and take a relaxing dip during your drive at the Sunbeam Hot Springs! These springs are hidden by boulders right along Highway 75, so you won’t have to go far to find them. Just look for the rising steam!
Salmon Spawning Beds
As you continue along the Salmon River Scenic Byway, you will come across what was once the spawning beds for salmon in Indian Riffles. Thousands of chinook and sockeye salmon migrated here to spawn every year.
Sawtooth Scenic Byway
The Sawtooth Scenic Byway branches out south from Stanley down Highway 75. This beautiful route is full of small, charming towns, gorgeous mountains, and a few unique sights along the way. There are several fantastic places to stop during your trip like, Ketchum and Black Magic Canyon. Keep reading to discover more about this great drive!
The Galena Summit is an overlook that frames the natural beauty of Central Idaho unlike any other place on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway.
Sun Valley Ski Slopes
If you love to hit the ski slopes, make sure you take a day trip to Sun Valley during your vacation to Central Idaho.
Hollywood stars, writers, and millionaires flock to Ketchum to escape the crowds, and the quaint town center, filled with restaurants and shops, provides a beautiful setting to explore during the day.
Black Magic Canyon
Black Magic Canyon features some of the most unusual lava rock formations you’ll ever see along the Sawtooth Scenic Byway.
Other Incredible Drives Through the Sawtooths
There are a handful of other fantastic scenic drives in Idaho. Below are some of our favorites in the central region of our state!
- Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway
- Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway
- Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway
There’s no better place to stay during your Sawtooth adventure than the Redfish Lake Lodge. Our lakeside paradise features one-of-a-kind accommodations, tons of fun family activities, plenty of on-site dining, and a marina. Check out some of our specials and discover how you can make the most of your time with us!