Pend Oreille Valley Scenic Byway

Washington State's southernmost leg of the International Selkirk Loop, Pend Oreille (say Ponderay) Valley Scenic Byway travels from Newport, Washington north on Hwy 20 to Tiger. The roadway follows the Pend Oreille River as in flows north to Canada and then turns west to join the Columbia River.

Remnants of a bygone era can still be seen as evidenced by the river pilings still standing as a reminder of the log boom holding areas that supplied the Diamond Match Companies Mill at Cusick. Vast forests of western White Pine were harvested to supply this mill at the turn of the century.

 

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

1. Newport

Newport located at the junction of U.S. Highway 2 and Washington state Highway 20, features historic Washington Avenue where shops display plagues showing the original business and its date. You will also find the Centennial Plaza at the end of this historic street, which was built to celebrate the Washington State Centennial.

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2. Pend Oreille County Historical Society & Museum

The Pend Oreille County Historical Society & Museum consists of several buildings, which were taken from different locations and reassembled here. Three log cabins, which were detached and reconstructed on the museum grounds are named as Hunter’s Cabin, the Settler’s Cabin and the Claire HoI Schoolhouse. The replica of a fire lookout has also been constructed by following the blueprints of Forest Service.

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3. Scenic Pend Oreille River Train (SPORT)

If you have never ridden on a train, now this the time to experience the excitement of rail travel.  Brought to you by your local Newport/Priest River Rotary Club.  Proceeds go to local charities and needy projects.  

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4. Colville National Forest

An abundance of recreation opportunities are available on over 1 million acres of public lands in the Colville National Forest. Stop by the Ranger Station on the edge of Newport for maps and information on camping, lakes, and trails in the area.

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5. Pend Oreille River Water Trail

Beginning at Rotary Park in Oldtown, Idaho, the Pend Oreille River Water Trail extends 70 miles north to Boundary Dam and offers small boat recreationalists and paddlers the opportunity to travel a designated route along a river by providing access areas, environmental and historical points of interests, relaxing picnic stops, and overnight campsites. The water trail also provides paddlers with relaxing outdoor recreation, fresh-air fitness, and family activities.

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6. Pioneer Park Camas Ovens

The Pioneer Park Heritage Trail offers visitors a chance to view how the Kalispel Tribe historically used this area. The trail has 12 interpretative displays and an elevated boardwalk which overlooks the inside of a camas oven as well as providing a scenic view of the river. Two parking areas are available for day use parking. 

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7. Cusick

Cusick is located in the Kalispel Valley, nineteen miles north of Newport along the south bank of the Pend Oreille River on State Highway 20. The town of Cusick is surrounded by lush fields of timothy hay and expansive cattle ranges. Pine forest covers the surrounding mountains, creating panoramic views in all directions.

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8. Kalispel Tribe

The region’s most fascinating points of interest await on the 4,600 acre Kalispel Tribe’s Reservation, across the river from Usk. The Tribe manages a large herd of buffalo providing an excellent viewpoint for visitors along LeClerc Road. The tribe also operates a bass fish hatchery, casino and campground.

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9. Manresa Grotto

North of Usk on the Kalispel Reservation, a sign reading simply that “A beautiful grotto exists” marks the entrance to one of the tribe’s most sacred places. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and open to the public, the natural cave system at Manresa Grotto was the site of early Catholic missionary efforts in the region.

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10. 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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11. Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge is the only mountainous, mixed-conifer forest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge system. Take the auto tour route through the refuge for great viewing opportunities of more than 200 nesting and foraging migratory bird species, 58 mammal species and 14 reptile and amphibian species on over 40,000 acres.

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12. 49º North Mountain Resort

This family oriented ski hill offers miles of groomed trails. Snowmobiling and cross-country skiing adventures provide plenty of additional cold weather action. In the warm weather months, take advantage of the area’s scenic back roads and trails for bike tours, mountain biking and hiking.

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