Payette River Water Trails on Facebook

Alder Creek Access

Banks Launch Area

Beach at Chief Parrish

Confluence of North and South Fork, Payette River

Confluence of Deadwood River and South Fork of Payette River

North Beach of Payette Lake

Tie Creek Access on Middle Fork of Payette River

The Payette River National Scenic Byway

The Payette River
National Scenic Byway

Recognized for its outstanding scenic and historic attributes, the Payette River National Scenic Byway was designated an Idaho Scenic Byway in June 1977 and a National Scenic Byway in 2005. It extends 112 miles along Idaho 55 between Eagle and New Meadows, is one of the most beautiful and heavily-used roadways in Idaho. It accesses some of Idaho's most beautiful scenic and recreational areas in and near the Payette and Boise National Forests. The route offers views of mountains, forests, lakes, valleys, and the famous whitewater rapids visited by rafters, canoeists, and kayakers from around the world.

The Byway is an important link for tourist travel from the populated Boise/southwestern Idaho region to the sparsely populated mountains of central Idaho. It serves as one of only two highways that provide access between northern and southern Idaho—US 95 being the other. These two highways converge in New Meadows at the north junction of the byway.

Turnouts along the Byway offer picnicking, fishing, swimming, and sunbathing. The northern half of the route passes through high, wide-open valleys surrounding the upper reaches of the North Fork of the Payette River, abundant with lakes, wildlife, and wildflowers. The mountains are densely forested with lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and Douglas fir, all characteristic of cooler temperatures and greater precipitation.

Highlights along the byway include Eagle Sports Park, Thunder Mountain Line, Payette River access, Kelly’s Whitewater Park, Lake Cascade, Tamarack Recreation Area, Historic Roseberry Townsite, Payette Lake, Ponderosa State Park, Legacy Park, Central Idaho Historical Museum, Brundage Resort, and New Meadows Depot and Dorsey Warr Park.

Payette River Scenic Byway Information

pdf file Walking and Biking in the Lake Cascade Recreation Area

pdf file The Strand - Take a walk along the Payette River

pdf file Cross-Country Skiing in Cascade

pdf file Map of Key Byway Sites

pdf file Byway Corridor Management Plan (Dec. 2013)