This is an all natural, no frills, individualistic and unpretentious pathway through rural North Central Idaho. It is a 57 mile route to rugged backcountry adventure for travelers of all types. The route can be accessed from the Northwest Passage (US 12) at Orofino or from the west at Bovill, ID at the junction of State Highway (SH) 8 and SH 3.
Travelers quickly enter a series of dips and turns along a rough route that reveals the physical diversity of landscapes in this rural region. The Clearwater Mountain range sets a back drop along the horizon that draws one deeper into the crests and canyons.
From Orofino the route begins with a climb up and along Wells Bench where ranchettes and farmsteads are scattered along the benches and between timber patches. As the forested areas get more prevalent travelers will drop down towards Dworshak Reservoir, crossing Dent Bridge, which is a suspension bridge that provides a link to western Clearwater County and vast forestlands that built the local economy. Along the path there are many opportunities to observe wildlife of many types: bear, bobcats, cougar, deer, elk, osprey, songbirds, wild turkeys, possibly wolves and a wide variety of the forests small woodland creatures. Thirty-four miles from Orofino lies Elk River a quaint community that has gone full circle: established as a remote hunting and recreation camp, developed by Potlatch as a mill town (site of the first electric powered mill), only to return to a recreational community in the twenty first century. Elk River Historical Museum, the Morris Cedar grove and Elk River Falls are featured along the byway.