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Fun Facts About The International Selkirk Road

  • The Loop is designated as one of only 32 All-American Road National Scenic Byways in the US.
  • The Loop follows rivers and lakeshores used by native tribes, explorer David Thompson, gold seekers on the Wild Horse Trail, and early settlers. Today, it is a vast, uncrowded playground with many opportunities to enjoy year-round recreation, scenic beauty, and unique cultures.
  • The International Selkirk Loop All-American Road encircles the breathtaking Selkirk Mountains in northeast Washington, north Idaho, and southeast British Columbia -- a place of forested hillsides, sparkling waterfalls, snowcapped craggy peaks, and charming small towns.
  • Hundreds of miles of trails are available for all levels of hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing and snowmobile touring. Rock climbing and geo-caching are popular for the more adventurous.
  • The public lands along the Loop are home to the largest diversity of wildlife in the lower 48 states.
  • The wildlife refuges and management areas are home to more than 50 mammal species and over 265 bird species

Scenic, Secluded Landscapes On The Selkirk Loop Highway

Often following lakes and rivers along the way, the driving experience along the International Selkirk Loop leads visitors to small, rural communities and vast waterways in an area brimming with outdoor recreation opportunities. With the surrounding landscape predominately public lands, there is a wide variety of recreational activities, from hiking and mountain biking to kayaking, fishing and boating. Experience awe-inspiring sights such as glaciers, vast lakes, forested mountain sides in an uncrowded, friendly atmosphere. Allow a minimum of two to three days to visit the International Selkirk Loop. More than half of the loop's visitors spend four or more days to fully explore and experience this incredible region.


International Selkirk Loop All-American Road

The Loop follows rivers and lakeshores used by native tribes, explorer David Thompson, gold seekers on the Wild Horse Trail, and early settlers. Experience exciting culinary flavors along the way as you dine and explore!

Stunning Wildlife And Natural Beauty Along The Selkirk Loop Drive

The International Selkirk Loop is a truly spectacular driving experience, winding around the Selkirk Mountain Range through Idaho  and Washington , USA and British Columbia , Canada. The Loop follows rivers, valleys and lakeshores formed by receeding glaciers during the last ice age. The route you'll explore was used by native tribes, famous Canadian explorer, fur trader and cartographer David Thompson, gold seekers on the Wild Horse Trail, and early settlers.

The tour, which travels along rural, two-lane highways, follows glacially carved, lush valley bottoms with snow capped peaks of the Selkirk Range providing a natural setting for an abundance of wildlife. It's not uncommon to see bear, elk, moose, deer and an abundance of bird life. In fact, with it's dense, green mixed conifer forests, the Selkirk Range is the last remaining domain of the woodland caribou in the Lower 48 states. Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho is the world's 13th largest freshwater lake. Kootenay Lake in British Columbia is nearly 100 miles in length, witch you'll be able to cross on North America's longest free ferry. Water from these lakes eventually enter the great Columbia Basin and become part of the mighty Columbia River System.

The Only National Scenic Byway to cross International Boundaries

The International Selkirk Loop - All-American Road is a 280-mile drive that takes in northeast Washington , northern Idaho , and southeast British Columbia . The region has so much to offer that there are an additional 450 miles of exploration on "Super Side Trips" allowing you to venture off the main route, yet returning further up the road. One of only 32 All-American Roads out of a collection of 151 byways in the United States, the International Selkirk Loop offers an abundance of outdoor recreational activities, awe-inspiring sights and small town charm, many of which are recognized as some of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America. In fact, the Selkirk Loop has garnered heaps of recognition. Rand McNally selected it as one of five "Best of the Roads" for its 2009 atlas - both U.S. and Canadian editions. 2009 AAA Tour books rated this drive as a "AAA GEM - a `must see` offering a Great Experience for Members" And Sunset Magazine named it "The West's Best Scenic Drive". So put yourself in the drivers seat for one fabulous drive chock full of scenery and friendly towns.

Idaho Bureau of Land Management Offers Interesting Recreation Sites to Explore!

Add to your scenic driving experience along the fabulous International Selkirk Loop with side trip visits to recreation sites, areas of interest and wilderness area managed by Idaho’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Most of these unique areas are listed in the Key Landmark & Attraction  section for this Drive.

BLM manages nearly 12 million acres of public lands in Idaho, nearly one-fourth of the state's total land area.  Four BLM district offices, 12 field offices, and the Idaho State Office administer the public lands in Idaho with a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The Coeur d'Alene Field Office  is an excellent resource to answer specific direction or camping questions. 

Most of the side trips will take you to nearby outstanding BLM public land venues offering a variety of cultural/historic informative sites, or outdoor recreation opportunities such as bird or wildlife watching, fishing, hiking or river rafting on day-use or developed/primitive overnight camping sites.

The Top 10 Scenic Drives partners with Idaho BLM by asking all byway travelers to travel only on established roads and trails, leave no trace, and pack out what you pack in.

Keep up to to date with International Border Crossing information by selecting How To Get Here!