For an RV vacation that will stay in memory for many years, you can drive through Idaho on the Payette River Scenic Byway and experience the best the state has to offer. Driving along the Payette River and through the Payette National Forest, you come to charming towns along the way that provide activities the whole family can enjoy.
Starting out in Boise, Idaho, you will move north and end your adventure in Meadows. Before starting the drive on Idaho Highway 44, you should devote some time in Boise to see the sights and check out all the attractions. Hike the Greenbelt trail or trek into the foothills on the Ridge to Rivers trail. When you are done enjoying your starting point city, head for Horseshoe Bend. At an altitude of 2,614, you will breathe in the fresh air and get ready for more outdoor fun.
Continue north and stop at Smith’s Ferry for a snack. If it is wintertime, this is the perfect place to try some snowmobiling or take off across the landscapes for some cross-country skiing. Visiting Cascade, Idaho may take more than just a few hours. There is so much to enjoy here you might find an RV Park to stay awhile. The Arrowhead RV Park is a great place to stay and famous for its carved totem poles throughout the park.
Along the Payette River in Cascade is a park that offers whitewater rafting and tubing. Kelly’s Whitewater Park has a number of water features for all ages and levels. Even when you have no experience in rafting, you can take a guided float trip down the river and take in the beauty on all sides.
You could make your home base for a few days at one of the RV camping spots around Lake Cascade. You’ll find all the amenities you need. And the lake itself is ideal for the recreational opportunities of a lifetime. Boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching – you name it, you’ll find it! East of the town of Cascade, you will also find some natural hot springs, a relaxing spot to soothe those muscles after all the activities of the day. From southeast Cascade, you can take a refreshing walk on Cascade River Walk and have fun trying to name the birds that sing in the trees surrounding you.
When you have a little experience in river rafting, you’ll want to visit the South Fork of the Salmon River. Take a half- to three-day excursion on the river and enjoy some real whitewater. Don’t leave out a visit to Donnelly as you move on towards your final destination.
You are nearing the end of your RV trip, but there is still plenty to see and do. At Ponderosa State Park you can enjoy guided walks, campfire programs and much more. You will want to include some time in McCall on your itinerary without a doubt, as here a rugged landscape not only gives you amazing scenery, but also provides wonderful hiking opportunities. As you drive the final miles to Meadows, Idaho, you know your trip is over, but you also realize you’ve made many fine memories to last a lifetime.
Photo credits: The picture of the Payette River is Copyright © 2000 Sage Community Resources. It is used here in accordance with the terms & conditions outlined on the National Scenic Byways page for the picture.