AAA Editor Notes
International Selkirk Loop is a 280-mile National Scenic Byway in northern Idaho, northeastern Washington and adjoining British Columbia. Starting at Sandpoint the 89-mile Idaho segment follows US 2 west to the Washington border at Oldtown. North from Sandpoint the byway takes US 2/95 to Bonners Ferry, then US 95 and SR 1 to the Canadian border at Porthill.
West from Sandpoint the loop follows the Pend Oreille (pond-ah-RAY) River, which drains Lake Pend Oreille. Several recreation sites offer access to the river, and there are numerous roadside pullouts. At Priest River, SR 57 runs 30 miles north to jewel-like Priest Lake, a paradise for kayaking, canoeing and fishing set amid cedars and pines in the heart of the Selkirks. Public campgrounds and lodging options are numerous.
North of Sandpoint the route runs along the Purcell Trench, a long, narrow trough between the Selkirk, Cabinet and Purcell Mountains. The trench is a natural funnel for migratory birds. Between Bonners Ferry and Priest Lake, the Selkirks are a rugged wilderness with peaks in excess of 7,000 feet. The Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, 5 miles west of Bonners Ferry, offers a 4-mile auto-tour route and numerous hiking trails.
Chambers of commerce and visitor centers along the loop provide maps and information. Visitors also can order a free copy of the visitor travel guide online or write to International Selkirk Loop, P.O. Box 920, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.