Underwriting provided by:
The Laura Moore Cunningham

Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway

"They were just identifying the scenic values of those routes and finding a way to memorialize them for tourists and travelers. Just identifying what we had along those corridors."
        --John Krause, Idaho Transportation Department

Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway runs from Banks to Lowman along the South Fork of the Payette River. It's a thirty-three mile trip that connects with two other scenic byways, the Payette and the Ponderosa Pine. There's a long list of wildlife you may see along this corridor including elk, mule and white tail deer, chukars, wild turkeys, eagles, osprey and maybe even a bear or wolf. Gallagher Flat with its viewing scopes is an especially good place for viewing the large herds of elk and deer found along this route. This area is also a migratory route for Canada Geese, a bird you'll likely hear before you see them.

If you want to spend a little more time in search of birds and animals there are also plenty of campgrounds available in the Boise National Forest that borders the route. At the Pine Flats campground you can even check out a hot springs.

This byway is also a mecca for white water rafters. Staircase Rapids is one the most well-known cascades in the area. There are several locations along the road where you can launch rafts or take out after a rafting adventure. The Danskin access is one of the more popular sites. Further east on the river, you can look down at one of the most challenging cascades on the South Fork — the forty foot drop at Big Falls. Although some kayakers occasionally run this extremely difficult rapid, for most rafters and other boaters it's a mandatory portage.