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Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway
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"They are very much an opportunity to have a very soothing wonderful experience seeing the beauty of the state. You won't be disappointed going down one of these byways."
The Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway begins on Highway 21 on the eastern edge of Boise. It winds past Lucky Peak Reservoir on its way to historic Idaho City. The old mining town dates back to the gold rush of 1862. At the height of the rush it was the largest city in the Northwest. From Idaho City the route winds north to Lowman and the South Fork of the Payette.
There's plenty of camping and fishing lining the road in the Boise, Salmon-Challis and Sawtooth National Forests. There are even several hot springs on this route, including the popular Kirkham Hot Springs, near Grandjean. Named after one of Idaho's first forest rangers, the byway leaves the Payette River and climbs higher into the forests. Travelers can access forest lands and wilderness areas on either side of the road.
To the southeast is the Sawtooth Wilderness, part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and to the northwest is the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, with over two million acres of rugged country. Banner Summit is the highest point on the byway at over 7,000 feet. From there the road drops down to Stanley past the Stanley Creek Wildlife area and the turnoff for Stanley Lake. As travelers approach the community of Stanley they'll see impressive views of the Sawtooth Mountains.