Take a drive through Idaho’s Western Historic Byway and experience a breathtaking panoramic view of the Owyhee Mountains, land and canyons inside of Snake River.  

The Drive

The entire drive through the Historic Byway is about 50 miles. So, you should allow yourself at least an hour and a half to two hours for travel. It’s even better if you block out an entire day. That way you can pull off and spend as much time as you want at each attraction.

Be sure to plan: Fill up your gas tank and pack a cooler full of snacks and water. The only stop with full services is near the beginning of the drive, in Kuna.  

Getting There

The byway begins in Meridian and takes you south for the whole 50 miles. You can take I-84 in Meridian down to I-69 south and exit at marker 44.


Snake River Canyon

A major attraction along the byway is the Snake River Canyon, where you will discover vast sagebrush lands, canyon rims and spectacular views of the Owyhee Mountains to the southwest. 

More than half of the Byway is on the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area; 600,000-acres of desert and canyon which inhabits the largest concentration of nesting birds in North America. Here you can marvel at many different species of birds soaring through the skies, including hawks, eagles, osprey, falcons, and owls. To see them, visit during March- June. And if you are extra lucky, you might even see herds of wild mustangs.  

Initial Point

Initial Point is a volcanic butte where surveyors first mapped out Idaho in 1867. A brass marker right on the butte can reference every piece of land in the state. 

Swan Falls Dam

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You can see the oldest Hydroelectric project on the Swan River at Swan Falls Dam. The dam was initially built in 1901 to supply power to the nearby mining companies. Now, it is a museum. A newer plant was later built in the mid-1900s. 

Dedication Point

For some of the most magnificent views of the canyon, head to Dedication Point. Here you will find panels with information on the geology in the area, and the habitat living at Snake River Canyon. 

Celebration Park

This park is the only archaeology park in all of Idaho. People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of its scenic land features and unique Indian art which dates back thousands of years. 

 Guffey Bridge

Nearby Celebration Park, you will discover the largest artifact in the state: The Guffey Bridge.  It was built in 1898 to making hauling gold and silver from the mines easier, and later abandoned in the late 1940s. In the ’70s, it was purchased by Canyon County, saved from demolition, and entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Now it is a walking bridge which connects visitors to 12 miles worth of hiking trails on each side of the river.


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