Auto Tours

Idaho Panhandle

Map by John King (Click to Enlarge)

Idaho Panhandle Auto Tour

By John King

Idaho’s aquatic jewels — Priest Lake and Lake Pend Oreille — are popular destinations for day trips and weekend getaways. Whether you’re looking for boating, fishing, skiing or mountain biking, the lakes district has all the necessities you need to be as rustic or luxurious as you like.

This auto tour through the Idaho Panhandle covers 220 miles and takes five to six hours to drive without stops. The trek heads north from Spokane along US-2 before turning east into the Gem State, then strikes north to Priest Lake on Idaho Highway 57. Upon returning to Priest River, the tour continues east to Sandpoint on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille. After a scenic side trip to Schweitzer Mountain and/or the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway, the tour turns south on US-95 to Coeur d’Alene and then west to close the loop in Spokane.

Because of COVID-19, please take recommended safety precautions if you are planning a future trip.

Albeni Falls Dam

Spokane to Priest River

This auto tour begins in Spokane and goes through Mead, Newport and more.

Priest Lake

Priest Lake

Reaching Priest Lake offers the choice between two side trips.

Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage Near Dover

Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint & Schweitzer Mountain

If you drive the Idaho Panhandle, you should not miss touring Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint and Schweitzer Mountain.

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Coeur d’Alene

Coeur d’Alene is the largest city in the panhandle and a must-visit destination year-round.

Post Falls

Return to Spokane

Post Falls and more on the return trip.

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