North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway

This drive through Colville National Forest is a favorite of outdoor adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts and visitors curious about the area’s natural and human history. Tour a hydro-electric dam, experience the largest big-game population in the lower 48 states, visit a town that was a Kevin Costner movie set and spelunk in a former bootlegger’s cave. Watch the Kalispel tribe’s buffalo herd graze lazily in the noonday sun and see a 4,000 camas oven in Newport.

Key points of interest:

  • Gardner Cave at Crawford State Park – Pend Oreille County-settler Edward E. Gardner lends his name to Gardner Cave as its apparent discoverer circa 1900, although there are other discovery claims. Gardner Cave was reportedly found during a hunting foray by the homesteader, farmer, placer miner, future Metaline saloon keeper and alleged bootlegger during Prohibition. Edward Gardner homesteaded adjacent land on the Pend Oreille River, but never owned the cave.
  • Boundary Dam – The Boundary Hydroelectric Project, located on the Pend Oreille River in Northeastern Washington, supplies almost half of Seattle City Light’s power. Discover the Boundary Hydroelectric Project nestled in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains and positioned along the banks of the scenic Pend Oreille (pronounced “pond-ah-ray”) River.