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Ernest Hemingway once quipped, “A lot of state, this Idaho, that I didn’t know about.” That’s probably true for all of us.

 

Nestled against the western side of the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains, Idaho is vast and diverse. Northern Idaho gleams with emerald green hillsides and sparkling lakes of all sizes. Rugged mountains, wilderness, and rolling farmland make up central Idaho. The Snake River Plain, with its wide open vistas, lush farmlands, and vibrant cities, form the character of southern Idaho. Wherever you travel in Idaho, you’ll find spectacular scenery and a place that’s unhurried, unspoiled, and unassuming – perfect for our back roads adventure!

 

This is the 7th in our series of  “The Backroads of America” tours. Together we have thoroughly enjoyed traveling America’s back roads. So let’s be off to Idaho!

 

Day 1 – Home to Bismarck, ND

We depart with great anticipation of a new travel adventure. We stop along the way for morning coffee and lunch on our own before our late afternoon arrival in Bismarck at the Country Inn. We enjoy an included welcome dinner aboard a delightful river cruise this evening before returning to the Country Inn for our evening stay.

Included Meals: Welcome Dinner

Hotel: Country Inn & Suites, Bismarck, ND

 

Day 2 – Bismarck to Bozeman, MT

After an enjoyable hot breakfast we depart for Bozeman, MT, our destination for today. We make a quick coffee stop before making our first of many scenic overviews on this incredible trip at the Painted Desert in Western North Dakota. Lunch on our own and a coffee break are scheduled as we make our way across vast Montana. Today we realize that the “Big Sky Country” is really true! We arrive at Bozeman’s C’Mon Inn, nestled in the hub of Montana’s Rocky Mountains just 90 miles from Yellowstone Park. You will love being surrounded by mountains on all sides. Dinner is on our own this evening with several choices close by. Sleep will come quickly as we breathe in the fresh mountain Montana air.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: The C’Mon Inn, Bozeman, MT

 

Day 3 – Bozeman to Wallace, ID

Hot breakfast is provided at the C’Mon Inn. This morning is not just “another ordinary travel day.” This stretch of interstate is one of the most incredible and scenic drives in all of America. Multiple mountain ranges are always in view, a truly inspiring experience. Awaiting us is a fantastic stop at Wheat Montana Farms and Bakery where we will treat ourselves to a superb, tasty goodie – which will also be our early lunch break. They are not known for their diet foods, but they sure are wonderful! We then move on along the river valleys of the Bitterroot Mountains to Wallace, Idaho, a little hamlet you will not soon forget. We are met by “The Prime Minister of Wallace” for a photo opp at the Idaho border. He will provide an orientation to the area as we descend into Wallace from Lookout Pass. The entire town of Wallace is on the National Historic Register famous for its rich silver mining and logging heritage. This afternoon we tour the Sierra Silver Mine, the Wallace District Mining Museum, the Northern Pacific Railway Depot, and the Oasis Rooms Bordello Tour. After our afternoon tours, the coach will take us to the Wallace Inn to check in and enjoy a complimentary wine & cheese social in O’Roukes Lounge. Our included dinner tonight will be served in the Gold Room at the Inn. Following dinner we take in a live theater performance at the Sixth Street melodrama before returning to the Inn to spend a restful night.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Wallace Inn, Wallace, ID

Day 4 – Wallace to Sandpoint, ID

Our “good morning” breakfast buffet will be served in the Molly B’dam room at the Inn. After breakfast we leave with the Prime Minister on board for the westerly trip through the Silver Valley to Kellogg and the unique Mining & Smelting Museum. Our next stop is The Old Mission at Cataldo, Idaho’s oldest standing building. The Mission is unique in its architecture and romantic in its history, beckoning all who pass. Our journey now takes us to the beautiful city of Cour d’Alene where we will enjoy a scenic hour & a half cruise of pristine Lake Cour d’Alene. Exploring the lakes wooded bays we will see wildlife, incredible secluded lake homes, and the world’s only floating golf green. Lunch is on your own in the restful park area. Following our cruise we depart for our evening’s destination, the Edgewater Resort in Sandpoint, a very beautiful spot on Lake Pend Oreille. Dinner this evening is served at Trinity at City Beach with a stunning panoramic view overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond.  Enjoy the evening by relaxing, exploring the area, strolling the beach, and taking in this incredible setting. This is the life!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Edgewater Resort, Sandpoint, ID

 

Day 5 – Sandpoint to Orofino, ID

After breakfast in our amazing surroundings we depart for Heyburn State Park and St. Maries. Heyburn is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest (1908). Enjoy exploring St. Maries and finding lunch on your own at a local family owned café in this typical small Idaho village – it’s part of the adventure! Departing we head out on the White Pine Scenic Byway (Hwy 3) along the scenic St. Maries River, through logging towns such as Flat Creek, Bovill, Deary and Kendrick. These are the backroads of Idaho and this is life untouched by modern progress and the “fast lane” as we are far from tourists rushing from one stop to the next. Then we stop at the Nez Perce National Historic Park & Visitors Center, providing us a wonderful insight into the Nez Perce, the Native American Nation of this part of our country. Our home for the night will be The Lodge at River’s Edge in Orofino. As guests, you will be enthralled at the spot we have chosen to spend the next two nights. Dinner is served at “The Edge” right next door. You will love it!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: The Lodge at Rivers Edge

 

Day 6 – Orofino

We enjoy breakfast this morning together in a bright & beautiful dining room totally surrounded by spectacular scenery. We are on the banks of the Clearwater River, one of America’s most reknown wild rivers. Had we been here in 1805, we could have witnessed Lewis & Clark floating by on their historic quest. This morning a very informative tour awaits us at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, located in the Clearwater River basin. Then just up the road is the Dworshak Dam and Reservior. At 717 feet high, Dworshak is the third tallest dam in the United States and the tallest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere. This afternoon takes us on the Gold Rush Historic Byway to the backroads villages of Weippe and Pierce, the Bradbury Logging Museum, and more local color and history. Dinner this evening is again at The Edge on the River.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: The Lodge at Rivers Edge

 

Day 7 – Orofino to Cascade, ID

Another awesome breakfast experience is enjoyed in our surreal surroundings before we depart. We are in store for a beautiful and informative drive today with stops for many photo ops, like: The picturesque Clearwater River, Nez Perce War sites, Heart of the Monster and Long Camp, Villages of Kooskia & Grangeville, Yummyz Ice Cream, and Spectacular Salmon River Canyon. The featured stop of the day is Fiddle Creek Fruit stand. Save your pennies for Homemade Huckleberry Pie and Jam. Then after a unique photo stop at the 45th Parallel, we enter McCall on picturesque Payette Lake and have lunch at a perfect spot, The Pancake House and Christmas Shop, a heart warming stop we will all enjoy. Our travel then takes us to the little community of Cascade on Lake Cascade, where we will be guests at the charming Ashley Inn. A lovely dinner and an evening performance by local talent is provided right at the Inn.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: The Ashley Inn

 

Day 8 – Cascade to Twin Falls, ID

Breakfast at our hotel is served before departing for a beautiful but busy day. More gorgeous landscape unfolds following the winding Payette River as we exit the Canyon through Horseshoe Bend into Boise, Idaho. Our morning takes us to Julia Davis Park and a chance to tour the Idaho State Museum where we will be treated to all we ever wanted to know about Idaho. We also view the classic State Capitol Building located in old historic downtown Boise. Lunch is on our own to choose from some very unique eateries. Leaving Boise, we take the back roads again through the often desolate, but no less intriguing high desert country, following the fascinating Snake River on our way to Mountain Home and a coffee stop. Our destination this evening is the Holiday Inn Express of Twin Falls, a fabulous location. We are overlooking the incredible Snake River Canyon, only a stone’s throw from the famous spot where Evel Kneivel attempted to jump the canyon on his motorcyle in 1974. Savor this special view! Dinner this evening is on your own to choose from excellent choices near our hotel.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Twin Falls, ID

 

Day 9 – Twin Falls to Idaho Falls, ID

Breakfast at the hotel is served before our full day of travel and sightseeing. The view out the coach windows takes on a whole new look than we’ve been accustomed to since entering Idaho. Traveling through the desert of Idaho and the lava beds all around us, we arrive at Craters of the Moon National Monument. The Craters of the Moon Lava Field spreads across 618 square miles and is the largest lava field in the lower 48 U.S. states.  The 60 distinct lava flows that form the Craters of the Moon Lava Field range in age from 15,000 to just 2,000 years. It derives its name from its realistic moon scape appearance. Lunch today will be an experience unlike most in the tiny desert hamlet of Arco, the first community in the world ever to be lit by electricity generated by nuclear power. This occurred on July 17, 1955, powered by Argonne National Laboratory’s BORAX-III reactor at the nearby National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS), which eventually became the site of the Idaho National Laboratory. Following lunch we visit the Idaho National Lab, a rare opportunity, for an exclusive guided tour. Our journey then takes us to Blackfoot where we tour The Potato Museum and discover first hand why Idaho is referred to as “The Potato State.” Arriving at the Holiday Express in Idaho Falls we have completed our day of travel. We are guests of R&J at Perkins tonight before heading back to our comfortable home for the night.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Idaho Falls, ID

 

Day 10 – Idaho Falls to Riverton, WY

We depart early this morning, traveling on one of the most scenic drives of our journey through the Grand Tetons to Jackson, Wyoming. We arrive at the banks of the Snake River for a fantastic float trip down the now peaceful Snake River. See the awesome Teton Range like never before, much like John Colter first did in 1807 when he discovered this incredibly beautiful and unspoiled place. This just might be the highlight of the trip! The serene yet powerful Snake River winds timelessly through the history of Jackson Hole beneath the geological grandeur of the majestic Grand Tetons. This river ecosystem is a bird watchers paradise where Golden & Bald Eagles prevail and herds of elk, mule deer, and moose abound. Aboard our rafts may be one of the best ways to view the wildlife that call these mountains home. The rafts will gently carry us along one of the most beautiful stretches of river our country has to offer. Following lunch we drive through Teton National Park, with photo stops at the Chapel of Transfiguration, Jenny Lake, and Jackson Lake. Next is Moran Junction, known to be one of the most spectacular unheralded drives through the Bridger Teton National Forest and over Tagwater Pass. Watch for the everpresent possibility of wildlife gracing the wide open fields of classic Wyoming ranch country. Experience real Wyoming cowboy country at our coffee stop before arriving at the Hampton Inn in Riverton. An included dinner will be enjoyed at the Golden Corral, where you have multiple choices to fit your taste buds.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn, Riverton, Wyoming

 

Day 11 – Riverton to Sturgis, SD

Just because Idaho and the Tetons are behind us doesn’t mean our journey home will be boring. Much more to see and do is still ahead. After breakfast we will be on our way across the high wide open spaces to Casper and then Lusk, Wyoming before entering the Black Hills country of South Dakota. Crazy Horse Mountain is our next stop and it is an unbelievable work of art in progress. After leaving Crazy Horse Mountain we visit majestic Mount Rushmore, the landmark memorial tribute to our great former presidents carved in the side of a mountain out of solid rock. It is an awesome, inspiring sight even if you have viewed it before. We then travel on to our destination for the evening, the beautiful Holiday Inn Express in Sturgis, SD. Pizza of your choice and broasted chicken will be our evening meal before calling it a day.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Sturgis, SD

 

Day 12 – Sturgis to Mitchell, SD

Departing Sturgis after our included breakfast, we are then on our way to the infamous Wall Drug in little ol’ Wall, SD. You will have ample time to explore as much of this famous tourist stop as you can. Leaving Wall, we immediately enter Badlands National Park and experience a beauty unique only to this seemingly God forsaken land. The panoramic views change with each turn in the road and the ever changing sun angle. After a pause at the Park’s visitors center, we travel on to a very favorite stop this afternoon in Oacoma. Al’s Oasis is a store filled with all South Dakota artists selling their wares. It is truly great and offers so much to see or purchase. You can even grab something tasty to eat. Departing, we cross into Central Time and later arrive in Mitchell at the Hampton Inn. Our farewell dinner will bring us all together for one last time at Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill. Sorry, our backroads journey is almost over.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn, Mitchell, SD

 

Day 13 – Mitchell to Home

We board the bus and stop at the Mitchel Corn Palace, an incredible landmark building adorned entirely in corn. Lunch will be on our own in Worthington, with our very last coffee stop of the trip in Mankato, before arriving home. We have completed another exclusive R&J backroads adventure – what an extraordinary journey!

Included Meals: Breakfast

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $2,499
Single: $3,279
Triple: $2,349
Quad: $2,249

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $149
Single: $205

Travel Bucks

$35 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

No

Tour Pace

Light to Moderate Walking

Price Includes

24 Included Meals, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 85°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
53°
Minneapolis, Mn
51°
Images of Idaho: Backroads of America Tour (FULL-Call for Waitlist!)
Motorcoach Departure Date:
07/08/2013
Motorcoach Return Date:
07/20/2013

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Highlights

Bismarck Missouri River Dinner Cruise
Traversing Big Sky Montana
Historic Wallace Idaho & Wallace Bordello Tour
The Prime Minister of Wallace
Sierra Silver Mine
Sixth Street Melodrama
Mining & Smelting Museum of Kellogg
The Old Mission at Cataldo
Scenic Cruise of Lake Cour d’Alene
Sandpoint, Idaho & Lake Pend Oreille
Edgewater Resort, The Lodge at Rivers Edge, & The Ashley Inn
Scenic St. Maries River
Heyburn State Park
Nez Perce National Historic Park
Dworshak National Fish Hatchery & Dworshak Dam
Gold Rush Historic Byway & Bradbury Logging Museum
Clearwater River, Heart of the Monster, & Salmon River Canyon
Fiddle Creek Fruit Stand
Julia Davis Park, Idaho State Museum, & State Capitol in Boise
Snake River Canyon
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Country’s First Nuclear Power Plant
The Potato Museum
Snake River Float in Grand Teton NP, Jenny & Jackson Lakes
Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
53°
Minneapolis, Mn
51°
Images of Idaho: Backroads of America Tour (FULL-Call for Waitlist!)
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 85°
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