Hear about driving the Selkirk Loop in Washington State, Idaho, and British Columbia as the Amateur Traveler talks to Anthony and Jodie St. Clair from learnersandmakers.com about their favorite road trip.
Why should you drive the Selkirk Loop?
Anthony and Jodie say, “It is just the most epic, gorgeous views of nature, I think. And it’s very accessible. I (Jodie) am an amputee, and so I’m always looking for ways to easily access nature. It felt like we were out in the middle of these beautiful spaces while I didn’t have to do a ten-mile hike to do it. ”
“We’ve driven things like the Blue Ridge Parkway in, Virginia, North Carolina, we’ve driven highway one in California. We’ve RV’d across the entire USA. The Selkirk loop holds its own with any of those scenic drives.”
Leg 1: Spokane, Washington to Newport, Washington
The easiest place to access the Selkirk Loop is from Spokane, Washington. Stretch your legs in Newport, a small town at the beginning of the Selkirk Loop. Check out the visitor center, museum, and the giant paddle wheel. Don’t miss the county museum, showcasing the timber industry and the region’s history.
Leg 2: Newport to Sandpoint, Idaho
Head south to Sandpoint, Idaho, situated on Lake Pend Oreille. Enjoy water activities, and boat tours, and explore the surrounding mountains. The lake is the star here, and various public beach areas exist. Sandpoint offers a mix of outdoor adventures and charming small-town vibes.
Leg 3: Sandpoint to Creston, British Columbia
Cross the border into Canada and explore Creston. Visit an organic dairy farm, sample cheese, and experience the meshing of organic practices with technology. Check out the Kootenay Columbia Discovery Center for nature exploration and hands-on experiences.
Leg 4: Creston to Kootenay Bay (Ferry) to Kaslo
Take the free ferry from Kootenay Bay to experience the Kaslo area. Explore artisan workshops in Crawford Bay and soak in the town’s history and nature. Kaslo offers a mix of small-town charm, outdoor activities, and a chance to visit the SS Moyie, a restored paddle-wheeler turned museum.
Leg 5: Kaslo to Castlegar
Head south to Castlegar, known for its outdoor art, sculpture garden, and Zuckerberg Island. Walk across a suspension bridge, explore hiking trails, and enjoy the mix of nature and town life. Learn about the Doukhobors’ history and their sustainable farming practices.
Leg 6: Castlegar to Boundary Reservoir Recreation Area
Cross back into the US and visit the Boundary Reservoir Recreation Area. Kayak to Pee Wee Falls, a stunning 233-foot waterfall. Hike to Sweet Creek Falls for a short, easy trail with a wading pool. Take in the region’s beauty while enjoying simpler pleasures like skipping rocks into the creek.
Leg 7: Boundary Reservoir to the End
Explore Gardner Cave, the longest known cave in Washington state, and take a guided family-friendly tour—hike to Sweet Creek Falls for another waterfall experience. Enjoy the scenic Vista House, overlooking the Boundary Waters dam. Drive through communities like Ione and Metaline Falls, and don’t miss Gardner Cave, the longest-known cave in Washington state.
Reflect on the incredible memories as you approach the end of this unforgettable road trip.
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Learners and Makers
The International Selkirk Loop
Lake Pend Oreille
Creston, British Columbia
Kootenay Meadows Farm
Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre Society
Crawford Bay: A Village of Artisans
Kootenay Lake Ferry Schedule
The SS Moyie
Castlegar, British Columbia
Hide and Seek – Nelson
Doukhobor Discovery Centre
Boundary Dam Vista House
Sweet Creek Falls Interpretive Trail
The Epic Family Road Trip You Haven’t Heard of and Need to Take
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