Clearwater County

September 12, 2023

Orofino | Elk River | Pierce | Weippe | Kamiah

If year round outdoor recreation makes your heart sing, this is your place. The communities located along the Clearwater River and up on the prairies are steeped in history. There are many historical sites and locations that are sacred to the Nez Perce. Lewis and Clark traveled along this route more than 200 years ago. 

The town of Kamiah nestles on the banks of the beautiful Clearwater River in a valley surrounded by scenic foothills. This town serves as a hub for some of the best hunting and fishing in the United States.

Kamiah is a unique blend of western, Victorian, and Nez Perce cultures. For centuries, Kamiah was the winter home of the native Nez Perce people. Their creation story takes place here at the Heart of the Monster.

Visitors will enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of Orofino, the rich culture, fantastic climate, and four seasons.

Orofino’s regional history follows Lewis and Clark, the early mining rushes (Orofino means "fine gold") and the great lumber industry. Surrounded by wilderness areas on three sides, this land is truly a haven for those who desire the great outdoors highlighted by spectacular steelhead fishing in the Clearwater River.

This area is home to the tallest bridge in Idaho (Dent Bridge over Dworshak Reservoir), the tallest straight-axis dam in the Western Hemisphere (Dworshak Dam), the tallest falls in Idaho (Elk Creek Falls), and the largest tree (Giant Cedar Grove).

Scenic byways link the towns of Orofino, Elk River, Pierce and Weippe. The Elk River Backcountry Byway runs between Orofino and Elk River on an off-the-beaten path scenic adventure. The route crosses Dworshak Reservoir and winds through the evergreen forests of the Clearwater Mountains to Elk River.

Elk River exudes small-town charm and is a wonderful place to hang out and explore Elk Creek Falls, the "Champion Tree of Idaho," and hit the miles of ATV and UTV trails. Nearby Elk Creek Reservoir provides the perfect opportunity to fish for rainbow trout. The Idaho Fish and Game stocks it with thousands spring through fall. You won't want to miss the opportunity to try huckleberries in any form you can find...pie, ice cream, shakes, candies, etc.

The Gold Rush Historic Byway begins in Greer about 8 miles southeast of Orofino. The climb up the grade provides a breathtaking view of the Clearwater Valley. The route rolls into the scenic Weippe Prairie where the members of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery met the Nez Perce in 1805. Learn more about this historic event at the Weippe Discovery Center. Continuing on to Pierce, you'll find a logging museum and the state's inaugural government building, the Shoshone County Courthouse. Pierce is the gateway to the Clearwater National Forest with endless opportunities to fish, hike, ride ATV trails, and snowmobile, snowshoe, and cross-country ski in the winter. Bald Mountain Ski Area is located here and offers terrain for every level of skier and snowboarder.

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February - Elk River Ice Fishing Derby | Pierce Winter Festival

May - Elk River ATV/UTV Fun Run & SLORA Boat Racing | Pierce/Weippe ATV Mother's Day Ride

June - Orofino Show-n-Shine | Clearwater River Rush Jet Boat Races | Elk River ATV/UTV Fun Run

July - Elk River Thunder in the Mountains | Orofino Fourth of July Festival | Kamiah's"Biggest Little Rodeo in Idaho"

August - Elk River Days | Elk River Music in the Mountains | Pierce 1860 Days | Bald Mountain Triathlon | Wild Weippe Days & Rodeo | Chief Lookingglass Powwow

September - Lumberjack Days & Clearwater County Fair | Kamiah BBQ Days

December - Lighted Christmas Parades



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