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Eastern Washington

North Idaho

Western Montana


Bonners Ferry, Idaho

When gold was discovered in the East Kootenais of British Columbia in 1863, thousands of prospectors from all over the West surged northward over a route that became known as the Wildhorse Trail.  Edwin Bonner, an enterprising merchant from Walla Walla, Washington established a ferry in 1864 where the trail crossed the broad Kootenai River.  In 1875 Richard Fry leased the business, but the location retained the name of the original founder and later became the town of Bonners Ferry. The town of Bonners Ferry was formally established in 1893 along the south bank of the Kootenai River.  Scattered along the valley and benchland were a few ranches and homesteads.  Numerous mines were developed in the nearby mountains, including Continental Mines in the Selkirks.  The lumber industry also grew rapidly.   Bonners Ferry - even with much of it perched on stilts to avoid the inevitable spring floods - appeared to be a boom town. Moving into the 20th century, the town became the center of a lumbering and farming community.  The valley land was drained and diked, and farms were cleared on the benches.  The rich Kootenai Valley became known as the "Nile of the North," while the Bonners Ferry Lumber Company grew to be one of the world's largest lumber mills.  The downtown took shape as brick buildings were constructed, replacing those on stilts.  Today, much of Main Street dates from this initial period of solid, permanent construction

Web site: www.BonnersFerryChamber.com

Major Events and Festivals

June

Kootenai River Rodeo

Held in late June at the Boundary County Fairgrounds. 208.267.5267

August

Boundary County Fair

Held in mid-August at the Boundary County Fairgrounds. 208.267.7041

September

Annual Habitat For Humanity Salmon BBQ

208.267.1601

Annual Kootenai River Rotary Ride

Held in mid September. Bicycle fun, prizes, food, entertainment. Open to all cyclists and skill levels. www.ruralnorthwest.com/rotary

Lion's Club Demolition Derby

Held in early September. 208.267.5571

November

Christmas Tree Lighting/Santa's Arrival - November 28. 208.267.5922.

December


Festival of Trees

208.267.2775

Attractions

Elk Mountain Farms

North of Bonners Ferry, Elk Mountain Farms grows hops for parent company Anheuser-Busch.  The two locations in the Kootnai River Valley comprise 1,700 acres of fertile ground that grows 889 hops plants per acre.  The intricate system of poles and trellises is impressive, as are the vines that grow 20 feet tall.  Harvest is in late August to early September.  To view the field, drive north on Highway 95 to Highway 1 and turn left on the Copeland Road.  Drive to the Westside Road and go south for outstanding views overlooking the fields.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife enthusiasts or bird watchers shouldn't miss a visit to the Kootnai Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge hosts more than 230 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, 22 species of fish and more scenery than can be absorbed in a day.  The refuge lies on 2,774 acres of prime wetlands and meadows.  It was established as a refuge in 1965 to provide a resting place to migrating waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway.   The refuge is open during the day year-round, although the auto tour is restricted during hunting season.

Kootenai Tribal Sturgeon Hatchery

The Kootnai Tribal Sturgeon Hatchery plays a major role in the recovery of the white sturgeon species.   The hatchery was built in the spring of 1991 as an experimental facility to help enhance the endangered Kootnai River white sturgeon population.  Recent improvements to the hatchery, along with a continued understanding on the culture of white sturgeon, have contributed greatly.  The hatchery raises one- and two-year-old sturgeon for release into the Kootnai River as directed under research objectives.  Funding is provided by the Bonneville Power Admnistration under the support of the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980.

Moyie River Overlook & Bridge

Spectacular views of the Moyie River and Dam from one of the highest bridges in Idaho. 1/2 mile east of Moyie Springs on Hwy 2.

Recreation

Camping & Lookout Rentals

Campgrounds across the county offer an unparalleled outdoor experience and some of the most beautiful scenery around from high mountain vistas to the banks of the Moyie River. The U.S. Forest Service has five developed campgrounds in addition to lookouts for rent. Three former Forest Service lookout stations and one guard station have been converted into use for a unique recreational experience. 208.267.5561.

Cross Country & Backcountry Skiing

When snow covers the backcountry of Boundary County, a whole new world is opened up for anyone wishing to venture on cross-country skis or even snowshoes.  You can explore hiking trails in the Canuck Basin in the Purcell Mountains or Boulder Creek areas in the Cabinet Mountains, or the magnificent Selkirk Crest.

Hiking

Copper Falls - A unique geological site with a short, easy hike to spectacular falls. 3 miles southeast of Eastport via Copper Creek Rd.

Creek Falls - A developed hiking trail ends in a viewpoint of these impressive falls. 1/10 of a mile northeast of the Visitor Center at Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Other trails - The spectacular beauty of Boundary County can often best be seen and experienced when traveling by foot. Hikers can choose easy walks on a well-established trail or multiple-day treks in the wilderness. In fact, there are more than 300 miles of trails in the Panhandle National Forest land contained in Boundary County. 208.267.5561.

Mirror Lake Golf Course

The course features everything from water hazards to long fairways and is guaranteed to challenge any golfer. Located just south of town on HWY 95. For tee times or greens fees, call 208.267.5314.

Mountain Biking

Old Forest Service roads make perfect mountain bike trails when logging is no longer taking place. The Forest Service suggests seeking closed roads to avoid motorized traffic. Mountain bikers are still discovering new trails to cruise that offer a wide variety of backcountry stops. 208.267.5561.

Moyie Picnic Area

This is a new picnic and day use area with access to the Moyie River.  View the unique commissioned sculpture.

Snowmobiling

Boundary County's backcountry wilderness is full of wide-open play areas and miles of groomed access trails that can take you from elevations of 2,000 feet to over 7,000 feet.  For the thrill of a lifetime and an unforgettable experience, venture into the mountans surrounding Bonners Ferry.

Whitewater Rafting & Boating

For recreational rafting, try the Upper Moyie River. The adventurous kayaker or rafter will find the Lower Moyie to be a thrilling experience. For a guided experience, try local outfitting and guide services available in the spring. The Kootenai is suited to recreational rafting from the Yaak River Campground on Highway 2 in Montana to below the highway bridge in Bonners Ferry. View wildlife, go fishing and enjoy the mountain scenery on this stretch of river. You can also take a power boat on the Kootenai to the Canadian border.



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