~ The Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway ~

On the way to Yellowstone National Park, I decided to make the drive along the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway, if time allowed. It did and I did.
The Lake Coeur d'Alene (cour-da-lane) Scenic Byway begins at the junction of Interstate 90 and Idaho 97, the route travels south along the eastern shoreline of Lake Coeur d'Alene, which is home to bald eagles and the largest population of nesting osprey in the Western states.
The Byway offers panoramic views of the lake, as well as several information stations describing the area's botany and animal life.
The route continues through gentle hills (and some not so gentle) and dense forests to the town of Harrison. The byway ends 36 miles to the southwest at Idaho 3, where it meets the White Pine Scenic Byway. Travelers are told to allow 1.5 hours to make the drive, but I took something more like 2.5 hours.

The Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway map
North is to the right of the map, as the lake runs north-south

On the Byway

A not-too-clear photo of ducks on the lake

View at the start looking south

Across the lake is I-90

A closer look

On the left is a photo of I-90 crossing Wolf Lodge Bay on the north end of the lake. On the right slightly blurry icicles on the mountainside. It was very cold and hard to keep the camera still at times. These were big icicles about three to five feet long.

On left is one of the many side valleys along the route. It was Sunday and I didn't meet many other cars along the drive, perhaps a half dozen or so.

Ayuh, there's a lake down there. Somewhere. Those "gentle hills" took me high above the lake in several places.

That's I-90 again with Wolf Lodge Bay behind it

I really liked these long views

It was a beautiful drive on a beautiful, but cold, day

There were several places where I could have put my feet in the water as I sometimes do, when meeting a new body of water. However it was far too cold for anything not a polar bear or duck.

Panoramas at lake level

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene is a lake in the Idaho Smokestack, located in the vicinity of the city of the same name. It spans 32 miles long, ranges from 1 to 3 miles wide (50 square miles) and has over 109 miles of shoreline for boaters and vacationers to explore and enjoy. The lake is fed primarily by two rivers, Coeur d'Alene River and Saint Joe River. The outflow is via the Spokane River. The elevation of the lake is 2,125 feet above sea level.
Although glacially formed, Lake Coeur d'Alene's surface level is raised about seven feet during summer months by a dam on the Spokane River.
About 600,000 years ago, a glacial ice dam blocked the northward passage of the rivers which form the lake. When the ice melted, it left a moraine forming the boundaries of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
There are a number of Ford Model T automobiles sitting on the bottom of the lake, due to people in the early 1900s who would drive across the lake during the winter time in order to save half the distance in getting around the lake. When the ice broke, so did the chances for getting across.
The Coeur d'Alene Tribe owns the southern third of Lake Coeur d'Alene. In Idaho v. United States, the United States Supreme Court held an 1873 executive order issued by President Ulysses S. Grant transferred ownership to the Tribe. While the court holding has not affected usage and access to Lake Coeur d'Alene, the Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that the Tribe may set its own water-quality standards on its portion of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

The south end of Lake Coeur d'Alene

Site of the original St. Joseph Mission
Saint Joseph Mission was established on this site on November 4, 1842 by Jesuit Father Nicolas Point. Eagerly sought by the Coeur d'Alene Indians, the "Black Robes," Jesuit missionaries, supervised the building of a log cabin, and in the spring, began to teach "the mysteries of plowing and planting." Soon two-thirds of the tribe were baptised.
Frequent floods made it necessary to move the mission north to Caltado.
Another Saint Joseph Mission was founded by Jesuit Father Cataldo (same as the town above) on the Nez Perce Reservation 25 years later.

Harrison, Idaho, and the end of the Scenic Byway

Deer grazing on a farm

Saint Joe River

Worley, Idaho, on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation
The Saint Joe River flows between Round Lake and Chatcolet Lake, then into Lake Coeur d'Alene. The Saint Joe River is sometimes called St. Joe River, although the USGS does not use that spelling.
It has been described as the highest navigable river in the world.

Music is "Long Way Around"

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