Garden Valley is nestled along Idaho State Highway 17, which is a National Scenic Byway. Designated the “Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway“, it hosts exceptional wildlife viewing, hot springs and picturesque mountain scenery.
This beautiful Idaho road winds through country so striking that it has achieved this special status. It passes through breathtaking scenery, historic places, and intriguing landscapes. It offers incomparable glimpses of wilderness, yet is easily and safely traveled.
The wild and turbulent South Fork of the Payette River crashes through the deep river canyons along the scenic byway, and creates unforgettable opportunities for rafters, and kayakers alike. There is also abundant wildlife along the way. Soaring eagles, as well as, chukkers, wild turkeys, ospreys, cougars, bears and wolves frequent the valley. Herds of elk, nearly one hundred strong, can be seen in their winter range at the Danskin Station river access.
Historic “Crouch” — This historic town, a short mile up the Middlefork Road from the highway, has long been the center of commerce in the valley. The rustic old wooden town center buildings house a variety of gift and food establishments, as well as the mercantile and commodities shops needed to support the community residents, and provide refreshment and supplies to the numerous visitors to the area. The new City Park is the start of a non-motorized bike and pedestrian path that winds through the park as well as other scenic Garden Valley areas.
Alder Creek Bridge — and homesite of artist Charles Ostner. Near this historic “Silver” Bridge was the home of Charles Ostner whose famous woodcarving of George Washington still stands in the Idaho State Capital today. (The historic “Silver Bridge” was replaced and upgraded in the summer of 2014).
Big Falls and Staircase Rapids — Two of the most famous whitewater rafting locations along the South Fork of the Payette. The South Fork features a run through a canyon with a portage at Big Falls. This canyon stretch is punctuated at its deepest point by a 40-foot waterfall. River runners portage around this spectacular sight then continue on through a narrow gorge filled with natural hot springs. After the Deadwood River adds its flow, the river begins to drop about 40 feet per mile with continuous steep rapids.
Danskin Station — Big game viewing, info and whitewater access.
Gallagher Flat — Original Civilian Conservation Corps camp foundations.
Pine Flats — Hot springs for plants, animals and people!
Deadwood Campground — Campsite was occupied as early as AD 534.
Grimes Pass Dam — powered mining dredges in the Boise Basin.
Live Musical Theater – Memorial Day to Labor Day, enjoy top-notch theater performances under the stars at Starlight Mountain Theatre. You can also check out their scheduled performances on our Calendar of Events page during the summer months.
Neighbors – Garden Valley is a gem along the scenic loop from Boise to Lowman to Idaho City. This day trip takes you through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery imaginable. A short distance north is the town of McCall and to the east, the famous ski resort of Sun Valley.