Rustic Lens

Local Explorations – North Central Idaho

When is the last time you found someplace new where you live?  I often take unknown roads and just try to go in the correct general direction when going somewhere,  just to see what is along the way.  I am an explorer and nothing is more fun and exciting to me than finding someplace that i had no idea existed.  Especially if its an old rustic building or rusty piece of history.  I will share a few of my images from recent trips of this sort here, but please check out my Full Gallery of local exploration.  The Camas Prairie in North Central Idaho is an amazing place.  Although it’s located three to four hours from a big city it’s very convenient for a landscape photographer with a variety of landscape, rustic buildings and scenic natural beauty.  Within minutes you can see rolling farmland, majestic forested mountains or raging rivers.  Sometimes unfortunately the weather can be just as varied, but if you don’t like it then wait 30 minutes and there’s a good chance it will change.

wheat farm sunrise
Sunrise over a wheat field near Nezperce Idaho

A few nearby photo opportunities include:

  • The nation’s largest wilderness area (3 wilderness areas combined)
  • Hells Canyon
  • Rivers
    • Salmon
    • Clearwater
    • Lochsa
    • Selway
    • Snake
  • Abandoned mining towns
  • Rural farms and rolling prairie
  • Rugged mountains and canyons
  • Wildlife
Old Hwy 7 about to descend into Lawyers Canyon

What’s on the other side of Kamiah?

I took a drive to find out.  I found an old barn that looks like it has a Minecraft face and the old Woodland School that was started in 1896.  There’s also stunning views of the Clearwater Valley.

old barn rustic
Minecraft faced barn
school bell tower
Woodland school 1896-1967

Whats behind Winchester Lake?

My daughter and I explored and found a ghost town that I did not know existed, Zaza Idaho.

ghost town ruins
Remnants of Zaza Idaho
abandoned cabin
The outside looks like someone fixed was fixing it, but the inside not so much.

We decided to drive a couple miles more before turning around. I am so glad we did! We found this!

Snake river canyon view
At the bottom of this huge canyon is the Snake River. The land in the distance is Washington State.

There are over 40 high quality images like these in the Full Gallery.

When is the last time you got lost and found something great?  Let me know in the comments!



Evan Jones

I am a landscape and travel photographer who is drawn to old and rusty stuff as well as beautiful landscapes. I like to explore the backroads of the Northwest United States and anywhere else I can get to. My blog is at

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