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Old Lewiston Grade “The Spiral Highway”

It’s short, it’s curvy, it’s smooth, and it’s most definitely sweet. One might even say, that this is the best road in the Northwest.

To the uninitiated, Spiral Highway is the old Lewiston grade. This old 2-lane of alignment of US Route 95 heads up the breathtaking 2000 foot tall grade in a very short 8 miles.

While Spiral Highway is very technical and definitely not a good road for a motorcyclist to go take in for their first Sunday ride, the curves are very nice and several of them are such lovely sweepers that they seem to go on forever.
View down the Grade to Lewiston
View down the Grade to Lewiston

In the summer, there seems to be frequent Saturday bicycle races up the Grade. During my 2006 visit, the local police rather kindly allowed our group to ride up the grade. Obviously, since the road was prepared for the bicycle club, there were no rocks or kibbles in the corner and instead of contending with the possibility of cows in the straights we had to watch out for unattended humans in the road.While the road is terribly short, I cannot give any road that I’ve ever ridden a higher rating. It is absolutely fantastic, and as evidenced by some of the riders I was with, they ride it every chance they get.

View across the crest of the Plateau
View across the crest of the Plateau

The bottom end of the Spiral Highway starts under a mile from the WA-Idaho border on the north side of the Clearwater River on WA193/ID128 also known as Down River Road and Wawawai River Road on the Washington side. The top end links back up with US95, 8 miles and 2000 feet up the hill.

I highly recommend it.

Amatuer Video from Youtube of the Spiral Highway: