Nez Perce National Historical Park and Visitor Center

Hi all,

Today we have a recommendation for our “Things To Do” section of the blog from a past visitor here at the inn. Two guests took a short drive to the Nez Perce National Historical Park and Visitor Center and here’s what they had to say….

For a change of venue from all the wonderful nature surrounding The High Country Inn, plan a visit to Nez Perce National Historical Park and Visitor Center.  If you are interested in Native American history, you are surrounded by it here.

A brown colored sign that has 'Nez Perce National Historical Park' on it.

(Photo courtesy of: National Park Services from:

It is a 30 – 40 minute drive west on Route 12 along the Clearwater River to South Route 95. Then watch for the signs for the Nez Perce park and visitor center.  The Nez Perce people lived in the area and have left many historic sites.  Start with the Visitor Center.  It contains a lot of history about the Nez Perce including many artifacts and should raise your curiosity to learn more about the area’s Native American people.  You can walk around the park to see a number of other places of interest. See for all the points of interest in the Nez Perce National Historical Park.  Then throw in a little Lewis and Clark exploration, and you can spend a day or more watching history unfold before your eyes.



Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

– Mike and Debbie

(Photo at top courtesy of: Bran Stinson on Flickr
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Dworshak Dam and Visitor Center

Hi all,

Today we have a recommendation for our “Things To Do” section of the blog from a past visitor here at the inn. Two guests took a very short (5 minute) drive to the Dworshak Dam and Visitor Center just up the road from the inn and here’s what they had to say….

For a short 2 to 3 hour outing close to The High Country Inn, consider visiting the Dworshak Dam and Visitor Center in Ahsahka.  The dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is the highest straight-axis, concrete gravity dam in North America.  Daily tours of the dam are offered 7 days a week during the summer.  During the rest of the year, the center is open 5 days a week, and tours can be arranged.

We really enjoyed the 3 floors of exhibits about the operation of the dam and the history and culture of the area.  There was a theater that played videos about the construction of the dam as well as the history of log drives in the area and the Lewis and Clark Expedition that went through this area. We also were able to spot out the Visitor Center Mountain Lion that was found by Dick Moore, co-founder of The High Country Inn.

Make sure that you have a moment to check out the Mountain Lion when you visit. It was definitely a great way to spend the afternoon. Plus the view from on top of the dam is one that you do not want to miss!

Hope you find a moment to go learn some history about the dam and surrounding area the next time you are in town.

– Mike and Debbie

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Dworshak Fishing

A major attraction for avid anglers is the abundance of fishing opportunities on nearby Dworshak Lake, the 55-mile-long reservoir for Dworshak Dam.

Although the lake has for many years had a great reputation for kokanee and rainbow trout fishing, these last few years have seen a steady growth in the numbers of the smallmouth bass population, with record-sized fish being pulled from the lake. Popularity for this sport has grown so that bass tournaments are held each year.

The High Country Inn is less than ten minutes away from Big Eddy Marina, as well as Bruce’s Eddy. areas where boats can launch.  There is also room for a few boats to be parked on the inn property and electrical outlets are available if needed. Sack lunches can also be ordered ahead to take along for the day’s fishing.


Hope to see you out fishing on the lake soon!
– The High Country Inn
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DaviesMoore Loves the High Country Inn

Last week we hosted DaviesMoore for their yearly company retreat. Over twenty advertising professionals came and stayed with us for two days and enjoyed some relaxation, good food and fun. Below is what they had to stay about their stay!

We can’t say enough about how great our High Country Inn experience! We brought 21 people for our annual employee retreat and were so impressed by the hospitality.  The cabins were clean, cozy, and roomy—there was plenty of space for everyone! All the cabins had their own quaint feel. We slept great and loved the peace and quiet you can only find in the mountains.

We had some incredible meals, too. Jo, Richard, and Cathy were amazing hosts—making us breakfast, lunch, and dinner while treating us like family from the very beginning. We all ate too much during our stay, but every bite was worth it!

We loved that the High Country Inn provided so many spaces for all of us to spend time together. We spent a day out on the Dworshak Reservoir boating, paddleboarding, wake surfing and relaxing. Back at the Inn, we sat together around the big fire pit, played lawn games in the sunken garden, ate together in the Main Lodge, played pool in the Game Room, and enjoyed talking on the back porch.

The lawn in front of the cabins was a great place for morning yoga. The sounds of the wind and birds was the perfect, peaceful accompaniment to our practice.

Thank you again and again to Jo, Richard, and Cathy for such great stay. Our hearts and bellies are full!

– The DaviesMoore Team


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Elk River and the Big Cedar

Hi all,

Today we have a recommendation for our “Things To Do” section of the blog from a past visitor here at the inn. Two guests took a day trip up to Elk River to visit the Big Cedar and surrounding areas and here’s what they had to say….

If you are up to a little adventure, take a trip to the city of Elk River, and then on to the “Big Cedar”, one of the largest trees in the Americas – a giant Western Red Cedar. Your trip will start out on a winding, paved road (Dent Bridge Road) through the countryside until you get to the bridge that crosses the Dworshak Reservoir. You need to stop there and take in the views. Dent Bridge is something out of the ordinary that you would never expect to come across in the middle of Idaho. It is is the second highest reservoir bridge ever built in North America.

The road then turns into a gravel road which winds through a logging area until you come to the city of Elk River.

The Huckleberry Heaven General Store is a MUST stop for huckleberry ice cream and/or lunch. Talk to the store owner – she really knows her huckleberries. She can also tell you how to get to the “Big Cedar” – approximately 10 miles away. On your way you will be taking another drive through nature, beautiful forests, babbling brooks and some possible wildlife. Finally, you will get to the area of the “Big Cedar”. Walk around to see the magnificent cedar groves. The path is paved, accessible and is a National Recreational Trail that leads to the “Big Cedar” which is over 18 feet wide and 177 feet tall, not to mention over 3,000 years old. Wow!

On your way back to the High Country Inn, take the long way around by going west from Elk River on State Route 8. If you are up to it, there is a series of waterfalls just west of Elk River called Elk River Falls that is well worth a 30 minute hike to get to. Then going west, you head to Deary, turn left on Route 3 South through some great farms. Then back down to Route 12 and the Clearwater River. Finally, you will be back at The High Country Inn for a bit of downtime.

Hope you find time to carve out for this adventure the next time you are in town.

– Mike and Debbie


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Amaretto Almond Biscotti

This biscotti (in Italian, say BEES-KOTEE) are so delicious that I make them in double batches, to make it worth the work, as they disappear so rapidly! They also make wonderful gifts, packed 6 or so in a qt. sized zip-lock bag. I will list the ingredients for a regular batch, however, and you can just double the ingredients, if you would like to make them as shown, using in your case two regular baking sheets.


Recipe Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together in a medium bowl: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and set aside.

In a mixer bowl blend softened butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy for at least 3 minutes. Then add eggs, amaretto, almond extract, vanilla and blend well. Fold in raw almonds and chocolate covered almonds.

With some extra flour on your board and on your hands, remove dough onto board, and divide in half.  Place dough on baking pan and shape each half into logs, about 3 inches across and about 14 inches long.


Allow space for some expansion during baking  Place pan on middle shelf of preheated oven and bake 30 minutes, or just until logs are set and beginning to brown on edges. Remove from oven, let cool about twenty minutes.


Turn oven down to 250 degrees.

With a serrated knife, cut logs diagonally  into one-inch slices and place back on baking sheet, top-side up, with a little space between.


Place pan of slices back into oven and set timer for 30 minutes. Check slices  to make sure that they have hardened and don’t give to the touch. If needed, place back in oven, turn it off or very low, and leave them to finish hardening.


When cooled, squiggle melted chocolate along tops of slices.


Chocolate Drizzle:

Add 2 large squares of chocolate bark to a quart sized ziploc bag. Place bag of chocolate bark in microwave for one minute. Press chocolate a bit, then melt 30 seconds more until it is completely melted. Remove from oven, snip tiny end of one corner of bag, and squeeze icing onto slices.

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Huckleberry or Blueberry Sour Cream Scones

If you have huckleberries in your freezer, lucky you!  But these wonderful scones are great with blueberries also, just try them!


Recipe Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Have on hand: either 1 cup huckleberries or blueberries

Blend together in small bowl: egg, vanilla and almond extract, and baking soda.  Let mixture sit.

In another bowl whisk together: regular flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and cinnamon.

In electric mixer bowl cream until light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes): soft butter and sugar.

Add flour to mixture all at once, beat at medium speed just until small lumps appear.  The mixture should appear crumbly.  Gently fold in the sour cream mixture until moistened throughout, then fold in berries by hand.

Flour your hands, then lift out mounds of dough, scraping bowl until emptied, and divide mound in half, creating two 8” rounds about 2 inches high. If desired, sprinkle coarse sugar crystals over tops before cutting.  Cut each round into 8 wedges.  Place 2 inches apart on pans lined with either parchment paper or silpat liners.

Bake for 15 minutes on the middle shelf of oven. Rotate pan if needed, then bake 5 to 10 minutes more, until scones are lightly browned.

When scones are cooled, drizzle either simple powdered sugar glaze or white almond bark glaze.


Glaze Recipe:

Powdered Sugar Glaze:  Heat 2 tbsp milk in small bowl in microwave, add 2 cups powdered sugar and ½ tsp vanilla, beat until smooth and drizzle over scones. (Powder sugar glaze shown in picture.)

White Almond Bark Glaze: Melt white almond bark in microwave in a quart size freezer zip lock bag. Cut tiny hole in corner of bag and drizzle scones.


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The Inn Takes Part in Non-Profit Events

The High Country Inn has been involved in charitable giving since its inception, and for many years helped with fundraising events for the local hospital foundation by providing cooking facilities as well as serving big dinners for the annual Harvest Moon events held each fall for over ten years.

In 2009, Jo Moore became involved with the Orofino’s library group of Friends, (Clearwater Memorial Public Library, CMPL Friends) and helped organize and carry out annual summer events to help provide funds for library projects. Then in 2015, Jo was asked by the library board to form a foundation to pay for a million-dollar expansion for CMPL, and Jo accepted the challenge. Since then, a foundation has been formed, and Jo’s enthusiastic volunteer board has been able to raise almost half of the funds needed through events, grants, and outright donations. As of the year 2019, the first two phases have been paid for, with funds being raised for phase 3 already begun toward this massive project.

2019 promises to be busy with events to be held in April, June, and October, all to be held on the donated premises of the High Country Inn.

In recognition of Jo’s efforts to launch and carry out this important community project, the Rotary Club of Orofino named her its Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2018.

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Jarlsberg Spread

One of our favorite family recipes that draws rave reviews whenever it is served at pre-dinner gatherings is  Jarlsberg (yarls-berg) and Caramelized Onion Spread.   It is simple, and I have taken photos as it’s being prepared to show you what I mean! The cheese is available at Costco and other grocers who stock good cheeses.


Recipe Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.


Step 1: Melt about 1 tbsp butter in skillet, add onions, and cook very slowly under low heat, stirring often.  A lid on the skillet helps trap moisture.  The onions are cooked until they turn translucent and begin to change color.


Step 2: While the onions are cooking, cut up cheese, using a cheese knife to make it easier. Place cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl.


Step 3: When onions are caramelized, stir in the Balsamic vinegar until onions are well coated.  Add cheese and toss well.


Step 4: Add enough mayo to bind the mixture together and place in an oven-proof shallow dish to be baked.  Cover the bowl with foil and place in middle rack of oven and bake about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake about 20 more minutes or until mixture is bubbling and cheese appears melted. Blot excess oil from top with a paper towel if needed. (Spread can be covered and refrigerated overnight or until ready to bake and serve.)


Step 5: Serve! Spread is served with a spreading knife on sturdy crackers or French baguettes, toasted.


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