Orofino Stole My Heart

Orofino stole my heart last summer. From my first day in this amazing town it immediately captured my heart. Between the gorgeous scenery and wild life to the most kindhearted citizens there was no way I wasn’t going to fall in love with this small town.

I spent 3 months in Orofino for an internship but after being here for only a month I realized this is where I belonged. I knew it was only a matter of time before I came back for good. Coming from Arizona it was like stepping into an alternate reality filled with wildlife, trees and more trees.

I spent most of my weekends in Idaho adventuring and traveling around the state and the whole Pacific Northwest. I was left utterly speechless every time I drove to a new place. Every single town I drove through and stopped at left me in awe of its raw beauty. From Orofino to Elk River to Lewiston to Spokane to Coeur de Alene to Seattle, there was not one disappointment.

Everything I needed and wanted to experience was within a maximum of a 5 hour drive. If you ever come to Orofino, make sure to stay at the best B&B in town and get to know Jo with her unbelievably delicious cooking and warmest heart. Then make sure you go check out the Dworshak Dam, Dent Bridge and definitely find time to spend on Dworshak lake you will not be disappointed.

I honestly am so happy to be back in town and calling it home! Happy adventuring!

-Kali Gagné Morici

P.S. Check out my summer time video here!

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Summer Time at The High Country Inn

Summer is in full swing around here right now!

Guests are loving the hot tub and are taking in all of the trees, grass and flowers in bloom that they can. This is definitely not a time of the year you want to miss out here in Idaho!


Our most recent guests were soaking up everything they could at the inn before they left! They are hoping you will come do the same!

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Sports Fishing

Fishing is the “Go To” Activity on the Clearwater River as well as on the Dworshak Reservoir!

Whether it’s guided or on your own, fishing is lively in Clearwater Valley! Take your pick; be it rainbow trout, small mouth bass, steelhead trout, or Chinook salmon, these fish can all be found on the Clearwater River.  Then there’s fishing from the road at the bottom of Dworshak Dam, where anglers line up for their spot to fish without a boat   If you have either a trolling or a bigger and faster boat, you’ve got 55 miles of beautiful lake to fish in, launching from any of several areas on the reservoir, from Bruce’s Eddy, Big Eddy, Freeman Creek, or Canyon Creek.

Dworshak Reservoir is gaining the reputation of being the spot to catch the greatest small mouth bass around, and a huge quantity of the prized land-locked salmon, the Kokanee

Guided fishing is readily available to fish both the Clearwater as well as Dworshak Dam, if you don’t have your own boat, so there’s no excuse to miss out on a wonderful adventure!



The High Country Inn is located less than ten minutes from either the river or the reservoir, and offers the most comfortable lodging,  delicious meals,  ample parking space for boats, and most important,  the friendliest hospitality. A home-cooked breakfast is part of the nightly rate, and dinners and packed lunches can also be ordered. A fine selection of beer and wine is available, also.


Despite lockdowns and social distancing, winter fishing on the Clearwater is just as popular as always. Whether it is for a few days or longer, we are taking all the necessary precautions to make sure our guests can still go out and get some fish. Here are just a few of our guests from Seattle, who recently joined us and the fish that they managed to catch and take home with them.



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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: 1 cup sour cream, 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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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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116 & West Loves the High Country Inn

Last week we hosted 116 & West (previously 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 116 & West Team

Want to learn more about the 116 & West team and agency culture? Visit us at


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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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