Nez Perce County

County Offices
1225 Idaho St.
Lewiston  208-799-3090

Chamber of Commerce

Nez Perce County is located in North Central Idaho. With a total land area of 855 square miles it encompasses the small cities of Culdesac, Lapwai, Peck and its county seat and largest city, Lewiston. The county is also home to the communities of Lenore, Leland, Gifford, Myrtle, Waha, Cameron and Southwick. The total population for the county is over 39,000, with more than 95% of those residents in Lewiston. Though it was originally established by the Territorial Legislature of Washington in 1861, Nez Perce County quickly moved on to become one of the four original Idaho counties. Explorers Lewis and Clark traveled through the area in 1805 that would later be named for the Native American Nez Perce Tribe who live in the region.

Nez Perce County is noted for is forests, agricultural production, scenic beauty, and unusual concentration of higher education institutions in a rural area. Dominated by the Snake River, Clearwater River and opening on to the northern gateway to Hells Canyon, this region is a perfectly balanced destination choice for those who enjoy outdoor adventure as much as leisure experiences. Hells Gate State Park is the gateway to both Idaho’s Lewis and Clark country and to Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. Consistently ranked as one of the top ten destinations for outdoor sportsmen by Outdoor Life, and often in the top three, the region is paradise for sportsmen. The waters hold bass and trout but are famous for legendary steelhead, Chinook salmon and massive white sturgeon while the hills are home to deer, bear, bighorn sheep, elk, pheasant, chukar and other game. Nez Perce County lifestyles are a mixture of outdoor recreational leisure, community events, arts and festivals. It is bordered by national forests, wilderness areas, pristine lakes, whitewater rivers, and rugged canyons. In less than an hour’s drive, there is access to fishing, camping, hunting, skiing or sailing. Making it the perfect place to call home. Water and water-based activities are truly the dominant recreation in the area, but residents enjoy a high quality of life with access to everything they could need. The historic downtown of Lewiston is a treasure trove of unique shops, restaurants and other venues that draw countless people each year.

The City of Lewiston (home to the Port of Lewiston) is located 465 river miles inland, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers and adjacent to Clarkston, Washington. It is the most inland working port in the Western US. The cities were named to honor the encampment of Lewis and Clark during their expedition to the Pacific Ocean. The county’s main industries are agriculture, paper, and timber products, and light manufacturing. Ammunition manufacturing maintains a place in the county as well with Lewiston being the headquarters of ammunition makers CCI and Speer Bullet. The city is the primary regional transportation, retail, health care, and entertainment center of the surrounding area.

Quality educational opportunities are available in and near Nez Perce County, underlined by excellent public-school districts and options for select private and parochial schools. The Lewiston school district uses nationally recognized programs and detailed planning to ensure the highest education possible for students. For those seeking higher education, there are a number of local and online opportunities available from state and regional colleges and universities for students of all ages. Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston offers more than 130-degree programs and is known for its program choices. In addition there is an University of Idaho extension campus in the area. For residents of the Nez Perce reservation there is also a U of I Extension as well. Within a short 30 to 45 min drive residents also have access to several other higher educational sources in both Idaho and nearby Washington.

With an array of health services, including clinics, pharmacies, dentists and hospital care, residents do not have to travel far for many of their medical needs. While Nez Perce County may offer newcomers an environment of unspoiled beauty, the county healthcare services are highly developed. Serving the community’s health needs is St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, which is dedicated to delivering the personalized care of a community hospital in an atmosphere of advanced technology for the best of all worlds. The Comprehensive services offered include critical care, family practice and urgent care, social services, surgical specialties, laboratory and state-of-the-art imaging, immediate care and family-centered maternity. In addition to diagnostics and treatment, the hospital takes a proactive approach to health and wellness through community educational programs, special events, and public health screenings. For residents of the Nez Perce Reservation there is the Nimiipuu Health Center, a state-of-the-art medical facility that offers complete care options in two facilities throughout the county.


City Offices
1134 F St.
Lewiston 208-746-3671

Lewiston is the county seat and is located in the western part of the county at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers. Lewiston is the first incorporated town in Idaho, the first capital of Idaho Territory, and the only seaport in Idaho.

The historic downtown of the city serves as a charming cultural corridor; a feast of local art, history, museums and education. The Nez Perce County Historical Society and Museum tell the story of this unusual region and its water based history. Residents can enjoy the works of local artists at LCSC Center for Arts and History. Those looking to explore a more relaxed environment can check out the many small shops offering unique gifts and local treasures. There are boutiques, cafes and coffee shops waiting for residents and visitors who want to relax. There are also plenty of ways to experience local wines or enjoy Newberry Square in the heart of downtown. Here you will find some of the best options the city has to offer including a bakery, restaurant, gift shops, Idaho souvenirs and more.

For those looking for more adventure, between the Clearwater and Snake rivers, water enthusiasts have a lot of recreation to choose from. Boat launches give easy access to fishermen, wake boarders, and water skiers. Or boaters can search out a quiet lagoon to relax and enjoy the river, launch a paddleboard, or fish. Cyclists of all types will find their place in the Lewis-Clark Valley. Mountain biking enthusiasts can enjoy miles of dirt trails in Hells Gate State Park and the attached recreational area. With views of the Snake River and nearby Craig Mountains. Explore and access the incredible views along the way to more than 25 miles of paved pathways on the Clearwater Snake National Recreation Trail system. Here you’ll find locals and visitors accessing the trails year-round all the way from Asotin to Hells Gate State Park. Or for those who want someone else to do the work, enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the canyon on one of the region’s regular boat tours, experience the thrill of whitewater rafting or jet boating, or view the myriad of wildlife, geological and historical sites along the canyon walls and shores of this national destination.

Residents of the community show a strong local spirit and work very hard to maintain the small town feel of the city. This can be seen at the annual festivals that are held in the city, the local high school and college sports events and just in the people themselves. Housing choices are varied in this area with a large concentration of single-family homes. Residents enjoy a very high quality of life in this amazingly beautiful valley.

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