Porthill serves the International Selkirk Loop as the location of the U.S. Customs office on State Highway 1.Directly adjacent is the Rykerts Border Crossing. This port is open 7 am to 11 pm pacific standard time. The International Border is also the start of the Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway which travels from the border south on State Hwy 1 to US Hwy 95 south toSandpoint, Idaho.
Originally known by native Americans as “Ockonook,” which means “grassy hillside place overlooking water,” this was an historical meeting place.
Established by the Hudson Bay Co. as a trading post around 1890, Porthill has enjoyed a long and colorful history. During the early 1900’s after The Kootenai Valley Railroad extended a line here, Porthill became a shipping point for silver and lead ore from the huge Continental Mine which was located on the Selkirk Crest to the west. The ore was hauled 26 miles by wagon or sled to the river and then conveyed across by a tramway built for that purpose.
Porthill has a convenience store The Porthill Merchantile which is also the last place to purchase gas before entering Canada. There is also a duty free store and US Post Office at Porthill.