St. Joe River Scenic Byway

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 3 visitors

State: Montana
Date Submitted: May 23, 2011
Submitted by: MCR Contributor
Motorcycle Road Length: 106 Miles

Written Directions

From St. Maries, ID, east along the St. Joe River for 75 miles. At the junction with Road 218, FS 50 heads north (left) and climbs 14 miles over the divide to the Idaho-Montana border. Be aware if coming from the East that the intersection in St Regis can be a bit confusing.Check out a good map. This road is deserted and much like the well know LoLo pass road which parallels it. Same type of road till you hit Avery,nice curvy route along the rivers edge! From Avery on it gets tighter and deserted and the road runs at higher elevations compared to the river, and has much higher drop-offs over the edges and a lot of tighter corners. Fun ride! Makes a great loop with the Lolo route.


You will see beautiful Rivers, Mountains,Forest on this wonderful twisting lonely backroad nature tour!

Road Quality  

100 miles of twisties and elevation.Follows the edge of the St Joe River. No traffic,usually deserted. If you can't handle some dust, then be aware there is a few miles of easy hardpack gravel surface on the MT side and you are in St Regis ,MT on I-90. No problem at all for our sportbikes. This is why you won't see many bikes on this route! Too bad more of the great roads didn't have a mile of gravel on each end! :) . Be warned, there is some hard pack gravel at the East end heading down the mtn towards St regis.

Roadside Amenities  

Lots at each end, not much in between. No need for a few hours anyway!

Additional Info

Nickname (optional) John Fenner



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Reviewed by Black Bandit on February 18, 2013
(1 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Black Bandit
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Suzuki
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: This is indeed a great ride that we did in conjunction with Lolo. The only problem we ran into was the bridge that you cross the river shortly after hitting the pavement in Idaho was being rebuilt so we could not get across. The helpful flagman suggested that we could take the detour road. When I asked him if was any worse than the gravel we rode on from St. Regis he said it was about the same. In reality it was graded out of the mountain side and would have been great on a dirt bike but not so great on road bikes. We did make it with no mishaps or flats though. Definitely want to do it again.
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Reviewed by bdimon on April 13, 2012
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Bruce
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: BMW
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: John Fenner described the road perfectly. It was my favorite local ride when I lived in Post Falls, Idaho. Native cutthroat trout fill the St. Joe river and, although it's catch and release, you should camp overnight at one of the campgrounds along this route. Most of the campgrounds are small and right on the river. The twistiest part of this ride is Gold Creek Rd which is where the road leaves the St. Joe river to wind up to the border with Montana. Follow the St. Joe River Road to its end at Spruce Tree Campground and enjoy a place that feels a million miles away from anywhere.
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Reviewed by bcsnowcat on December 27, 2011
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: bcsnowcat
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: This is a great ride! Much nicer than Lolo! Deserted! Tighter turns, backwoods adventure at high speed!
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