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St. Joe River Scenic Byway + ADD NEW ROUTE


10   in Montana Montana106 Miles

By MCR Contributor
on May 23, 2011

4.6out of 5

5 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

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.

Scenery

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

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By MrSix
on June 1, 2016 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2015

Motorcycle Make BMW R1200 GS Adventure

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

We did this as a return route from Lolo - and this was a FAR superior ride. The dirt was well packed, just a little marble-ly in places but no issue. Empty road, amazing scenery, sweet twisties.

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By Black Bandit
on February 18, 2013 1 out of 2 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Suzuki

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

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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By bdimon
on April 13, 2012 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Touring

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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By bcsnowcat
on December 27, 2011 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

This is a great ride! Much nicer than Lolo! Deserted! Tighter turns, backwoods adventure at high speed!

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By GoCougs
on July 10, 2017 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

Ride update. This route is amazing, but a few notes need to be made. **WARNING** If going west and starting from St. Regis you need to know you will riding uphill on a dirt, dusty, loose gravel (NOT HARDPACK) road for 15 miles, up to the top of the mountain, to the Montana/Idaho border. Inexperienced rides and those without physical stamina would be better served taking I-90 or the Lolo pass (U.S. Rte 12). The 15 miles on a sport bike, tourer or sport tour will be exhausting. Dual sports will love this road. Having said all this, you will be rewarded when you get to the top and to the Idaho border. Beautiful views stretching for miles. The road in Idaho is amazing!! Well maintained for the first 20 miles or so. A few rough patches here and there as you get down in elevation and ride along the river. This is a bit of a technical road. Lots of blind corners, but it is a lovely ride, especially at a spirited pace. Not much traffic. I only passed 1 car in the first 30 miles. After you get to Avery, you will find a few more cars. I highly recommend this route in conjuction with the Lolo pass if you want to do a loop, but plan on a 12 hour day with some stops and grabbing a good bite of food in Missoula.

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