The Best Guide to Motorcycle Roads, Rides & Events

St. Joe River Scenic Byway + ADD NEW ROUTE


9   in Montana Montana106 Miles

By MCR Contributor
on May 23, 2011

4.8out of 5

4 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 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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!

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

By MrSix
on June 1, 2016 0 out of 0 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No