Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Scenic St. Joe River Road in the Fall

Fall is definitely here and the colors of the leaves are brilliant.  We took a drive up the St. Joe River and arrived in St. Regis, Montana about 3 hours later.  The ground cover of reds is evidence of the profusion of huckleberry plants.  The river is beautiful any time of year but when yellows, oranges, reds and greens jump into view there is just nothing prettier.

As you leave St. Maries, the St. Joe River is quite wide, however it gets more narrow the further you go.  There are twists and turns in the road that open up yet another beautiful display of color.  Because of the clarity of the water, you can see all the river rock and the waves splash playfully as the water hits into a large rocks sticking up out of the water. 

There are quite a few campgrounds along the way, some well known like Huckleberry and Tin Can Flats.  They vary in size and I tend to like the smaller ones with only 6 to eight camp sights.  The town of Avery always offers some interesting sites and it is easy to imagine the activity that use to happen in it's "heyday".  Just outside of Avery you can either turn left and head over Moon Pass driving through tunnels on a dirt road and eventually end up in Wallace,ID or continue on the St. Joe River Road heading to Red Ives and the Montana border.  We chose to keep to the right and head to Montana.

St. Regis in itself is an interesting little town with resturants, antique stores and gift shops to spend a few hours (and a few bucks) before heading west on Interstate 90 back home.  Although it is not as scenic, it does cut off about an hour of drive time and winds along the southeast end of Couer d'Alene Lake.

All in all, it was a delightful day with the blue sky, crisp fall air and a day spent appreciating the beauty that North Idaho has to offer.  I would love to say the next pictures will be in the winter with those same trees and water snuggled in a blanket of white snow but the road conditions might keep that from happening.