St. Maries, ID 83861

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St. Joe River Scenic Byway

St. Joe Scenic Byway

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St. Joe Scenic Byway map

This journey along the St. Joe River begins at the town of St. Maries. where tug boats still ply the water. You’ll travel east along the shadowy St. Joe River. so named for the towering cottonwoods which adorn the shore lines. Among these trees are bald eagles and osprey, which use the trees as nesting sites and perches where they launch themselves to pick up dinner from the feast provided by “The Joe.” As you travel the first half of the byway the river is deep and still, with picturesque mountain landscapes that are captured on the watery canvas.

At St. Joe City, “The Joe” becomes shallower and starts to talk to you as it flows through rapids. The water is faster here and clear, so clear that you can catch Dolly Vardins, rainbow, cutthroat and other species of trout. All along the river adventure awaits you, at Marble Creek interpretive center tour the logging display, in Avery stop in and see the trout pond, where giant rainbow trout rise to your offerings. Visit the historic railroad depot and the refurbished sleeper/dining car.

Wildlife abounds along the river’s edge, where deer, elk, moose and bear can be seen. This drive is all along two-lane paved roads with numerous pull-outs and points of interest along the way.

Details: Length is 89 miles, allow 3 hours

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St. Joe Scenic Byway (Visit Idaho)