St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway
Area: Saint Regis North (Clarks Fork Valley)
The St. Regis-Paradise National Forest Scenic Byway follows the Clark Fork River through the Lolo National Forest. It begins on Montana Highway135 at the town of St. Regis and ends at its junction with Montana Highway 200, several miles southeast of the small community of Paradise.
Winter driving conditions can be poor, consult road report before traveling. Driving time is about 1 hour. The length is about 30 miles.
Attractions and Comments:
30 miles / 48.3 km
Time to Allow:
Allow at least 1 hour to tour this byway.
The Forest Service campground is $6 per night, no other fees apply.
Originally a meandering trail which followed the Clark Fork River between St. Regis and Paradise, the St. Regis-Paradise National Forest Scenic Byway lies within the Lolo National Forest. This scenic route, with the motto: The River, The People, The Land, takes motorists through varying terrain, from spacious, rolling flats to steep canyon walls where it winds through the Bitterroot Mountains.
The byway has long been considered an alternate route for travelers, on Interstate 90, whose destination is Flathead Lake or Glacier National Park. It also serves as a route to the National Bison Range. However, with the spectacular scenery, plentiful wildlife, and many recreational opportunities the Byway is a destination unto itself
The Clark Fork River begins its journey 240 miles east of the byway and drains more than 22,000 square mile of western Montana before it flows into Idaho and eventually joins the mighty Columbia River. The official name of the river is the Clark's Fork of the Columbia,
but is usually called the Clark Fork. The recreational opportunities along the Byway revolve around this river.
Several access points to the river are available, providing opportunities for both fishing and boating. Development of additional access points is in the planning stage. Floating in rafts on this stretch of rapids varying difficult for different skill levels of users.
The river is home to a wide variety of fish that includes rainbow trout, westslope cutthroat, eastern brook trout, bull trout, and the longnose sucker. The Clark Fork provides excellent fish habitat with a variety of water depths, a varying bottom for hiding places, an abundance of insects, and lots of cool, clean water.
Facilities: Scenery, Wildlife, Wildflowers