This is one of the unpaved routes across from the Northern Idaho corrider over to the Montana side and is designated by the State of Idaho as a Scenic Byway.
Just like Idaho Route 3 & 97 head north out of St Maries and Idaho 5 heads west, the St. Joe River Scenic Byway heads east of St. Maries. Thankfully, there’s a good gas station and a Yamaha dealership there at the corner of 3rd & 5th.
This route is not for the beginner as there are some rather large sections of deep, soft gravel to contend with. Also, the distance between fuel stops is quite long as the route is a full 89 miles. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not taking the tiddlers there, but decent-sized adventure bikes will do just fine.
Per the Idaho Byways website:
From St. Maries at the junction of Idaho 3 and Forest Hwy 50 (FS 50), east along the St. Joe River for 75 miles. At the junction with Road 218, FS 50 heads north (left) and climbs 14 miles to the Idaho-Montana border.
- Road Name: St Joe Road / Gold Creek Rd
- Counties: Benewah, Shoshone
- Length: 103
- Towns: Avery, Calder, Ethelton, Hoyt, Marble Creek, St. Joe, St. Maries, St. Regis (MT)