Skip to main content

St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway


While Montana State Highway 135 commonly used as a shortcut to Glacier National Park from points west such as Coeur d'Alene and Spokane, the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway provides enough attractions along its 22 miles to be a destination of its own. Beginning at I-90 in the little town of St. Regis and traveling through a diverse array of landscapes for its relatively short distance to MT 200 just outside of Paradise, the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway provides a sampler of the wild western Montana countryside. The scenic byway makes its way through the canyon of the Clark Fork River across a section of the Lolo National Forest in the Coeur d'Alene Mountains. You will encounter spacious, rolling flats and steep canyon walls as the road meanders through the canyon, crisscrossing the river several times. You may spot some campers, fishermen or rafters along the way, not to mention the various types of wildlife as well. From I-90, MT 135 is also a bit of a shortcut to the National Bison Range and Flathead Lake.

But first, let's see why the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway is so special. I had the opportunity to experience this road twice. The first time was when I made my first cross country trip with my family in 1995, as we went this way as part of our way west from Glacier National Park towards Washington State. I got to travel it again in September 2019, and it was a lot of fun to drive.

Only 24 miles to Paradise...

Beautiful downtown St. Regis, Montana.
As an Upstate New Yorker, a 70 mile an hour speed limit on a two lane road excites me.
The ascent to a scenic drive begins.

Nothing but blue skies...
I feel like these are the Burma Shave signs of the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway.
The beautiful Clark Fork River is to your right. The river is about 280 miles long and is named for William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame.

Sometimes, you have to let the pictures speak for themselves.


The bridge in view is for the Montana Rail Link, a freight railroad that is based out of Missoula, Montana.

There's the majestic Clark Fork River again.

It's pretty nice seeing the road hug the river bank around here.
We're not quite in Paradise yet, but the scenery is pretty intoxicating.


A few dwellings pop up as we draw closer to the Paradise end of the byway.

The St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway ends at MT 200. You can make a left here to get to the town of Paradise.



Sources and Links:
Go-Montana - St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway
The Armchair Explorer - St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 24 through the Kennedy Tunnel and Old Tunnel Road

 Near the eastern City Limit of Oakland high in the Berkeley Hills one can be find the ruins of the Kennedy Tunnel at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Boulevard.  The Kennedy Tunnel opened in 1903 and was the first semi-modern automotive corridor which crossed the Alameda County-Contra Costa County Line.  The Kennedy Tunnel even saw service briefly as part of California State Route 24 before the first two bores of the Caldecott Tunnel opened in 1937.   Part 1; the history of the Kennedy Tunnel The genesis point for California State Route 24 ("CA 24") being extended into the San Francisco Bay Area begins a couple years before the Sign State Routes were announced when Legislative Route Number 75 ("LRN 75") was added by 1931 Legislative Chapter 82.  According to cahighways.org the original definition of LRN 75 was as simply "Walnut Creek to Oakland."  The instigator for the adoption of LRN 75 was construct a replacement route for the Ken

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro