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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

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