St. Joe River camping

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Vaughn, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Steve Vaughn

    Steve Vaughn Member

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    Trying to arrange a 3 or 4-day trip to fish the St. Joe for the first time. I was planning on tent camping not knowing the quality of the campsites or the road for that matter. However, it would be nice to have my travel trailer for the extra comfort. I would be interested in anyone's input that is familiar with the camping along the river as to whether or not I should bother hauling a small (25') travel trailer over there or just plan on tent camping. Thanks in advance.

    Steve
     
  2. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    Sadly have not camped on the Joe in way too long.
    but by memory we had great camping back then. campsites were very nice. they can get full though.
    i would check online for more info.
     
  3. P.Dieter

    P.Dieter Just Another Bubba

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    I've only camped at the end of the road and found it to be a small but nice campground. Lots of primitive spots to just pull off and set up along the road too. The road up and over from st Regis is the way to go IMHO. Although dirt half way ( it think) it's a damn fine dirt road I wouldn't hesitate to haul my pop up on.
     
  4. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    As Paul points out, the road from St. Regis and down to the confluence of Gold Creek and the St. Joe is gravel on the Montana side and paved on the Idaho side. It is about 45 minutes from I-90 to the confluence. Last summer, there was work down on the Idaho side to smooth out some of the dips in the Gold Creek Road. Friends of mine with travel trailers do tend to do the longer drive from St. Maries. The gravel road tends to eat tires on campers. There are a few campgrounds and other spots in Avery where you can get water.

    Steve
     
  5. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    There's a number of great spots to camp along the St. Joe and use your trailer. I'm not sure how crowded the area is this time of year as I've always gone in the fall... that would be worth checking as I do recall the camp areas are fairly small. Have fun, it's a beautiful area and great water.
     
  6. run26miles

    run26miles Member

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    Huckleberry campground near Calder is a nice spot on the river, but I tend to like to fish up above Avery once the river warms up (July-September), as the rubber hatch around Calder can be quite heavy. There are a number of primitive sites starting at about Marble creek and going upstream which can accommodate a trailer, and you should be able to get a decent one as long as you don't show up on the weekend.
     
  7. William Wallace

    William Wallace Active Member

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    I am with run26miles. I have camped many times above Avery, there are many camp site along the river first come first serve. Great river with some nice trout.
     
  8. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

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    There is a campground (USFS) call Tin Cup or Tin somethingorother where just off the riffles I I think I caught one of the largest cutts in my fly fishing career.

    Nice campground, although along the road, but not a lot of traffic.

    I've camped along it several times in a VW Van, so a trailer might work.

    There are also campgrounds when you follow the St. Joe at the bridge and head up country.

    I'll echo comments, great river, wonderful trout, and funky bar in Avery!
     
  9. Dave Evans

    Dave Evans Active Member

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    We had our trailer up there last weekend. Once you get to the junction of the river road with the road to St. Maries, go upstream two more miles and there is a big open meadow on the right along the river. That is where we stay whenever we haul the trailer up. A lot more open spaces than in a campground; great spot for dogs if you have them. The river up that far was not ready yet as of last weekend, but saw more people fishing down towards Avery. Have a great trip!
     
  10. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Steve, I have done the St Joe several different ways and they were all good. There are two main camps up past Avery-Turner Flat and Tin Can Flat. Both are nice campgrounds that will have room enough for your trailer. There are more camps higher up but they are more rough camps. I have taken my 5th wheel trailer up there and used those camps and have also stayed at the Swiftwater Lodge RV park right in Avery. The advantage there is that if it is bloody hot you can hang out in air conditioned comfort during midday and fish early and late. For more information call 425-773-3724. The park is right on the river and you can use your truck to run up and down the road.

    You can also get your non-resident license in Avery at Sheffy's store in case you don't have it already. There is a fly shop in Avery to help you out.

    I am going over in the morning and will be sleeping in my Explorer for a couple of days. In the fall I'll go back in my pickup with a tall canopy and sleep in that. I don't really need a campground but since they are half price for me and I usually meet some pretty nice folks I use them.

    A 25' trailer doesn't seem that small to me and I would want to keep it on pavement if it was mine. The entire road up the St Joe is paved if you go in by way of St Maries. Another thing to consider is that with each passing year there are more of us retirees out there and going midweek is not the same as it was just 10 years ago. Sites do fill up and dragging a trailer around looking for a campsite is no picnic. Have a Plan B.

    Finally, there are dozens of pullouts right along the road, many overlooking some great looking water. The farther you can walk from those places to fish the more productive you will be.

    Ive
     
    Ed Call likes this.
  11. Steve Vaughn

    Steve Vaughn Member

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    Great insight fellas, thanks. Ive, I am three years away from joining the ranks of retirees and can't wait. A lot to consider here. I will be contacting that RV park in Avery.

    Steve
     
  12. Topstoy

    Topstoy Member

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    Besides lot's of camping along side the hiway. Many places that are not official campgrounds but nice pull offs that you can dry camp at. Also if you want you can hang a left at Avery and go up the N. Fork and there are lot's of camping spots along the river. Beautiful area up there. I took my 29' Motorhome pulling an enclosed trailer up there and didn't have a problem. I may be up near Avery some time this summer as well, it has been a few years and I can't wait to get back there.
     
  13. dibling

    dibling Active Member

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    Last Fall I stayed a few nights at the Conrad Crossing Campground, 28 miles above Avery. The road is paved the whole way and there were quite a few large rigs camped there. This campground is very close to where the dirt road from 90 dumps in, but i drove from St. Marie's/Avery and it was an awesome, well-paved drive. The only negative of driving that far above Avery to fish was that it was maddening to pass so much prime water up and watch so many other people fishing away. If you go that far, shoot me a PM and I'll let you know about a few spots that worked really well for me -- not that you can go wrong anywhere up there.
     
  14. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    I highly recommend you visit the fly shop in Avery for a fantastic huckleberry shake!
     
  15. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    There is an amazing bar in Avery too. Don't ask for the Budweiser.