There are 280 miles of the Clark Fork River in Montana, and 148 of those are the Clark Fork Scenic Drive. That’s nearly 150 miles of scenic beauty as the river winds to Northwest Montana before leaving for Idaho and the Canadian border. It all started about 12,000 years ago when most of this region in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon was covered with the icy floodwaters of Glacial Lake Missoula. When the water finally flowed out to the Pacific Ocean, it left behind the rocks, peaks, and landscapes we see today. The region is so interconnected that the Clark Fork is considered the headwaters of the entire Columbia River Basin. In some places the river is wide, peaceful, and meandering, in others, it’s a whitewater thrill ride through inspiring canyons. Alberton is famous for its dramatic river gorge, where people talk about running the rapids. Between Alberton and St. Regis, the road crosses over and under Interstate 90, 17 times. Reaching St. Regis, you leave the freeway behind and take the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway to Paradise, home of Quinn’s Hot Springs. Then the route carves a path through the forested foothills of the Cabinet Mountains. At some point, Montana 200 leaves Montana 135 and continues all the way up to the Noxon Reservoir near the Idaho border. Enjoy this very special journey on the road less traveled.