The St. Joe River may not be the most well-known body of water in the Pacific Northwest. But in our opinion, it’s one of Coeur d’Alene’s best-kept secrets.
The St. Joe River is a tributary of Lake Coeur d’Alene. You’ll find the beautiful St. Joe River on the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene and it passes through three different counties. The river begins in Shoshone County at over 6,000 feet in elevation and travels through Benewah County. Then, the St. Joe River flows through Heyburn State Park before flowing into Kootenai County.
At the mouth of the St. Joe River, the river has an elevation of 2,129 feet. Because of this, the St. Joe River has been called the highest navigable river in the world. To be considered a navigable river, a river has to be wide enough and calm enough for vessels to pass through, as well as deep enough.
With so many elevations and location changes for the St. Joe River, you may wonder, how deep is the St. Joe River? What’s the St. Joe River like? What can you do on the St. Joe River? Keep reading below for the answers to all your questions!
St. Joe River Depth
The St. Joe River varies in depth across its 140 miles and changing elevations. With the snow run-off every spring, the depth of the St. Joe River varies from season to season. Generally, the St. Joe River can be anywhere from 15-30 feet deep.
High in the mountains along the Idaho Montana border, the river starts out very shallow. As it flows down the mountain, the St. Joe River grows in size and depth. The swift water subsides downstream from Avery and Calder and is classified as navigable at St. Joe City where the average depth between there and where it enters the lake is around 30′. The deepest portion of The St Joe River is in the big eddy near Ramsdale where the river is over 100′ deep.
Additionally, there are pools along the river where people go fishing from the shore or floating with tubes. These pools are only 8-12 feet deep and make for a great place for fun activities on the water!
What’s the St. Joe River Like?
The St. Joe River is a treat to explore and has a little something for everyone. Most of the river is surrounded by tall evergreen trees and plant-filled clearings. Gorgeous homes and eye-catching landmarks can also be found along the river.
St. Joe River Activities
Adventures are abundant on the St. Joe River. From on-the-water activities to exploring the nearby forests, you’ll find non-stop fun.
Float On Tubes
As we mentioned before, there are small pools along the river where people can float along the river. This is a fun activity to do with a few friends and family members!
Watch for Wildlife
Various wildlife are often spotted along the St. Joe River. Some of these wild animals include elk, deer, moose, bears, badgers, otters, eagles, osprey, hawks, and more!
The Saint Joe River is also home to several species of fish. These fish include kokanee salmon, bull trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, largescale suckers, and mountain whitefish. As one of the highest navigable rivers in the world, it’s perfect for fishing.
Learn About Idaho History
North Idaho and the St. Joe River have been an important part of the northwest lumber industry for years. Douglas fir, pine, and other woods have been grown and harvested along the St. Joe River.
Cruise The St. Joe River with Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises
Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises doesn’t only offer cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene. We also offer fun, family-friendly cruises on the St. Joe River! Our St. Joe River Cruises give you a scenic way to explore Lake Coeur d’Alene and the breathtaking St. Joe River. This relaxing 6-hour cruise explores the length of Lake Coeur d’Alene to the St. Joe River and includes a gourmet lunch buffet. Reserve your spot today to ride the river with us!