Congratulations on reaching Colorado. If you decide to head uphill from Cortez some of the most beautiful mountains in the state await you, lizard head on 145 or molas, coal bank, red mountain on 550. Best wishes whatever way you choose.
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The revised GPS data for sections 3 and 4 are now included in the download at the web site.
The airlines will sell a bike box to anyone who wants one.
Be prepared for some very steep sections going over Dobson.
Ideas- take Rte 200 from Missoula to Paradise to Thompson Falls; come over the divide to Murray and Rte 456 over Dobson Pass to Wallace which is 7 miles in from the e trailhead of the Trail of the Cdlens. All good road.
#2 per my knowledge, you can get most of the way from Missoula to St. Regis on the frontage road Along I-90. Then take the 17 mile ride to Paradise and follow the above.
If you have tires that will take dirt, u can go all almost all the way from St. Regis to the Silver Valley on a frontage road.
Also from St. Regis, you can take a great ride over Gold Creek Pass to Avery – St. Marys.
More- after doing the trail of the Coeur d’Alenes; you can ride up 95 to Coeur d’Alene and jump on the bi state Centennial Trail into Spokane.
Of course, wider tires allow for more options.