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Lewis and Clark Route - Hwy 12 Lolo Pass Section

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cycleslogger:
I am planning on riding from Walla Walla, WA to Missoula, MT this summer. I ordered the appropriate Lewis and Clark section map and am very stoked. I noticed, however, reading the map, that the section from Lewiston to Kamiah on hwy 12 is not recommended due to heavy traffic, no shoulders etc and the better route is over the Camas Prairie through Greencreek. I'm ok with that, like to always find better road and more adventure they say. But- I've also noticed that most of hwy 12 from Lewiston to Lolo, MT is with 'not much shoulder'.  :-\

What's the opinion out there? Is highway 12 OK to ride? I am heading west to east.

Thank mates!  :)

edited 20MAY13: fixed Louis  ;D

DU:
Hwy 12  from Kooskia to Lolo is also part of the Transam. I rode this east to west in 2006 and enjoyed it a lot but remember I was coming down from the pass. I just looked at some photos and it didn't have much of a shoulder. Over the years I've told people that I thought that was one of my favorite roads on the Transam, even after already seeing a lot of pretty country. The highway is right next to the Lochsa river and I had no issues at all with traffic. Sorry I can't help with the rest of hwy 12.

staehpj1:

--- Quote from: DU on April 25, 2013, 07:24:51 am ---Hwy 12  from Kooskia to Lolo is also part of the Transam. I rode this east to west in 2006 and enjoyed it a lot but remember I was coming down from the pass. I just looked at some photos and it didn't have much of a shoulder. Over the years I've told people that I thought that was one of my favorite roads on the Transam, even after already seeing a lot of pretty country. The highway is right next to the Lochsa river and I had no issues at all with traffic. Sorry I can't help with the rest of hwy 12.

--- End quote ---
+1 on that.  I thought it was OK and quite beautiful.

John Nelson:
There's virtually no traffic on the 101 miles from Kooskia to Lolo Pass. You won't miss a shoulder at all. The river is protected by the 1968 Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. The only people on that road are fisherman. You can pull over and find a beautiful camp site virtually anywhere along that road. And you can stop for a refreshing soak at the free, clothing-optional Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, although you'll have to hike 1.5 flat miles through the forest to get there.

staehpj1:
Johns comments reminded me, unless things have changed since 2007...
The worst place to camp on that section was the Jerry Johnson Campground, which I think was the only actual campground.  It was probably my least favorite camp spot that we stayed at on the entire TA.  Maybe stop and get water and wash up at the faucet, then wild camp somewhere else along the way.

That whole section was gradual climbing for miles of winding roads along the beautiful Lochsha River.  Pretty much anywhere you stop is scenic except Jerry Johnson Campground.  At the JJ Camp they cut down all the trees because they were falling due to root rot.  They let the area go "natural".  It was a few acres of weeds and very few spots without lots of rocks and roots to sleep on.  Is it still like that?

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