Author Topic: East To West Montana  (Read 1219 times)

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Offline Bry

East To West Montana
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:26:37 pm »
From Glendive, MT, my N.T. map takes me up 200S to 13 to  Rt 2 toward Cut Back and Browning. Not sure why they don't route me on 200/ 87/ 89 up to Browning which i  have read is a very nice route. It seems that 2 would have more traffic heading west from Williston, ND. Any thoughts?
Bryan
Barrington, RI
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillion infidels.

Walt Whitman

Offline jamawani

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 07:26:34 pm »
I live in Wyoming and have taught for years in Montana.
20 years of riding all over Montana.

I do not like riding US 2 - not very scenic and moderate-plus traffic.
I think Hwy 200 is far better - but it is remote in places.

US 89 heading north from Fairfield to Browning is a great ride.
You have stunning, open views of the Front Range and fairly light traffic.

Northwest of Great Falls, there is a service road just to the west of I-15 -
And the 4-lane stretch of MT 200 to Sun River has shoulders.

East of Great Falls is a little trickier.
I would suggest taking Hwy 81 & Hwy 80 from Lewistown to Ft Benton.
Then take Highwood Rd to just east of Great Falls and Hwy 200.
It's a little further, but scenic and historic.
At the very least, get off Hwy 200 where it meets US 89 and ride thru belt -
Then connect with Highwood Rd.
Also, avoid 10th Ave S in Great Falls.

Best - J


Photo - US 89 along Freezeout Lake

Offline Bry

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 09:22:47 pm »
Beautiful photo, J!

I have decided to visit Missoula (ACA promised me free ice cream!) instead of heading north to Glacier. It sounds like I should avoid Great Falls but can't see a way around it while staying on 200 to Missoula. After Missoula I had planned on continuing on 200 through ID and then pick up 2 at Sandpoint then 20 through WA all the way to Anacortes.

Bryan
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillion infidels.

Walt Whitman

Online John Nelson

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 10:45:00 pm »
I've been to the ACA HQ in Missoula to get the free ice cream (I had two), and I've been through Glacier National Park. Both are nice, but Glacier is spectacular. Do both.

US2 in eastern Montana is pretty boring, but it's okay for cycling. You've got fairly frequent trains to entertain you, and you're guaranteed at least one day of strong headwinds and one day of strong tailwinds.

Offline jamawani

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 11:04:07 pm »
Why do I respond?

Offline indyfabz

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 09:23:38 am »
and then pick up 2 at Sandpoint then 20 through WA all the way to Anacortes.

Unless they have made improvements to U.S. 2 west of Sandpoint I would not do that way. Based on some bad advice, we strayed from what was the official ACA route between Newport and Sandpoint and took U.S. 2 instead. Verry scary. Little shoulder in places and a good amount of traffic, including logging trucks. Our host in Sandpoint was surprised that someone would suggest that route. The following year I took the official route, which utilizes roads on the other side of the river. Much nicer. You end up on a bike path along U.S. 95 and then the old highway bridge across the lake into town.

Also, I have to imagine that, west of Newport, Le Clerc Rd. on the north side of the river has less traffic than SR 20. Rode it twice and ecnountered almost no traffic. Street View also suggests Le Clerc is more scenic than SR 20. You can take Le Clerc to the bridge that crosses over to Ione, then head south a short distance on SR 31 to pick up SR 20. If you start out on one and want to switch, there is a bridge across the river at Usk.

Online John Nelson

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 10:16:05 am »
Also, I have to imagine that, west of Newport, Le Clerc Rd. on the north side of the river has less traffic than SR 20. Rode it twice and ecnountered almost no traffic. Street View also suggests Le Clerc is more scenic than SR 20. You can take Le Clerc to the bridge that crosses over to Ione, then head south a short distance on SR 31 to pick up SR 20. If you start out on one and want to switch, there is a bridge across the river at Usk.
I agree. Le Clerc Road is wonderful cycling (well, okay, there is one place on the reservation with some mean dogs, but other than that, it's fantastic in all respects). Once you cross the river south of Ione, stop at that little museum in Tiger for some ice cream. You'll need some nourishment for the upcoming climbs.

Offline Bry

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 12:32:23 pm »
Very helpful. I thank you!
Bryan
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillion infidels.

Walt Whitman

Offline indyfabz

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 03:24:11 pm »
there is one place on the reservation with some mean dogs, but other than that, it's fantastic in all respects). Once you cross the river south of Ione, stop at that little museum in Tiger for some ice cream. You'll need some nourishment for the upcoming climbs.[/quote]

Heh. I wasn't going to go there, but since you did...The second meanest dog I encountered on the entire Northern Tier was on Le Clerc. Scrappy little guy. Stopped me dead in my tracks. When yelling at house produced no owner, I opened up my Siwss Arm Knife just in case. His bark turned out be worse than his bite.

A couple of us were amazed at the map profile for the stretch of SR 20 that takes you into Tiger. It was nearly vertical. Fortunately, we got to go down it.

Offline scooper

Re: East To West Montana
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 08:34:33 am »
I rode from Billings to Highway 200 then east to N.D., Minn., Blah Blah.
Once we got on Hiway 200 it was a rollercoaster ride ( up & down) until east Mt., then flatten out.
We dealt with headwinds most of the way, of course. Towns are spaced apart but not where you can't
get water. I remember passing a one room school house that was still in use. I made this trip quite awhile
a go. The name of the town (wide spot in the road) was Spring  something. the lady let us camp behind her store. That evening we sat on her front porch eat our supper & drink beer.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 01:25:48 pm by dbarth »