Author Topic: Selkirk Loop  (Read 21083 times)

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Offline Greg Bounds

Selkirk Loop
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:00:10 am »
Looking for advice from anyone who has done the Selkirk loop.
We are planning a self supported tour for this summer- looking for good campgrounds, restaurants and points of interest.

Offline judyrans

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 01:03:21 am »
> Looking for advice from anyone who has done the Selkirk loop.
> We are planning a self supported tour for this summer- looking for good campgrounds, restaurants and points of interest.

Last summer my husband and I and six friends rode the Selkirk Loop. An additional three people stuck to the support van. We started and ended at the Newport City Inn at Newport, WA.

Our itinerary:
Newport, WA to Ione, WA (Riverview Inn), 53 miles
Ione, WA to Nelson, BC (Dancing Bear Inn), 64 miles
Nelson, BC to Ainsworth Hot Springs, BC (Ainsworth Motel), 26 miles
Ainsworth to Creston, BC (City Centre Motel), 59 miles
Creston, BC to Sandpoint, ID (K2 Inn), 69 miles
Sandpoint, ID to Newport, WA, 35 miles
Total 306 miles. Actual was 323 miles due to wandering off route, seeing the towns, etc.

Now, have you discovered the International Selkirk Loop website, http://www.selkirkloop.org? It has all kinds of information and maps. You can order a free copy of the 64 page Travel Guide which has a map in the middle. The 2008 version measured 5.25” X 8.25”, so you could stow it in your handlebar bag. There is also a bigger map that measures 16” X 18” and folds to 4” X 9”. It’s thin, so if you treat it with Map Seal (Google it) or a similar product you can fold it any way you want. The information in the Guide is much the same as the information on the website. It lists restaurants, groceries, motels, campgrounds, and things to do.

Adventure Cycling has a 10-day self-supported tour: http://www.adventurecycling.org/tours/tourdetail.cfm?t=SC&id=152&p=1

Wright Wheels, http://www.biketoursbc.ca, also has tours. They’ll provide bike rentals, help choose restaurants and accommodations, provide guides, support vans, customized tours and self-guided tours. Costs vary with services desired.

The International Selkirk Loop is a great route. There are also several side loops.

For more details on our trip, write me at judybikes “at” yahoo.com (replace the spaces and “at” with “@”).

Offline MrBent

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 12:39:25 am »
Hey, Judy:  That looks like a great ride.  Can you tell us anything about riding conditions in terms of traffic, shoulders, pavement quality?  This looks like one to put on the must-do list!

Cheers,

Scott

Offline judyrans

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 07:17:49 pm »
Our route:
The first day, Monday, instead of following Hwys 20 (which has a shoulder) and 31 to Ione, we followed the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier Route. We briefly headed east on 20, crossed the Pend Oreille (Pawn der ay) River, then immediately turned left on LeClerc Road. This route took us on a quiet country road along the river, which is harder to see from Hwy 20. We briefly crossed the River at Usk for snacks, then crossed back and through the Kalispel Indian Reservation. While passing through the reservation you may see the tribe’s bison herd. About 25 miles out you can walk up a short hill to the Manressa Grotto, an above-ground cave system used for religious ceremonies by early American Indians and missionaries. Cross the river again to get to Ione.

If you’re not cooking, consider going 9-10 miles further on the first day as the food choices are better at Metaline/Metaline Falls.

(Tuesday) After Metaline Falls you’ll climb a huge hill. Be sure you have the identification necessary to cross into Canada at Nelway (and to cross back at Rykerts/Porthill). There’s information and links on the Loop website. Then it’s downhill to Salmo, which has some interesting stone murals depicting the area’s history. After Ymir there’s another climb. You’ll reach the top just past the Whitehill Ski Area turnoff. Then it’s downhill into Nelson.

The Dancing Bear Youth Hostel won’t let you check-in and shower until after 4 pm. So, we spent some time exploring the bike shops, and sitting on Baker St. watching what my friend Dick described as “the uniquely dressed youth” pass by.

On Wednesday we had a late breakfast, then headed to Balfour (snacks) and up the hill to the Ainsworth Hot Springs. The water in the cave is HOT. The water in the main pool is lovely, but in summer the pool can be crowded. It’s more of a place to sit and relax rather than a place to swim. If you are camping and cooking, you’ll have to carry your supplies up the hill. Dining choices are limited if you can’t, or don’t want to, drive to Nelson.

On Thursday we caught the free ferry across Kootenay Lake. After waiting for the motor homes, trucks, and cars to leave, we climbed the steep hill up from the river. We spent the rest of the day going up and down, granny gear, big ring, granny gear, big ring and so on. Motorcyclists love the 270 curves. Don’t miss the glass house at Boswell. It’s made of over 500,000 embalming fluid bottles. (I’ll bet you haven’t seen one of those before.)

At Wynndel, to avoid traffic, we turned right on Lower Wynndel Road, crossed Hwy 3, turned left on Hwy 21, left onto Valleyview Drive, then straight onto Hwy 3/Northwest Blvd to Canyon St. where the motels and restaurants are located. (Find a free copy of the Visitor’s Choice: Creston guide which has maps.) Leave town via 16th Ave S and Erickson St.

After leaving Creston on Friday we crossed the border at Rykerts/Porthill. Soon you’ll be on US 95, which has more traffic and a shoulder. US 2 joins ID 1/US 95 just north of Bonners Ferry, where we had lunch. Although there’s more traffic and a shoulder we still found it comfortable.

If you don’t have a Northern Tier map, find a copy of the free Discovery Map Sandpoint.” Approaching Sandpoint, at the HWY 200 intersection, we turned right onto the Schweitzer Cutoff Road, then, before the airport, left onto N Boyer Rd. When N Boyer Rd. becomes N Boyer St, you’re about two blocks west of HWY 2/95/200/5th Ave. Be aware of the one-way streets.

On Saturday we left Sandpoint via the Northern Tier route. Head south on any street except 1st Ave, which is one-way north. Turn left on Pine, then right on N 1st (now two-way) then turn left on Lake. After stumbling around the parking lot you’ll find a bike path which takes the old (separate) bridge over Pend Oreille Lake into Slagle. Watch for potholes and turning traffic while riding on the sidepath.

About 2.5 miles south of Algoma, turn right onto Dufort Rd. You can cross the bridge to Priest River for food, then continue on Dufort Rd, until it meets HWY 41 which brings you back into Newport.

Be aware of small town festivals which can bring traffic, and fill motels and campgrounds.

Offline MrBent

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009, 02:38:33 pm »
Thanks, Judy, for this info.  I'm going to bookmark this thread.  You mention shoulders here and there, but what is your overall impression of traffic, temperament of the drivers, etc.?  For a point of reference, although many people rave about the Oregon coast, we found the traffic in summer to be unacceptable--even with a shoulder most of the time.    We're interested in mostly quiet riding, shoulders or no.  Of course, we can deal with a few busy sections to make the linkups, but a steady diet of RV's, big rigs, etc., will put us off the route. We have made a habit of talking to local highway patrol officers to check for traffic conditions, big truck frequency, etc.  We've been trapped on some pretty bad roads before and wish to avoid them whenever possible--especially nasty, in-bred, methed-out truckers!@$#@!$&!

In short: Was this a great cycling route with light traffic, and would you do it again?   

Thanks!

Scott

Offline judyrans

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 03:27:20 am »
Scott wrote:
< You mention shoulders here and there, but what is your overall impression of traffic, temperament of the drivers, etc.? 

Generally low traffic even in high tourist season. If there were any obnoxious drivers, I don't remember them.

> In short: Was this a great cycling route with light traffic, and would you do it again?   
YES!

> For a point of reference, although many people rave about the Oregon coast, we found the traffic in summer to be unacceptable--even with a shoulder most of the time.   

A friend and I left Astoria on Labor Day, and arrived in Crescent City the following Saturday. I was also unfavorably impressed by Oregon Coast motorists There were several acts of motorist idocy, but the scenery is fantastic!

Charleston, OR won our award for least bicycle friendly town: National bicycle route, narrow lane, dinky shoulder, if any; shoulder full of broken glass. There was so much glass, it had to be deliberate.


Judy

Offline Greg Bounds

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 11:42:54 pm »
Thanks for the advice

We will be travelling June 13 - June 22 - self supported and camping most nights.
I have the itinerary  /plan completed.  We will start at Crawford Bay and travel counter clockwise.

Will be pleased to share our comments or answer questions post trip.

Offline rickturl

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 06:29:12 pm »
We just returned from a 2-couple self-contained tour of the Selkirk Loop. It is a fantastic adventure and I highly recommend it. My general comments are:
• Courteous drivers
• Most of route had shoulders
• Portion without shoulders had relatively little traffic
• Mostly rollers, with only a few notable climbs
• Services reasonably spaced
• Great scenery
• Good weather
• Lots of motorcycles

In addition to the pointers in posts above, you can get a PDF of route maps with elevation profiles for $8.95 from:
 
Jennifer Watts
Admin. Assistant/Bookkeeper
The International Selkirk Loop
1-888-823-2626
(208)267-0822
info@selkirkloop.org

Some day to day details are:

Day 1: Sandpoint, Idaho to Bonners Ferry, ID: 35 miles (*) and 1300' of rollers
  • Meandering Moose Hotel in Sandpoint had reasonable rates and clean beds.  Nothing fancy.
  • Parked our car at the Sandpoint Airport for the week.
  • Some traffic, but with wide shoulders. Courteous drivers
  • Northside School B&B is a fantastic place to stay in Bonners Ferry. Very close to town. Comfortable beds. Bike friendly. Exceptional breakfast. Pool and hot tub.

* - all mileages and elevations based on my uncalibrated bike computer - your results will vary!

Day 2: Bonners Ferry, Idaho to Creston, BC: 35 miles and 1600' of rollers
  • Climb out of Bonners Ferry - then rollers the rest of the day.
  • Traffic dropped considerably after US-95 turns east. One group took the "Orchards Galore" option at US-95. Steep climb with lots of traffic. No orchards until almost Creston. Not recommended.
  • Very easy border crossing at Porthill.
  • Kokanee Beer brewery tour in Creston. Nice clothes, beer just OK.
  • Break In Time Caffe is fantastic. It's in the center of town next to Subway. The food is eclectic with an Indian flair.
  • Valley View Motel was just on north side of town. Shaded by large trees, quiet setting. Not much to look at from the outside, but clean and refurbed inside with tubs and kitchenettes. Walking distance to a great supermarket and an acceptable restaurant.


Day 3: Creston, BC to Balfour, BC: 51 miles and 3000' climbing (rollers except a 400' hill just before the ferry)
  • One climb out of town, rollers most of the day, hill before ferry.
  • Glass House tour (made from 500,000 embalming bottles!) kind of interesting, and a nice riding break.
  • Should have stopped to see Artist's Colony at Crawford Bay - but didn't.
  • Ferry crossing very easy - bike friendly and free. Good ice cream before boarding ferry.
  • Dock and Duck Pub in Balfour had excellent dinner, with great dessert.
  • Cedars Lakeshore Inn and Marina was good, but not fancy hotel. Very close to market and food (and ferry.) Note that the water is marked as "Not for human consumption without treatment."  We boiled ours.
  • Coffee Shop in town not very good.


Day 4: Balfour, BC to Salmo, BC: 47 miles with 3100' of gain (a single climb of 1200' in about 4 miles out of Nelson, BC; 6% and 8% sections)
  • Heavy rain made an otherwise beautiful small rollers ride to Nelson a bit less pleasant.
  • Nelson, BC (site of the film Roxanne) is beautiful. Well worth a visit - which we did not do due to the rain.
  • Great internet cafe on right side when entering Nelson - good bakery items.
  • Reno Motel in Salmo was nice, but not great. Very bike friendly - they had a shed to store bikes.
  • The Dragon Fly Cafe on the main highway in Salmo had exceptional food for both lunch/dinner and breakfast. Great coffee, bakery items, paninis, etc.

Day 5: Salmo, BC to Ione, WA: 40 miles with 2200' of rollers gain
  • Very scenic day.
  • Short climb from the junction with Hwy 3. Then downhill to border crossing.
  • Good cafe for lunch in Metaline Falls (site of the move The Postman).  Cute town, but not much there.
  • Box Canyon Dam and interesting stopping site.  Tour was closed for turbine replacement.  Nice visitor's Center.  Nice overlook south of dam.
  • Riverview Motel in Ione was the best value of the trip. Only $60 for a very clean, recently remodeled (or new?) room. Very comfortable with fantastic view of river.
  • The Cabin Grill south of town was recommended - but we didn't think much of it - for breakfast at least.
  • Not many dining options, but a large supermarket.

Day 6: Ione, WA to Priest River, ID: 60 miles with 1500' of rollers
  • The LeClerck Road (on East side of river) is fantastic! No shoulder, but very little traffic. Rode two abreast most of the time. Very scenic and quiet.
  • Boo Boo's Bakery in Usk is worth a trip. Just cross the bridge from LeClerck Road into Usk. The best cinnamon rolls on the trip. Other great pastries. Full lunch menu (and breakfast too.)
  • Last 5 miles of road north of Usk torn up and had to ride dirt - call ahead.
  • Rode 5 miles on Hwy 2 after Newton. Noisy with lots of traffic, but very wide shoulder.
  • Eagle's Nest Hotel in Priest River is OK option - but not great. Pretty good Continental Breakfast - held us for our short ride the next day.

Day 7: Priest River, ID to Sandpoint, ID: 32 miles with 1100' of rollers
  • Dufort Road is an excellent alternate route to Hwy 2.  Very little traffic - but no shoulders.  Some log trucks, but very comfortable.  Scenic.
  • Very nice bike path along Hwy 95 into Sandpoint.  "Long Bridge" is a very fun (and flat!) ride.
  • Good ice cream at Dairy Depot on Hwy 2 in Sandpoint - try the Huckleberry ice cream - it's great!

All in all, a great trip.  Highly recommended.  Feel free to reply with any questions.
Rick
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 01:37:24 pm by rickturl »

Offline sacred grounds Cafe

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 04:11:16 pm »
Looking for advice from anyone who has done the Selkirk loop.
We are planning a self supported tour for this summer- looking for good campgrounds, restaurants and points of interest.

Come into Sacred Grounds Cafe in Salmo for some Local info on what and where to go. Sit back and enjoy some locally made food and roasted coffee beans along with some of the homemade bakeries.

See you there!

Offline BoomZoom

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 07:26:22 pm »
Thanks for the advice

We will be travelling June 13 - June 22 - self supported and camping most nights.
I have the itinerary  /plan completed.  We will start at Crawford Bay and travel counter clockwise.

Will be pleased to share our comments or answer questions post trip.

I'm planning on doing the Selkirk this September and I'd be very interested in getting an update about your ride, especially regarding campgrounds along the route.

Offline judyrans

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 03:22:21 am »
Quote from: Greg Bounds on May 28, 2009, 08:42:54 pm
Thanks for the advice

We will be travelling June 13 - June 22 - self supported and camping most nights.
I have the itinerary  /plan completed.  We will start at Crawford Bay and travel counter clockwise.

Will be pleased to share our comments or answer questions post trip.


On June 14, 2011, 04:26:22 pm BoomZoom wrote:

I'm planning on doing the Selkirk this September and I'd be very interested in getting an update about your ride, especially regarding campgrounds along the route.

The 16” X 18” map (see reply #1) shows campgrounds, lots of them. See http://www.selkirkloop.org/index.php/travel/lodging/rv-parks-%10-campgrounds.html for a list of RV parks and campgrounds. The list appears to be commercial facilities. Remember that many RV parks do not have provisions for camping.

See http://www.selkirkloop.org/files/ISL_Camping.pdf for camping on public lands. Budget cuts may affect these facilities. We didn't camp, so I really don't know anything about them.

Have a good trip!

Offline tintiger

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 10:41:02 am »
WACANID advice. I am registered to ride the Selkirk Loop in 5 days 100 - 125 kms per day. Any pretraining suggestions. I am a recreation cyclist and commuter - only done 70km max per day. Yikes!

C

Offline John Nelson

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2011, 12:29:59 pm »
WACANID advice. I am registered to ride the Selkirk Loop in 5 days 100 - 125 kms per day. Any pretraining suggestions. I am a recreation cyclist and commuter - only done 70km max per day. Yikes!
There's no magic forumla. In the words of the immortal Eddy Merckx, "Ride lots." The more miles you ride in preparation, the more comfortable the event will be. If feasible, include hills in your preparation.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 12:37:50 pm by John Nelson »

Offline cgraham

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 07:29:28 pm »
This itinerary is from a group that just returned from a tour of the Selkirk Loop and may be helpful to others who are planning their own tour:

So we have returned after cycling the Selkirk Loop and it was magnificent!  We did the main loop and the North Kootenay Lake Super Side Trip.  That one is truly not to be missed.  Wanted to let you know where we stopped and where we stayed so you could pass the information along to others.

Started in Sandpoint, stayed at the Best Western on the beach.

Bonner's Ferry:  Carriage House Inn and RV Park - they were very nice and had grassy sites for tents and good restrooms and showers.  Safeway across the street for provisions

Creston:  Scottie's RV Campground - also very nice, grassy sites, across from the Kohanee Brewery (nice informative tour) and easy walk to town

Crawford Bay:  Kohanne Chalets, RV, and Campground - very accomodating.  It was rainy so we rented a chalet for 5 of us.  Loved the hot tub.  Easy walk to town.

Kaslo:  Rainy again, stayed at the Kootenai Hostel (now a guest house) which was wonderful.  Had stopped for a few hours at Ainsworth Hot Springs...not to be missed.  Walked around town which was having an Art Walk.

New Denver: Centennial Municipal Campground, nice grassy sites, big gazebo to stay under cover (when wet); right next to Japanese Gardens, a delight

Nelson:  Dancing Bear Inn (a hostel)  Great rest day exploring Nelson

Salmo:  Rocking River Campground (8 km south of Salmo), a very unique, themed campground.  Delightful hosts brought us canvas camp chairs and coffee to our picnic table in the morning.  They have showers rigged up using a solar shower bag that they filled from their house.  Wonderful.  Need to have gotten provisions in Salmo

Ione:  Ceder RV Park, absolutely fantastic.  Again grassy sites, awesome rest rooms almost like your bathroom at home, camp chairs brought to our site, coffee delivered in the morning...they even drove a few of us to get cold beer and provided a cooler and ice.

Newport:  Old American Campground.  Grassy sites, walking distance to town.  Nice showers.

Sandpoint:  Back at the Best Western where we all left our cars...for free.

Hope that helps. 

We used a lot of the side roads you and I had talked (or emailed) about.  They were wonderful and better than staying on the main roads.  One thing we did notice though....the mileages on the big Selkirk Loop map did not correspond to the mileages on the Selkirk Loop Bike Maps.  Sometimes they were off by 7-10 miles.  We found the bike maps to be more reliable when trying to calculate where we were.  Just thought I mention it.

All in all, a wonderful trip!  We'll be passing on the information to others in our bike club, including all the side notes and side roads.  Thank you so much for all your help!  It truly made our trip a success!  Take care,  Karyn



Offline chicobikers

Re: Selkirk Loop
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2014, 07:40:07 pm »
I am new to this site and have spent the last 5 minutes trying to find the "new topic" button and do not see it anywhere.  So this is getting sent to you.  My husband and I are going to do the Selkirk loop next month and was wondering if anyone had a suggestion on which direction to do it.  We will be starting in Sandpoint.

Thanks
Chicobikers
Peddle with a Purpose!