Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: Greg Bounds on February 20, 2009, 12:00:10 am

 
Title: Selkirk Loop
Post by: Greg Bounds 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.
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: judyrans 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 (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 (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 “@”).
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: MrBent 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
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: judyrans 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.
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: MrBent 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
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: judyrans 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
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: Greg Bounds 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.
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: rickturl 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
* - 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

Day 3: Creston, BC to Balfour, BC: 51 miles and 3000' climbing (rollers except a 400' hill just before the ferry)

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)
Day 5: Salmo, BC to Ione, WA: 40 miles with 2200' of rollers gain

Day 6: Ione, WA to Priest River, ID: 60 miles with 1500' of rollers

Day 7: Priest River, ID to Sandpoint, ID: 32 miles with 1100' of rollers

All in all, a great trip.  Highly recommended.  Feel free to reply with any questions.
Rick
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: sacred grounds Cafe 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!
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: BoomZoom 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.
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: judyrans 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!
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: tintiger 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
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: John Nelson 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.
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: cgraham 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


Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: chicobikers 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!
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: robustican on August 04, 2014, 04:47:01 pm
Hey All-

We just finished the Selkirk Loop (self-supported) going counter clockwise starting from sandpoint.  What a fantastic week!  We stayed mostly on the main route and camped about half the time.

This was our first tour so these tips may be a bit obvious to some...
- It gets HOT in the summer so we usually rode between 6am and noon
- Staying at a motel / camping very far off the main loop, or far from stores / restaurants never worked out well. its best to be within walking distance to amenities because we never wanted to ride again once we've gotten off the bikes
- If you are camping or staying at a hotel off your main route make sure to check the elevation / road conditions ahead of time.  We tried to stay at twin rivers resort outside of moyie springs and only realized once we were almost there that one of our riders with road tires wouldn't be able to handle the steep, gravel road going down to the campground
- Bring only quick-dry clothes that are easy to wash in sinks and then dry quickly
- You can save a lot of time and weight if you don't mind staying in hotels every night :)
- The western route around duck lake (north of creston) is absolutely gorgeous but has a really slow gravel road and also has tons of super aggressive mosquitoes (at least at the end of july)

our stops:
Sandpoint -> Bonners Ferry -> Creston -> Ainsworth -> Nelson -> Metaline Falls -> Newport -> Sandpoint

We basically followed the main route except for leclerc road between ione and newport and then old priest lake road, dufort, and lakeshore dr between newport and sandpoint

Enjoy!!!  It was truly a truly amazing experience.
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: melcooke on March 20, 2016, 05:17:24 pm
I'm hoping Judy is still connected to this site/post!

Judy, if logistics and transportation were no issue, which 4 of the 10 rides would you choose to ride? We have a group of 6-8 riders and will have our own vehicle for support but only have enough time to ride 4 days.

Thanks in advance,

Mel
Winthrop, WA
Title: Re: Selkirk Loop
Post by: Kootenay Cycling on April 13, 2017, 09:32:34 pm
Hi,

For those interested in cycling the Canadian portion of the Selkirk Loop, you might want to look at Kootenay Cycling Adventures http://kootenaycyclingadventures.com/. There are a few different fully supported tours offered, plus bikes and gear for self-supported tours.

The area is incredible for cycling! Quiet roads, charming mountain towns, stunning lake and mountain views, and lots of great fresh food and drink.

Cheers,
John