Author Topic: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom  (Read 3098 times)

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Offline big blue cat

Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:21:18 am »
This is probably one of the few places that I haven't ridden in Montana. Starting in Missoula to
Ovando, to Georgetown Lake, Anconda, Wisdom.  I have the route we would
like to take.  We would like to keep our mileage to 50-60'day. Can anybody help me with services such
 as grocery, campgrounds, road surface,  etc.?
 
Thanks for any help.
Scott

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 01:46:50 pm »
If you provide the route details I might be able to give you some guidance and/or suggest alternatives.

In advance of that....

Once you are up on the Georgetown Lake plateau, the terrain of MT 1 is pretty level until you get a bit east of Silver Lake. From there, it's basically all down hill to Anaconda. The grade is steepest when you start descending and levels out the closer you get to Anaconda. I have done this portion in the opposite direction twice. Last time was June of last year. I had a slight to moderate headwind both times. The shoulder along Georgetown Lake was narrow in most place and was also a bit chewed up in spots. The further south, the better the shoulder. I rode this on weekdays in late June/early July and the trafffic was pretty minimal. There are some U.S.F.S. campgrounds in the lake area. If you seach Google maps for "Campgrounds near georgetown lake, anaconda, MT" they will show up. The only commerical place I saw between the lake and Anaconda was a marina with a deli. As you are descending you will pass a road that dives down to your right just before a large, reddish brown sign relating the story of a gold strike in the area. Just down that road there is a spring outlet with plumbing for water. It's close enough to the highway that you can walk to it. Came in handy the first time when the day was quite warm.

Anaconda has plenty of places to eat and an Albertson's grocery store next to a pharmacy. As for camping, there is this place:

http://www.bigskyrvpark.com/

Wisdom is a very small town. There is a small grocery store that's open until around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Selection is somewhat limited. There is no commercial campground, but outside of town on MT 43 there is an Americon Legion or something park where you can camp. Make sure you have bug spray, at least in June. All three times I stayed or passed through there the place was teaming with mosquitoes, hence the screened in shelter at the park. The one time I camped there I pitched my tent inside it. The Nez Perce Motel in town is another option. The Crossings at Fetty's has good food and adult beverages. There is also a dive-looking bar in town.

I might be able to provide more assistance once I see your route plan. For example, if you are going to pass through Philipsburg I have spent two nights there during two different tours. And if you want to add some miles/days, you could ride the Pioneer Mountians Scenic Byway and get to Wisdom from Anaconda the long way through Jackson with a stop at Elkhorn Hot Springs.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 01:54:59 pm by indyfabz »

Offline jamawani

Re: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 06:43:47 pm »
Since Indyfabz has covered the southern half, I'll do the northern half.
I've biked it a few times - first time way back in 1987, last time a couple of years ago.
Hwy 200 out of Missoula is pretty busy - shoulders have improved greatly since '87.
Traffic gets lighter after the Seeley Lake junction.

There are some excellent places to camp in the Ovando vicinity along the Blackfoot River.
Most of these are Montana Fishing Access Sites (FAS) - some free, some with a fee.
FAS camping is low-intensity and some of the nicest to be found in the West.

http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/searchFas.html

I love Ovando - a friend used to be the town doctor.
Ovando has a bar, café, and general store last time I was through.

Don't recall any businesses in tiny Helmville - but you could ask for water if needed.
The road to Drummond is fine - not too steep heading south -
But a pretty fast downgrade after the summit.
Used to have a 5-mile dirt section, but was paved in 2012.

Here's the Montana DOT Bike Map:
http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/docs/bike_map.pdf

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 09:13:00 am »
Most of these are Montana Fishing Access Sites (FAS) - some free, some with a fee.
FAS camping is low-intensity and some of the nicest to be found in the West.

+1. Many years ago I camped at the FAS outside of downtown Ennis. Nice setting and quiet with a great pump for water.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 10:01:33 am »
Go to the MT state tourism website - under Places to Stay it lists campgrounds so you can find options.
www.visitmt.com
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

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