Author Topic: Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.  (Read 2628 times)

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Offline big blue cat

Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« on: July 23, 2015, 07:44:46 pm »
I am trying to come up with a Plan B since the fires in Glacier are happening. We are thinking to start in Missoula & go to Red Lodge & climb Beartooth Hwy. into Yellowstone. Anybody know a route that will keep me off the Interstate?
Thanks for any help.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 10:00:16 am »
ACA's Lewis & Clark #8 map shows routing between Three Forks (west of Bozeman) and Columbus (where you would head SE to reach Red Lodge). It keeps cyclists off I-90 as much as possible but there still are places where you have to ride on it. And there are roads between Missoula and Three Forks to stay off it but again you'll do some riding on it. We don't have that portion mapped on any of our routes. If you can get a Montana state map and stop in our office I can point out routing.

We are open weekdays from 8 - 5. Please let me know ahead of time if you need help.

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

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  • Guest
Re: Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 11:51:25 am »
While I certainly defer to the experts, if you don't mind some "dirt" you could head east from Missoula to Rock Creek Rd. Not sure if there are through frontage roads all the way. We rode I-90 for about 3 miles from the start/end of Rock Creek Rd. to Clinton. Take Rock Creek for about 40 miles and hang a left towards Phillipsburg. From there, take MT 1 to Anaconda. Crackerville Rd. will take you to an I-90 interchange (No. 211), but you can follow frontage roads (Bossard, crossing under I-90 to Wild Horse Meadow and then Nissler, some portions are unpaved) all the way to a trail that takes you into the center of Butte. From Butte you can take Continental Drive to MT 2 over Pipestone Pass (not as hard going west to east) and continue east to Whitehall, which would hook you up with the L&C route. There is camping along Rock Creek, in Phillipsburg, Georgetown Lake, Anaconda and Butte.

Subsequently made this:

I have ridden all the roads at least once (some of them twice) in the opposite direction except the miles between 157 and the end. The on-line map does not show a through frontage road between Clinton and Rock Creek, but maybe it's wrong. IIRC, the forst 10 miles of Rock Creek are paved then it turns to dirt until you cross the creek for the second time and make the climb over the ridge to Phillipsburg, where there is a nice motel/campground on W. Broadway just of MT 1. Grocery store across the street and a short walk into the center of town. In Butte the route takes you by the Hotel Finlen. It's a nice place to stay if you want to stop in town for the night. A room in the kitchy motor lodge portion won't break the bank. Get a first floor room and roll your bikes in. There is a KOA in town, but it didn't look nice and it's right next to the interstate on Kaw Ave. As you can see, Pipestone Pass is very gradual. The descent should be fun. I had a head wind both times I climbed it in the opposite direction. The shoulder is somewhat small but the traffic was minimal. Heading east, I suspect it might be busiest in the late afternoon/evening with people leaving Butte.

Let me know if you would like more details.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 01:51:25 pm by indyfabz »