Author Topic: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline cdhill

Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« on: July 20, 2015, 07:26:25 pm »
We are westbound on the Northern Tier on a tandem, currently in eastern Montana. Has anyone ridden from Whitefish to Libby via Marion on Route 2 rather than the mapped routes 93/37 through Eureka? A friend wants us to come visit and we are trying to decide whether to divert off route. Thanks for any feedback.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 07:48:25 am »
Haven't ridden it, but I will say that you would be missing a beautiful stretch of the route in that area--MT 37 along the east shore of Lake Koocanusa.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 10:40:05 am »
Here's a link to the MT bicycling map done by the MT DOT that will give you some information:
https://mdt.mt.gov/.../bike_map.pdf
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

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline ggwbikemt

Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 11:04:28 am »
US 2 traveling west out of Kalispell is a narrow road with very heavy traffic but US 93 going northwest out of Whitefish is also narrow with heavy traffic. There is a bike trail available on the south (left side of US 2 going westbound between Kalispell and Kila, Traffic drops off west of Marion but remains at least at a level that you either have or will encounter between Harlem and Chinook in eastern MT. US 2 remains narrow until about 40 miles west of Kalispell and the remaining 45 miles to Libby has a mix of wide paved shoulder and little or no shoulder stretches. It is about 100 miles to go from Whitefish to Libby via US 2.  Here is a link to the trail in the Kalispell area. http://www.traillink.com/trail/great-northern-historical-trail.aspx

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2015, 09:14:52 am »
We did not experience much traffic on U.S. 93 between Whitefish and Fortine, but perhaps that was due to the time of year. We started the Waterton-Glacier loop in mid-June of 2009. I would guess that recreational traffic picks up as the season progresses.

OP: If you opt not to ride U.S. 2, I recommend sticking to the official route rather than simply staying on U.S. 93 to Eureka. The portions off U.S. 93 are pretty (especially the portion between Fortine and Eureka) and should give you a break from any traffic on the highway. If you need food and/or water, the store slightly off route in Olney is worth a stop. It has a cool old collection of pop/soda bottles. And the Conoco in Fortine was amusing. There was a bar/casino in the back. There is a door leading to it near the bathrooms of the c-store. Opening it was like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy first opens the door after landing in Munchkin Land, only in reverse.

Offline mbattisti

Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 09:11:39 pm »
my wife and I took rt 2 from kalispell to Libby the summer of 2010 on a loaded tandem.  We had no troubles. some logging trucks but they were very well behaved.  If I remember correctly, after the rail trail there was long, gradual climb with a nice convenient store at the top.  We camped at lovely Logan State Park (46 miles from Kalispell) where loons serenaded us at night.  On the next day's ride, we hoped to find some breakfast at the hamlet of "Happy's Inn",  but were disappointed to find only a poorly stocked excuse for a convenient store.  It was another 43 miles of no services to Libby.   We did have a moose and calf cross the road in front of us on the way!