Author Topic: Wise River, Mt to Butte, Mt.  (Read 2202 times)

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Offline big blue cat

Wise River, Mt to Butte, Mt.
« on: April 07, 2019, 07:33:28 am »
The info. i am finding, that it's interstate to Butte after the short
ride on Hwy 43 from Wise R. Is there a way to Butte without going
on interstate or going to far out of the way. Limited on time unfortunately.
We'll be on loaded touring bikes with 32mm tires. Any help would be
much appreciated.
Thanks
Scott.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Wise River, Mt to Butte, Mt.
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 10:34:54 am »
See my reply to your earlier thread, which reply included this map:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29469149?beta=false

I did a good deal of research while planning my three trips that included passing through Wise River and nights in Butte. As far as I have been able to figure out, you have two choices: What's shown on the map or frontage roads from the junction of MT 43 and I-15 (town of Divide) and a relatively short stretch on I-15 and the I-15/I-90 (only 6.2 miles total) to Exit 122, where you can pick up paved Grizzly Trail Rd. then the BA&P Trail, which takes you gently up the Old Town section of Butte.

The unpaved sections of the route mapped out are doable on 32c tires. Just keep an eye out for mud in one or two spots if it's been wet.

BTW...If you ride MT 43 use caution. There is little shoulder and, depending on the time of year, you can encounter a good number of vehicles towing float boats. Also keep an eye out for cattle.  :)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/27402606314/in/album-72157667672266654/


Divide Bridge Campground, on the right just before you cross the bridge over the river, is a nice, cheap BLM campground.

In the end, the route I mapped out between Wise River and the BA&P Trail is 50 miles. Going via MT 43, frontage roads and the Interstates is 33.3 miles. That's not much of a difference if you plan to make that a day of your trip. Plus, the longer route has services in the Anaconda area. I believe the other way is devoid of services except for a roadhouse or two on MT43 before ZDivide. Ultimately, I think you have to decide if you can stomach Interstate riding. It's not always ideal, but in your case we're talking about 6 miles, much of which (before you get to I-90) could be very traffic light from what I have observed while in Melrose three times. Back in 2011 I rode maybe 3 miles on I-90 heading west from Butte because I chose not to explore the unpaved alternatives. Not ideal, but I never felt it was dangerous.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 10:45:41 am by BikeliciousBabe »

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Wise River, Mt to Butte, Mt.
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 01:22:14 pm »
The info. i am finding, that it's interstate to Butte after the short
ride on Hwy 43 from Wise R. Is there a way to Butte without going
on interstate or going to far out of the way. Limited on time unfortunately.
We'll be on loaded touring bikes with 32mm tires. Any help would be
much appreciated.
Thanks
Scott.
You don't say why you are wanting to avoid it.  You can take the a look at this route.  It uses the service roads or back roads for most of the way.

https://goo.gl/maps/uvWCz7FL1oN2

After you exit, I-90, you get on a bike path most of the way into Butte.  Note:  Google re-routes off the service roads if you play with so notate it carefully before reversing direction, changing a road, etc.
As a friendly FYI, it is legal to ride on the interstate shoulder in MT in most places outside the cities.  Additionally, the section that you do have to ride in the above section has relatively low-traffic counts and the has a full shoulder with narrow white line rumble strips (to warm motorists you are about to get on the shoulder) most of the way.  Additionally, MT drivers are fairly courteous around bikers.

I personally would have no hesitation riding this 6-7 mile section of interstate.
Tailwinds, John

John
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 01:23:48 pm by John Nettles »

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Wise River, Mt to Butte, Mt.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 07:57:55 am »

You don't say why you are wanting to avoid it.  You can take the a look at this route.  It uses the service roads or back roads for most of the way.

https://goo.gl/maps/uvWCz7FL1oN2


That's the way, except if they are heading to the old section of the city they should stay on Grizzly Trail Rd. Just after the Blue Bird Bar there is an entrance to the BA&P Trail. Take it to W. Broadway and hang a right. Much easier than trying to get up there taking the hill head on. Made the mistake of going up Montana St. the first time I rode into town. Pretty steep, and got caught at every traffic light.

BTW...If you are staying in the old part of town and heading for Pipestone Pass the next day, take Continental Dr. out of town to MT 2. All that sprawl along Harrison Ave. is not fun to ride through.

Pipestone itself is not hard west to east. Heading west I had a headwind all three times, so maybe you will have a breeze pushing you up. There is no sign for the pass. You will know you are at the top when you reach the hiker/pedestrian crossing sign. On your way up, look to the right and you might be able to see the old Milwaukee Road right of way and tunnel entrance. And enjoy the descent. Except for one or two short ups you will being going down hill to one degree or another all the way to Whitehall. If you want to take a neat detour through an old farming community, make a left onto unpaved Hot Springs Rd. a bit after you pass the junction of MT 2 and MT 41. Bear right to stay on Hot Springs Rd. and then right at the T onto Pipestone Rd. to get back on MT 2. Hot Springs is not paved. Pipestone is.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Wise River, Mt to Butte, Mt.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 11:18:37 am »
Any help would be
much appreciated.
Thanks
Scott.

What did you decide?