Author Topic: north of Missoula  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline driftlessregion

north of Missoula
« on: July 09, 2019, 04:48:44 pm »
The Great Parks route only uses a route from Missoula to Whitefish via MT 83 and back. There must be a reason not to do a loop using US 93 and then either side of Flathead Lake. Anyone with experience riding that stretch of highway?

Offline Iowagriz

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 05:27:59 pm »
Haven't ridden it in 20yrs, but 93 from Missoula to Whitefish is high traffic, high tourist route. 83 has some narrow spots, but a better ride.

Bike dependent, but consider parts of the Tour Divide Route from Seeley Lake north.

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Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 05:22:53 am »
Just rode U.S. 93 from Eureka to Whitefish a couple of weeks ago. Most of it was miserable. Somewhere south of Fortine you lose a useable shoulder in many places for a good stretch. Lots of very fast traffic, including motor homes and trailers. I was on 37c tires so I had the "luxury" of riding in the sand/dirt that borders the pavement for a little extra room. You finally get a break at Farm to Market Rd., but Lodgepole Rd. and the remainder of U.S. 93 into Whitefish is scary. The former is twisty with bad sight lines and uphills. Impatient motorists. The later has little to no useable shoulder, steep, shot hills and lots of traffic until you get close to the road for Whitefish Lake S.P. (which is a nice place).

MT 83 is better but has its bad spots. Going north from the junction with MT 200 there is about 9 miles with little or no shoulder. There is also a 15 mile stretch (MP 62 to MP 77.5, as you get close to the junction with MT 209) that is the same. In between, the shoulder ranges from decent enough to messed up.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 05:36:19 am by BikeliciousBabe »

Offline John Nelson

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 09:57:29 am »
the remainder of U.S. 93 into Whitefish is scary
Isn't every road into Whitefish scary?

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 07:08:53 pm »
U.S. 93 from the south has a lot of traffic, but I wouldn't call it scary. Large shoulder. You just need to b wary of turning traffic. And there is a back way in from Columbia Falls that's actually pleasant. Saw a huge fox riding toward C-Falls in 2017.

Stopped at ACA's headquarters on 6/30 and chatted with a rider who had come down U.S. 93 from Eureka. She mentioned Lodge Pole and the rest of U.S. 93 into town as really bad.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2019, 05:27:44 pm »
What is US 2 like from Kalispell to Libby?

Offline mbattisti

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2019, 09:31:12 pm »
What is US 2 like from Kalispell to Libby? We took RT 2 back in 2010, nice ride but few services.  Stayed at pleasant Logan state park. Logging trucks numerous but well behaved. Saw moose and deer

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2019, 08:38:24 am »
I'll tell you what looks neat: Champion Haul Rd. on the south side of the river in Libby then NF-763 and NF-535. That ends at U.S. 2 at Loon Lake/Happys Inn. You can see it on Street View. Appears to be all paved. About 37 miles with about 2,100' of climbing.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 01:18:25 pm »
It does look good-except for the 38% grade at mile 32.9 south of Libby! See it here https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30733639

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2019, 04:55:23 pm »
It does look good-except for the 38% grade at mile 32.9 south of Libby! See it here https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30733639

I also mapped it with RWGPS and saw that. At first I thought it was a tunnel. When you go through a tunnel the GPS reads off the top, so it thinks you are climbing and then descending.  Look at this map:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29428535?beta=false

Mile 131 to 154.6 is the former Milwaukee Road railroad right-of-way, which includes the Route of the Hiawatha Trail. Those spikes you see (some with grades approaching 30%) are really the numerous tunnels you ride through on that stretch. The steep ravines you can see if you zoom in on the profile are caused by the long trestles. The GPS data is coming from the ground below. The trestles are more than 100' high.

Thinking it must be a tunnel, I went to satellite view and discovered that it's a mistake on the part of Google Maps, which RWGPS uses. Take a look at your map using satellite view. When you map it the line between mile 32.6 and 34.1 goes dead straight over the ridges when in reality the road curves around. They way to bypass the error is to turn off "Follow Roads" and plot that mileage "manually."
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 04:59:17 pm by BikeliciousBabe »

Offline driftlessregion

Re: north of Missoula
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2019, 05:17:37 pm »
Turning off follow roads didn't work for me but using OSM instead of map for the routing and indeed it flattened out.