Author Topic: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT  (Read 1347 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gingerp

bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« on: September 11, 2019, 02:13:14 pm »
Hi all, I am planning trips for 2020, including the trail of the Coeur d'Alene, Route of the Hiawatha, and then on to Cycle Greater Yellowstone, which starts in Butte.  Any ideas or resources for/about safe-ish bike routes from Wallace or St. Regis to Butte?  Thanks.

Offline jamawani

Re: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 07:37:14 pm »
Once the CdA Trail hits I-90 it's pretty yucky.
But the road over Thompson Pass is fabulous.
So from Enaville head east to Thompson Falls.
Make sure to use the trail bridge over the falls.

Hwy 200 is mixed - like most Montana roads.
Moderate traffic, some narrow sections. 20%?
Then busy, but shoulders US 93 into Missoula.

Not totally direct, but Hwy 200 thru Ovando,
Then Helmville-Drummond Road (Rte 271) - paved, empty.
Then Hwy 1 thru Phillipsburg to Anaconda.

The Silver Bow rail trail is nowhere near complete into Butte.
Have to get on I-90 for a chunk.
Safe, but not anything to write home about.

Butte itself, however, is fantabulous.


Offline Iowagriz

Re: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 09:43:16 pm »
Pavement or gravel?

Wild West Route (new) gets you from Wallace to Superior. I have a route from there to Missoula. Primarily gravel.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk


Offline Iowagriz

Re: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 09:43:59 pm »
Pavement or gravel?

Wild West Route (new) gets you from Wallace to Superior. I have a route from there to Missoula. Primarily gravel.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk


Offline gingerp

Re: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 04:02:16 pm »
Pavement preferably.  Road bike with 35's so could do compacted gravel/sand, but not anything more bumpy.  Thanks all for the info. 

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2019, 10:40:50 am »
Hi all, I am planning trips for 2020, including the trail of the Coeur d'Alene, Route of the Hiawatha, and then on to Cycle Greater Yellowstone, which starts in Butte.  Any ideas or resources for/about safe-ish bike routes from Wallace or St. Regis to Butte?  Thanks.

I've done Wallace to Missoula twice, only in the opposite direction, and rode the Route of the Hiawatha back in June.

First off, the Hiawatha is not a warm and fuzzy surface. I rode fully loaded with 37c tires. You might find 35c to be pushing it unless you are lightly loaded, especially on the western end. 

And how do you plan to ride it? I climbed Gold Pass from St. Regis to the ID border, came down the St. Joe River to Avery, rode the old railroad right-of-way up the western trailhead and then continued east on the Hiawatha. From there, I descended down from East Portal to pick up the NorPac Trail and rode that to Lookout Pass. From there I took I-90 down to Mullan to pick up the CdA trail and rode that to Wallace. If you are going the other way, you don't want to take the NorPac Trail if you want non-bumpy surface. That leaves you with no option but to take I-90 from Mullan up to Lookout and then down. If you want to then reach the Hiawatha, you have about a 3 mile climb up to East Portal on a recent dirt road. But understand that once you reach East Portal Trailhead, you are heading west back into ID. I guess you could ride the Hiawatha and then catch the shuttle back to continue east.

In any event...If you want a straight shot from Wallace to Missoula via the I-90 corridor, there are some additional stretches of I-90 that you will need to ride do to lack of frontage roads. You could avoid some of them by taking the Olympian Trail, although again I think you may be pushing it on 35c tires. I rode some of it west from Haugan in 2017 and did some bouncing around on 37c tires.  When I get a chance I will post links to maps for my 2017 and 2019 trips out that way.

As mentioned, you could ride Thompson Pass to MT 200.  Also did that in 2017 and 2019.  You can actually go straight from Wallace to Dobson Pass via 9 Mile Road, descend to Delta and then take Delta-Murray Road over King Pass and down to Murray. King Pass is not paved. Three miles up and three miles down.  You should be o.k. on 35c tires. From Murray it's nine miles to Thompson Pass. Don't know if I was just lucky, but both times there was very little traffic on weekdays. Have never gone east on MT 200 from Thompson Falls, so I cannot comment.

I have done Missoula to Butte three times, although in roundabout ways. One cool way would be to follow the TransAm route to the east slope of Big Hole Pass and then turn onto the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. That will take you to Wise River, MT. From there, there are a couple of ways to get to Butte relatively directly. I can show you them as well.  I can also tell you where you can get a good steak in Butte.  :)

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: bike routes from Wallace ID to Butte MT
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2019, 12:49:01 pm »
Here is my route from this year's tour:

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

Note that there is a new bike path from about mile 8 to where you have to get on I-90 at about mile 18. (You'll be going in the other direction.) Overall, a nice route to St. Regis with little traffic other than on I-90, and even that wasn't bad on a Sunday morning. I camped at Sloway at mile 66.5. A good deal of train noise until later at night and some from I-90, but tolerable. Food/water/groceries in Alberton and Superior.

Here is what I did in 2017:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23235312?beta=false

Nearly the same as 2019 between Missoula and St. Regis. In St. Regis, I gave the Olympian Trail a try for a couple of miles but then abandoned when I could not find the detour around a missing bridge. The section I did ride was very rough. Hopped on I-90 from mile 78.5 until De Borgia at 89.4. Someone commented on another forum that the section of the Olympian I passed on is relatively rough. He also rode 37c tires and opined that that was the lower limit one should have.

I did pick up the Olympian at De Borgia until Saltese, where I dropped down to the NorPac Trail. (The map is somewhat misleading. You cannot turn onto Silver Creek Rd. from the Olympian as that right-of-way is high above the NorPac right-of-way  There is a relatively new "road" that takes you from the Olympian to the NorPac. It's not shown on the map, but you can see it on the satellite view about a mile west of the trestle crossing Silver Creek Rd.) It's very steep, somewhat twisty and gravely. You would have to climb it going west to east. At mile 102.7 you can see the road that takes you up to the East Portal Trailhead of the Hiawatha. The NorPac, as I think I mentioned above, is not smooth in most places. As you get closer to the Lookout Pass there is a section where the dirt cover has largely been washed away by rain/melting snow. I had to walk a few short stretches. The NorPac does continue on the west side of Lookout down to Mullan. I have never ridden that portion so I cannot comment on the surface. Might be worth giving it a try to avoid the climb on I-90 from Mullan to Lookout.

One last thing: If you make it to St. Regis you could take MT 135 to MT 200. That would avoid Thompson Pass. Can't vouch for it though.

Lot to digest. Let me know if you have any questions and/or would like info on Missoula to Butte.