Author Topic: Kalispell to Libby Montana  (Read 851 times)

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Offline driftlessregion

Kalispell to Libby Montana
« on: February 21, 2020, 08:27:29 pm »
I'm planning on riding US 2 from Kalispell to Libby. I'm interested in your experience of this stretch of highway.

Offline jamawani

Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2020, 12:26:40 am »
I try to avoid US 2 in most places west of Glacier NP.
Especially west of Kalispell, it is narrow with limited shoulders.
Plus it has moderate-plus traffic including logging trucks and big RVs.

I don't know what it is about Montana -
Wyoming generally has good shoulders, Montana doesn't.
They are working on it all over the state - including US 2.
But veeerrrrryyyy slowly.

Here's a rough scale of cycling comfort:
+3 - Pure Heaven
+2 - Sweet
+1 - Nice
  0 - Meh
-1 - Irritating
-2 - Uncomfortable
-3 - Pure Hell

I'd give that stretch of US 2 a -1.5.
And it all depeds on when you hit it.
Summer traffic is much higher than winter traffic.
With Kalispell's growth - there is a morning/evening commute pattern.
Friday afternoon/evening tends to have heavy outbound.
Inbound even more concentrated Sundaly late afternoon/evening.

There is a fantastic PAVED forest road from Trego to near Libby.
The road has so little traaffic that I changed my shorts in the middle of the road.
And I took my time.

Don't know where you are coming from east of Kalsipell.
And whether or not Kalispell is a "must".
Whitefish is really nice and not as big.
Even so, you have a short stretch of narrow US 93 on this option.

(Road thru Kalispell this past summer - pretty intense for miles in all directions.)

Link to journal entry for Trego Road -
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1mr&page_id=62782&v=5w

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2020, 04:20:58 pm »
Kalispell is our start and finish ( a big figure 8 including Eureka, Going to the Sun and Browning) leaving  for Logan State Park on a July Sunday morning. We will get off US 2 on a local road before Libby.

Offline jamawani

Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2020, 05:38:31 pm »
Sunday morning is about the best time of the entire week on any highway - incl. US 2.
It's only 40 miles to Logan Park. And July days are verrrrry long in northern Montana.
If you can plan to get to the park by noon or soon after - you will miss most traffic.
Sunday afternoon / early evening is another matter altogether.

From just past Loon Lake - please consider Fisher River Road.
Truly sweet riding - Comes out on Hwy 37 at Libby Dam.
Mostly quiet - could be a logging truck or 2 - you will hear them.
Iffy back road into Libby on south side of the Kootenai River. May be better now?

I hope you are going up to Yaak and not just along Lake Koocanusa.
Sweet, Pipe Cr Rd, FR 68, straight north from Libby - paved-ish?
Or via US 2 and Yaak River Rd following the Kootenai and Yaak rivers - paved.
The Kootenai NF has a much deeper Pacific slope quality than other Montana forests.
Repaved the summit section 10 yrs ago?, Wail of a downhill to the lake.

I prefer the back road to Eureka. US 93 is not my fave.
Shoulders to just past Dickey Lake - then tight.
Maybe camp at Dickey Lake before Kalispell return?
Also Dickey Lake is not far from the nice Trego cafe/pub.

Definitely take the Fram to Market Rd on the west side of the valley back into K.


* About paved forest roads -
Paved forest roads can vary from great to definitely not-so-great.
They were dependent upon logging income on many national forests.
With the reduction in logging and budget shortfalls, maintenance has been minimal.
Some have even been downgraded to gravel.
Not to mention construction or bridges out.
Always verify with forest service office.

PS - Grizzly country - practice clean camping.
Proper food storage. Never eat in your tent.

PPS - One year I took the forest road over to North Fork from Eureka.
Because there was still an avalanche blockage - June - I had the entire area to myself.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 03:58:39 pm »
Kalispell is our start and finish ( a big figure 8 including Eureka,
Planning on riding U.S. 93 south from Fortine to Farm to Market etc., back to U.S. 93 to Whitefish? 2017 was somewhat sucky. 2019 was miserable on a Wednesday in late June. There were times I didn't think I was going to live to tell about it.

Any plans to go to Yaak from Libby via U.S. 2 and Yaak River Rd.? U.S. takes you past Kootenai Falls and the cable bridge before you get to Troy. Yaak River Rd. is a very nice ride. The ride from Yaak over Porcupine Pass and then down to and across the lake to get to Eureka in wonderful.  And if you want some darn good fried chicken stop in Rexford off of MT 37 before Eureka.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2020, 02:19:33 pm »
I'd love to ride to Yaak again. Will run it by the group. I'm the only one of the 7 of us  not to have to worry about a job.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 09:10:53 am »
I'd love to ride to Yaak again. Will run it by the group.
By any chance were you in the small group who rode to Yaak from Eureka several years ago and posted about it on Crazy Guy?