Author Topic: TA Sec04 & L&C Sec05 Big Hole Option. Trail Creek Fire road closure - July 2021  (Read 2970 times)

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Offline mmoser

There is a wildfire along SR 43 about 17 miles west of Wisdom.  Officials are sometimes closing SR 43.  Check the Trail Creek Fire Inciweb page for updates:

Here is a reroute between Sula and Dillon:

The reroute is significant, and includes 24 miles of gravel, so you'll need to decide before Lost Trail Pass (headed eastbound) or Dillon (headed westbound) which route you want to take. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 03:17:40 pm by CMajernik »
Melissa Moser
GIS Analyst/Cartographer
Routes Dept.
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.

Offline jamawani

Detour via Anaconda is 12-13 miles shorter - same amount of climbing.

Leaves TA route just south of Hamilton -
Hwy 38 - Skalkaho Pass Road tops out at 7250 ft.
The middle 20 miles over the pass are unpaved.
Moderately scenic with N.F. campgrounds.
Hwy 1 via Georgetown Lake is quite scenic with camping.
Anaconda has all services and town campground.
Secondary Road 569 is fairly narrow with light traffic.
Hwy 43 follows the Big Hole River; camping.
Old Hwy 91 has very light traffic into Dillon.

The Lemhi Pass route is significantly more remote.

Offline mmoser

That's a great route suggestion, jamawani.  Thanks!

If you are looking for an all paved route, here is another reroute between Missoula and Dillon.

This is less remote and all paved, but you have to decide at Missoula (headed eastbound) or just west of Dillon (headed westbound) if you want to take this route.

You can also ride frontage road and interstate between Missoula and Drummond.  There is about 18 miles with no frontage road where you would have to ride on the interstate.
Melissa Moser
GIS Analyst/Cartographer
Routes Dept.
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.

Offline KennyGross

As of 7/16/21, there is a second closure on the TransAm route 43 due to fires.  This one is at the town Wise River, approximately 5 miles west of US15.  This second closure invalidates the alternate routes following the Wise River north.

Offline jamawani

Highway 43 is closed west of Wisdom
According to the MDOT website there are no closures - they are wrong.
MDOT appears to be behind the curve.

The fire west of Wisdom is the Trail Creek Fire.

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has closed the entire forest -
from the border to 18 miles W. of Wisdom. Which includes Highway 43
As with any fire situation, conditions can change very quickly.


The fire south of Wise River is the Alder Creek Fire.
The fire is expected to impact Hwy 43 in 24-72 hours.

Although there have been evacuations in the Wise River area -
there does not appear to be any closure of Hwy 43 at Wise River.
Things can and will change quickly.

>>>> Smoke conditions are dangerous.
Many areas a considerable distance from the fires have unhealthy smoke conditions.

Facebook page:

Offline jamawani

Detour via Helena -

There are two fires in SW Montana affecting the TransAm.
The Trail Creek Fire has closed Hwy 43 west of Wisdom.
The Alder Creek Fire threatens to close Hwy 43 on the 2nd and 3rd detours listed above.
Air conditions are serious - with heavy smoke throughout the area.

A detour via Helena may prove the most prudent.
Of course, fires can start up almost anywhere in the West during this record summer.

This detour follows the scenic Blackfoot River via Ovando and Lincoln. **
It crosses the C.D. at the relatively low Flesher Pass.
Hwy 279 has very light traffic. Birdseye Road is nice riding.
Helena - esp. Last Chance Gulch - is an attractive small city with rowdy nightlife.

There's a small stretch of dirt heading down to Boulder.
The Boulder Valley has light traffic and is scenic.
Hwy 287 - moderate traffic, shoulders - links back to the TransAm at Ennis

Pic - Blackfoot River

Offline ntaylor

According to MDT, SR 43 continues to be intermittently open and closed due to the Trail Creek (west of Wisdom) and Alder Creek (west of Wise River) fires. It is recommended that cyclists check the following road closures website in advance of passing through the area, or to gauge which detour to take. If you do stay on SR 43, expect smoky conditions. Posted speed limit through both fire areas is 35 mph. Watch for emergency vehicles and reduced visibility.