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North Dakota traffic

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Hi all, I’m sure this has been asked quite often but was hoping to get any up to date assessments. Taking the Northern Tier next year, east to west. Leaving Maine in July. Is North Dakota good to go since the route changes? What is that funny square option near Bismarck? Would a better option (traffic and shoulder-wise) be the PP route? I am riding a recumbent Trike btw. Thanks!!

John Nelson:
"Good to go" has no official definition. I believe the route change you are referring to is the one that happened 10 years ago, so it's pretty seasoned by now. The new route is better, but no long-distance route is perfect. The sections of the route that use the interstate are safe, but annoying. Luckily, there isn't too much of it. The Northern Tier through North Dakota is pretty open and lonely. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is probably the highlight.

The "funny square" is on the Lewis & Clark route. Since you are going to do the Northern Tier, it won't affect you.

It would be hard to compare the Northern Tier to the Parks, Peaks and Prairies route. It's hard to compare any two routes. There are a lot of differences, and the two routes are 200 miles apart. If you haven't done the TransAm, it's better than both.

Thank you John

Last summer I did a tour from Minnesota to the west coast and return.  On the way out (going west) I picked up the Northern Tier in Fargo.  I thought the route through North Dakota was pretty nice, and included a bikers hostel in Gackle.  Also there were plenty of town parks to camp in along the way.  Of course the winds...  On my return trip (going east) I picked up the PPP just west of the Big Horns, which were spectacular.  Other highlights on the PPP included Devils Tower, the Black Hills, and Badlands National Park.  Both routes had there upsides and downsides, but it seemed in the plains there were more camping opportunities in N. Dakota vs S. Dakota at various city parks.

Thank you! I’ll have a Trike so traffic, rumblestrips, soft shoulders are also a concern.


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