Author Topic: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman  (Read 4153 times)

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Offline Coloma_Mike

Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« on: March 01, 2023, 01:12:05 pm »
Working on a modified Northern Tier route from Seattle to Maine where I want to connect Sandpoint, ID to Bozeman, MT via Coeur d'Alene, Route of the Hiawatha, Missoula. 

Here is what I have so far:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42100044
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42101086

I also have a gravel option from St. Regis to Missoula but I read it can get muddy:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42100524

Any suggestions?

Kind of wish there was a set of missing links between ACA routes for those that want to mix things up, GPX routes and services.  I get that ACA wants to control quality and monetize their work but seems like their could be a more member based way to collaborate on routes and services especially the service's like bike camping allowed in back of grange, contact XXX.  Perhaps an adopt a route program for secondary routes.

Thanks for all the info provided on this forum!

Mike

Online John Nettles

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Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2023, 01:31:05 pm »
Welcome to the ACA Forums!

I too wish ACA had many more "connector" routes but they can only do so much with the limited resources.  Anyway, I have several routes I can offer.  I will put them into a collection and post.  However, about 5 years ago, I rode from Spokane to Yellowstone and did much of the route you want to do. It was a combination of my routes and ACA's but not too much gravel. 

Anyway, give me a few days.  If I have not posted something by this Sunday, let me know.  Tailwinds, John

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2023, 04:02:58 pm »
What bike are you taking?

Bikepackingroots.org has the Western Wildlands route that passes through Wallace, ID then the Hiawatha to St Regis. They have a spur from Superior, MT to Missoula that I helped create.

I haven't ridden your St Regis to Missoula route, but I've mapped the same track and understand that many from the Missoula area ride that exact route. 

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Offline Coloma_Mike

Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2023, 04:58:16 pm »
We will be on our Surly Disc Truckers with 26x2" tires.  We don't mind gravel but going gets slow for us if the surface is rough or muddy.  We also don't mind interstate highways where needed.  Yeah interstates are loud but usually have huge shoulders.  We don't mind hills, bikes geared for steep.  For Missoula to Anaconda, I've also considered heading south to Hamilton and taking Rt 38 east to Anaconda.  Also saw some posts about taking Rock Creek Rd (Rt 102) to get to Rt 38.  Not that Anaconda or Butte are required, we could just loop on the Lewis and Clark further south towards Salmon, ID.  We just wanted to check out Coeur d'Alene, Missoula, and Bozeman. Georgetown Lake and Anaconda also seemed interesting.  Route of the Hiawatha sounds cool and following the St Joe River looked nice, saw a video with Russ and Laura bikefishing on the St. Joe and eating ice cream near Avery.  For Coeur d'Alene to Riverdale on the St Joe River, I read about logging trucks and no shoulder, not our favorite...  Open to other ideas but big picture is to reconnect to Northern Tier Route in Glendive.  Now if Great Falls to Glendive is much better riding, we can ship Bozeman.  We've done several long tours west of the Rockies, just never tackled getting to the east coast.  Other deviation from Northern Tier is to venture into Canada above Lake Erie.  We have family in Vermont and Maine so that is where we want to finish our tour.  Thought staying in Canada and riding to Montreal before heading south into Vermont.  So many options, ACA routes do make planning easier.

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2023, 05:57:06 pm »
The Truckers will be just fine for that route. Rt38 is a pleasant ride and would put you in/near Phillipsburg, which is a nice and small tourist town. Then up and over a small pass to Anaconda.

Looks like a great route, enjoy!

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Online John Nettles

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Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2023, 02:55:45 am »
Here is the routes I did as part of a larger tour to get from Spokane to Missoula several years ago except I added the direct route between Taft Jct and St. Regis using the Olympian Trail to the collection. 

https://ridewithgps.com/collections/1852267?privacy_code=nwhUqKpTk6e1tPr1 

We really enjoyed the sections between Spokane to Coeur d'Alene; Hamilton, ID, to Mullan (we took the interstate east of Mullan to Taft Jct instead of the trail as the trail was in rough condition that year) plus Wallace was a pretty cool town; and the Route of the Hiawatha (Taft Jct) to St. Regis via St. Joe River Rd. As a matter of fact, I am re-doing Routes ROTH and AIGC again this summer on my tour from Alaska to Mexico because I enjoyed it so much, assuming the bears don't eat me in Alaska  ;) .

The sections of I-90 we rode were perfectly fine.  Wide shoulders and relatively low traffic made even my traffic-adverse wife say it was fine.  As a reference, the AADT on I-90 is ~8k per day.  That is probably total but even if 8k in one direction, that is not that much considering it is a 4-lane highway with full shoulder.  Plus remember that traffic will run much heavier at night compared to a regular highway so the daytime numbers are slightly lessened.  I would suggest you look up an 8k AADT road near your home that you ride and then compare it to the 4-lane with shoulder version.

Regarding your St Regis route.  I personally would use my routes between St. Regis and Missoula as there are lots more services and the traffic was very reasonable overall.   

During the tour I did the above routes, I continued on to Yellowstone via Bozeman (cool town).  I did these routes:

MMRC-E: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42128462   
RCPM-S: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40853016  (Scenic unpaved route along Rock Creek Rd.)
PMAM-E: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42128496   
AMBM-E: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42128543 
BMWM-E: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42128579

You would connect with the Lewis & Clark Route in Whitehall.  As a side note, I prefer the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Route over the L&C Route due to much nicer scenery, more services, etc.  If you decide to ride the PPP, I would take the TransAm from Missoula to Yellowstone where you connect with the PPP.  You can break off the PPP in a few places east of Rapid City and use this collection of routes https://ridewithgps.com/collections/54989?privacy_code=3XmzOFv1x698fxdN to get to Ludington, MI, saving some miles.  You would connect with the Lake Erie Connector near Ludington.  Almost the entire route across Wisconsin is on rail trails. 

I have ridden all the listed routes and have actual cue sheets and GPS data for most of them though the cue sheets and data might be off slightly in places if I updated a route after the tour. 

Whatever you decide, I wish you a wonderful tour! 
Tailwinds, John

P.S. I did not have truck issues on any of these routes.

Offline Coloma_Mike

Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2023, 08:54:12 am »
Thanks John!

I'm still chewing on all your info but Avery east following St Joe River upstream looks interesting.

We did want to check out Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Fargo.

Perhaps some day your Heartland Express Route will be an official ACA route.

Mike

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2023, 02:36:11 pm »
Most people seem to ride the interstate from St. Regis to Missoula. The gravel option you speak of I believe you will find closed in parts by some very aggressive (prepare to meet your maker type) property owners. We planned a route that would leave the Coeur d'Alene at Enaville and go through Prichard, Eagle, Murray and over to Thompson Falls on MT 471. From there down 200 through Plains and Paradise on to 93 into Missoula. People who take the interstate have reported that it is not too bad of a ride.
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Offline Iowagriz

Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2023, 03:35:21 pm »
To be clear on the above. Gravel route by the OP which goes down 9 mile road is fine.

Gravel/frontage roads from Superior to Frenchtown along i90 have a few dead ends into private property and problems have been reported. I believe those problems are where some maps show a singletrack, see east of exit 70.

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Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2023, 11:47:35 pm »
The Hiawatha and the route from Avery to get there is a fabulous ride.

MT 38 is hairy in places in that direction, but the falls are cool. The descent to MT 1 can get spongy when wet until the pavement picks up at Gem Mountain. Gem Mountain is fun. Look it up.

Philipsburg is a nice town with a nice campground/motel. It’s not hard to backtrack on MT 1 to get to Georgetown Lake.