Author Topic: Better Route West of Missoula?  (Read 7016 times)

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Offline wbrane

Better Route West of Missoula?
« on: October 07, 2004, 08:55:26 pm »
Next Summer my brother and I plan to finish our westard bound transamerica ride.  However, the maps warn of a 130+ mile stretch west of Missoula with narrow roads and heavy truck traffic. How bad is it?  Are there any other alternatives?  We would be willing to go out of the way to find another route that connects the transamerica trail to the west coast.  Thanks!

Offline Dan&Linda

Better Route West of Missoula?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2004, 10:49:32 am »
When we did the TransAm in 2002, we went north on the Great Parks route from Missoula, then west on the Northern Tier across Washington state.  The passes in WA were challenging, but the distance is about the same as the Oregon route and the traffic generally not bad.
Dan Vinson

Offline TRobertson

Better Route West of Missoula?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2004, 09:08:26 pm »
The area west of Missoula that that refers to is US 12 in Idaho. If you look at a state map of Idaho you will see that there aren't that many roads that go through that part of the state. The closest to the north is I-90...and the closest to the south is pretty far down there, and a much busier road to boot...US 93.

I will say that over the last year or two that I've been hearing from people that the section of US 12 that we use hasn't been as busy as people anticipated. A man from Germany told me this year that he read the notice on the maps and said that he didn't think that it should be there. That he only saw a few trucks on the whole route and they were all very courteous.

One more note, US 12 is one of the most scenic parts of the TransAm route.

I hope that this helps.


Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Better Route West of Missoula?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2004, 12:54:34 pm »
Your could always go over the Lolo Motorway, from Lolo Hot Springs to Kamiah. That is part of my plan for next summer. I hear the views are spectacular, and the sense of history (Closest to Lewis and Clark's actual route) is overwhelming. More importantly, the traffic is very minimal.

Ride safe,

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol-MN
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline brad

Better Route West of Missoula?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2004, 08:28:51 pm »
the reason the german gentleman didn't think there were many trucks is because germany is way overcrowded with large trucks on the roads and riding here can at times be  high adventure!

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline valygrl

Better Route West of Missoula?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2004, 07:44:57 pm »
I did lolo pass eastbound a couple of months ago, it wasn't that bad.  absolutely worth it, it is one gorgeous stretch of road.  fantastic camping at gateway campground - right on the river.  super sweet.

if you want bad traffic, try pennsylvania.  sheesh!


Offline DGoodrich

Better Route West of Missoula?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 01:53:23 am »
I've ridden across Lolo Pass, and it is a glorious ride.  Some trucks, but not overwhelming. On the Idaho side of Lolo is the Jerry Johnson Campground, which has hot springs on a trail about a half mile into the woods.  Nothing better than a warm bathtub in the woods after a long ride.  Coming east from Lowell, Idaho, the sign at the edge of town reads "Winding Road Next 77 Miles."  That's what is it.  You hear the rapids on the Lochsa River, the ospreys, and your tires.  Very memorable.