Author Topic: Northern Tier Lodging  (Read 5682 times)

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Offline kl

Northern Tier Lodging
« on: February 21, 2007, 09:43:00 pm »
I am planning on doing the Washington to Idaho section of the Northern Tier this summer.  I plan on traveling light and staying at motels or B&Bs.  I am a bit concerned about the 75 mile section from Marblemount to Mazama.  Does anyone know if there is any lodging in between these two towns?  Is this section of road relatively easy to do in one day?  I am concerned about the climb to the pass and the amount of time these 75 miles will take.  Any information would be appreciated.

Offline ptaylor

Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 08:43:51 pm »

I did that stretch last summer, fully loaded. We did mainly 50 - 70 mile days. I had to walk my bike up a lot of grades, but made it OK. I am 66 years old, in relatively good shape. The 5 people I rode with were all younger than me: two of them also had to get off and push occasionally.

I checked some of my resources, and only find campgrounds between the two towns you mention.



  • Guest
Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2007, 08:39:04 am »
Hi KL. No lodging and a hard day but definitely possible. I (at age 61, fully loaded solo) left Marblemount at 05:30 and reached Mazama at 14:30. My log for the day said, "Sunny Hi/Lo 85/50 average wind W 5 mph. This was a hard day, climbing 5700' over Rainy Pass and Washington Pass with superb weather: crystal clear and cool (75 degrees), then hot on the eastern side. The sound of falling water accompanied me all the way up the west side, but it was dry on the east. I ran out of drinking water but successfully begged a bottle-full from an RV on Rainy Pass."

Bring money. Mazama is a pricey town, but there is no easy alternate.


This message was edited by FredHiltz on 2-23-07 @ 4:39 AM

Offline kl

Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007, 09:22:13 am »
Thanks, guys, for the info.  This is a great help.

Offline darclabed

Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2007, 02:58:40 pm »
Here's an idea KL, find an old tent and sleeping bag then mail them to yourself general delivery to the Marblemount post office.(you might want to call before to make sure it's ok.) When you reach Marblemount, strap the extra gear to your bike then hoof it on to the Colonial Creek Campground for your only night camping. You could carry the extra load up two mountain passes the next day and then mail it home in Mazama or Winthrop. If you're not too attached to it you could give it away or toss it in the campground dumpster.After making the same trip with 60 pounds of gear, I have often considered how I would do it differently - hope this helps- planning is half the fun - just remember - there's always a way!

Offline Turk

Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007, 01:35:41 pm »
Maybe you could call the campgrounds in that area and ask them if there is lodging in the vicinity.

Offline dombrosk

Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2007, 02:25:08 pm »
I'd second the caution about carrying lots of water.  When I did this section 2 years ago I camped at Colonial Creek and still went through a lot of water over the two passes.  This section comes early in a west-to-east Northern Tier ride so the hills can seem taller.  
The toughest part of the day for me was dealing with the down-and-up between the two passes... it was sad to lose so much altitude and need to regain it.
But, on the brighter side, once you crest Washington Pass, its just about one long coast down to Mazama, where you can get an elegant meal at the inn.
The next day's ride starts off with a beautiful stretch where I came upon a moose crossing the road, and experienced a fantastic apple fritter at a coffee shop with outdoor seating in Winthrop.
Have a great ride!  You will see some very beautiful country on this trip.

Offline kl

Northern Tier Lodging
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2007, 08:59:33 pm »
Thanks for all the great advice.