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Montana Trip


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#1 zenwhipper

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:21 AM

I travel to Montana each summer on my FJR. My destination is Flathead Lake area - where the wife's family has a home on a lake. This year, I am taking some riding buddies, and we will use the Flathead as our base. :yahoo: Our plan is to do three to four days traveling Montana and then come back to the Flathead. Any recommendations on route, must see roads and towns to see? I know Western MT roads quite well from many years riding in that part of the state. So we'll likely do the central part of the state basically from Glacier to Yellowstone.

:)
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#2 HotRodZilla

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:43 AM

If you're coming out of Yellowstone, run the Beartooth Highway. Fast!
I'd rather go down the river with seven studs than with a hundred shitheads"
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#3 Spud

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:45 AM

You're close to Lolo Pass, which heads into Idaho, but is highly recommended. Beartooth pass is just spectacular and if you've never ridden it you should check it out. Also, the Chief Joseph Byway near Beartooth that runs south into Cody, WY. I like riding through Wisdom on the 278 and west of Wisdom on the 243. Finally, Virginia City is a really cool old historic town to stop by for lunch.... Areas around Yellowstone are spectacular but congested and slow. Not a lot of places where you can go wrong riding in that part of the country... :)

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#4 Frzp

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:56 AM

Let's see, 3 to 4 day trip from Flathead and some neat scenic roads. My recommendations would be HWY 93 South to Hamilton MT which is about 120 miles (from Polson). Then take off east on HWY 38 (Skalkaho Highway) and stop off in Philipsburg for the candy shoppe (if it is still open, have not been that way in some time). HWY 38 has some nice driving with good scenery and sweeps. HWY 38 will turn into MT-1 / US 10-A and wind around Georgetown and Silver Lakes, ending up in Anaconda MT. If it is still open Haufbrau was a good German restaurant with some nice beer on tap.

From Anaconda it is a 30 mile drive to Butte on I-90 and from there you would take HWY 2, (Old US HWY 10), or Harding Way for those that live around them parts. That is a high mountain road with sharp twisties and not very busy. After you pass over the Continental Divide you will then go South on HWY 41 to Twin Bridges then take HWY 287 South to Sheridan, Alder, and then Virginia City where you can sample candy from the candy store there. (Note what drove most of my rides). Follow 287 to Ennis then continue south (I cannot remember the name of the HWY, I think it is still 287 S) following the Madison River. Then you can go East on Hebgon Lake Road and see the drowned trees at Quake Lake. Once you reach the junction for HWY 191 go south and into West Yellowstone. Total distance is +/- 380 miles.

But that is just my suggestion

#5 zenwhipper

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

Let's see, 3 to 4 day trip from Flathead and some neat scenic roads. My recommendations would be HWY 93 South to Hamilton MT which is about 120 miles (from Polson). Then take off east on HWY 38 (Skalkaho Highway) and stop off in Philipsburg for the candy shoppe (if it is still open, have not been that way in some time). HWY 38 has some nice driving with good scenery and sweeps. HWY 38 will turn into MT-1 / US 10-A and wind around Georgetown and Silver Lakes, ending up in Anaconda MT. If it is still open Haufbrau was a good German restaurant with some nice beer on tap.

From Anaconda it is a 30 mile drive to Butte on I-90 and from there you would take HWY 2, (Old US HWY 10), or Harding Way for those that live around them parts. That is a high mountain road with sharp twisties and not very busy. After you pass over the Continental Divide you will then go South on HWY 41 to Twin Bridges then take HWY 287 South to Sheridan, Alder, and then Virginia City where you can sample candy from the candy store there. (Note what drove most of my rides). Follow 287 to Ennis then continue south (I cannot remember the name of the HWY, I think it is still 287 S) following the Madison River. Then you can go East on Hebgon Lake Road and see the drowned trees at Quake Lake. Once you reach the junction for HWY 191 go south and into West Yellowstone. Total distance is +/- 380 miles.

But that is just my suggestion


This is a good bit of good ideas. Me likee. But- is Skalkaho Pass fully paved? :unsure:

Thanks Mate

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#6 SacramentoMike

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:14 PM

Before NAFO in Golden, I had an extra day or so to fill up after coming over the Lolo Pass into Montana, so I started back up north out of Missoula in 200/93 till they separated, then followed 200 along the Clark Fork River up to the Sandpoint, ID area. Very scenic ride, well forested, light traffic, and seldom straight. It was a very memorable ride and highly recommended. If you're a camper, lots of nice NFS campgrounds along the way, too. And FWIW, I always heard that the road over Lolo Pass (hwy 12), is very tightly enforced. And the state speed limit is 55! :angry: What a fun road that would be if the limit was about 20 mph higher!
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#7 fljab

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

I spent a week in Montana last year and don't claim to be an expert, butt, on the western end of the state - are there any bad roads? Other than a stretch of construction on US93 south of Missoula, I can't think of any.

If it were me, then for sure take suggestions from here, but also just spend some time with a map or google maps; lots of good roads there IMO.

I'm hoping to shoot up there again this yr even if it's a 'quickie'!

#8 Ian Stephens

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:58 PM

Going to the Sun Highway atop Logan Pass - that is all.

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#9 7xray

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:17 AM

There is a new guide book out Motorcycling Montana. I just picked up a copy of it and so far, it looks really nice. Covers the entire state.
Cheers and have a good trip.
Fred
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#10 Spud

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:14 AM

There is a new guide book out Motorcycling Montana. I just picked up a copy of it and so far, it looks really nice. Covers the entire state.
Cheers and have a good trip.
Fred


Fred: Looks like a nice book. I noticed on the photos that scroll when you go to the link, the first one shows a silver FJR, and there's a custom-painted red FJR in photo #6.

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#11 zenwhipper

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:41 AM

Have spent tons-o-time in NW Montana on a bike so I have done a lot of the roads. Just always looking for that one gem I never know about. I think our plan, once we are in the Flathead area, is to head due south-east of Swan Lake (our two day rest and 'half way' point from Seattle) and venture down toward Missoula, Helena, Butte, Bozeman and then we'll cut back across southern ID and back up to eastern WA and home to Seattle.

Thanks for the ideas mates. :rolleyes:

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#12 Niehart

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:53 AM

"This is a good bit of good ideas. Me likee. But- is Skalkaho Pass fully paved?"

I think there are about 18 miles of gravel. Good road as long as it's not wet and a pretty cool water falls close to the top of the pass.


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#13 drc32-0

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:24 AM

I travel to Montana each summer on my FJR. My destination is Flathead Lake area - where the wife's family has a home on a lake.

:)
Thanks Mates.
Scott


I'm jealous...on both accounts. :drinks:

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#14 Big Sky

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:46 PM

Zen,

If you know NW Montana, then you must know about Hwy. 56, The Yaak and Lake Koocanusa? These are awesome and some of my favorites.
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#15 Big Sky

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:52 PM


There is a new guide book out Motorcycling Montana. I just picked up a copy of it and so far, it looks really nice. Covers the entire state.
Cheers and have a good trip.
Fred


Fred: Looks like a nice book. I noticed on the photos that scroll when you go to the link, the first one shows a silver FJR, and there's a custom-painted red FJR in photo #6.


Spud, the red and the silver (2003) FJR are one and the same - silver until 2005, then red.
"Let us endeavor so to live, that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry."
- Mark Twain

"The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others - the living - are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later."
- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson