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Author Topic: Must see sights in Idaho, Montana, South Dakota NGC  (Read 4211 times)
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« on: September 29, 2009, 03:25:20 PM »
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Got a extra week off and planning to take a road trip from Seattle to S. Dakota and back visiting Glacier NP, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore and Badlands NP.
Planning on 7-10 days starting tomorrow or thursday.  Perhaps I could get a few suggestions for some more must-see sights/roads along the way in Northern Idaho & Montana?
I'm a low tech kinda guy, so it will just be me and my AAA Road Atlas and the compass in my truck.
Will be mainly camping and doing some light hiking & photography along the way.  Not looking for titty-bars in particular...but hey, if there's one on the way through town... Cheesy  Have to drop my FJR1300 in Prosser, WA, so I'll taking a slight detour through southern WA and back to Spokane and Northern Idaho to Glacier NP and then wingin' it from there.
TIA!
Bryce
PS
Will be bringing my Bicycle & Golf clubs too!
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009, 05:32:33 PM »
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I'm in the southern part and haven't been in the northern half yet (I better do it before I move). There's lots of stuff, Mountain Bob, Idahorider and perhaps others could chime in. If you venture a bit further south I could suggest some roads/places.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 05:38:27 PM »
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Crazy Horse Memorial near Mt Rushmore.

Devil's Tower just over the border in Wyoming.

Stop at Wall Drug in SD on your way to the Badlands.  Tourist trap but a famous one.  I recommend the openfaced Hot Beef sandwich.

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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 05:44:09 PM »
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Mountain Bobs' Palace of Words.  Wink
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 06:06:04 PM »
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Yep.  Plenty to see/do 'round here.  
We also take in strays, so you can figure on a free overnight in Post Falls, ID, at our home.  

We're about 5 to 6 hours from you (300 miles, mostly I-90) east of you, just across the state line from Spokane, WA.  Check your PM's for phone #s and directions.  

Bob


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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 06:10:29 PM »
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Mountain Bobs' Palace of Words.  Wink

 Cheesy  Grin  Cheesy  Grin


Nobody --  NObody -- gets admission to the word factory. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 06:38:48 PM »
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Chinese philosophy.....you can eat anything as long as it's cooked.  

Check out the Medicine Wheel.  National Park Mounument.  Kind of a transit and trading station for indians in that part of the country.
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 06:45:53 PM »
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If your going to Yellowstone it would be a crime not to head south a little more and do a day in Grand Teton N.P. The view of the mountains going straight up over 13,000' with Lake Jackson in the fore ground borders on the spiritual. Signal Mtn. affords an incredible vantage point. No foothills,no little mountains leading up to the peaks. These babies shoot straight up from a flat plain.

Have Fun!
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 07:34:32 PM »
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If you visit Yellowstone, I suggest you leave via the northeast entrance, on highway 212 through Cooke City and on to Red Lodge, MT. That's the Beartooth Highway, over an unforgettable high pass, called the most beautiful highway in America by Charles Kurault. From Red Lodge you can travel northeast to hook up with the Interstate and then on to South Dakota, or, even better, you can head southeast from Red Lodge over the back roads of Wyoming to get to South Dakota.

On the other hand, you should see Grand Teton. There are very nice accommodations in the park, including cabins at Jenny Lake and Colter Bay. Reservations might not be needed, assuming they're still open. Check here: http://www.gtlc.com/lodging/colter-bay-village-overview.aspx . One trouble with visiting Grand Teton and then heading to South Dakota (assuming you don't go up to Red Lodge) is traveling eastward across Wyoming. There are pesky mountains in the way and a lack of east-west roads.

If you decide not to stick more with N. Idaho and Montana, you might consider following US 212 from Crow Agency, MT, to Whitewood, SD, rather than taking the interstate between those two spots. It's desolate, and goes through impoverished Indian reservation(s). It gives you a better feel for what lies off the interstates in many parts of the West, though it's hard to call it scenic. It takes no more time than the interstate, assuming you make it.

It's a good area to carefully plan your route ahead of time, assuming you get off the interstates. Maps.google.com works well.

Have fun.


 

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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2009, 08:15:31 PM »
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Check out Chico Hot Springs, south of Livingston on the way to Yellowstone.

Custer's Last Stand (Red Lodge and area is prettier).

Stop in Broadus and say Hi to the theater owner - will drive him nuts as you'll be the second stranger I set his way.  Grin

Glacier Park and Going to the Sun Road is a great place, my all time favorite but out of the way for the rest of your trip.  Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2009, 08:35:42 PM »
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I would say stopping in Spearfish S.D. and head for Spearfish canyon to savoy. then onto Lead S.D. beautiful road    then onto Deadwood.
Deadwood is worth a visit  kind of a wild ass town  everyone should go there once
mainly bars and gambling. and the usual suspects
of course like Mountain Bob if you are in Spokane,WA. let me know we will have a beer or coffee.
 
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2009, 09:05:13 PM »
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Always wanted to and never did - Needles Highway in the Black Hills. Been many years since I've been on it so maybe it has changed. Anyone here been on it recently? Still the bomb?
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2009, 09:13:14 PM »
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Were it me, I'd head over Lolo Pass. Then, turn south and go over Lost Trial and Chief Joseph passes. Go east through Wisdom and spelunk over dirt roads toward Ennis. Then, turn south and go from the west entrance to the northeast entrance through Yellowstone. Go over Beartooth Pass, then back down it to the cutoff to Cody. From COdy, take the 16A up over the Bighorns. After that head east and south through ranch country roads. Then about 90 miles of freeway takes you to soem good roads that soon take you up into the Black Hills. Not too much flat and hot on this route.
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2009, 09:32:17 PM »
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...planning to take a road trip...in my truck.

I guess as long as you're doing this in a truck (!), I'd follow Greg's advice to the extent that you pick up plenty of unpaved roads along the way.  There are towns out there that can only be reached that way.  Beyond that, take the state highways as much as you can and you'll see all sorts of things.  Next up would be the US highways, and the least of them will be the freeways.  Avoid them.  If you've never been to the NPs, then of course you should hit them, but don't imagine that there's nothing else between.
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2009, 10:15:58 PM »
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I agree with Greg on Lolo pass. Did that on his recommendation when I rode back from Seattle to Lincoln. I also took his suggestion on the "Old Spiral Highway" north of Lewiston, Idaho.
That is truly a NOT TO BE MISSED piece of roadway. It drops 2000 feet in elevation over the course of its 10 mile trek down the mountainside with some 50ish or so curves. Ride it both up and down to get the the REAL FEEL for it.

Sign at the top of Lewsiton Hill:



Panoramic view taken from next to the sign shown above:



Google map link:
This has "Street View" so you can actually get a look-see from the actual roadway

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-95&daddr=46.446965,-117.009029+to:Down+River+Rd%2FID-128&hl=en&geocode=Ffj5xAIdiGkG-Q%3B%3BFQaDxAIdinsG-Q&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&via=1&dirflg=ht&sll=46.444155,-116.989175&sspn=0.058315,0.154324&ie=UTF8&z=13

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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2009, 11:21:58 PM »
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Thanks to all for your replies and suggestions.  Check your PM, Mountain Bob and once again thanks for your generous offer.
AAA set me up on a suggested route and sights to see.  Guess that $100+ a year finally payed off Roll Eyes  I will be hitting quite a few of the places suggested here and will be printing off the replies and seeing if I can work them into my trip.  After spending $750 at the camera store fore a lens/filter and mono-pod , I'm 2nd guessing this trip, but will go anyways.... Grin  
Thanks Again!
Bryce
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2009, 08:24:55 AM »
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How recently?  I was there in 2002 (sadly, in a cage, not a bike).  Pretty awesome.  The best sight was watching the tour buses squeezing through the rock cutout tunnels scraping the mirrors.  They do it on purpose.
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2009, 02:50:01 PM »
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Since I won't see you 'til the end of the trip, here's my list of need-to-see highway destinations along your general route.  With twice the time, the dirt-road options are awesome, but with the major parks you're including, I doubt you'll have time for much backroads stuff.  

The hill above Lewiston, ID (if you're through the area).
US-12 between Kooskia, ID, and Lolo Pass (ID-MT), near Missoula.  
I-90 between Missoula, MT, and Lookout Pass (MT-ID) -- one of the prettier stretches of US Interstate Hwys.
The road south from W.Yellowstone, WY, past Jackson Hole/ Grand Tetons.
Yellowstone NP.
From northeastern entrance of Yellowstone NP to Red Lodge, then Laurel, MT (I-90) access.  
or
From southeastern Yellowstone entrance to Cody, WY, then eastward through Cody & Greybull, MT, to I-90 at Ranchester, WY.  This route takes you through the Big Horn Mountains.  

Custer's Last Stand/battleground (somewhere near Sheridan, as I recall).

Devil's Tower N.M -- northwest of Rapid City.  Worth a drive-by, especially if you ever saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  

Mt. Rushmore.
There's also a long-time-in-progress Native American park/monument in that area.  I haven't been there, but the plans were to "do it right."  Ask when you're in the area.  

"Badlands" ??  Different, but didn't ring my chime particularly.  
Still, it's on your way from Rushmore toward Glacier, so maybe so.  

Glacier NP.  A friend was there last weekend, tells me that Going to the Sun Road is closed for repairs, just west of the pass.  If you go up from the east side, the Pass on that road is awesome.  You'd then likely have to go back down the east side, then come around the southern edge of the park for the rest of it.  Camping is said to be preferable on the eastern side, anyway.  

Depending on your timing, you'd likely want to head down toward Missoula from there, then "do" I-90 toward Idaho.  Pretty road, and fast.  
Alternatively, if your outbound trip takes you too far south (Boise?) to do US-12 between Kooskia & Missoula, you could do it in reverse, then take the river-arc north and west to Lewiston, then up "the hill" and north on US-95 to Coeur d'Alene.  

Also:  I haven't been to the site Tom recommends, but I've heard lots of good talk about it as a true "alternate culture" (i.e., non-mainstream) Must Do destination.  Worth a look, imrho.

Enough, already !  Call me if you want the long version ...  Shocked   Shocked  

Bob
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2009, 03:53:18 PM »
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If Going to the Sun Road is closed Hwy 2 that skirts the south boundry is pretty good. The west side seems to go down forever.
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2009, 08:12:22 PM »
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Can't add much to what's already been posted but please note:

Highway 12 from Lewiston to Montana is gorgeous, but there is quite a bit of construction right now and you might be held up for 30 minutes to an hour.

Also there's talk of rain or snow in the mountains this weekend. We've gone from the 90s to the 50s in Lewiston the past couple of day.s

Paul Emerson
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« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2009, 02:40:46 AM »
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Orofino to Missoula via Lolo Pass is a great way to go but by pu.....don't know.
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« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2009, 06:22:31 PM »
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Were it me, I'd head over Lolo Pass. Then, turn south and go over Lost Trial and Chief Joseph passes. Go east through Wisdom and spelunk over dirt roads toward Ennis. Then, turn south and go from the west entrance to the northeast entrance through Yellowstone. Go over Beartooth Pass, then back down it to the cutoff to Cody. From COdy, take the 16A up over the Bighorns. After that head east and south through ranch country roads. Then about 90 miles of freeway takes you to soem good roads that soon take you up into the Black Hills. Not too much flat and hot on this route.

Lolo pass is not to be missed!  Wink Also a ride on Bear Tooth Highway is another very scenic and beautiful ride and Red Lodge is a very cool little town.  Cool  Lots of fun!  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2009, 06:35:02 PM »
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Don't have any advice on sites to visit, but I would recommend packing some warm riding gear.  We've already seen the low 40's here in Wisconsin, and I believe some parts further west are even colder. 
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2009, 06:36:17 PM »
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Disregard my last post.  We all can't be crazy like JB and ride through the winter!   Grin 
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