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Road cycling around Glacier National Park

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Road cycling around Glacier National Park

Old 03-09-07, 06:46 PM
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Road cycling around Glacier National Park

Not touring. Seems our Italy trip is pushed back to '08 so Labor Day week the missus & I might be at Glacier NP. Riding Going to the Sun Road is tops on the list. It will be done (yes I'm aware of those restrictions). But what else? It's not a cycling vacation per se, but I'm game for nearby paved roads and scenic loops of <100 miles. I'm thinking we'll base camp out of the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn (comments welcome, it's rustic & cheap) if that helps. I'll even get a photo site up so you can ridicule me climbing Logan Pass.
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Old 03-09-07, 07:11 PM
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I used to visit Glacier frequently in the '70s for backing trips. I haven't been there since, but I still remember its breathtaking beauty, and going to the sun road is extraordinary. You will have an amazing time.
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Old 03-09-07, 07:30 PM
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Glacier N.P.

No shoulder on that road, watch out!
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Old 03-09-07, 10:16 PM
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So anyone?
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Old 03-09-07, 10:46 PM
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I heard it was amazing...but sorry, I don't know much about it. I do know that bikes are not allowed on certain roads due to heavy traffic, but double check this on their website to make sure.
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Old 03-09-07, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by marcpotash
No shoulder on that road, watch out!
don't worry about that. nobody drives over 20mph anyways. i saw a whole bicycle tour group riding it & i talked to them about it & they said that they had ZERO problems.
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Old 03-12-07, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CastIron
So anyone?
If you do GTS from W to E I'd recommend looping back over the divide via Hwy 2. Granted it has been about 16 years since I rode it, but from East Glacier to West Glacier it was a very nice ride. Not bad of a climb to the divide, and nice downhills afterwards.

Otherwise I'd recommend a trip into Waterton on the CA side. A nice little town with a fantastic view of the lake and a nice campground.
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Old 03-13-07, 07:24 PM
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Glacier is on the Northern Tier route of the Adventure Cycling Association. I suggest reposting on the touring bulletin board. Also, go to CrazyGuyOnABike and find the journals for the Northern Tier. You can either read someone's journal about riding through Glacier, or find someone who has and email them directly.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by marcpotash
No shoulder on that road, watch out!
That aside other than 1000 foot drops if you go off the edge, gazillion cars, fog all the time and always working on the road(sat for 2 hours waiting to get through) you should be fine. Should hit TDF speeds on the way down.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:08 PM
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^^Meh, that's just part of the adventure.

Thanks for the tips BigBlue!
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Old 03-13-07, 09:08 PM
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Will the construction be finished? I moved away from there a few years ago, but last fall the roads were owned (washed away) by flood waters.

Why not go in April? The roads are closed to motorized vehicles, and it's neat to have the road all to your onesy.

Whenever you go, bring WARM clothes. I went a few Aprils ago. It was 70 and sunny in Columbia Falls, though halfway up going to the sun it dropped down to 43 with rain/snow. The road will more than likely be wet regardless of weather.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:12 PM
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Click HERE to see the damage.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:18 PM
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Cypress, I think you answered your own question about why not April. I arrive 02 SEP. If--for some odd reason--GTS isn't open by mid-July I'll pursue other options. Speaking of which: You ever ride up to Big Mountain from Whitefish? Looks like a fine way to spend an afternoon.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:18 PM
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Isn't GTS closed to traffic one or two mornings a week even later in the spring/early summer? I've heard tell of this from friends in Kalispell.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron
Cypress, I think you answered your own question about why not April. I arrive 02 SEP. If--for some odd reason--GTS isn't open by mid-July I'll pursue other options. Speaking of which: You ever ride up to Big Mountain from Whitefish? Looks like a fine way to spend an afternoon.

This switchback is fun (pic). You do have to watch out though. The road is crazy rough, strewn with potholes and full of cracks. The road isn't the only thing you need to worry about. Last year a guy hit a deer coming down BM road. He killed the deer but broke his back.

Whenever you go, let me know. I always look for a chance to go back there and lay some anger on those roads.


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Old 03-13-07, 09:32 PM
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02-06 SEP. I'll be here.


How much riding I get to do is up to the missus. GTS is a given (trade for 'spa day'). Maybe another day. Three out of six is much too optimistic.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:37 PM
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anyone know any good road or mtb in or around yellowstone? (sorry- not trying to hijack this thread, but i felt that the forum didn't need another one.)
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Old 03-13-07, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 3MTA3
anyone know any good road or mtb in or around yellowstone? (sorry- not trying to hijack this thread, but i felt that the forum didn't need another one.)

When are you coming? (I live 30 miles from Yellowstone)
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Old 03-13-07, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron
02-06 SEP. I'll be here.


How much riding I get to do is up to the missus. GTS is a given (trade for 'spa day'). Maybe another day. Three out of six is much too optimistic.
Stayed there, good place. Bring some reading, the nights are long, no TV and no beer make Homer something something . . .

Jacobsen's Cottages in East Glacier are cheap and nice. Probably a nice place to stay, if you can afford it, but the Park Lodge on the East side a great place to get a beer and hang out by their giant fireplace. Not really much I can recommend to stay at on the West side.

+1 on Waterton, quiet place. Beautiful. Crandell Mountain Lodge is a good place, Kilmorey Lodge good place for breakfast, mmm, the Saskatoon berry jam is great stuff. The Prince of Wales should be open, have a beer or afternoon tea and enjoy the view of the lake from behind the giant glass windows.

Lessee, bring rain gear. And keep an eye out for cattle, they apparently don't believe in fences up there. The ranch owners, I mean, though I suppose that applies to the cattle, too?
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Old 03-13-07, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
When are you coming? (I live 30 miles from Yellowstone)
i got offered a job there starting in may. not sure if i'm going to take it though...
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