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#35 or #93 around Flathead Lake (MT)

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#35 or #93 around Flathead Lake (MT)

Old 04-23-22, 03:52 PM
  #26  
jamawani 
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Gauvins -
Not sure what your overall route is at this juncture - -
Still planning a Calgary down to Yellowstone tour?

Because of the routes mentioned, Hwy 83 has the least traffic and is the best overall.
MtDave is right, however, that it is generally a tunnel of trees.
But there is one paved route that has even less traffic, moderate shoulders, and great views.
That is US 89 on the east side of the Divide from Browning to Choteau - and point further south.
(And US 287 south of August has even less traffic.)

Average Summer Traffic Count Numbers -
US 93 - 8200; even higher south and north of the lake
Hwy 35 - 4233; have to get on US 92 south of the lake
Hwy 83 - 1934-2499; no shoulders, few views
US 89 - 1064-1823; moderate shoulders; big views
(Heading southeast usually has tail to side wind.)

If Missoula is not a definite destination, you can continue south on US 89 via Livingston.
Or a number of ways via Helena on roads with much lighter traffic.
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Old 04-23-22, 05:14 PM
  #27  
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+1 ^

I staffed one of the early ('95) ACA Cycle MT tours following Jama's suggested front range route and it was wonderful!

I started solo in Missoula and cycled the Great Parks route north to meet the supported tour at W Glacier. We crossed Going to the Sun with subsequent stops at St Mary, Browning, Dupuyer, Choteau and Augusta with a layover in Helena. We continued south to Three Forks and Livingston entering Yellowstone through the arch at Gardner. We concluded with a ride across the Lamar Valley at the top of Yellowstone to Cooke City, ending the next day at Red Lodge via Beartooth Pass.

We were staying mostly at school fields. I don't remember many campgrounds. Not sure if gauvins and family could keep to a 60k daily limit travelling with their 11 year old, but it was one of the most memorable ACA events I was ever part of!


Yellowstone entry, Gardner MT

Last edited by BobG; 04-24-22 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 04-23-22, 06:10 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
Youíre about a hundreds years too late for one of those:
oh, i saw this'n as well as lotsa charters and tours,....thought mebbe there might be other scheduled runs between docks at either end.

https://flatheadlakeboaterassist.com/
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Old 04-24-22, 09:06 AM
  #29  
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Found that deer crossing sign on MT 83 and a few others. Did someone tell the deer where to cross? Reminds me of a moose crossing sign I saw in VT. It warned of some seemingly random number like 2450'. Wonder how that was arrived at, and how many people would be able to judge distance in feet while driving?

Yeah. MT 83 doesn't have a tremendous number of views, but there are some nice ones.






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Old 04-24-22, 02:55 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Gauvins -
Not sure what your overall route is at this juncture - -
Still planning a Calgary down to Yellowstone tour?
Yes, absolutely. Flights are booked and the route is firming up, with the exception of this segment. (say... Kalispell to Twin Bridges). Our current route is more to the west than via #83.
I've read this thread with great interest and will review the 83 vs 35 arguments. I hope to find the time to post A/B and get feedback.

(WRT Missoula -- there is an interesting museum of contemporary art that would make a nice stop.)
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Old 04-24-22, 04:28 PM
  #31  
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If you stay in Missoula, the KOA is nice and just around the block from the REI. Good place to pick up something like fuel if you need it. The tent sites with the partial overhangs to keep you dry if it rains are nice. Reservations recommended. IIRC, there are only 5 of them.
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Old 04-24-22, 06:00 PM
  #32  
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Interesting that you mention the KOA. I've looked at their rates an unless I misunderstood, it is something like 80+$/night (?!).

So I joined warmshowers, and the rest will be history
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Old 04-24-22, 07:35 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Interesting that you mention the KOA. I've looked at their rates an unless I misunderstood, it is something like 80+$/night (?!).

So I joined warmshowers, and the rest will be history
Thatís crazy, but not totally surprising. I think I paid around $34 for the type of site I described, which had power and a private water tap, back in 2019. When I was planning my tour from northern Vermont home to Philly last September I priced a night at a KOA in Nowheresville, New York. Three years earlier I had paid around $44 for a site by the river there. Last year they wanted $102, and it wasnít even a weekend night. Hard pass. Opted for a place a bit out of the way that involved some climbing to get to, but it was much cheaper.
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