Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

SLC to Missoula

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

SLC to Missoula

Old 01-03-09, 12:23 PM
  #1  
waldowales
Old Fogy
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Murray, Utah
Posts: 1,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
SLC to Missoula

Anybody ever go from Salt Lake City area to Missoula area? Riding I-15 looks pretty scary to me. Anybody know a reasonable back roads route? One without epic climbs or adding 200 miles. How good is highway 93 form Arco to Missoula?
Thanks for reading.
waldowales is offline  
Old 01-05-09, 12:42 PM
  #2  
Nate1952
Senior Member
 
Nate1952's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Salt Lake City - Turn North at Moab, Go Back 50 Years
Posts: 73
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Greetings from the Great American Desert:

I was also considering this route last year.

As far as the Salt Lake part, you have a wide variety of choices for the SLC to Ogden leg. I prefer staying out west - more or less shadowing the Great Salt Lake - since it is flatter out there.

Ogden to Brigham City is essentially via Highway 89 ... and then the route choices open up again as far as heading toward the Idaho border.

I posted an inquiry about US93 back in January of 2007.

John Egan, who has pedaled more miles in the western US than anyone I have ever heard of, posted this in response:

Are you only going to Polson or are you heading further north to Glacier?
Will you be doing a round trip or one-way?

I've ridden most of US 93 from Nevada north over the years but it's been some time since I've been on the parts you mention because it has so much traffic. US 93 in Idaho is pretty good - fairly low traffic, but not much of a shoulder ever. The Salmon River Valley is lovely - esp. in the morning and evening - can be pretty hot in the middle of the day. There's a cafe in Gibbonsville with great homemade pies and camping out back. Lost Trail Pass was rebuilt about 8 years ago - so it's got an even grade and is pretty safe.

From Hamilton to Kalispell, US 93 has HEAVY traffic and iffy shoulders. There's a back road thru the Bitterroot Valley (Routes 269 & 203) and an option around Flathead Lake (MT 35 - which still has a lot of traffic). There's a reason AC doesn't have a route on US 93. But even their route up MT 83 isn't the greatest - moderate traffic, narrow to no shoulders, and limited views.

The best route for low traffic, quiet, and scenery is on the east side - US 89 from Choteau north. In exchange for stunning views of the Front Range, you are exposed to more wind - but it is worth it. US 287 in southern Montana is really nice, but is pretty nasty south of Helena - and you'd have to take US 20 in Idaho - - bleah!

If you chose to do the eastern route thru Choteau - I'd take US 93 to Lost Trail Pass, then cut east thru Wisdom, Anaconda, Drummond, Lincoln, and hit US 287 south of Augusta. Really, really nice. There is a small stretch of dirt north of Drummond to Helmville. Going north it would be downhill - it's well maintained, hardpack, usually with a nice bikeable track.

I more or less gave up on SLC to Missoula, in favor of looking more to the east: Buffalo or Sheridan Wyoming instead.
Nate1952 is offline  
Old 06-22-13, 09:31 AM
  #3  
Sachelis
Senior Member
 
Sachelis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 111

Bikes: 2009 Specialized Tarmac (roadie) and 2011 56cm 600 LHT (touring)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by waldowales View Post
Anybody ever go from Salt Lake City area to Missoula area? Riding I-15 looks pretty scary to me. Anybody know a reasonable back roads route? One without epic climbs or adding 200 miles. How good is highway 93 form Arco to Missoula?
[I do realize I'm bumping an old thread, but that's better than starting a new one on the same topic.]

Per the map (below), I considered three "macro" routes from Salt Lake City to Missoula. The first is to go to Malad City, UT and then go through Sun Valley. The second is to go to Mud Lake, ID and come in via Salmon. The third is to go through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, following the ACA's maps (TransAm #4 and #5).

For the lower (micro) portions of these three routes (i.e., to Brigham City, Utah) you have two main choices. You can either take hwy 89 and side streets (which isn't bad) or go over Emigration Pass, Big Mountain Pass, and pass Pineview Reservoir. That route is beautiful and steep.

I'm currently riding from Salt Lake City to Canada via Missoula. I choose hwy 89-ish to Brigham City, then went to the Tetons via Bear Lake, ID. It's a longer route to Missoula (although it would have been longer if I rode Emigration (etc)), but it's spectacular. FWIW, I'm blogging my ride at https://PedalingNorth.com.

Attached Images
File Type: gif
Routes-3.gif (82.8 KB, 10 views)
Sachelis is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
robert schlatte
Great Lakes
47
05-18-18 11:06 AM
White_birch
Touring
6
01-27-16 01:39 PM
con40dmitri
Touring
8
05-05-12 08:42 PM
Sachelis
Touring
20
05-01-12 05:56 PM
Cyclesafe
Touring
4
03-04-10 03:45 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.