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2,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone.

I am piecing together a trip to Glacier and Yellowstone. I originally wished to include crater lake but I'm limited to 10 days. I will attempt to use any free time hiking the parks. I will be camping for the duration of the trip.

Here's the route I currently have planned.

If you have any tips on where to stay, what to see what what to do I would love to here your opinions.

Is backtracking through beartooth to visit chief joseph worthwhile? I try to avoid back-tracking.

Thank you


I have broken down the days and 10 days is extremely tight. Yellowstone appears to be the most difficult place to camp though there are back-country options


+ 39.9 km/h
1,518 Posts
When are you going?
The Going-To-The-Sun road and Yellowstone will be a very slow ride with with many tourists at least until Labour Day.
Beartooth Pass is worth the ride.

Accelerus Maximus
701 Posts
OK - here is my 2 cents worth :0)

Yellowstone seems like a bit of a reach in
10 days, if you want to hike at all - my
thinking would be stay closer: more quality,
less quantity, but just my thinking

Once you are into Oregon (Baker City area)
there are so many awesome small deserted
twisting roads in amazing scenery

I would likely drop Yellowstone - it will
also be a tourist packed, slow tour... and
camping can be hard to find, so you may have
to camp before/after entering the park

Best before/after school is out/in

On your route - without looking at which
way (CW or CCW) you were going :)

1) Between Yakima and Monroe

I would take 12 out of Yakima, onto 410
on the east side of Ranier, then up through
Enumclaw and Falls City (falls there on the
Snoqualmie are roadside, and worth a break
there to have a look)

Check that 410 is open (was closed last week
for a fire)

Adds about an hour, and about 30 km, but much
nicer roads IMHO


2) Between Kooskia and La Grande

I would swing south to Hells Canyon: South on
95, across on 71 at Cambridge, up to the dam
at the top, then out on 86 to Interstate 84

The ride up to the dam is awesome, and is
pretty much deserted, and both 95 south
and 86 are fun roads

Cuts out the Lewiston -> Enterprise bit

Adds about 2:40, and 200 km


3) Between Winthrop and Bonners Ferry

I would go north out of Twisp, across Loup Loup,
then North-east out of Tonasket: Havilah, Chesaw,
Toroda, Curlew, then north back into Canuckistan
to Christina Lake

From there: Hwy 3 to 3B, then South-west to
Rossland, and on to Salmo, then across to Creston
and south to Bonners Ferry

The roads across north and eastern Washington
have zero traffic, lots of funky small towns, and pass
through amazing scenery

Plus Christina Lake is great !

Adds about 1:30 and 70 km


PS: I always underestimate the extra tire wear from
whatever the US uses in the pavement in both eastern
Washington and Oregon - so much more tire wear

2,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Fantastic suggestions. I am planning my route for after the kids are in school. I may leave labour day weekend or a week or two after. In my history of camping a bike or two have always found room in overflow somewhere and I would find multiple places where I think I would stop. I'm not sure how stiff the parks are with fitting extra persons into overflow.

Great suggestion watching for fires. I have a few more trips coming up that should beat my tires down for a fresh set waiting to install for this trip.

I haven't been through lolo pass before. La Grand to Kooskia looks interesting and I will try to fit it in there.

I will likely start through winthrop clockwise. That way if I need to hurry home from Lolo for whatever reason I can take 90 back.

2,969 Posts
hello schmii. apologies for late reply - the Sport Touring forum almost never gets used, so I seldom look at it, and therefore missed your post . maybe you've left already, but... here's some clockwise suggestions.

1. while RSD's the route thru Curlew is very interesting, the section from Tonasket to where you join Toroda Crk Rd is VERY 'back-country', and especially the 9467 west of Curlew is very rough. while the high countryside is fabulous, it's 'smoother' to ride 20 east from Tonasket to Wauconda, then take Toroda Creek Rd.

2. alternatively, you've chosen a very entertaining way across much of NE WA already. I really like both Cache Crk Rd and Bridge Crk Rd down to the Inchelium ferry, which is fun to do in any case. and Hunters > Springdale is probably the best of the many routes across from WA 25 to US 395 ( all of which are excellent riding). but instead of leaving fun-to-ride secondary routes by dropping into Spokane, then joining the boring, straight US 395 to Sandpoint, stay in the back-country! pop north the Chewelah, then take the Flowery Trail ( absolutely superb sweepers) across to 20, then thru Newport to Sandpoint. 20 miles / 20 mins shorter than your original route, with no 'big city'.


3. the section from Yaak down to Lk Kookanusa will blow your mind! absolutely continuous tight curves. don't over-ride it, cuz it's only about a lane and a half wide, so oncoming traffic could provide an unpleasant surprise... but outstanding riding!

4. Going to the Sun will be slow, but it's about tourism and the views, not speed. fantastic road! be sure to stop at the marked pullout ( I think it's the Sun Point nature trail) where you can walk out to a bluff overlooking St Mary's Lake, with fabulous views back up into the mountains - spectacular!

Photo 097-M by Don Serl, on Flickr

5. avoid Browning MT. biggest little shit-hole in the west!

6. Yellowstone is worthwhile, but even after Labour Day will likely be busy. your route across the north part of the Park from Gardiner to Cooke City is relatively deserted tho. and, YES, doubling back to do both Bearstooth Pass and Chief Joseph Highway is mandatory! both are 'lifetime' rides...

7. Cody WY is the main eastern entrance to Yellowstone, so while it is an interesting little town, it's crowded and expensive.

8. the big sights in Yellowstone ( the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, etc) will inevitably be crowded, but they're worthwhile. I'm sure you won't be able to camp 'wild' either in Yellowstone or Tetons Parks, but you might be able to wedge in somewhere.

9. just a minor diversion, but you're passing right by. the 'back-route' from Orofino ID to Kendrick is one of my favorite 30 miles of road anywhere.


10. I'd agree with RSD's suggestion about 410 west of Yakima, assuming you're already ridden the Yakima Canyon route ( the 821). the latter is excellent, the former give you more 'good' riding...

you've got a great route planned, with tons of superb riding. it's ambitious, but that's fine - you could bail onto an interstate and be home in a day or two from anywhere if you needed to.

enjoy your tour!


p.s. in the section east of Bonners Ferry, if you'd prefer more flowing roads vs tight and technical, carry on to Libby, then take the forest road up the west side of Lk Kookanusa. deserted sweepers, the whole way...


p.p.s. if you're pressed for time on the way home, you can save about 150 mi / 3 hrs by diagonalling NW across central WA from Lewiston to Harrington ( lovely, deserted, rolling country), then banging west to Wenatchee and Stevens Pass

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