Getting from Flathead Lake to Spokane
I plan on spending my last two days before Spokane around Polson and Kalispell, MT
Which route do we like for getting from the Flathead lake area to Spokane?
Route 2 from Kalispell through Sandpoint?
Or do we like 200 running south of there from the Polson/Missoula area and also through Sandpoint.
Both look pretty darn good. We should all have to worry about making decisions like this.
Both Hwy 2 and Hwy 93 out of Kalispell are major truck routes and mostly 2-lane highways. Unless you enjoy playing tag with Peterbuilts, I would recommend looking at alternate routes with less traffic...
If you're spending a couple of days between Kalispell and Polson, I am guessing you've already seen Flathead lake, so for me, the best route would be to jump onto Hwy 83 at the north end of Flathead lake and ride down to connect with Hwy 200 just East of Missoula. Then it's Hwy 200 all the way to Sandpoint and Hwy 2 into Spokane, or if you're in a hurry, just do the Superslab.
I-90's pretty good between Missoula and Spokane, with a couple of major mountain passes and some really great high-speed sweepers. It's about a 3-hour run by Interstate as opposed to nearly 6 hours on Hwy 200/2
A second alternate would be to run Hwy 93 north from Whitefish to Eureka and then follow Hwy 37 along Lake Koocanusa down to Libby. You'd rejoin Hwy 2 at Libby.
Any way you decide, I hope you have a great ride!
Thanks for the great information! I've never been to that part of the country so I have no idea what I'm in for. I've just heard the Kalispell area is a great place to ride so I'm going to try it for a couple of days.
I notice 83 runs out east from Kalispell and there is a 28 running west from the west side of the lake down to 200 as well. I'll spend Tuesday and Wednesday riding the area and leave Thursday morning for Spokane with no hurry to get there.
I'm thinking that 93-37 route to Libby could be one of my day rides there to check out.
I'll be on very little interstate coming from Dallas and I'm one of the few who doesn't mind the big slab. If i don't take 90 coming in, I'll take it when heading home for sure. It sounds too good to pass up.
While you're in the Kalispell area, don't miss riding the "Going To The Sun Highway" through Glacier Park! You may have to share the roadway with a herd of motorhomes and campers, but it's still worth the visit.
Ride safe,and we'll se ya at the rally!
Randy, unless you want to kill four or more hours, you probably donÔÇÖt want to take the Swan Hwy (83) to catch Hwy 200 at Clearwater and then to Spokane ÔÇô this is something you might want to do as part of a day trip (Polson to Seeley Lake for lunch) but itÔÇÖs going out of your way the wrong direction (east of Missoula) for getting to Spokane. Also itÔÇÖs going to bring you in to lots of traffic, as you will be on the main corridor for Missoula, Great Falls and Helena truckers.
I live in the area and I posted some info for Grant on how to get from Glacier National Park to Spokane via Lolo Pass: http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....&threadid=2038 but that may include some stuff youÔÇÖll probably do on your day trips.
If you are leaving for Spokane from Polson you can go to Ravalli on Hwy 93 and catch Hwy 200 there; this route takes you along the Flathead River and then the Clark Fork River. If you are making good time you can cross the river outside of Thompson Falls and check out Thompson Pass just for grins.
I would suggest looking at these options as well: leaving Flathead Lake at Elmo on Hwy 28 will take you through the glacial terrain reviewed in the current issue of OwnerÔÇÖs News. Climb the moraines, ride past pothole lakes, take the junction to Perma and Hwy 200 (then turn at Paradise) or the more direct route goes to Plains and connects with Hwy 200.
Whether for your trip to Spokane or some of your day trips, would you like to ride some paved routes where you are likely going to have the road to yourself most of the time? The 93-37 route near Libby is great but if youÔÇÖre on something other than two-up on an LT or are on top of your game, then you might like to try the Yaak. This is the route IÔÇÖd take from Kalispell to Spokane, as it will avoid traffic. It makes a good day trip from Kalispell, too. Leave Eureka and go past Rexford on Hwy 37, cross Lake Koocanusa (KOOtenay, CANada, USA ÔÇô get it?) on the first bridge to your right, go right at the far shore maybe a mile and watch for a paved Y to the left that goes uphill. This is Sullivan Creek Rd (FR 92). This paved road goes to Yaak, where there is a gas pump and two bars. If this is on the way to Spokane you can take this route (Hwy 508) to Troy MT and connect with Hwy 2 about 4 miles from the ID border. Watch for deer, moose, eagles, etc. on this route. It is a ride of a lifetime (there is the annual Yaak Attack group ride scheduled for Sat July 17 on this route).
If this is a day trip, then you can drop to Libby on Pipe Creek Rd (567) and then come up Hwy 37 ÔÇô thatÔÇÖs a great loop. But consider turning right at Fisher River Rd (youÔÇÖll see the railroad tracks going into this canyon) and then left at Wolf Prairie Rd; this will bring you out of the woods at Trego on Hwy 93. Or the next left will be McKillop Rd and this brings you to Hwy 2 near HappyÔÇÖs Inn. Just depends on how you want to return to Kalispell ÔÇô via Hwy 2 or Hwy 93.
Keep in mind that you can jump from Hwy 2 near Libby/Troy to Hwy 200 (or vice versa) via Bull Lake Rd Hwy 56.
This is also some great information. I'm a real map freak so I'm going to take all your routes and mark everything along with bringing your notes with me. I hope I can return the favor if you're ever interested in riding the Hill Country in Texas. There's no hurry to get to Spokane on Thursday so I can take one of the suggested routes. 83 might work for a day ride, but like you said, it's running southeast. On my way back to Dallas, I plan to cut through Idaho so I guees I can finally get on I-90 and check that out as well. I do want to ride through Glacier and from everything I've heard," Get there early and prepare to ride slow".
On the same topic, how hard is it to get to the Canadian side ? The pictures look awesome!
I'd like to send you email before I leave on July 6th since I may have a few more Montana questions. Thanks again and I'll check out the page about riding through Lolo pass.