Who needs Taquila on roads like that!
That's incredible!!! Amarillo has nothing on this place!
Thanks for the inspiring photos. I am sooo there.
The Rattlesnake is definitely a yes. However, from Enterprise, it's only a few miles to Joseph and Walllowa Lake and a neat cable lift up to the mountaintop there. Lodging at Joseph and also at the Lake.
However, there are all sorts of great roads in Oregon and Washington. Consider a detour west into the Columbia Gorge, especially on the WA side. Lots of lava rock, steep cliffs, waterfalls, scenic views. From Carson, it's less than two hours up to Mt. St. Helens (currently growling and hissing)
395 through eastern Oregon is basically desert, until a little south of John Day (venue for the Chief Joseph BMW rally) One of my favorite roads is OR 19 from Dayville via Condon to Biggs. Sweeping turns, great views, few motorhomes.
Hells Canyon is between Oregon and Idaho, north of Weiser. It's actually deeper than the Grand Canyon, but a much different terrain. Huge curving hills, not sheer dropoffs. You might consider 20/26 to Ontario, then 95 and 71 to Oxbow, and on to the dam. If you don't mind a few miles of gravel, there are roads from Oxbow to Joseph, and Enterprise.
Lolo Pass is scenic, but nothing out of the ordinary for the wild west. There are other passes and side roads leading to Lolo that are away from the motor home brigades. For instance, Lewiston - Cottonwood via 95, then 13 to Lolo Pass (12)
Southbound from Missoula, consider 93 to Salmon and either 93 to Arco or 75 to Stanley (venue for Stanley Stomp) and on to Twin Falls.
But of course, it's only a day's ride from Missoula up to the Going To The Sun highway in Glacier National Park (and that's an awesome ride) and don't forget about Yellowstone National Park, and Craters of the Moon, and...Hey, I haven't even talked about the mountain passes over the Cascades, or the ocean beaches.
Just remember to go home again.
This is great stuff. I'm going to get out my maps and mark these suggested routes and let you know . I'm trying not to do what I promised myself I wouldn't do and that is be at a particular place on a particular day. The only one day I need to do that is the day I arrive home on the 19th and even that's becoming iffy.
Did Glacier, Flathead Lake, and Yellowstone last summer on the way to Spokane. No wonder I'm coming back.
Oh, yeh. You actually asked about Lassen Park, not the hundreds of great motorcycling roads in the NW.
I forgot to mention that the mountains in the Sierras and Cascades are high enough to result in major temperature changes. Lassen Peak is around 10,000 feet, and the road is fairly high on the mountain. It's not a big shock to have fresh snow up on Lassen in July. So, if it's abnormally cold down at the bottom of the hill, don't go uphill unless you have your insulation with you. But if it's seriously hot down there at Oroville or Red Bluff, just head up hill, and within a half hour you'll be putting on more insulation. The temperatures down in the Sacramento Valley are often over 100F in July and August, and sometimes up around 118F.
On your way to Lassen, consider going over Tioga Pass (9940 ft) through Yosemite, and then riding up 49--the old gold rush road. Lots of curves to put a smile on your face. Follow 49 to 89, then through Lassen. It's a lot more scenic up in the hills, and fewer motorhomes.
Southeast Oregon can be HOT, too, especially 95 or 395. The passes are typically not over 5,000 ft, so they aren't as cool, and there's not a lot of shade out in sagebrush country. Lolo Pass is only 5,235 , and the forests on the west side create lots of shade (where deer hide).
While we're talking desert stuff, some roads only have fuel every 100 miles or so. It's a good idea to check the map and your fuel level before zipping by a gas station. That's more critical on a Sunday, when those sleepy little burgs have rolled up the sidewalks and the only gas station is locked tight.
So, gas up, carry lots of water, and guzzle, guzzle, guzzle. If you're not whizzing, you're getting dehydrated.