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Thread: Idaho State Route 12 ?...

  1. #1

    Idaho State Route 12 ?...

    Hi there,
    I was wondering if anyone could give me any insight and information on Idaho State Route 12 from Lewiston, ID to Lolo Hot Springs, MT. My daughter and I are planning a road trip to Montana late September - early October and I just want to gather a bit of intel before we jump on a road that we've never been on.
    Questions that come to mind are:
    1. Condition of the road surface ?
    2. About how long would expect it take you to traverse ID on SR 12 ?
    3. Any worth while stops that we should linger at for a time ?
    4. Things to be aware of that have the possibility to bite us in the rear end ?
    Thank you in advance for your time, and thoughts...
    John Clement
    Los Altos, CA

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCClement54 View Post
    Hi there,
    I was wondering if anyone could give me any insight and information on Idaho State Route 12 from Lewiston, ID to Lolo Hot Springs, MT. My daughter and I are planning a road trip to Montana late September - early October and I just want to gather a bit of intel before we jump on a road that we've never been on.
    Questions that come to mind are:
    1. Condition of the road surface ?
    2. About how long would expect it take you to traverse ID on SR 12 ?
    3. Any worth while stops that we should linger at for a time ?
    4. Things to be aware of that have the possibility to bite us in the rear end ?
    Thank you in advance for your time, and thoughts...
    That is a great route. It is actually US12, not Idaho 12 but small point. Even though we live in Texas we ride this every year or two. Google maps says 4 hours from Lewiston, ID to Lolo, MT. If camping and fancy doesn't count there are several nice forest service campgrounds along the way. "Whitehouse" is our favorite but there are others. The store and campground, motel, etc at Lowell's three rivers resort is a nice stop and the town of Orofino is a good place for lunch if you get a late start. The road from Kooskia to Lolo Pass (at the state line) is a world class motorcycle road. It is mostly good pavement, some recently repaved, and some little than needs to be. But overall, very good. There are several spots that are part of the multi-site Nez Perce National Monument(s). Stop, read, ponder, and reflect.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3

    Lolo Trail

    The Lolo trail parallels Highway 12 for a ways. I've never done it, but it looks interesting. Dirt. From the Forest Service website: The Lolo Trail is an ancient travel route of the Nez Perce through the Bitterroot Mountains. It follows the ridge tops parallel and to the north of Highway 12. It is the site of many historic events and carries the memories of hundreds of years of American Indian use. Lewis & Clark followed this route on their trip across the mountains to the west coast.



    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lolo+trail

  4. #4
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I ride Hwy 12 2-3 times a year and most recently this past weekend from Lolo to Lowell (Three Rivers). The road surface varies from good to pretty rough, in my opinion. They are currently paving the Idaho side from the state line at the top of Lolo pass. This was the roughest part of the road. When I went thru they were paving about 4-5 miles west of the border and had the road prepped for another 10-12 miles. The speed limit on the Idaho side is 50 MPH and the LEOs are active and not inclined to give warnings. I think they deal with too many accidents. The fuel station at Lowell is out of business but the Wilderness Inn cafe and motel is open. The Lochsa Lodge (13 miles west of the Montana border) has fuel, good food and cabins. We are currently in Oregon and will be heading home thru Lewiston and Lolo.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl's MT Outpost
    2017 R1200GSA & 2013 FJR

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    That is a great route. It is actually US12, not Idaho 12 but small point. Even though we live in Texas we ride this every year or two. Google maps says 4 hours from Lewiston, ID to Lolo, MT. If camping and fancy doesn't count there are several nice forest service campgrounds along the way. "Whitehouse" is our favorite but there are others. The store and campground, motel, etc at Lowell's three rivers resort is a nice stop and the town of Orofino is a good place for lunch if you get a late start. The road from Kooskia to Lolo Pass (at the state line) is a world class motorcycle road. It is mostly good pavement, some recently repaved, and some little than needs to be. But overall, very good. There are several spots that are part of the multi-site Nez Perce National Monument(s). Stop, read, ponder, and reflect.
    Thanks for the insight Paul. You are very familiar to me from the IBMWR site, even though we have not met personally. Glad that you are still racking up the miles. Ride safe.
    John Clement
    Los Altos, CA

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jkjohnson View Post
    The Lolo trail parallels Highway 12 for a ways. I've never done it, but it looks interesting. Dirt. From the Forest Service website: The Lolo Trail is an ancient travel route of the Nez Perce through the Bitterroot Mountains. It follows the ridge tops parallel and to the north of Highway 12. It is the site of many historic events and carries the memories of hundreds of years of American Indian use. Lewis & Clark followed this route on their trip across the mountains to the west coast.



    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lolo+trail
    Thanks for the suggestion. The dirt road sounds like a hoot but I think I'll pass having my daughter along for the ride.
    John Clement
    Los Altos, CA

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    I ride Hwy 12 2-3 times a year and most recently this past weekend from Lolo to Lowell (Three Rivers). The road surface varies from good to pretty rough, in my opinion. They are currently paving the Idaho side from the state line at the top of Lolo pass. This was the roughest part of the road. When I went thru they were paving about 4-5 miles west of the border and had the road prepped for another 10-12 miles. The speed limit on the Idaho side is 50 MPH and the LEOs are active and not inclined to give warnings. I think they deal with too many accidents. The fuel station at Lowell is out of business but the Wilderness Inn cafe and motel is open. The Lochsa Lodge (13 miles west of the Montana border) has fuel, good food and cabins. We are currently in Oregon and will be heading home thru Lewiston and Lolo.
    Thanks for taking the time to expand my knowledge. Ride safe.
    John Clement
    Los Altos, CA

  8. #8
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Silver City, Montana
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    I believe Visian posted about his ride on the Lolo Trail some time ago. Perhaps he will chime in and confirm or deny my memory.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl's MT Outpost
    2017 R1200GSA & 2013 FJR

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