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Thread: Guided or organized GS rides at the Rally?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSlash5 View Post
    Thanks again for all the info.
    Lost Lake is a beautiful sight. I tracked it down on google map and it appears to be on a cattle ranch. The road to the lake runs through the middle of a bunch of building and sheds. Being from the East, I am not familiar with the protocols of crossing through someone's ranch. Would I just ride on through (which might get you shot at in some parts of the Appalachians) or ride up to whoever I see and ask if I could see the lake?
    Info on this would be appreciated.

    Dave
    Dave, the road is public and goes around the ranch house and buildings. However, I just learned the property owner in the summer of 2020 started restricting access to the lake because of vandalism and property damage - it's too bad, I've been taking friends there for over 30 years.

    The ride from Geraldine to Highwood is still very scenic and remote. Parts of the road go pass several alkaline lakes and the right-of-way of the old Milwaukee Road Railway branch from Lewistown to Great Falls. And, the road is located in the abandoned river channel when you're near Highwood (the Shonkin Sag).

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblount View Post
    Dave, the road is public and goes around the ranch house and buildings. However, I just learned the property owner in the summer of 2020 started restricting access to the lake because of vandalism and property damage - it's too bad, I've been taking friends there for over 30 years.

    The ride from Geraldine to Highwood is still very scenic and remote. Parts of the road go pass several alkaline lakes and the right-of-way of the old Milwaukee Road Railway branch from Lewistown to Great Falls. And, the road is located in the abandoned river channel when you're near Highwood (the Shonkin Sag).
    Thanks for the info. It is too bad that a few have spoiled it for the rest.
    I still look forward to the rides and the Geraldine to Highwood looks like a great ride. I am looking forward to seeing a bit of the "off the main track" sights in Montana and other parts of the west on this trip. I know that I will have to get back home before I'm done exploring, but I hope to see as much as I can.

  3. #18
    '14 R1200 GS Adv bigjohnsd's Avatar
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    For those looking to explore Montana before, during and after the Rally, I highly recommend "Motorcycling Montana - Second Edition" http://www.motorcyclingmontana.com. This book, eritten by a Montana native addresses both paved and ADV routes throughout Montana and is an excellent detailed reference. Note, they also have a "Motorcycling Idaho" available. The author, Cole Boehner, passed several years ago, but the book is still current and his wife Marilyn continues to promote it. The FJR community honored Cole's memory and Marilyn at their 2016 "Red Lodge Rendezvous".
    Last edited by bigjohnsd; 05-04-2021 at 02:04 PM.
    The only dumb question is the unasked question!

    Team Pterodactyl - When we ride, we ride!

  4. #19
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    Gravel\Dirt Rides close to Great Falls

    If you’re riding to the Great Falls Rally from the direction of Rapid City and traveling on a GS there’s a very remote route across the southern tier of Montana you might want to consider.

    One way to start is just north of Biddle, MT on Baking Powder Road and ride west to Moorehead on the Powder River – Moorehead is no longer a populated place. From the Powder River Valley the route takes you to the former town of Quietus and unto the Tongue River Reservoir (a great place to camp). Another way to access the route would be start at Broudus, MT and ride up the Powder River to the turnoff to Quietus. Both routes are extremely scenic and remote. You’ll be lucky to encounter another vehicle and make sure you have plenty of gas. The roads are generally ranch road surfaces and consist of dirt\sand\gravel. The route is impassible if it’s wet – all the roads will turn to gumbo. If you’re a fairly new GS rider I would not suggest the route.
    After this log dirt ride, a person can ride from Ranchester, WY over the Big Horns on Highway 14A – an absolutely great way to cross onto Montana.

    Google Route: https://goo.gl/maps/c84zrBww78noiYGJ9

    Another area with some great backroads if the Custer National Forest around Ekalaka. The ride from Camp Cook, SD to Ekalaka is especially nice (not easy) – it takes you past Capitol Rock and follows several ridgelines. And a great place to spend the night is Medicine Rocks State Park just north of Ekalaka. From Ekalaka take the Miles City Cutoff road to continue the GS route. The road leaves Ekalaka just to the west of town – there is no gas or towns on the way.

    I have some routes in the northern tier I’ll post later. Plus, here’s a website that might give someone an idea of a route to take: http://www.lostandfoundmontana.com/

    Good Luck,

    Keith Blount #41721

  5. #20
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    It looks like I will have more than enough roads to fill my time in Montana. Now the hard part: choosing which routes to do!

    Thanks to all for the info and hope to see you at the Rally.

    Dave

  6. #21
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    Montana Gravel\Dirt Rides on your way to Great Falls

    If you are riding a GS when you enter Montana on US Highway 2 and you decide you want to leave the pavement behind, you have numerous options. And a great place to start your off-pavement adventure is to ride towards Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge. At the refuge you will find thousands of acres of wetlands and rolling hills covered with native prairie grasses. The area also has an abundance of migratory birds including a large population of white pelicans (plus a large population of mosquitoes).

    A good way to access the refuge is to stay on Hy 2 until Culbertson, MT and turn north on Hy 16. Ride north approximately 20 miles to Big Lake Rd. Turn east and ride 6 miles and turn north on Lakeside Rd. Lakeside Rd travels for several miles around the east and to the north. Once you get to the northside of the lake take North Shore Rd to the east back to the town of Medicine Lake.

    If your interested in a long mostly off-pavement ride on your way to Great Falls continue north to Raymond – 8 miles north of Plentywood. Both Raymond and Plentywood have free camping. At Plentywood you can camp at the county fairgrounds (with showers) and there is a small lake south of Raymond that has a few camping spots.

    From Raymond go west on Soo Line Rd to Outlook. At Outlook stay on Soo Line Rd to Whitetail Rd which will take you to the small town of Whitetail (the western terminus of the Soo Line Railroad). The Soo originally planned to build the rail line to the west coast, however, the company ran out of money and ended the construction at Whitetail.

    From Whitetail take the pavement (Hy 248) to Opheim. At Opheim, take Thoeny Rd to the former town of Thoeny (all that is left are a few abandoned buildings including the school). When leaving Thoeny a rider can take the Hinsdale North Rd or the Blacktail Creek Rd south to Hinsdale. Both roads travel through some of the most pristine native prairie found in Montana. Several years ago on a ride, on a small rise in the landscape I stopped and got off my bike and everybody wondered why I had stopped. I told them to look around – even though we could see for many miles we could not see a pole, a fence, or a building in any direction we looked. All we could see for miles was prairie grass and flowers waiving in the wind.

    Once you reach Hinsdale on US 2, ride to the west to Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs for a nice soak and some time off the bike. The hot spring is not a spring but a deep well that was drilled and hit a very deep pocket of extremely hot water. At one time, the Sleeping Buffalo was a well-known resort in the northeastern part of Montana but fell on hard times and disrepair. Nonetheless, new owners have brought the resort back to life so enjoy a day of relaxation or a day exploration. For example, Nelson Reservoir is just outside the resort grounds and the Bowdoin Wildlife National Refuge is just a few miles to the south. And if you are a railroad buff there are the remains of the old divisional headquarters of the Great Northern Railway just south of the Refuge (here are the coordinates of the large roundhouse – plug them into to Google Map: 48.396730, -107.597903. Plus, the American Prairie Reserve is just down the road: https://www.americanprairie.org/. The reserve has a large buffalo herd, camping, hiking and some great roads to ride.

    I will fill in some other routes to the west and east in the near future (including a few with ferry rides). Most of the roads have dirt\gravel as a surface and the surface conditions are fair to good (nothing to difficult). And remember gas is hard to come by in many of these locations so fill-up when you can and watch the weather.

    Keith Blount MOA# 41721

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