Flathead Lake - East or West side? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old May 29th, 2011, 8:01 pm Thread Starter
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Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Since I have not ridden this far west I thought I would ask the people that do...

I am looking at making a ride plan for CCR in Boise. I am doing the planning now and I am currently coming in from Calgary via Baniff NP (Lake Louise) /Waterton NP (lLoon Lake) /Glacier NP (Going to the Sun) and routing to Lolo Pass. My route will either pass to the west or east of Flathead lake. Which is better scenic or riding?

Time doesn't look like much of an issue as far as east or west but I would expect west would take considerably longer, mainly because of populated areas. Although not sure if that really counts much in this country. Eastern side looks like it might be more scenic if it is close to the lake but I can't tell that from the map detail.

Also if you have any other suggestions after Lolo to Boise add then please add to the post.

I expect to leave Boise and head towards Yellowstone.

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post #2 of 16 Old May 29th, 2011, 8:36 pm
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Been down the east side a few years ago. It was a beautiful ride.
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post #3 of 16 Old May 29th, 2011, 10:24 pm
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

East side is more scenic and less developed. Go the west side if you are hungry.It is way more commercialized. Lolo pass is great but it can get busy with trucks and traffic. I would take hwy 93 past lolo down to hwy 75 to hwy 21 and that takes you to Boise. They are twisty and paved. Of course you could wait on hwy 21 for a day ride out of CCR.

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post #4 of 16 Old May 30th, 2011, 12:17 am
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Smile Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Ditto on Lolo Pass. They have widened the road to accommodate mega loads of tar sands equipment that comes up the Columbia by barge and then is transported over the Lolo Pass Road. The rigs take up the entire roadway and they have developed wide pull outs for the rigs to let other traffic proceed. You may want to do a search to see what the latest is, but that's the latest I have heard. See you in Boise.

Denny
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post #5 of 16 Old May 30th, 2011, 9:25 am
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

+1 on the east side of Flathead Lake. Not sure if you're camping during your trip, but there is a very nice campground about half way down the east side of the lake. Some mighty beautiful views of the sunset across the lake.

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post #6 of 16 Old May 30th, 2011, 10:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaun2
East side is more scenic and less developed. Go the west side if you are hungry.It is way more commercialized. Lolo pass is great but it can get busy with trucks and traffic. I would take hwy 93 past lolo down to hwy 75 to hwy 21 and that takes you to Boise. They are twisty and paved. Of course you could wait on hwy 21 for a day ride out of CCR.
Thanks for that update. I was unaware and it would not be helpful to be hung in behind heavy equipment after riding 3.5k miles. I will have to discuss with riding buddies.

I was looking for 21/75 as way out towards east coast. However we might want to reconsider and take Lolo on Labor Day weekend with regular holiday traffic and 21/75 coming in on Monday before CCR.

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post #7 of 16 Old May 30th, 2011, 11:04 am Thread Starter
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avonfloater
Ditto on Lolo Pass. They have widened the road to accommodate mega loads of tar sands equipment that comes up the Columbia by barge and then is transported over the Lolo Pass Road. The rigs take up the entire roadway and they have developed wide pull outs for the rigs to let other traffic proceed. You may want to do a search to see what the latest is, but that's the latest I have heard. See you in Boise.

Denny

Thanks for the suggestion on the search for traffic problems.. I would not have considered it. I am trying to get the base route done so we can approve the route as template and then search for local festivals and events that clog highways and motels. I almost wish or had camping experience so we could use that as an option in these parts.

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post #8 of 16 Old Jun 7th, 2011, 3:58 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avonfloater
Ditto on Lolo Pass. They have widened the road to accommodate mega loads of tar sands equipment that comes up the Columbia by barge and then is transported over the Lolo Pass Road. The rigs take up the entire roadway and they have developed wide pull outs for the rigs to let other traffic proceed. You may want to do a search to see what the latest is, but that's the latest I have heard. See you in Boise.

Denny
I'm trying to do some research on these rigs that take up the whole road and I am getting that this has not been done yet. I read an article from a paper dated 4/19/2011 and there is a judge's order barring construction till there is an environmental impact study done. Where did you get your info that this is already occurring?

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post #9 of 16 Old Jun 7th, 2011, 4:22 pm
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

The special rigs hauling megaloads of refinery equipment in Montana only traveled between approximately midnight and 5:30 AM. I can't speak for Idaho but it seemed to work out OK for the first load that arrived in Billings.
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post #10 of 16 Old Jun 7th, 2011, 5:51 pm
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

We've been through LoLo Pass a couple of times over the years........no traffic problems.
LoLo Pass & Highway 12 are a ride worth doing. (watch out for bears)

A couple years ago we traveled up the east side of Flathead Lake, on our way to Glacier, and it was very nice.
Thats cherry country, so make sure to stop at a roadside cherry stand and get some of the best cherries youve ever had !

Traffic on Going to the sun road was Sucky. (Check for road construction.......really)
I really enjoyed East Glacier, outside the Park, going south.....I think I liked that part more than Going to the sun.

Something to think about.

1. Cherry stand. 2&3. East Glacier. 4. Going to the Sun Road !
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post #11 of 16 Old Jun 7th, 2011, 7:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beartooth
The special rigs hauling megaloads of refinery equipment in Montana only traveled between approximately midnight and 5:30 AM. I can't speak for Idaho but it seemed to work out OK for the first load that arrived in Billings.
I searched some of the local papers for articles and only found one that had the restraining order attached. I read it and the order allowed that test vehicle a 7 mile test but I did not hear or read the outcome or if the restraining order was lifted. I e-mailed the author of the article for an update.

The description of the massive pieces of equipment are really scary going over the mountains to Montana and then onto Canada. I also guess that they will not be a problem in late August but I have a plan around but my group wants to take Lolo Pass on the way in. and then head for Beartooth and Chief Joe on the way out towards home.

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post #12 of 16 Old Jun 7th, 2011, 7:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawk
We've been through LoLo Pass a couple of times over the years........no traffic problems.
LoLo Pass & Highway 12 are a ride worth doing. (watch out for bears)
Actually we have a very long trip in and we are coming across Canada and watch out for bears that is pretty much the advice we got from the Canadian Regional board. Along with only daylight riding be especially watchful for moose and deer at dawn and dusk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawk
A couple years ago we traveled up the east side of Flathead Lake, on our way to Glacier, and it was very nice.
Thats cherry country, so make sure to stop at a roadside cherry stand and get some of the best cherries youve ever had !
OK, we will be doing east and I will lookout for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawk
on Going to the sun road was Sucky. (Check for road construction.......really)

I really enjoyed East Glacier, outside the Park, going south.....I think I liked that part more than Going to the sun.

Something to think about.
I will look at it. We are coming in from the north out of the Canadian Rockies. I'm hoping to take the Yellowtail Highway to Icefields Parkway out of Jasper to Banff NP and see Lake Louise and Waterton NP before hitting Glacier NP. Pretty aggressive but I'm told it is worth our time.

I'm struggling with overnight accommodations and timing so this won't take two weeks as we are not campers..

Thanks for the suggestions.

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post #13 of 16 Old Jun 7th, 2011, 9:07 pm
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Aggressive ride agenda ? Understatement of the century !

* note the difference in traffic between the photos of Glacier and East Glacier (nuf said).

There's lots of lodging in Whitefish, Kalispell, Polson, Missoula, etc. ..........but if your'e going through LoLo Pass & down Hwy 12 ( love that stretch of road ), I'd like to recommend the 'Reflections Inn' near Kooskia (pronounced "Kooskie") Idaho on Hwy 12.

http://reflectionsinn.com/

Rand.
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post #14 of 16 Old Jun 8th, 2011, 11:12 am
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Rode Lolo East to West last summer in early August on a Monday. Hit summit about noon and traffic was not an issue at all. Did a side trip on the Idaho side on ID Hwy 13 to Hwy 14 (dead ends eventually). Very nice ride but watch out for wildlife. Two near deer hits on the Hwy 14 stretch. Back to civilization via a fun road up and over Mt Idaho which was very steep and twisty.

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post #15 of 16 Old Jun 12th, 2011, 9:03 am
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

you will like the jasper to banff run it,s a nice ride mabey stop in the middle & take a snowcat ride up the glaicer there are no trucks over 5500kg(im prett shure of the weight) allowed on the highway.be very careful of the sheep & elk in the parks the most common wildlife on road areas are marked pretty well.and the rcmp love to hand out speeding tickets in the parks.
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post #16 of 16 Old Jun 12th, 2011, 9:39 am
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Re: Flathead Lake - East or West side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobst2
you will like the jasper to banff run it,s a nice ride mabey stop in the middle & take a snowcat ride up the glaicer there are no trucks over 5500kg(im prett shure of the weight) allowed on the highway.be very careful of the sheep & elk in the parks the most common wildlife on road areas are marked pretty well.and the rcmp love to hand out speeding tickets in the parks.
We toured the Banff area a few years ago. We pulled into the park from the west entrance, didn't even go one mile and a big black bear ran across the road in front of us. Wow.

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