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Discussion Starter #1
Well guys.. Have 2 Indiana flatlanders and their wives that are headed for the Glacier National Park area.. We are of course going to do the "Going to the Sun" road. But we are certainly looking for ideas of other good day trips around the Whitefish area. I am sure we can easily just take any road out of there and have a good day, but if there is a special road that some of you know of the ideas are appreciated! Billd
 

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One of my favorite rides is the "loop" around Flathead Lake. From Whitefish, drive south on Hiway 93 to Polson, MT (at the south end of Flathead Lake). The hiway 93 route is the "west-side" route . Stop in Polson and have lunch - there are many good eatery's in this town. Proceed to the south end of Polson and take Hiway 35 ( runs east about five miles and then bears north) and proceed to Bigfork, MT, then to Kalispell and on to Whitefish. This is about a 120 mile loop.

A worthwhile sight is Hungry Horse Dam. The dam was completed about 1960 and was the third tallest dam in the world at that time (564 ft). You will drive right through the very small town of Hungry Horse, MT on your way to Glacier NP; watch for signs (on your right) to the dam. It is a short 6 mile ride to the dam from the town of Hungry Horse.

If you are riding to Montana on I90, another beautiful ride would be to exit I90 approximately 20 miles east of Missoula, MT and take Hiway 200 for approximately 22 miles to Hiway 83. Follow Hiway 83 north through the Seeley Lake, Swan Lake, and Condon areas. Hiway 83 terminates at Bigfork, MT; you are about 20 miles from Whitefish at this point.

www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Kalispell&state=MT
 

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Discussion Starter #3
DakotaDude said:
One of my favorite rides is the "loop" around Flathead Lake. From Whitefish, drive south on Hiway 93 to Polson, MT (at the south end of Flathead Lake). The hiway 93 route is the "west-side" route . Stop in Polson and have lunch - there are many good eatery's in this town. Proceed to the south end of Polson and take Hiway 35 ( runs east about five miles and then bears north) and proceed to Bigfork, MT, then to Kalispell and on to Whitefish. This is about a 120 mile loop.

A worthwhile sight is Hungry Horse Dam. The dam was completed about 1960 and was the third tallest dam in the world at that time (564 ft). You will drive right through the very small town of Hungry Horse, MT on your way to Glacier NP; watch for signs (on your right) to the dam. It is a short 6 mile ride to the dam from the town of Hungry Horse.

If you are riding to Montana on I90, another beautiful ride would be to exit I90 approximately 20 miles east of Missoula, MT and take Hiway 200 for approximately 22 miles to Hiway 83. Follow Hiway 83 north through the Seeley Lake, Swan Lake, and Condon areas. Hiway 83 terminates at Bigfork, MT; you are about 20 miles from Whitefish at this point.

www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Kalispell&state=MT
Great !!! Sounds like a couple good additions to our plans.. PS.. that is all paved (no gravel) ? The wife really gets antsy when we do any gravel ! Thanks for the ideas !!!!
 

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Enjoying the thread as I'm planning a trip out there in early August. Thought is to come south out of Canadaland from Edmonton via Jasper and Banff NPs, and then continue on to Yellowstone.
 

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We rode 2 years ago from Illinois to Glacier Natl. and then Yellow Stone and Grand Tetons. We took Highway 2. to Glacier. Beware of road construction. They tear up both sides of the road rather than one side at a time even in towns. It was pretty hairy with the bike fully loaded and 2 up on the LT. Dropped it once going through soft dirt after it rained when the car in front of us came to a stop. No detour except backtracking a hundred miles. After that I cringed each time I saw a road construction sign. .
 

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If possible, depending on your route (ie: I90) I would get off at Red Lodge, WY and take the Beartooth Highway. I takes you to the NE entrance of Yellowstone. A couple of years ago when coming back from Glacier to Minnesota, we did this. A great road. Well worth the few xtra miles.

Jim
 

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jaskjb said:
If possible, depending on your route (ie: I90) I would get off at Red Lodge, WY and take the Beartooth Highway. I takes you to the NE entrance of Yellowstone. A couple of years ago when coming back from Glacier to Minnesota, we did this. A great road. Well worth the few xtra miles.

Jim
Red Lodge is actually in MT. When you go over the Beartooth, you drop into WY.
 

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billd said:
Great !!! Sounds like a couple good additions to our plans.. PS.. that is all paved (no gravel) ? The wife really gets antsy when we do any gravel ! Thanks for the ideas !!!!
Your assumptions are correct; these routes are all paved, and as of summer 2008, are all in excellent condition. I would expect very little, if any, road construction on these hiways.

PM me if you want any additional suggestions; I was raised in NW Montana and am very familiar with the area. You have an extensive choice of rides in this area of Montana depending on how much time you have. You may also consider a 50-mile ride (one way) north of Whitefish through Olney and Eureka, MT to the Canadian border. If memory serves me correctly, I think this is Hiway 93. It is a beautiful ride although it is a narrow two-lane with heavy logging truck traffic; I would suggest this ride on a Sat. or Sun to avoid most of the truck traffic. This is winding route with many blind curves; it is a ride for the adventurous.
 

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If you are riding to Montana on I90, another beautiful ride would be to exit I90 approximately 20 miles east of Missoula, MT and take Hiway 200 for approximately 22 miles to Hiway 83. Follow Hiway 83 north through the Seeley Lake, Swan Lake, and Condon areas. Hiway 83 terminates at Bigfork, MT; you are about 20 miles from Whitefish at this point.
1) This ride would be my first choice. I spent a lot of time thru there areas as a kid & loved the exposure I got from this much raw Mother Nature. Seeley Lake & Swan Lake are both relatively untouched. There are also a couple of working/Dude ranches in this area, if you're interested.
Be aware - Seeley & Swan Lake are adjascent to the Bob Marshal Wilderness. There have been instances where certain large furry four legged critters have exited the Wilderness and have attempted to make themselve at home in the public campgrounds.

2) would also take the Lolo Pass up to Lolo (almost to Idaho). There's a reall nice hot springs there at the top of Lolo pass. Operated by a Mom & Pop, with clean dressing rooms, clean towels. I stop here whenever I get the chance!

3) And as has been suggested, complete circle of FlatHead Lake would be in order. Stop at Yellow Bay for a swim!

4) When you're in Glacier Park, make sure you get over the the Many Glacier section. To get there you may have to exit out thru St. Mary's Lake and return at the Many Glacier Gate. Well worth it!
I'm seriuosly considering doing this rout in August, hopefully, if the fires aren't too bad by then.

Good Luck,

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well guys.. some feedback on routes so far... The loop taking the "Going to the Sun" road then US89 to US2 was a winner.. The going to the sun road has amazing sections with a little construction and gravel, but nothing that 2 LT's that were 2 up could not do just fine..And a stop at the Lodge at Saint Mary's for a Late Lunch was a good plan as well... overall a SUPER run !!! Second route we ran left Whitefish and first ran to Eureka on US93 (we plan to take that again for a breakfast at Jacks) then on to the town of Libby on State route 37, which had amazing views of mountains, lake Koocanusa and the river. Lunch at the Libby cafe a block off route 93 is also a do not miss!!! then back to Whitefish on US Route 2. The best part of the loop was probably the views and curves on route 37 but the whole thing was worth a second run !! and it is only Monday!
 
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