Idaho - fly & ride 1200 mile loop


Breathtaking view in nearby Glacier National Park.

"St Mary Lake" by Ken Thomas (talk · contribs) - KenThomas.us (personal website of photographer). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St_Mary_Lake.jpg#/media/File:St_Mary_Lake.jpg

 

This 1200 mile loop has twisty roads in parts of Idaho and western Montana
This 1200 mile loop has twisty roads in parts of Idaho and western Montana

Start by searching for flights to Boise on CheapOair and renting a Harley at (208) 338-5599.  Hotels.com gives you one night free for each 10 nights you stay.  Fly in on Day 1.

 

Day 2 - Pickup your Harley at 2310 East Cinema Drive, Meridian, Idaho (208) 338-5599. Head north of Boise on Hwy 55.  Ten miles north of McCall, turn north in New Meadows on US 95.  You can stop along the route in Riggins or Grangeville as you make your way to Lewiston.  269 miles today.

 

Day 3 - Continue north on US 95 to Plummer, head east on Hwy 5 to Chatcolet Lake, on the south end of Lake Coeur d' Alene, where you'll find  Heyburn State Park, the oldest park in the northwest. The Trail of the Coeur d' Alene's bike trail crosses Chatcolet Lake. Continue 10 miles east to St. Maries on Hwy 5, then north on Hwy 3 for 10 miles where you take Hwy 97 north to Harrison and continue to follow the western bank around Lake Coeur d' Alene to I-90 westbound. In Coeur d' Alene pickup US 95 north for 45 miles to Sandpoint, where you'll find the Pend Oreille (pond-o-ray) Scenic Byway, Hwy 200, that runs SE to Montana following the Clark Fork River.  Stopping in Sandpoint makes 206 miles for today.

 

Day 4 - Headed southeast on Hwy 200, it's 80 miles to Thompson Falls, Montana then 25 miles to Plains, MT and then 75 miles more to Missoula, MT.  Just past the Missoula airport, north of town turn south on US 93, headed for Hamilton, MT about 50 miles south.  Today is just 226 miles, so there's plenty of time to stop along the way. Hamilton hotels are rated high by guests on hotels.com

 

Day 5 - Still southbound on US 93 you encounter twists and turns as you cross the state line back into Idaho today.  The towns of Salmon and Challis are welcome breaks along the way toward Arco, where groups can tour the world's first nuclear power plant, and the D-K Motel has 25 rooms.  231 miles.

 

Day 6 - In Arco, US 93 is joined by US 20 and US 26 as you head southwest 110 miles toward Twin Falls.  Just south of Arco you ride past Craters of the Moon National Monument.  There's a 7 mile park loop. As you continue to Twin Falls, be sure to remain on US 93 in the towns of Carey and Shoshone. Once you cross the river into Twin Falls, go about 1.5 miles and turn left on Falls Ave. Go 3 miles to Champion Rd (church on corner) and turn left. Go about 1.5 miles to Shoshone Falls. After enjoying the view, head back to US 93, cross the river, and take I-94 west 140 miles back to Boise and return your Harley.  251 miles.

 

Day 7 - Head home after a memorable week, 1200 miles of great riding.

 

View Google map with printable turn by turn directions.

 

Download
Download these directions
Idaho 1200 mile loop directions.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 34.5 KB


Just north of our loop there's another great ride waiting.

"Marvel at the awesome beauty around every corner of the International Selkirk Loop, a 450 km / 280-mile scenic drive encircling the spectacular Selkirk Mountains in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia."

http://selkirkloop.org/


Download
Download your map copy
Selkirkloopmap.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 417.4 KB



You're very close to Glacier National Park


"Red Jammers are buses used at Glacier National Park in the United States to transport park visitors. While the buses are called reds, the bus drivers are called jammers because of the sound the gears made when shifting on the steep roads of the park. The "jamming" sound came from the unsynchronised transmissions, where double-clutching was a must." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Jammers

"Jammer" by Ken Thomas - KenThomas.us (personal website of photographer).

Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jammer.jpg#/media/File:Jammer.jpg

 

Detour 113 miles north and add Glacier National Park's famous Going to the Sun Road to your trip (see Google map) . The photo and info below is from the NPS webcams page. St. Mary Visitor Center is at the northeast end of the park. To open a zoomable park map, be sure to click on "View Park Map" in the left sidebar on any NPS webpage.