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Old 08-01-2007, 07:09 AM
30 posts, read 94,399 times
Reputation: 18


Hi all - maybe you can help me out - I'm embarking on a cross country road trip later this month (first time ever!) and my return route will have me crossing northern Idaho on August 13 or 14. I'm looking at US 12 from Lewistown to Missoula, MT (reconnecting with I-90 there to go farther East). It looks fairly isolated once you get about 50 miles E of Lewistown - is this a comfortable road to drive? I would not be doing it at night. Please let me know! Thanks
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:01 AM
Location: Ponderay, Idaho
445 posts, read 1,113,944 times
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Default Idaho's U. S. Route 12

U. S. Route 12 follows the Clearwater River from Lewiston to Orofino, then the middle fork of the Clearwater to Lowell, then the Lochsa River to the Idaho/Montana border at Lolo Pass (5,300 feet). There are no services from Lowell to Lolo Hot Springs, Montana (85 miles).

You're driving through the Clearwater National Forest most of the way and you are essentially following the path of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805. This is a beautiful daytime drive. I would rank it as one of the more scenic drives in Idaho. The road is two-lane, with curves and some hills and valleys. It is a river drive, as mentioned, through great forested areas. Traffic in mid-August will be heavy at times primarily due to tourists. There are a number of interpretive sites along the way that visitors will be stopping at. There is some truck traffic, including logging trucks, but it should not be heavy.

All in all, it should be a pleasant drive if you are not in a big hurry. Have a great trip!

pimit2 (Bob)
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:54 AM
Location: Palmer, AK
47 posts, read 239,833 times
Reputation: 58
Yes, you would be wasting a terrific scenic drive by doing this at night. I wouldn't drive this road by night (mountains, curves, two-lane), and if you can't help the night drive I would push north to CDA and get on I-90 east.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:20 PM
30 posts, read 94,399 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks for the tips - I think I will stop for the night in Lewistown on my first day eastbound and start day #2 with the US12 stretch in full daylight.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:00 PM
2 posts, read 8,717 times
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Smile great route!

We were in Lewiston a few weeks ago (possibly relocating there), and decided to make the drive up to Missoula. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking The drive is rather curvy, and at some points hilly, but it is worth it. There are plenty of pull offs to take in the view (a few even have clean outhouses!) If you are looking for a good breakfast before you head out of Lewiston, cross over to Clarkston, and on 6th St (kind looks like a "Main St") there is a little cafe called Jawbone Flats Cafe...great food and friendly folks! Make sure to try the rib-eye, it is to die for! Best of luck on your trip!
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:50 PM
1 posts, read 4,424 times
Reputation: 10
Default Missoula to Lewiston

Can anyone tell me what the driving conditions will be like between Missoula and Lewiston in March? Google keeps sending me this way - but don't know about the mountians, road maintenance and spring snow storms... if they are common, etc...... Leaving March 12th...

Could drive up from Boise to Lewiston if that is a better direction. It is a little bit longer, though....

Please help
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:04 AM
5,395 posts, read 8,284,276 times
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It may make more sense to go south on 95 from Coeur d'Alene (I90 west from Missoula). I've never driven Highway 12 in winter, but if you read our thread about "Idaho's Highway 12" you'll not only get more info about the route, you'll also see that the megaload (the only one so far) got held up because of bad weather halfway along 12. And mid-March is still winter. I doubt that you'd encounter difficulties from the megaload shipments, but you never know. That's one reason why they're a concern.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:36 PM
Location: Moscow
2,074 posts, read 2,735,298 times
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In March Hwy 12 is probably fine. If weather is a concern, taking the interstate from Missoula to CDA, then going down 95 is the other good route.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:57 PM
8 posts, read 12,718 times
Reputation: 10
Question What about travel trailer?

Hi all,

The family is looking at pulling our 29 foot travel trailer from the Ennis, MT area out to Dworshak State Park for some Spring camping and possible relocation scouting over the Easter weekend. We've never been out Highway 12 and I'm wondering what locals or people familiar with the road would recommend as far as towing a trailer through there in early April?

Google maps says the trek up around Lolo & Clearwater NF through Coeur d'Alene adds about an hour and a half vs. the scenic route. We're not windy mountain novices by car but are fairly green with a Suburban & the trailer.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:38 PM
Location: Moscow
2,074 posts, read 2,735,298 times
Reputation: 2509
It is a two lane road, with lots of curves. You may also run into some snow. You may need to go fairly slow at times.
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